A few months ago I spent the afternoon with my Great Uncle Ted and my Great Aunt Ann learning the secrets of Flossie’s pound cake. We talked about my great grandmother, my grandmother, and the whole Ballenger family, but mostly we talked about Ted’s favorite dish, sauerkraut & dumplins.
I talked for a long time that day with Ted about his memories growing up, his mother’s family home in St Pauls, his Caudell uncles and the fast and furious lives they led. We talked about Flossie, her life, her roots. And we talked about food.
Every conversation we had, no matter what it started with, circled back to sauerkraut and dumplings. Ted was incredibly focused. After I left I emailed his niece, my dad’s cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s mother Nita was my grandmother’s older sister, and Bobbie and Nita were inseparable. Elizabeth said while she wasn’t totally sure of the origins of the recipe, she made it all the time for Nita. She worked out a recipe and sent it over to me and I tried it out on my captive Fauxgiving audience.
I would like to state here that I am 100% team Ted. He is completely right, this was better than every other food I made that day and I want to eat it every day forever. It was delicious- the spicy and vinegary sauerkraut worked perfectly with the fluffy and salty dumplings. This is my new favorite food. Sorry, pie.
Sauerkraut & Dumplings
1 head cabbage, shredded
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sifted flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
Combine half of your shredded cabbage and your vinegar in a large skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, and stir in the remaining cabbage and the spices. Simmer over medium low, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.
Mix your dumpling ingredients together. Spoon onto the hot sauerkraut and cover. Cook, leaving covered, for 30 minutes, long enough for the dumplings to set. Serve hot.