Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lumpy Soup

There is something about the recipes and food that our parents and grandparents grew up on that has always fascinated me. A few generations before us, the majority of people were still living on farms and working the land. And although I never met Justin's grandparents, the stories of them are endless at the gatherings of family over holidays and vacations. But both with my own great-grandparents growing up in rural Georgia and Justin's South Dakota grandparents, there were so many things that were similar.

It was natural to feed your family with what you had, what you grew, and what you could harvest off of your own land. And with 9 kids, like in the McBrayer family, there were always hungry mouths to feed and little to go around. So for them, lumpy soup was the staple. You could use what you had on the farm and make an enormous batch to feed a crowd. 

I poked around the family looking for pictures and the recipe for this "delicacy" so that we could share with the boys (and you!) what their families in past generations grew up eating. And just like you might imagine, there isn't a recipe. It's the thing you learn leaning over someone's shoulder in the kitchen. There's a lot of  talk that goes like this: Well you use some of this, a handful or two of that and then add water until it looks about right. Well if you weren't there it's difficult to figure that out so I did my best. Here's what I figured out for lumpy soup in case any of you were dying to try it for old times sake.

Grandma (Jeanette) McBrayer

So here is what you will need. Four, eggs, milk and salt! To feed four people I figured you would need the following:

4 cups of milk
1 cup of flour
1 egg
salt to taste.

Add the salt to the milk and warm it on the stove without scalding it. Throw a cup of flour and an egg into a bowl and mix it together to make lumps. Adding more flour until you get something that looks like what you see in the picture. (I broke the lumps out as dime sized pieces and then tossed them in more flour so they wouldn't stick together.)

Then, with the milk close to boiling, drop the lumps into the soup. Let it cook for 5-10 min. 

What would go better with lumpy soup than some biscuits (more flour and milk!) cut with one of Grandma McBrayer's actual biscuit cutters (one of my most treasured kitchen tools) that Aunt Peggy gave me as a wedding gift?!?

There you have it! The Boys loved it. What little kid wouldn't? Stay tuned, the next post will be about my Great-Grandmother's Chicken and Dumplings! Another old time favorite.

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