1975: Dad showed Bryan and me the house where he grew up. He said that the spruces behind the house were planted by him!
Dad was born December 13, 1901, on this homestead in the Rossburn/Olha area.
The house was built by a Ukrainian carpenter.
(A house just like this was pictured in a series of cards featuring scenes in Saskatchewan.)
We went inside the house. You could see how it was plastered over lathes.
This was one of the outbuildings – probably a barn.
On the way home, Dad, without a word to us, stopped the truck suddenly in the middle of the road and hopped out.
Then he yanked this young spruce out of the ground.
Dad replanted the little tree in Shoal Lake where it flourished as part of a windbreak.
Dad took the same approach with babies, even if they were at the exact age to “make strange”. The moment we arrived, Dad snatched her from me. A look of alarm touched her face, but vanished instantly. Grandpa magic!
Dad had the same knack with food.
He made lumpy dumplings that Mom would never serve to company.
But Nestor, Diana, and I loved his Lump Soup!
First, prepare strong chicken stock.
Cool the stock and refrigerate.
You will then be able to remove the solidified fat (although any Baba would tell you that, in doing so, you are removing the best flavour so you may want to return a little of the fat to the stock when you are heating it for the soup).
Sauté a carrot and a celery stalk (both finely chopped) to soften them and add these to the broth with the dumplings. (or you can just boil them for a few minutes with the stock)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp salt (sounds like a lot, but it's the right amount!)
2 ¼ cups flour
Beat the eggs with a mixer. Then add salt, milk, and 1 cup flour. Beat again. Add another cup of flour and beat. The last quarter cup of flour must be beaten in by hand.
Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a rolling boil. Using a tea spoon, drop batter into the pot in small lumps.
(Try dipping the spoon directly into the water. The batter should just come away from the spoon and you won't have to push it off the way I did in this picture. A trick I just learned in July, 2014!)
Boil uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
Add to the broth.
(I also remember seeing Mom drop the dumpling batter directly into the broth when she was boiling a chicken.)