Cleo likes to listen to audio books when she's sick. Well, she likes to listen to one audio book: Astrid Lindgren's The Children of Noisy Village. After listening to the whole two-hour book as many times as she's had a cold this winter (so, so many times), I suggested a few other options.
No. Noisy Village or nothing. So, by now, I could probably recite the whole thing from memory. Let's see... "My name is Lisa, and I am nine years old. I am a girl, which you can tell by my name." I could go on. I will not. It's a sweet story, about six Swedish children growing up in the countryside and their antics and accomplishments.
In one chapter, there's a dramatic snow storm, through which the children must walk home from school. They struggle through the snow, get rescued in a horse-drawn sleigh, and go home for hot beef broth and dumplings. This inspired Cleo's first book-induced food craving. She requested it for dinner, with great enthusiasm and shining eyes, and (with the help of the internet, the freezer and the pantry) we were eating it a couple hours later.
I guess Swedish dumplings are usually potato-based, but I was limited to flour-and-egg dumplings, so I tracked down and adapted this recipe. I doubt there's anything Swedish about it, but it was delicious, frugal, easy, and a great parent-child kitchen project (especially if you use a plastic pizza wheel to cut the dough). They're like thick, chewy, tender noodles. I have no idea how they are the next day, since we inhaled them.
Flat Dumplings for Soup
serves two or three
1.25 cups white whole wheat flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons water
In a big bowl, beat together eggs, oil, water, and salt. Add the flour and mix to make a sticky dough. Chill one hour (next time, I'm skipping this step, just in the interests of research). Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Meanwhile, sprinkle a large cutting board with flour. Dust the dough with flour, and divide it in two. Using half the dough at a time, gently spread/stretch/roll the dough out on the cutting board to about 1/8" thick. Cut the dough into little pieces-- ours were about 1/4" by an inch or two. Variations in size seemingly had no effect on quality, so put down your ruler and go nuts with the pizza wheel. Gently slide the dumplings off the board and into the boiling water, and cover. Boil 8-10 minutes, then scoop out the finished dumplings. Repeat with the other half of the dough. I held the finished dumplings in ice water until the soup was ready for them, and that worked well. Next time, I might skip that step (again, research/laziness).