The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Sister's Diddy Dumplings

By Yvonne M. Cole © 1987

Issue: October, 1987

Some of us can remember our mother's light, fluffy chicken-dumplings. I am talking about the kind where she went into the yard, chased the old hen until she was out of breath, then had to hunt an ax, carry the old hen over to the chop block, and try to hold the hen with one hand while she let fly with the ax with the other hand, this feat is not as easy as she could make it seem, having had many years of practice, after that came the boiling water poured over it to loosen feathers, then the plucking of the feathers off, after this she would hold it upright over the old American Beauty cook stove, on which she still cooks today, with the lid off and the flames burning high to singe the last feathers off.

My sister always wore the little pinafore aprons with the pockets that my Mother made us, and Mother always had a brood of young chicks running in the yard, when sister took her apron off one evening, Mother found two little chicks in sister's apron pocket. When asked what she was going to do with these chicks, she calmly replied, "Make Diddy Dumplings."