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Potato-Plum Dumplings

4 large potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour, plus flour as needed
1/4 cup farina
14 small sweet plums
14 small sugar cubes
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Scrub potatoes well but do not peel. In a saucepan combine potatoes
and water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are
tender when pierced with a fork (about 40 minutes); drain. When
potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and, while still warm,
press through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl. Let cool.
Add salt, eggs, and the 1 tablespoon butter to potatoes and mix
well. Gradually mix in the 1 cup flour and farina until dough is
easy to work, adding more flour if it is too wet. Turn dough out
onto a floured board and knead well until smooth and fairly soft
(5 to 10 minutes). With your hands form dough into a large
sausage-shaped roll. Cut roll into 12 to 16 equal pieces.

Cut open plums and remove pits. Replace each pit with a sugar cube
and re-form plum. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each dough
piece into a 3-inch square 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Place 1 plum in
center of each square. Bring up corners of square to enclose plum
completely; no part of plum must be exposed. Pinch dough edges
together firmly so that dumpling doesn't break open during cooking.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil
over high heat. Drop in dumplings, being careful not to crowd pan,
and boil gently, stirring occasionally. Do not boil too hard or
dumplings may split open. Once dumplings rise to surface, cook
until tender (5 to 10 minutes total cooking time, depending on
intensity of boil). With a slotted utensil carefully remove dumplings
one at a time to a heated bowl; cover tightly to keep warm. Repeat
with remaining dumplings.While dumplings are cooking melt the 1/2
cup butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs
and cook, stirring, until browned. Turn out onto a flat plate. Roll
hot dumplings in browned bread crumbs to coat completely and serve
immediately.


Variations:

Potato Noodles - Omit plums and sugar cubes. Prepare dough as
directed, but roll with your palms to form 2 or more sausage-shaped
rolls about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut rolls into 2-inch lengths.
Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil over
high heat. Drop in noodles and cook until tender (5 to 10 minutes).
Drain and roll in breads crumbs as directed for dumplings.

Dessert Potato Noodles Prepare Potato Noodles and roll in bread
crumbs as directed. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and sugar to
taste.

Yield: 14 servings.

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