Smack-It Howard D. Sr.’s Depression Soup and Dog Bread
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of milk
2 table spoons of vegetable oil
1 tea spoon of salt
6 large white potatoes, diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 ½ teaspoons prepared minced garlic
1/2 large onion, chopped
dried oregano, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond milk or whole milk
If you are vegetarian, use a “not chicken” boullion cube from Whole Foods. If you are not a vegetarian, fry 4 strips of bacon until cooked. Preserve the grease. Set aside.
For dumplings: Prepare ingredients: as for any other dough, amount of flour you use will actually vary, flour is used for dough itself, as well as for dusting working area and dumplings themselves. Pour milk to the cooking pot, add 1 tea spoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix everything, put cooking pot on burner over moderated heat and bring to boil, stir from time to time. Remove pot from the burner and add ½ cup of flour; if you have sifter it is good idea to use it, and stir. Continue stirring until all knots are broken (it is easier to do if you use spoon or spatula) and mixture become homogeneous, then set it aside to cool down to room temperature. Crack an egg. And mix it in. Then start mixing rest of the flour in circular motion, spoon by spoon (you can use stand mixer and dough hook for this step). Continue stirring more flour in until dough gets consistency suitable for kneading. Prepare powder working area with flour and then pour dough on it. Generously powder with flour and knead (add more flour if dough sticks to hands). Knead until dough becomes elastic and isn’t sticking to hands anymore. Then cover dough with plastic (to prevent drying) and leave to settle for about 20 minutes. After that roll dough into ½ inch sheet. Cut dough into 1 inch strips.
For potatoes: Heat 1/8 cup of vegetable broth in skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic and onion until tender. Add broth as needed. Cut the potatoes in 1 inch cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot with the salt, remainder of broth, water, onions and garlic, and oregano. Cover the potatoes with at least 4 inches of liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Continue to add broth and water as needed.
Mixing the two:
When the potatoes are cooked, drop strips of flour dumplings into the boiling potato water. Once all of the dumplings have been added, add the prepared “not chicken” boullion cube or, alternatively, the bacon and its grease. Add milk. Cook on low for an additional 5 minutes. Then turn off the potato and dumplings and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
For Dog Bread:
2 cups plain cornbread meal (no sugar)
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place meal in mixing bowl. Place water in pot and heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile, light spray 12 inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil and place in oven to get hot. When water is almost boiling, gradually add hot water to meal in mixing bowl, stirring with fork. Consistency of water/meal mixture should be such that one can mold the mixture with one’s hands. Place enough mixture into the hand and, with both hands, press and shape the cornmeal mixture into a oval-shaped pone, about the same size as one’s cupped hands. Then place pone in hot skillet. Make as many pones as one can fit into the skillet. Place skillet in oven and cook 30 - 40 minutes, until pone is brown and outside is hard and crusty. To eat, break open pone and eat the steaming insides. This is to be eaten with the depression soup. On can certainly eat the outside as well; your choice.