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Sinkers - Cornmeal Dumplings

From: Camille 
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 9:32 PM
Subject: Recipe request


I am looking for the recipe for a soft cornbread/dumpling like patty made with white cornmeal and is
dropped into collard greens towards the end of cooking. Its something my great grandmother used to make. 
I believe she called them sinkers or sankas. I would appreciate your help.


Hello Camille,

It’s been years since I heard these cornmeal dumplings called “sinkers”. My family usually put them in turnip greens, but they’re just as good in collards or mustard greens or a mixture of greens. Recipes vary from family to family. Some are as simple as cornmeal and water and some a bit more complicated. Most recipes for the dumplings are basically just Southern style cornbread batter. See below for several recipes.


Turnip Greens and Cornmeal Dumplings

2 lbs. fresh turnip greens or mustard
1/4 lb. salt pork, ham, bacon, chopped
Salt to taste
3/4 c. self-rising cornmeal
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. melted shortening

Wash greens thoroughly. Cover with cold salted water and let soak 1 hour, drain. Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil.  
Add greens and salt pork and return to a boil.  
Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour or until greens are very tender.  Add salt to taste.  
Step 2:  Combine cornmeal, egg and milk, mix well.  Stir in shortening.  
Drop batter by teaspoons on top of simmering greens. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
Turnip Greens and Cornmeal Dumplings

Turnip greens
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. melted butter

Cook greens in kettle until done; remove greens.  Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl.  
Add egg, milk and butter; stir until batter is well mixed. Drop batter by teaspoonful into simmering broth.  
Cover tightly.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Do not lift cover while dumplings are cooking.  
Cornmeal  Dumplings  And  Turnip Greens

Cook turnips, seasoned with salt or until tender.  Leave a large amount of water in the greens.  
Mix fine cornmeal with salt and water.  Shape by hand into small patties, drop into boiling turnip greens and water.  
Cook until done.
Cornmeal dumplings

1 c. cornmeal
1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 onion
1 tsp. salt
Crisco, size of a black walnut
1/4 c. water

  Mix ingredients with water until moist.  Drop by teaspoon in liquid from cooked greens.
Cornmeal dumplings

1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
Salt & pepper
1 beaten egg white
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. oil

Mix together flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Combine beaten egg white, milk and oil.  
Add to flour mixture.  Stir with fork until just combined.  Turn crock pot to high, drop dumplings by teaspoon.  
Cook for 30 minutes.  Do not lift cover.  

Bolonaise - Bolognese

From: Mary 
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 11:11 PM
To: Uncle Phaedrus 
Subject: Bolonaise

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
I just purchased an old Bon Appatit with Soul of Tuscany. I was hoping I could find a recipe called Bolonaise.
It was incredible. Its out of Bon Appatit, but not THAT issue. It was about 2000. It was a family recipe handed down 
to a woman who had it printed as a feature article. I liked it because it was authentic. It had lamb,veal and pork. 
It had milk, wine, tomato something, and it took all day to make. It was incredible. It was knock you out crazy good.  
I looked up all the sauces, and whatnot on your site with no luck. Could you help me? Thank you.


Hi Mary,

Let’s talk about what “Bolonaise” is. It’s actually just the French form of the term “Bolognese”, which is Italian for “from Bologna” or “like they do it in Bologna.” A “Bolognese sauce" is a rich meat sauce or “ragu” for serving with pasta. There’s “spaghetti Bolognese”, “lasagna Bolognese”, “linguine Bolognese”, “fettucine Bolognese”, etc. “Bolonaise” is seldom used in recipe names. “Bolognese” is much more common.

I tried to track down the exact issue of Bon Appetit in which you might have found that recipe, but I had no success. The only Bolognese recipe that I could find that was from Bon Appetit is here:

Bon Appetit

There are other Bolognese recipes on these sites:

Leites Culinaria


Meatballs and Milkshakes


Kreem Kup Cheese Fritters

From: Melissa 
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 6:46 PM
Subject: Kreem Cup Cheese Fritter Recipe

Hi Phaedrus- 

I'm looking for a recipe from the now-defunct Kreem Cup diner in Manhattan, KS.  
The item in question was a "cheese fritter" and was essentially a deep fried grilled cheese.  
I can create the sandwich part w/ no problem (if people are asking for recipes for grilled cheese 
I think we're in trouble as a nation), but haven't had any luck re-creating the breading they 
dipped the sandwich in.  The fritters were perfect,  not too much breading, not greasy, 
and just plain good!  The restaurant was originally located on Yuma street in Manhattan, 
had been open for decades, and was a mainstay in Manhattan before it closed in 2009.  
Any help would be appreciated, thanks!


Hi Melissa,

Everything that I could find about the place said it was “Kreem Kup” with a “K”. There appears to be a “Kreem Kup” still in business in Wamego, KS, which is near Manhattan. I’ve no idea if there is any connection.

I could not find anything about the cheese fritters. I found some reminisces on this site, but nothing close to a recipe: Chiefs Planet

In order to search for a similar recipe, I’d have to have more information about the Kreem Kup fritters. There are many recipes called “cheese fritters”, with many different kinds of cheese in them.

Your description sounds similar to “cheese frenchies”, for which I have several recipes on my site. See:




Browned Butter Substitute & German Dumplings

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ron 
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 12:11 PM
Subject: Potato and dumpling soup

On Dec 10, 2009 you had an inquiry from Art about German dumplings.  My mom 
put the kind of dumpling Art describes in all kinds of soup, she also made 
them as a main dish - that is what led me to your site.  I will ask my 
question in a bit.
Here is the recipe/method for low German unleavened dumplings.
2 cups flour (I use unbleached because I think it has a slightly heartier 
2 - 3 eggs
Pinch of salt
Milk - enough to bring the mixture together into a thick, lumpy mass

Whisk the eggs to a relatively uniform consistency.  Stir in the salt. 
Whisk about a quarter cup milk into the eggs.  Stir in the flour and enough 
additional milk to make a thick, lumpy mass - thicker than cornbread but not 
as thick as biscuit dough.  Drop by spoonfuls (make them as large or small 
as you like - they are very accommodating) into rapidly boiling liquid and 
cook 3-5 minutes depending on size.

As a main dish (or more likely as a side dish for most folks) I make these 
dumplings with boiled potatoes and seared/browned butter.  Boil 2-3 cups of 
chunked potatoes until they are fork tender then add the dumplings and 
continue cooking until the dumplings are done.  Drain nearly all the water, 
preserving the bits of potato and dumpling in the bottom of the pan.  While 
the potatoes and dumplings are cooking, brown a stick of salted butter in a 
small skillet over very low heat.  The process is like making Ghee or 
browned/clarified butter except that the objective here is the retain the 
browned milk solids rather than filter them out.  The butter fat is just the 
vehicle that gets the browned solids to the dumplings.  Transfer the cooked 
potatoes and dumplings to a serving bowl and toss with the browned butter. 
I always serve these with warm cooked apples.

This now brings me to my question.  What can I use as a heart-healthier 
substitute for the browned butter.  I have started experimenting with dried 
buttermilk blended into olive oil heated until the buttermilk solids brown 
and with a bit of butter extract added.  That combination yields an 
interesting flavor but it is not quite right.  Any suggestions?
Sent from my iPad

Hello Ron,

I looked everywhere for info regarding a substitute for browned butter. Time and time again, I read that there is no good substitute for browned butter that gives the same flavor. There are substitutes, such as ghee and clarified butter, but they don't give the flavor and are still butter. Other substitutes can be found on these pages, but it doesn't appear that any of them are satisfactory as to flavor:

Vegan Brown Butter

Rapeseed Oil


From: "gwen" 
To: "phaedrus" 
Subject: Browned butter substitute.
Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:29 PM

Hello again,

In response to Ron's search for brown butter replacements, I have a product
recommendation and a labor-intensive but worthwhile recipe option. My diet
has been vegan for close to a decade, though I cook for omnivores, so the
search for browned butter replacements is a very familiar one.

A popular option for vegans is to use Earth Balance products to make
browned butter. These products do 'brown' though not nearly to the same
degree or with the same flavor intensity as butter; they more [turn] golden
than brown. Earth Balance buttery sticks or soy-free spread will work.

Another option is to make vegan butter from scratch.  Success can be had
with these recipes, keeping in mind a pinch of salt will likely be
necessary to boost the flavor. They must be browned very gently.


For the above recipe, I've used high protein almond milk in place of
soymilk, high protein and probiotic rich yogurt in place of soymilk, and
sunflower seed lecithin in place of soy lecithin with great success.
Combinations of homemade nut/seed/grain milks and non-dairy yogurts have
also worked quite well.

The yogurt option is also described in depth here:


3. or:

Additionally, whisking in an additional tablespoon or two or walnut oil and
a bit of brown sugar toward the end of browning to whichever butter
replacement is used amps up the nutty, caramelized flavor brown butter has.


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