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January 25, 2013

Dumplins spelling controversy continues

A popular Southern comfort food consisting of cooked chicken and dough boiled in chicken broth has been the subject of controversy this week after some dang fool spelled dumplin with the letter "g" at the end.

A new cookbook recipe concludes that the word is spelled "dumpling" and not, as has been previously argued, "dumplin."

Sandra Ferguson, who has written a cookbook collecting Southern recipes from her childhood, says an analysis of a dictionary and spelling rules of the English language provided signs that the word should contain the seventh letter of the Latin alphabet at the end.

Ferguson's recipe, to be published later this month, rebutted arguments of other cooks, including those of mamaw, granny and Cracker Barrel's lunch and dinner menu.

"Look, I'm not trying to be a jerk about it," said Ferguson. "But it's spelled 'dumpling.' It just is. I'm happy to agree to disagree about it. But it's also my cookbook. Also, the word is 'and.' It's not just the letter 'n.' This is a hearty meal, not text speak."

Ferguson's views have created a firestorm among those who spell the dish as "chicken n' dumplins."

"When I eat a plate of dumplins with a side of fried okra and some country ham, I like to know that I can do it without being bothered by the letter 'g,'" said Sally Cobb, who has been making the dish for 40 years. "Just because Spurius Carvilius Ruga of Spurius Carvilius Maximus Ruga invents a letter in the 3rd century BC, that doesn't mean I have to kowtow to him. Do I have to stop saying 'ya'll,' too?"

Dumplins enthusiast Judy Cochran agreed.

"The 'g' is completely unnecessary," she said. "The word is 'dumplin,' just like it's 'fixin.' This is the carrots and celery issue all over again. It's meant to be a thick mixture of chicken and dumplins. The next thing you know people will be trying to cook meat in the middle. This isn't Europe."

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