Skip to content

Have You Tried Lumpy Dick?


My brother-in-law’s hand flew up to cover his mouth as he sputtered and choked on the roast beef he had been chewing. I raised my hand to touch my lips as well, my concurrent movement in an attempt to stifle sudden, gut-wrenching laughter.

Elegant table manners were out the window with the symphony of giggles that erupted around us. My Grandma’s eyes circled the table, laughing a little on her own, but clearly underestimating the depth of the gutter her grandchildren’s dirty minds sunk to.

“Oh Pete, this is such a delicious dinner,” she had said just a moment before, “and all I have to look forward to when I get home is some Lumpy Dick.”

After extracting our minds from said gutter (which took several minutes I might add, as a round of irresistible jokes had to be told), we were dealt a history lesson. We learned that Lumpy Dick is actually a simple dish with few ingredients, made by my Grandma’s parents when times were tough as early settlers to Alberta and the Peace Country. It was inexpensive to make, fed their large family (13 children in total), and was served every Friday. My Grandma will make it for herself to this day.

My Mom, who also ate Lumpy Dick growing up, says: “It was a good filling meal that would really stick to your ribs.”

And wouldn’t you know it, searching for “Lumpy Dick” in the googles doesn’t bring up an onslaught of expected racy photos, but instead a variety of recipes framed by early pioneering history, and an accurate definition: “An early pudding made by stirring dry flour into boiling milk until thick, then serving with sweet milk and molasses or sugar.”

As we travel the world, Pete and I are eager to attempt new recipes that will help us better understand local culture. Damn straight we were going to have ourselves some Lumpy Dick.


1/2 cup of flour, 2 cups of milk, a dollop of butter, and syrup to taste!

Lumpy Dick Ingredients


Bring the milk to a boil, slowly add the flour while whisking. Lumps will remain, giving the dish one part of it’s name. Who or what the “Dick” is? That remains a mystery.

Cooking Lumpy Dick


Finished off with butter and syrup. It tastes exactly as you would expect it to – like butter and syrup.

Lumpy Dick - Pioneer Food


This recipe easily serves three. Or would have, if Pete had chosen to finish his.

I polished it off, in the name of research. And my Mom was right, that Lumpy Dick stuck to my ribs for five hours.


44 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. I’m glad you finished your Lumpy Dick, if only for research reasons. Be PROUD of your heritage right?? haha I have NEVER heard of this before but I do love its name.

    Its funny the differences in family – your whole family burst out in laughter at the words. My family would of stared in horror as me and a few cousins burst out laughing. But thats why families are great right?
    Chrystal McKay recently posted..Meteora: Monastery to Monastery

    • I really think my Grandma as quite surprised at how funny we think it is. And when I called her the other day to get the “recipe”, she laughed quite hard and couldn’t understand why I would want to write about it! :)

  2. Bahah. You guys are going to get awesome searches leading people here…
    Amanda recently posted..My Fall and Winter Travel Plans

  3. I wonder if it is related to Spotted Dick? You tried Spotted Dick when you were in England last year, right? ;-) (

  4. Hahaha.. yum! I wonder if a “Lumpy Dick” food truck would be a hit… not. There’s worse things to eat in this world :)

  5. Soooo…did you like it? Way different from the Dumply Dick I made!

  6. Reminds me of the first time my Gran told me about “Spotted Dick” (its a cake).
    Cole @ recently posted..Photo Essay from around Costa Brava

  7. I tried it once but I hated it for some reason ;-(. It sounds delicious and it looks pretty cool but I don’t like the taste unfortunately. Did you like it a lot?

  8. Haha! I am sure the look on your faces was priceless when your grandma said she was going home to lumpy dick!
    Jennifer recently posted..American WWII Military Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg

  9. I would guess it’s related to the classic English pudding of — yes, really! — Spotted Dick. Except the pioneers didn’t have raisins?

  10. hi friends ı havent been able to follow you for a long time.ı think you are in canada and that must be fun for you writing about your own country

  11. Love the name though it kind of looks like lumpy pancakes. Wonder if the pioneers had the same thoughts about the name.
    Leigh recently posted..Readers Photos: Scenes from San Diego, California

  12. Haha, not what I expected it to be! I was thinking something along the lines of meat or sausage…err.

  13. Maybe I am just being a typical american, but I prefer my dick to be neither lumpy nor spotted.
    Caanan @ No Vacation Required recently posted..Over Shanghai

  14. It basically describes roughly everything I had for school dinners. You can make your own public school joke here…
    Laurence recently posted..A month in New Zealand–my perfect itinerary

  15. Hah! No, haven’t had Lumpy Dick. Still interested in finding out where the “dick” comes from. Made me laugh (and blush) just typing that sentence. :)

  16. Can just imagine you chortling over your keyboard writing this one :)

  17. It’s always been fun to watch the shock and confusion on peoples faces after telling them that I loved eating lumpy dick as a kid :D

    It’s not a common thing to have regularly eaten anymore, but it did go far in a family of 10.

  18. Awesome post for naughty SEO! :P
    I confess I clicked through myself expecting something a little more spicy… Turns out it’s actually sweet!! ;)
    Zara @ Backpack ME recently posted..Flying over Cappadocia

  19. I know I’ve heard of Lumpy Dick before, but I’m not sure where. Would be easy to make dairy free (using almond milk and margarine instead of milk and butter), so I will have to try it sometime – again, just for the purpose of research, lol.

    I like stuff that gets thickened with flour – made a good mournay sauce recently to go with crepes – so who knows? I might actually like this lumpy stuff…

  20. Lumpy dick is a old family recipe of my own family, the Scott’s. We are German as well, and our recipe is different from yours but along the same lines. You say that “dick” is mystery… well let me clear that up. In German, “dick” actually means “stew” so it is basically called lumpy stew. And I thought only my family ate that stuff!

  21. My ancestors were early pioneers and came to rest in Western Idaho. I found out a few years back that a branch line of the Oregon Trail goes through my property for over a mile. Saw the wagon ruts but never made the association. Growing up one of my favorite meals was lumpy dick, cinnamon toast and cocoa.

  22. my Aunt Janet use to make a big pot of Lumpy Dick when we were deer hunting in Walsburg Utah. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I am now 48 and I make Lumpy Dick 2 to 3 times a year and still love it. My wife and kids all like it as well. I have Cieliac Spru so i can’t have Wheat flour any more but i have found a substitute that works great. Just finished a small batch with my wife and daughter. Hard to explain to others through the laughter just how to make it, and yes if you do it wrong it does taste like paste.

  23. My sister and I have reminisced about eating our pioneer grandma’s lumpy dick. We loved it, and thought the how-to info must have been lost when she died. Then the other day i thought , why not see if i can find anything about it on Google? I’m glad i did! We considered it a special treat. I can still picture in my mind grandma standing at the stove rubbing the flour and egg between her thumb and finger, into the hot milk. I can’t wait to try it myself!

  24. You got the recipe backwards. It is 2 cups of milk to one half cup of flour. I just followed it the other way and had a very interesting dish. My wife wouldn’t stop laughing.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Get a Gravatar! Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

CommentLuv badge