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.


48 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Chrystal McKay
    October 5 2012

    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?

    • October 7 2012

      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! πŸ™‚

  • October 5 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      I checked the google keywords, and surprisingly, not many people search for “lumpy dick”! πŸ™‚

  • October 5 2012

    I wonder if it is related to Spotted Dick? You tried Spotted Dick when you were in England last year, right? πŸ˜‰ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_dick)

    • October 7 2012

      We did not! But, it must be related. Thanks for the link, at least now I know where the “dick” part of the name came from. πŸ™‚

  • October 5 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      HA! It would be a hit for the hilarious truck design, maybe? πŸ™‚

  • October 6 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      Similar reaction, I’m guessing? πŸ™‚

  • Trixabelle
    October 6 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      ‘Dumply’ – ha! It really kinda just tasted like porridge, and all I could taste was the butter and syrup. So yes, because I like butter and syrup. πŸ™‚

  • October 6 2012

    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?

    • October 7 2012

      I can’t say I liked it a lot – I can see the necessity of it, but I wouldn’t choose to make it for myself regularly!

  • October 6 2012

    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

    • October 7 2012

      If priceless = spitting out food and gasping for air, then, yes! πŸ™‚

  • October 6 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      I suppose it is related. Given that my Grandma’s family was German, perhaps it was just a slight variation on the British (or vice versa!)

  • mustafa ΓΆzkaya
    October 6 2012

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

    • October 7 2012

      Hello Mustafa!! So nice to hear from you, I just sent you an email!

  • October 7 2012

    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

    • October 8 2012

      Gonna guess that “Dick” isn’t the same slang as it is today. I could be wrong, I suppose… πŸ™‚

  • October 7 2012

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

    • October 8 2012

      That would make sense! πŸ™‚

  • 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

    • October 8 2012

      Ha! Perhaps just a typical male… πŸ™‚

  • October 7 2012

    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

  • October 7 2012

    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. πŸ™‚

  • October 9 2012

    Can just imagine you chortling over your keyboard writing this one πŸ™‚

    • October 13 2012

      Oh yes! I had a lot of fun with it. πŸ™‚

  • October 10 2012

    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 πŸ˜€

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

    • October 13 2012

      Haha! LOVE that you know what we’re talking about here!

  • Zara @ Backpack ME
    October 14 2012

    Awesome post for naughty SEO! πŸ˜›
    I confess I clicked through myself expecting something a little more spicy… Turns out it’s actually sweet!! πŸ˜‰
    Zara @ Backpack ME recently posted..Flying over Cappadocia

  • I’m speechless.

  • October 30 2012

    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…

    • October 30 2012

      Yes, I made a good cheese sauce this afternoon as well! Please do let us know how you enjoy your lumpy dick – ha!

  • Lyndi Scott
    March 3 2013

    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!

  • Randy Howlan
    March 28 2013

    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.

  • Alan Kirk
    April 10 2013

    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.

    • April 10 2013

      Ha, thanks for commenting Alan! I love how we’re finding some “lumpy dick” fans on here. πŸ™‚

  • Reida Swenson
    May 11 2013

    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!

    • May 12 2013

      So your Grandma used egg then? That’s a little different then how my family does it! Interesting! πŸ™‚

  • Landon
    May 16 2013

    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.

    • May 16 2013

      OMG Landon, you are so right!! Sorry about that, I will make the change (I never expected anyone to actually try this – haha)!

  • Shallen
    May 20 2015

    Stuck to your rubs for five hours huh… I thought you were supposed to call the doctor after four! πŸ˜‰

    • May 21 2015

      HAH! Thanks for that, a real LOL from that one. πŸ™‚

  • Shaleice
    June 4 2016

    My family has been born and raised in Idaho ever since my 4th great grandparents came from England and Sweden to Utah as Mormon pioneers. We have a strong tradition in my family of pioneer foods, and Lump Dick is a breakfast staple in my grandparents home, passed down through generations. However, we have always eaten it (at least, that anyone living can remember) mixed with cinnamon sugar and raisins.
    Another thing we have always eaten is what we call German Pancakes, which after doing some research I discovered that it is really Yorkshire Pudding baked in a big dish. I don’t why my family called them German Pancakes, considering we are exclusively of English and Swedish descent, and it’s a recipe passed down from my english ancestors. Regardless of how the pancakes received the name, they are delicious, and we serve them with butter and maple syrup or jam. YUM!
    My grandma also makes her apple pie crusts with lard instead of butter. She makes dill, bread’n’butter’, sour, and sweet cinnamon pickles. She makes her own applesauce, bakes her own bread, and makes whipped cream with the cream skimmed from the milk of my grandparents dairy cows. When she was a teenager, she sewed her own school clothes. It’s crazy to me how self sufficient she knows how to be, and a part of me wishes that type of knowledge and skill had been passed down to me, which has led into my interest of learning about old homesteading skills and old family recipes. It’s a fascinating window into the past, for sure!

  • Alan Kirk
    January 21 2019

    Alan Kirk here again… made another batch last night with Pamela’s Gluten free Almond based flour. then another batch tonight made with Multipurpose flour you can get at Harmon’s Grocery store. i put 2 cups flour, and 1 tbs spoon salt into a mixing bowl.mix up well, then i use heavy cream and drop drops into the flour and mix in with a fork. takes a long time but keep doing that until you make the lumps, heat 4 cups milk stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. take a hand full of the flour and using your thumb slowly add the flour pinching against your index finger as you go to make the lumps. do not add too fast or the milk will cool off and you will end up with paste.keep adding and stirring until the lumpy dick thickens up. some of my family only season with salt. others use sugar. i like to add butter, then heavy cream, sometimes syrup, sometimes honey, my wife likes cinnamon sugar. I still make it often… when i’m gone my kids may never have it again. lost art…

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