Learning how to play bagpipes in Cleveland and checking out the best chicken liver dumplings

Cleveland - Today is Blow Bagpipes Day. And who better to get a lesson from than Vince Claar. He has been playing bagpipes for 13-years.

“Just about everybody I know and talk to loves the sound of pipes,” said Claar.  

But you wouldn’t think so based on how Vince describes the sound. He says it sounds like an injured cat and Canadian Goose tied together .. and squeezed.

"That’s pretty much the sound you’re going to get.  And it has the decibel level of a chainsaw to boot.” 

Anyone who learns the pipes starts with a Chanter, which has nine notes. And Claar says proper finger positioning is important.  It takes a lot of hot air to make this instrument sound good. 

In fact, students work on the Chanter for nearly a year before graduating to pipes, but Vince says the time commitment is worth it.

"Just about anyone can pick up a guitar and strum some chords and play the guitar – not everyone you know can pick up a set of pipes and play,” Claar said. 


A Slovenian Thanksgiving With Soup and Chicken Liver Dumplings

Sterle's Country House on Cleveland’s eastside is gearing up for a busy Thanksgiving.

The iconic Slovenian restaurant will serve up 500 dinners on turkey day, all of them beginning with a special chicken noodle soup.

Kathy Medved, the Sterle's Country House Cook has been with the restaurant for more than 33-years. She's been making chicken liver dumplings for the soup since she started.

“A lot of people like the liver, like to eat liver, you know? You taste not too much the liver because you have onion and garlic, so you have different flavoring,” Medved said. 

The specialty starts with finely ground chicken liver mixed with eggs, salt and pepper, onion plus beef and chicken base, then it’s time to thicken up the mixture.

To make it, Medved says she uses plain breadcrumbs. 

As for how you cook the dumplings, the seasoned cook says, “I’m going to drop a few tablespoons in the chicken broth, boiled.” 

The chicken liver dumplings are a special treat. They only making an appearance on Thanksgiving and one or two Sundays a year. 

"They love them.  When we don’t have them they get mad, say what happened to the chicken dumplings.”

Visit the Sterle's Country House website 

Got a Cleveland area story idea for The List? Email Mike Brookbank

Want to learn more about Sterle's Country House? Check out their segment on "Diners and Dives."

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