I got my current favorite recipe for matzah balls from a very old cookbook put out by the Manischewitz company in 1930. My friend who is the scion of several rabbinical lines had it in her house and gave it to me. It has lost its cover but here is how I would cite it if I were writing a paper:
F.O. Gahr, Tempting Kosher Dishes Prepared from World Famous Manischewitz's Matzo Products. Cinncinati, Ohio: The B. Manischewitz Company, 1930.
(The author's name is kind of buried in the title page--Miss F.O. Gahr, B.S., Domestic Science Expert and Graduate in Institutional Management. If anyone is related to this Miss Gahr, please contact me.)
The book opens in both directions--that is, all the recipes are available both in English and in Yiddish. In 1930, there were still a lot of Jews left in the world who were more comfortable cooking from a Yiddish cookbook. Some items in the English table of contents refer to the Yiddish section only. I have not attempted to translate those recipes yet, but I might. I have not been bold enough to try much of the book besides the matzah ball recipes.
There are some amusing oddities in this book, including Boston Chremsel, which is a sort of pasty with a dough of eggs, matzah meal, chicken shmaltz, water and salt filled with honey-sweetened beets seasoned with ginger and ground nuts. And iced tea, they have you add iced tea. You make a sort of hamantashen out of this. I have not tried to make this, for sooooo many reasons. But if you double dare me, I'll go out and buy some Nyafat and make them for you next year. I know, Nyafat is made of hydrogenated oil. Don't worry, you will be fine.)
There are something like 25 dumpling recipes in this book, though some of them sound horrible. Liver Knoedel, anyone? The one I think most resembles my late great aunt's recipe is Fluffy Knoedel. (Since she never gave her children the recipe, I will never know if this is how she did it. This is a paternal great aunt, not the childless maternal great aunt who carefully wrote all her recipes down for her beloved niece, my mom.)
3/4 cup Manischewitz's Matzo Meal
1/2 tsp. salt
Beat whites until stiff, then beat in yolks of eggs. Fold in matzo meal and salt. Let stand 5 minutes, then form balls with a spoon and drop into boiling soup stock or salt water. Cover and cook 45 minutes. Recipe makes 12 large balls.
Obviously, the recipe works quite well with any brand of matzah meal, transliterated any way you like. If you want your eggs to work well, bring them to room temperature by placing the uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 15 minutes right before you break and separate them. I also recommend that you add some salt to the egg whites for more successful fluffing.
Now, as you know, there are a lot of theories about how to make matzah balls come out light. Some add seltzer, water, or soup stock. I found that worked pretty well with recipes that call for additional fat (over and above the egg yolks.) Some call for baking powder. Of course, baking powder will help you make fluffier matzah balls, but I have never tried it. It seems crazy to me that Ashkenazi rabbis will allow you to use chemical leavening agents and not put their heksher on something with corn syrup in it. It's very inconsistent. Not that I'm dying to have corn syrup on Pesach, all those folks who like the original coke formula would be quite upset. The most common way to make matzah balls is to make the batter, chill it in the fridge for an hour or more, and then plunge balls of it into a pot of boiling salted water. Everyone agrees, do not lift the lid during cooking. Of course, if you forget and lift the lid because you can't remember what's in the pot, you will still get tasty knaidlach. Especially if your husband, like mine, doesn't care if they are fluffy or not.
Some people really prefer their matzah balls to be dense. I read in some book that South African Jews, who have preserved Litvak culinary traditions, put some hardboiled egg yolk in the center of their knaidlach. Aha, here is a recipe--no, it's not hardboiled egg yolk in this one. Weirder than that, it's half the batter made with yolk and spiced with cinnamon and half made with white, with a ball of the yolk batter inside the egg white batter.
Next year, maybe.