Dumplings are basically biscuits that are boiled rather than baked. At least that should be the idea. However, they can be real belly bombs if you aren't a little bit careful. They're a snap to make; if you work too hard at it, you'll wreck them.
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Drop in the fat, and with your fingers, rub it into the flour until it is all broken up and even. Sure, you could use a fork for this, or even a food processor, but it is quick and easy and brings you into tune with your food. And I mean that in a good way. Add the liquid and mix it through until just combined. DO NOT BEAT IT or knead it or work it or spend too much time on it. If you do you'll have hot hockey pucks when you're done. You do not want to develop the gluten, like you would with bread. Spoon the dough/batter onto whatever simmering dish you are gracing with the dumplings and then cover for about 10 minutes or so. When they have steamed they should be light and floating on the surface of your liquid. Yummmm!
You can add chopped parley or chives to the bowl just before adding the milk. Adds a little color and flavor.
You can replace up to 1/2 the flour with potato for potato dumplings. These will be a bit heavier than regular dumplings, but for some people it's not dumplings without potatoes. Cooked potatoes (mashed, baked, riced) are best, smashed into bits before adding. Do the flour and fat stage, then add the potatoes and mix lightly, then add the liquid and mix lightly again. The key is a light hand.