Folding dumplings

9 Sep

Every meal that Mother makes I would consider personal and “customized.”  She just has a way of predicting what our family’s taste buds are craving at the moment.  So it follows that the cultural foods that our family gather ‘roudn the dinner table to prepare together form an even deeper bond between us; a truly personal and familial experience.

Forgive me but I must say that of all the dishes we have shared and “customized”, I choose to speak of dumplings not only because the public is fairly familiar with them but also because I have no clue as to how to explain or romanize the names of other foods.

Whereas dumplings made by the recipe follow a strict set of instructions, Mother gathered my sisters and I around the table and gave us a hands on experience with dumpling folding.  While our technical skill never matched hers, we sought to push the boundaries of dumpling folding given the 3 basic steps:
1) spread egg white onto the wrapping
2) place filling on the wrapping
3) and fold.

What we got from this experience was the fun of not only eating good dumplings, but dumplings that were different, not store-bought nor manufactured; and each dumpling had a fingerprint.  For example I could tell a certain dumpling was mine if it was folded in the form of an envelope, a letter filled with meat addressed to myself.

And every time we would encounter the inevitable “omg more meat than wrappings” problem, resulting in a lot of fat dumplings, that actually don’t taste that bad!  Whereas the community or company may have a  notion of an “ideal” dumpling, the ideal is not necessarily the best tasting or the most enjoyable.  A lot of the thought behind the food counts, too even if it may be the simple exclusion of a food someone has an allergy against.

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