We're having a cool summer which has been fantastic for kitchen work. Normally in the summer, my kitchen feels like some kind of medieval torture chamber... Except instead of being slowly immersed into a dunk tank, I'm drowning in heat and humidity. This year, we've barely had the a/c on at all and the windows and doors are open most days with a cool breeze flowing through the whole house.
Recently, we capitalized on the cool weather and had the kids help out in the kitchen to produce some delicious dumplings. We had some vegetarian dumplings to wrap as well, so the younger ones could help without running the risk of inadvertent raw meat consumption.
Of course having three kids do anything in the kitchen (or anywhere for that matter) will eventually result in all kinds of silliness; and these industrious faces were quickly replaced by laughter and giggles and dumplings made in every possible shape you can think of.
And as annoying as it was to endlessly repeat that "dumplings which are not closed at both ends will not stay together when mommy cooks them" I had to remember that my brothers and I used to play the exact same games when we "helped" in the kitchen.
There'd be the biggest dumpling ever. The smallest dumpling ever. The flattest dumpling ever. The dumpling with the thickest skin ever. The dumpling with only one piece of choy (vegetable). The dumpling that was only meat. The square dumpling, The triangle dumpling. And so on and so on. I remember, my mom would separate any dumplings that she could recognize as our handiwork and make the offending party eat them. In fact, if my mom and dad are reading this right now, they are probably laughing about my brother's specialty dumplings that would only contain "one snot of filling" and thinking that I deserve whatever my kids dish out to me for the endless grief I must have caused them.
In any case, I hope that the kids enjoy learning about our food and culture. I look forward to the day that they will be able to share these things with their own families... cause what greater joy can a parent have than to one day witness their children passing on beloved family traditions and have karma come and bite them in the <fattest dumpling ever>?