My Favorite Dumpling Memory
One late Saturday morning, my sister, brother, and I gathered around a small round table while my grandmother was making dumplings. With a rolling pin and dough, she magically kneaded and rolled out soft, round, and evenly thick dumpling skins. She gave each of us a small piece of dough to play with. I begged her to let me try rolling the skin. It looked too easy! I rolled my dough into an oblong teardrop shape. I was quite impressed with myself. At the same time, I was inspired by this skillful "art." I was 8-years-old at the time.
"How many are you having?" my grandmother asked us.
"12", "15", "20," me and my siblings answered.
The classic Shanghai minced pork and napa cabbage fillings were the heart of the dumplings. She dropped each dumpling into the hot boiling water and gently stirred with a ladle.
"How much longer?" we impatiently asked. We couldn't wait to enjoy our grandmother's delicious meal.
"Wait until they float and are ready," she told us.
Served steaming hot, I lightly dipped the dumpling in dark vinegar and then slurped up every bit of the juice. After indulging in my 13th dumpling, I waved my white flag. I was stuffed!
My grandmother's special indigestion remedy: drinking the cooked dumpling "water." Skeptical? After a bowl, I licked my lips and ran off to play. No pills or rest necessary!