Friday, February 4, 2011

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with homemade dumplings!

by June
What is the potential of some flour and a little water? This time of year, in our home, those humble ingredients are mixed together to become part of a tradition that stretches all the way to China—and back in time thousands of years.




When we first brought our babies home, we despaired of being able to give them a connection to Chinese culture in any deeply meaningful way. Living in Maine, how could we  begin to understand the complexity of one of the world's oldest and richest cultures? I remember thinking, How can we do it without a Chinese grandmother to cook and tell stories and impart wisdom handed down by generations?


We were fortunate to find other families with ties to China. With them, we celebrate each new year with dancing and singing and dumpling-making. Other families share their grandmothers and those grandmothers share their wisdom—whether it be the finer points of mah jongg or the secrets of making dumpling wrappers.


This Chinese New Year's eve, we were snowed in. But we had flour and water and the sweet promise of a day coming soon when the music would soar and the children would dance and the dragon would wind through the swirling crowd.


As families around the world did that night, we made dumplings according to the wisdom passed down to us by loving grandmothers.


We took about two cups of flour and mixed it with about a half-cup of water that is just off the boil. We stirred it with wok-size chopsticks counter-clockwise, and then when we could gather it into a ragged ball, we began to knead it with our hands. When it was soft as an earlobe (that tip could only come from a grandmother, no?), we wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minutes.


Then we rolled it into a snake and pinched off pieces about as big as a man's thumb. (One of our favorite cooks does it by scissoring the base of her thumb against the base of her first digit.)


Next we wielded our dumpling rollers. (One of our dearest grandmothers still uses a rung off a chair that she found decades ago, but Birch made the girls each a rolling pin from a wooden dowel. Blossom named hers Half Apple and Fern calls hers Bamboo. They use them for cookie dough at Christmas and pie crust any old time and dumplings at Chinese New Year. Even though the rollers are only about five years old now, they are already silky from rolling between the pads of little hands and dough.)




The trick to dumpling wrappers is to flatten the dough lump in one direction then another, then turn the dough and take a swipe here and a swipe there, then turn it again. With practice, a circle emerges.




On New Years' Eve, we rolled and rolled.




Then, onto the full-moon dumpling wrapper went a little filling.




A finger dipped in water traced the outer edge, and then one side got folded up until the rims touched.


Pleating is an art. We are still learning that art and will never be as fast as the grandmothers who are patient in showing us; their fingers fly. We feel clumsy in comparison. But, the eating is so good that we are willing to forgive ourselves some lumpy dumplings. So we cradled the filled dumpling and pinched and pleated from one end to the next.





Our filling was simple. We've done all kinds of elaborate fillings through the years and eaten some wondrous fillings created by our friends. But on a snowy night at home, it's always possible to have some kind of dumplings.




Simple and Fast Dumpling Filling


1/2 pound ground meat (we used turkey)
1/2 cup chopped scallion greens (we didn't have Chinese chives)
a pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of rice wine
a grind of pepper
1/2 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of sesame oil


Mix all the ingredients together.


Place the dumplings in a bamboo steamer and steam over high heat for about 14 minutes. Test whether the dumplings are done by cutting one open.


Our dipping sauce recipe is here.




We ate ours as we are eating all meals these cold nights...crouched around the coffee table by the fire. Even though we were one little family tucked away in one little home, we were part of a grand tradition that encircled the globe that night.




Happy Year of the Rabbit!

57 comments:

Kris said...

Gong Hay Fat Choy! Your lovely post and luscious pics got right to the heart of many dearly-held traditions: family & love. Blessings...

betsy said...

It was so cozy eating homemade dumplings and being snowed in on New Year's Eve! The only thing better would have been to share them with all of you! May this Rabbit year be full of peace and renewal. xo

June said...

Kris: Xin nian kuai le! Thanks so much for your kind words. Here's to love and family!

Betsy: It was a cozy way to spend the eve. We thought of you with love. And, yes, may the Rabbit bring peace and renewal. What a lovely thought. Thank you, dear one. xoxo

Why I garden... said...

Looks delicious. Happy new year! Your cherry pictures and pie look amazing too. All the best, Kelli.

June said...

Kelli: Happy new year! It's been so cold that we've been dreaming of cherry-picking days!

Knittymama said...

Those look delicious! A friend of mine from Taiwan (way back in college) taught me how to make them but it's been awhile. My oldest has a gluten allergy...I wonder if I can make them gluten free? Time to do some research!

Catherine said...

Yum!! We just read Dumpling soup for the chinese new year and I thought of you and there, I find some dumplings on your blog!!

tom | tall clover farm said...

June, another lovely story with the bonus of an awesome recipe. I've been loading up on homemade Korean scallion pancakes all week, and now must put them aside for my newly discovered dumpling love. Thanks!

I'm going to make some Lebanese dumplings sooner than later and I'll have to post it on my blog for you to consider -- there's always room for dumplings and meat pies.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Yum! A lovely post. Hooray for the year of the rabbit !!

cajunlicious said...

Found your blog through a mutual blogger. I have been looking for a good dumpling recipe! Thanks for sharing!!!

Andrea said...

The joys of family life,making something together and then sharing together!! Have just dicovered your blog, beaut posts and love your photos!

wedding budget plan said...

Very informative and knowledgeable post! Thank You!

I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.


so this bridesmaid dresses is very special. Irregular always such a personality and beauty.

It is very interesting for me to read that article.
Thank author for it. I like such topics and everything
connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

hormone replacement therapy said...

Post is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post.

http://www.tipcosmetic.com said...

I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.

hospiceadvantage said...

I've been loading up on homemade Korean scallion pancakes all week, and now must put them aside for my newly discovered dumpling love. Thanks!

Medium Length Hairstyles said...


nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post.

Medium Length Hairstyles

Dry Skin On Face said...

That requires extensive modifications to the code, as if taking in consideration what has been said, no point to do calculating the resources required.

http://www.bizznus.com/new-business-ideas.html said...

t reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles.

Pbmaterials said...

Pbmaterials, http://www.pbmaterials.com/Kitchen-Offers.html

Long Hairstyles for Blonde Hair said...

We just read Dumpling soup for the chinese new year and I thought of you and there, I find some dumplings on your blog.

Medium Curly Hairstyles said...

The Chiefs cannot be stubborn in their attack with the offense well below full strength, so in-game adjustments

Black Hairstyles said...

I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.

http://jailbreakstation.com said...

want set of earphones which might be cozy in addition healthy headphones You certainly

http://www.festivalstagehireuk.co.uk/ said...

certainly want set of earphones which might be cozy in addition healthy headphones You

http://www.islam-australia.com/ said...

You certainly want set of earphones which might be cozy in addition healthy headphones

http://www.scissorsart.com/ said...

headphones You certainly want set of earphones which might be cozy in addition healthy

Word Count said...

healthy headphones You certainly want set of earphones which might be cozy in addition

short hairstyles for black hair said...


I am paradisaical to tipsy your hot way of quantification the way. Now you entity it sluttish for me to see and reanimate the

indian designer wear said...

This is a great inspiring Article.I am pretty much pleased with your good Work.You put really very helpful information .

business plan writing service said...

I would appreciate you that you pick up an important topic to write a thoroughly informative post on. I hope that you never stop and keep posting such valuable content.

business plan writing service said...

I would appreciate you that you pick up an important topic to write a thoroughly informative post on. I hope that you never stop and keep posting such valuable content.

London escorts said...

My first visit to your website is been a major enable. Thank you for that efforts you been putting on producing your website these an interesting and informative place to browse through.

male escort london

Raw Prohormone said...

My first visit to your website is been a major enable. Thank you for that efforts you been putting on producing your website these an interesting and informative place to browse through.

bodybuilding supplements

SEO India said...

Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!

Sophosfinancial said...

The article was ery informative, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!!!!

Financial Advisor Maryland

Anonymous said...

Or, that all the graves should be dug up (because its residents
are dead anyway) to make room for on-campus student housing?
I’m not really sure what Buckley went through during the period of time since then, but between some of the rants
on his personal blog in recent times and the lyrics and general sound of Ex-Lives ,
the man has gone through a bit of a change, making for a much darker
ride than pretty much everything since Last Night in Town or perhaps Hot Damn!
The class then took time to wrap the presents and deliver them to the family a week before Christmas.
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along.
He or she would work as part of a team and solve business problems by analyzing
data and translating that information into tangible
results.

vip loan shop

Brewery Tour Austin said...

This is a great post ! it was very very informative. i really appreciate it that you shared with us.Kindly Continue your great job and always gain my support!

arts courses said...

My first visit to your website is been a major enable. Thank you for that efforts you been putting on producing your website these an interesting and informative place to browse through.

High School Diploma Online said...

Good post.

Junda Xu said...

20150630 junda
burberry outlet
tory burch outlet online
ray-ban sunglasse
pandora jewelry sale
coach outlet online
louis vuitton
hollister kids
true religion sale
oakley sunglasses sale
michael kors bags
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors handbags
tory burch handbags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
toms outlet store
oakley outlet
cheap soccer jerseys
louboutin
toms shoes for women
ray bans
coach factory outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
kate spade handbags
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
prada outlet
toms shoes sale
kate spade bags
true religion jeans outlet
nike blazer pas cher
michael kors
replica watches rolex
michael kors handbags
football jerseys
cheap jordans free shipping
cheap snapbacks hats
cheap oakley sunglasses
gucci belt
ralph lauren polo shirts

Lin Shijun said...

shijun 7.16
hollister clothing store
christian louboutin outlet
prada uk outlet
true religion
louis vuitton outlet
jordan shoes
pandora bracelets
jordan 13s
ray ban sungalsses
louis vuitton handbags uk
coach outlet
true religion outlet
jeremy scott adidas
fake watches
chi hair strighteners
gucci bags
burberry outlet
coach outlet
nike air max
hollister outlet
true religion outlet
coach outlet store online
cheap oakley sunglasses
abercrombie store
coach outlet store online
jordan shoes
louis vuitton
abercrombie store new york
lululemon outlet
abercrombie
air max shoes
longchamp outlet
jordan 11 columbia
abercrombie fitch
pandora bracelets
abercrombie & fitch
burberry
ray ban sunglasses
hollister kids
cheap toms

张栋 said...

air force 1 shoes
san francisco 49ers jerseys
tiffany and co
toms shoes
seattle seahawks jerseys
air jordan shoes
louis vuitton
cheap oakley sunglasses
tory burch outlet online
nike outlet store
cheap nhl jerseys
louis vuitton,borse louis vuitton,louis vuitton sito ufficiale,louis vuitton outlet
valentino outlet
cartier bracelet
the north face clearance
abercrombie and fitch
hogan,hogan outlet,scarpe hogan,hogan sito ufficiale,hogan interactive
coach outlet, http://www.coachhandbagsoutletonline.us.com/
abercrombie
oakley sunglasses
cheap soccer jerseys
hermes outlet
ray ban sunglasses
true religion jeans, http://www.truereligionjeansoutlet.com
iphone 6 cases
baltimore ravens jerseys
michael kors outlet, http://www.michaelkorsoutletonlinestores.us.com/
tods outlet
oakley sunglasses
oakley,occhiali oakley,oakley italia,oakley occhiali,oakley sunglasses

John said...

nike elite socks
longchamp
mcm handbags
cheap uggs
adidas originals
cheap ray ban sunglasses
chaussure louboutin
cheap versace
celine handbags
cheap uggs boots
pandora
burberry outlet
ugg outlet
nike tn
louboutin
ugg sale
nike air huarache
ray ban sunglasses
louboutin
michael kors
canada goose outlet
gucci borse
ed hardy outlet
prada
timberland uk
true religion jeans
instyler max
ed hardy clothing
timberland boots uk
marc jacobs
toms shoes
2015921yuanyuan

Meiqing Xu said...

15.10.05daigege
fitflops sale clearance
jordan shoes
tory burch sale
ugg outlet
cheap ugg boots
cheap uggs
uggs sale
ugg boots sale
canada goose
celine bags
hermes outlet
football jerseys cheap
louis vuitton
louis vuitton outlet online
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet
ray-ban wayfarer
michael kors bags
timberland outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors uk
mihchael kors bag
ralph lauren uk
nike air max 90
coach outlet online
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie store
hollister clothing
toms outlet
burberry outlet
uggs outlet
22

林磊 said...

2015-10-5 leilei
Gucci Outlet Store Locations
Coach Outlet Discount Clearance Coach Handbags
uggs sale
Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts Clearance
toms outlet
Louis vuitton Official Website Outlet Online
Coach Luggage Bags Outlet Sale Online
Designer Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
New Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Online
michael kors bags
canada goose
Jordan Concords Low And High
Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Sale
Louis Vuitton Canada Official Site
Hollister Tees for Men

Qing Cai said...

canada goose jackets, http://www.parajumpers.in.net/
wellensteyn jackets, http://www.barbour.us.com/
links of london, http://www.linksoflondons.co.uk/
michael kors bags, http://www.michaelkorsbags.uk/
nike outlet store, http://www.nikeoutletstore.us/
cheap ugg boots, http://www.cheapuggboots.net.co/
coach outlet store, http://www.coach-outlet-store.us.com/
wedding dresses, http://www.weddingdressesoutlet.co.uk/
designer handbags, http://www.designerhandbags.us.com/
coach outlet, http://www.coachoutletstores.com.co/
ugg outlet, http://www.uggoutletstore.eu.com/
ray ban sunglasses, http://www.raybansunglass.co.uk/
kobe shoes, http://www.kobeshoes.us/
cyber monday 2015, http://www.blackfriday2015.in.net/
cheap jordans, http://www.cheapjordans.us.org/
tiffany and co jewelry, http://www.tiffanyandco.in.net/
hollister uk, http://www.hollistershirts.co.uk/
the north face uk, http://www.thenorthfaces.org.uk/
stuart weitzman boots, http://www.stuartweitzmanoutlet.us/
ray ban, http://www.occhiali-rayban.it/
juicy couture outlet, http://www.juicycoutureoutlet.net/
asics, http://www.asicsisrael.com/
vans shoes, http://www.vans-shoes.cc/
abercrombie and fitch, http://www.abercrombie-fitch.us.com/
replica watches, http://www.replicawatchesforsale.us.com/
cai20151014

Minko Chen said...

bottega veneta outlet
ray ban sunglasses
tommy hilfiger
air max shoes
mlb jerseys
louis vuitton bags cheap
ralph lauren outlet
abercrombie and fitch
philadelphia eagles
canada goose outlet
oakland raiders
louis vuitton handbags outlet
ugg outlet store
ray-ban sunglasses
michael kors canada
hollister canada
michael kors outlet online
parajumpers outlet
ugg boots sale
kansas city chiefs
1110minko

柯云 said...

2015-12-07keyun
timberlands
cheap oakley sunglasses
mulberry uk
coach outlet online
coach factory outlet
jordan 11s
louis vuitton purses
mont blanc mountain
ugg boots
chanel handbags
louis vuitton bags
true religion jeans outlet
michael kors outlet
prada
coach outlet
michael kors outlet online
uggs for sale
air force 1 trainers
uggs on sale
uggs for chea
ugg sale
nike trainers sale
cheap toms
the north face jackets
cheap air jordans
uggs on sale
michaek kors outlet
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet
nike air huarache
ray-ban sunglasses
cheap ugg boots
instyler
ralph lauren sale
louis vuitton outlet stores
abercrombie and fitch
toms outlet
north face jackets

oakleyses said...

prada outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet online, oakley sunglasses wholesale, michael kors outlet online, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, polo outlet, nike free, chanel handbags, burberry handbags, uggs outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, nike outlet, ugg boots, prada handbags, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, christian louboutin, replica watches, uggs on sale, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, gucci handbags, uggs outlet

oakleyses said...

kate spade, louboutin pas cher, north face, timberland pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, nike air force, oakley pas cher, michael kors, michael kors pas cher, air max, vans pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, coach outlet, north face uk, coach outlet store online, guess pas cher, coach purses, ray ban pas cher, nike air max uk, polo lacoste, nike free uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister pas cher, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, nike roshe run uk, nike free run, jordan pas cher, ralph lauren uk, new balance, mulberry uk, true religion outlet, converse pas cher, nike air max uk, replica handbags, hollister uk, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, polo ralph lauren, nike blazer pas cher, nike roshe, longchamp pas cher, lululemon canada, hogan outlet, nike tn, sac hermes, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

ipad cases, nike huaraches, baseball bats, p90x workout, lululemon, valentino shoes, jimmy choo outlet, asics running shoes, abercrombie and fitch, iphone cases, herve leger, soccer shoes, bottega veneta, nike trainers uk, ralph lauren, mcm handbags, iphone 6 cases, louboutin, iphone 6 plus cases, new balance shoes, ghd hair, vans outlet, longchamp uk, beats by dre, mont blanc pens, nike roshe run, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, hollister clothing, chi flat iron, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, instyler, giuseppe zanotti outlet, reebok outlet, s6 case, nike air max, hermes belt, timberland boots, wedding dresses, iphone 5s cases, celine handbags, hollister, oakley, soccer jerseys, insanity workout, babyliss, iphone 6s plus cases, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6s cases

oakleyses said...

coach outlet, barbour, canada goose jackets, juicy couture outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, swarovski, marc jacobs, pandora charms, moncler, canada goose uk, juicy couture outlet, links of london, karen millen uk, moncler uk, louis vuitton, hollister, gucci, pandora jewelry, vans, replica watches, doudoune moncler, canada goose, pandora uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, ray ban, moncler, ugg, lancel, thomas sabo, supra shoes, moncler outlet, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, moncler, converse outlet, toms shoes, canada goose outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, converse, ugg uk, canada goose outlet, nike air max, ugg pas cher, hollister, moncler outlet, canada goose, wedding dresses

Gege Dai said...

03018wangjuan
polo ralph lauren
hollister clothing
ferragamo outlet
oakley sunglasses uk
louboutin pas cher
rolex watches for sale
ferragamo shoes
rolex watches
celine outlet online
swarovski outlet
tory burch outlet
ray ban sunglasses
lululemon pants
coach outlet store
chanel outlet store
oakley sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
oakley sunglasses
true religion jeans
jordan pas cher
tiffany and co
mulberry handbags
fitflops sale
fitflops sale
ferragamo outlet
longchamp outlet
tiffany and co
tory burch outlet online
fitflops shoes
celine outlet

Gaia1956 said...

tucson dui lawyers
moving companies houston
best gym in
donate cars
vasectomy cost
dentist in
phoenix furniture stores
bespoke suit
crossfit rings
jason markk shoe cleaner
www.movershoustontx.net
business slogans
vitamix 5200

ane semprul said...

This blog is so nice to me. I will continue to come here again and again. Visit my link as well. Good luck
obat aborsi
cara menggugurkan kandungan
obat telat datang bulan
obat penggugur kandungan
cara menggugurkan kandungan

艾丰 said...

jianbin0620
ray-ban sunglasses
ralph lauren
kate spade uk
oakley sunglasses
swarovski crystal
tiffany jewellery
ferragamo outlet
tory burch outlet online
ralph lauren polo
ferragamo shoes sale
michael kors uk
ralph lauren outlet
babyliss flat iron
louis vuitton pas cher
oakley sunglasses wholesale
pandora jewelry
burberry sunglasses
michael kors outlet
burberry outlet online
nfl jerseys wholesale
beats headphones
michael kors uk
tiffany and co
ralph lauren shirts
polo outlet
true religion jeans
beats headphones
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
jordan shoes
fitflops clearance
polo ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton outlet online
lacoste polo shirts

Chenzhen 20160303chenzhen said...

levis 511
kate spade outlet
north face uk
coach outlet online
kobe bryant shoes
polo ralph lauren outlet
birkenstock shoes
converse outlet
birkenstocks
fitflops sale clearance
dolce and gabbana outlet online
omega
coach outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
sac longchamp pliage
true religion
ecco outlet
black timberland boots
micahel kors
prada handbags
nike roshe run
polo ralph lauren
michael kors outlet online
louis vuitton outlet online
nike air max 90
discount oakley sunglasses
nike air max 95
bottega veneta sale
ralph lauren pas cher
yeezy boost 350 white
mont blanc pens outlet
north face outlet
louboutin shoes
ray bans
michael kors outlet online
supra outlet
coach outlet online
coach factory outlet online
chenzhen2016627