Ding Dong Ditch! That’s what Anna and Vince did with the help of their daughter, Tori. We knew the day their Great 8 invitations would be delivered, but not exactly when. A ding from my phone and here comes the text! “Check your porch.” I hurried to the door just as Vince and his cohorts sped away, excited about the theme and my designated dish! Pork Dumplings!! Yay for me! Nothing better than making something you love to eat! Did you guess the theme?
Chinese New Year! Another theme we haven’t done! How fun is that! And the invitation, playing traditional Chinese music, was hanging in a planter, with a Year of the Monkey puppet holding the menu! Once again…they outdid themselves. So…Pork Dumplings! I have always loved dumplings and pot stickers! How did Anna know that? I don’t think she did, but I’m sure glad I got dibs on it! I had always wanted one of those double layer bamboo steamers…now I’ve got an excuse! It’s so fun and easy to use and the steamer totally completes the presentation!
I searched a few recipes to find out the traditional filling mixture and of course the authentic way to cook them. Wanting to create a tasty combination of flavors , I had to be sure I used fresh ginger which I LOVE in Asian cooking (and cocktails!) A few ingredients that I had never used or heard of, but were easily found at one of our nearby Chinese markets. The Black Vinegar is common in Chinese cooking, but a good substitute is equal amounts of balsamic and red wine vinegars. But you’ve got to admit, Black Vinegar is pretty intriguing, right? Thank goodness the labels also had some words in English!
Making the filling was really simple, and assembling the dumplings was pretty fun! Since I love crafting, Anna knew exactly what dish to give me to make! “Crafting” with food that’s delicious…even better!