apple huckleberry pie may flowers and silent auction gnocchi with morels and sage shrimp tatsuta-age


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food for the bereft, food for healing

I met Linnea’s mother today when we took the roast beef, mashers, and potstickers over. She gave me a hug. That poor woman. It’s one thing to lose your child, but to see her die so violently before your eyes and be helpless to do anything – I would imagine it is a mother’s worst nightmare. We’ve offered up our guest floor to anyone who needs it, so I think they’ll be sending some folks over tomorrow. I like the way our guest room and bath are on a completely separate floor. Gives us all privacy and allows them to go in and out as they need. I’ve signed up to cook a few meals for Marcus and the kids over the next months.


rolling the dumpling skins



I learned that our neighbor was a champion speed skater and cyclist. I’m talking national champion speed skater at age 16. And she won time trials while she was on the US national cycling team. I never even knew. I still hear her soft spoken voice telling me that she just finished reading the book by Patagonia’s founder and to come over and borrow it anytime.

folding dumplings

ready to cook



My mom told me, “JenJen, you help your neighbor, okay? Because so many people were kind to us when JiehJieh [Kris] died. We can never repay them. We have to help others in need.” My mom has always been incredibly charitable. She basically verbalized this unrealized urgency I was feeling. Or maybe I just want to contribute because I feel so helpless when someone has died. Or maybe because it gave me comfort to see the outpouring of love when my sister was killed – to know that people really loved her and that she mattered.

a lot of work, but some folks are worth it



I did manage to make about 140 dumplings and saved some for our dinner. Kell will be happy to know that I tried the black vinegar and it tastes wonderful! Thank you! I actually mixed it with soy sauce, a drop of sesame oil, and some XO which I can’t describe to non-Chinese except to say that it is a spicy vegetarian chili condiment (called jan jian). My mom called tonight and I asked her if she was familiar with Black Vinegar and she said, “Hei Tsu? Of course, don’t you know Black Vinegar? It’s Hei Tsu!” Okay, we never had it growing up. Mom seems to think I was born with all of her memories of Taiwan. Sheesh. I told her I had a bottle that a friend shipped to me from Australia and she said, “So expensive to ship! You shouldn’t make your friend do that – you can find it at any chinese store!”

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