Recipe: chinese egg dumplings (dan jiao)
I’ve spent the better part of the past week getting ready for Chinese New Year, so much so that I nearly forgot about my mammogram and ultrasound from mid-week. I’m not traumatized by these appointments. The medical center I go to has really wonderful staff and technicians. I sandwiched the medical imaging into my busy errands schedule that day. At the end, the techs always walk me to the front desk, shake my hand, give me a card explaining to expect my results in 10-14 days, and wish me good health. For that split moment I wonder about those results. It’s the difference between nothing and everything. And then I strode briskly out the doors, my brain in grocery-hunting mode.
Most of the food is prepped or cooked for the big feast on New Year’s Eve. The house is nearly clean because once the new year arrives, you can’t clean for 2 weeks lest you sweep the luck out. Speaking of luck, it’s tradition to hang the Chinese character for luck (fu) on your front door, upside down (dao). Dao is also a homonym for the verb “to arrive” – so you definitely want luck arriving at your door, at your house.
here’s what fu looks like right-side up
Jeremy and I reached a stopping point in the housework Saturday afternoon and took Kaweah for a walk before the snow storm arrived in the evening. It was ridiculously warm out – 45°F! It felt like spring except for the sun low in the sky. There were patches of bare ground dotting the snow… sad, but not uncommon. What horrified me were the puddles. Liquid water shouldn’t be making an appearance around here until May!
kaweah is an all-terrain kinda girl
Kaweah had a blast sniffing every.darn.thing.on.the.ground. Back home, a message waited in my in-box from my health care provider. Strange. I wasn’t expecting anything. It was a note from my oncologist that my scans were clean. I grinned. That was only four days ago. And my oncologist is working on a weekend AGAIN (of course – he is amazing). It’s been over four years since my first mammogram did NOT detect my cancer, so I take these negative scans for what they’re worth. I trust my yearly MRIs more. Even so, it’s a really nice way to start the new year.
Every Chinese New Year’s Eve we enjoy a big pot of cellophane noodle soup, a type of hot pot (huo guo) that is different from the more common Chinese hot pot. I make the cellophane noodle soup several times a year, but Chinese New Year’s Eve is the only time I go to the effort of making egg dumplings (dan jiao) to add to the soup. They represent wealth (any dumpling represents wealth).
the filling: ground pork, green onions, black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, napa cabbage
mincing the ginger
**Jump for more butter**