We went to have "hot pot" with some chinese friends of ours tonight. They are from Sz Chuan, so like spicy food. They used a pot that is divided so that you can have both spicy, and non-spicy broth to cook the food. I liked the spicy side, but they said it wasn't spicy enough. It was very good food though! One of the things they like to eat on new year's is a steamed fish. We did eat some tonight. Another thing they traditionally eat in their province is meat dumplings. So we also had some dumplings tonight too. I was reminded of how I learned to make them.
When I was a missionary in Taiwan, my companion and I had new year's dinner with a family we had been teaching. This family was somewhat wealthy, and had a servant that came to cook for them. He was making dumplings while we were there. I went over and asked him how to make them. He began to show me, and took great care to teach me how to make them so that they were shaped like ancient chinese money. I know there are many ways to make them, but I prefer this way because they stand up nicely, and because they do look like ancient chinese money. I have fond memories of him taking the time to teach a young skinny American girl. I was making dumplings the other night and I thought of him. It occurred to me that he is probably dead now. He was old then, and it has been 30 years. Part of me wished that he could peek in from the spirit world and see that I am still making dumplings the way he taught me. :)
The other night we had the missionaries who are serving our congregation over for dinner. One of them is from Thailand, and the other is from Japan. Neither of them celebrates the lunar new year festival, but we thought they would appreciate eating Asian food, so we made Chinese food to celebrate chinese new year. I think they did appreciate it, and I'm sure it was nice to eat Asian food instead of the normal heavy American food they are usually fed. It always makes me laugh that the Thai missionary, when he goes to other people's houses to eat, asks if they have any hot sauce. We made sure to give him plenty of spicy food when he was here.
Happy new year to you all!