(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

sunday ...

when I'm stressed I do one of two things ... kick into overdrive or stay in bed for 3 days (oh wait ... that might be depressed...)

well today was a day of activity, all home based. got up and rode down to the boulangerie and got my chocolatine and my demi-baguette and (uh oh) 3 beignets (donut holes).

I have had chinese dumpling soup on my mind for a spell...alas, there is a dearth of chinese dumpling soup serving restaurants nearby ... so next I stopped at the boucherie and bought some ground pork.

pedalled home in the rain. then rummaged about in the garden and cut hazelnut bush branches (the feeders that spring up) because I want to use them to make some crafty things for the shop. Maybe some little tabletop twig xmas trees, some twig snowflakes, etc. also cut some branches with persimmons (? think so only smaller)

headed into my little atelier/workshop and decided to try 'pickling' a table. this basically involves careful sanding and cleaning, then you mix paint and water 50/50. brush the mixture on ... wait a spell ... wipe it off. let dry. resand if necessary. coat with varnish. finished a table.

then I sanded and stained this really cool old stand I bought at a Vide Grenier. It looks like a very tall stool, and has this kind of Celtic looking pattern cut into the bottom shelf. It will be a plant stand or hold a bust or piece of art. I decided to use a similar technique to the pickling, but less coverage using a geranium colored stain. the wood is mostly showing with hints of reddish tones.

after that I scrubbed the kitchen. made a fire. debated weather to tackle dumplings. went for it.

and I'm glad I did as they are scrumptious!!! wouldn't be found within a 100km radius...and then who knows if as good?! not that I'm bragging. but here's what I did as Chinese ingredients aren't exactly crowding the shelves!


maybe half a cup of cooked chicken
half a pound or so of ground pork
1 minced carrot (my garden)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 minced very hot small red chile
1/2 yellow bell pepper, minced
1 knob very young ginger, peeled and minced
3 radishes, peeled and minced (from my garden)
1/2 head radicchio,chopped finely (no cabbage, worked beautifully; you can use cabbage or similar if you choose)
minced fresh cilantro (my garden)
minced fresh chives (my garden)
chili oil
sesame oil
chili powder
cumin powder

just mix all of the above together.

wrappers (go on, try it. slow food is beautiful)

1 part flour to 1/2 part warm water (eg, 1 C flour to 1/2 C water, etc.) depending on how many you want to make ... I should have doubled this ratio as I have lots of filling and will make more wrappers tomorrow.

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp oil

just put the salt oil and warm water together in a cup. put the flour in a bowl. begin to add water bit by bit and knead dough until you have a ball that just stays together, in fact look a bit dry. cover this with saran wrap and let it rest about 15 minutes.

then knead, roll it out and cut circles. I used a coffee mug to cut.

put a spoon of filling in the wrapper, fold and crimp the edges so you have little half moons.

Now, you can either fry these in a skillet with a bit of oil or boil them.

I boiled them in my homemade chicken stock. You bring the stock (or water) to a boil, put in the dumplings for 4-5 minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon and dip them in cold water. Return to the stock pot for a minute or so.

then DEVOUR with whatever dipping sauce you conjure up. I had no soy sauce and was too hungry to create a sauce. I used Sriracha. slurp.

so that is what I've done with my day. it is 7:40 now .... time for a beer.


amy said...

Sounds delicious! You deserve a six pack.

i'm bummed `cause I wrote a long response to your last post and then when I went to publish it disappeared. I mostly just wanted to say bon courage and that I think your boutique is lovely and bound to be a success. The rest I'll send via email!

softinthehead said...

A very productive day, well done, photos would be nice :

Riana Lagarde said...

sounds divine,i'll be right over! i love to re do furniture and make dumplings, i would have spent the whole day with you doing exactly the same thing. (i made raviolis on sunday -kind of similar to your dumplings)

enjoy the overdrive!

Rosie said...

does sound good, but I'll have to make the diet version and forget the beer...just vodka from now on...yes the vodka diet has a nice ring to it...

nate beaty said...

sounds like a damn productive and delicious day. inspiring as usual.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly i have started feeling hungry haha! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.