|Wonton skins with filling|
Every once in a while, Beez asks for a batch of potstickers. The process for making them is kind of involved--grind the meat; mix in chopped vegetables, egg, cornstarch, and a bunch of seasonings (recipe is here
); lay out half of the wonton skins, spoon filling onto each, moisten the corners and fold the skins to form the dumplings, brown them in some oil, add stock and steam them; then repeat with the other half of the wonton skins.
|Dumplings formed and ready to brown|
While I was working I had plenty of time to recall our family watching one of the early cooking shows together, learning how to make these little Chinese dumplings.
As I set out the wonton skins in the familiar grid pattern on the sideboard, I found myself thinking of all of our kitchens where I've performed these very same actions: In New Hampshire in the old red farmhouse with the lamplit kitchen and the scratchy radio playing in the background, in the very old house on High Street
with its wonderful sense of history, in the little country apartment with the view of the woods and the fields, and in the house where the bears and the moose lived all around; then in New Mexico in the little adobe house in town, in the big brick house out on the High Plains, and now in our adobe home in the orchard.
|Little Pete helps out|
And in every one of those kitchens, I've always had a helper. In the past, there were children in the kid-sized aprons I had sewn for them, standing on chairs or stools to help. Nowadays, I have a no less eager helper with an enthusiastically wagging tail, cheering me on from the floor.