It has been my own good fortune to meet some wonderful people in recent months. The new year is a time for reflection on the past, present and future.
What are you grateful for from last year?
I am grateful our four kids are all choosing their own path and 3 of 4 will graduate this spring.
I am honored and grateful to have become president of my trade association and am serving a two year term.
President's dinner for 6 at the home of Gary & Kathi Mallow in Ashby, WV. I auctioned a dinner for 6 to any member and their friends and was willing to travel anywhere in VA, MD, DC or WV to prepare and serve a dinner for 6. December 3, 2011 It was about deepening relationships within our membership.
I am grateful for both of our families near and far and that they all have their health.
I am grateful to have completed my 3rd two year term on the tree commission and closed a chapter of growth and learning both for me and a wonderful small town.
Building relationships by planting trees in communities.
I am also grateful for the people I met this past year and the ways they have touched my life.
Suvir Saran and Charlie Burd at the Silo Cooking School in New Milford, CT. They are two of the most giving souls we know. They open their home for those to visit and give freely of their time and resources. If only the rest of the world were like them, I wonder what the world would really be like.
I am grateful for friends I have and times we spend together though we are far away. These are precious times when you meet even if once a year.
I have my good health to be grateful for and also for the farm and farmer that supplies us weekly with all of our CSA food. I made positive changes in how we eat that have resulted in greater energy, freer breathing and more vitality than before.
Tonight is Friday night. It is kind of a weekly celebration night. What do you do? Do you go out to eat or eat in? And how do you celebrate the end of a week? Maybe it's a pizza night or steak and potatoes.
Tonight will be celebrating our good fortunes by having Sally's vegetable dumplings with ginger and soy dipping sauce. Last summer Peter and I spent an extended weekend in upstate New York at the home of noted chef Suvir Saran and his life partner Charlie Burd. It is through them that we met Sally Longo, caterer and owner of Sally's Adirondack Kitchen creator of a local TV show Dinner at 8.
Her recipe for vegetable dumplings with soy & ginger dipping sauce is found in Suvir and Charlie's newest book, Masala Farm.
A blog post about Sally and her elegant and spicy ways can be read here. Most asian dumpling recipes call for pork but these are a delightful mix of vegetables, soy sauce, peanut butter and ginger. The development of these dumplings were a joint effort between Sally, Suvir and Charlie on a cold winter's night. When I asked Sally about using frozen egg roll wrappers she said you could but once you make them from scratch and see how easy they are you will never want to go back. Sally has a recipe for her pork dumplings in her book.
I will say now that I have to agree and will throw the packaged egg roll wrappers lurking in my freezer away without delay! You will want to pick up a copy of Masala Farm and try these along with a pot of homemade Farmhouse Chai. This chai is nothing like what you find in the stores. It is warm, spicy, and creamy. I make it often and so should you.
Sally's veggie dumplings with ginger and soy dipping sauce
adapted from Masala Farm by Suvir Saran, Charlie Burd and Raquel Pelzel
Start by making some dough:
Boil some water and in a medium sized bowl put 2 cups of all purpose flour. Add 2/3 cup boiling water and 1/4 cup cold water. Mix until a dough forms. Cover with plastic and set aside to make some filling.
In a food processor combine by pulsing to a coarse texture:
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (can use dried that have been soaked in warm water)
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup thinly shredded cabbage (can use green or Savoy)
1/4 cup diced jicama (may also use water chestnuts)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 oz firm tofu (pressed between napkins to expract moisture)
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno finely minced
2 Tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Make the dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons each of mirin, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, hot chili oil
1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
1 green onion, thinly sliced, both green and white parts
Mix sauce ingredients and store in the fridge till ready to eat.
To make the dumplings, generously flour a working surface and roll out have of the dough to about 1/6 inch. Cut into about 36 rounds using up all the dough. Then fill each round with between 1-2 teaspoons of filling.
Dab a little water on the edges of half the circle and bring the other side over and seal the edges into a half moon shape. Bringthe edges together so they look like a rippled edge and place on a cookie sheet. Once all dumplings are filled place cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour. Once they are frozen put dumplings in a container or freezer bag.
The dumplings are nothing more than water and flour. I used a 3 inch English muffin ring for cutting the 3 inch rounds out of the rolled out dough. Let the dough sit once it comes together so the gluten can develop. This dough is plyable and easy to roll out on a well floured surface.
What good fortunes have come your way?