My boyfriend came home to Wisconsin with me for Thanksgiving this year. He’s been subjected to my family’s feasting before, last when I dragged him along to my sister’s wedding, first when he came to my grad school graduation and met my parents when they came to visit me as well. That time, my mom threw together a meal of NY strip, garlic shrimp, cheesy mashed potatoes, and salad. At my sister’s wedding, he got the full wedding-banquet treatment, whole roast pig and all. My mom fed him so much (you must accept your girlfriend’s mom’s hospitality on penalty of death, I guess) that, as he likes to tell it, he broke out into a nervous sweat, kind of like when you drink too much and you suddenly realize you are very comfortable and don’t know what to do with yourself. Eventually, my mom commanded him to go take a nap.
Thanksgiving, then, in comparison, was relatively light fare. That is, if you consider “light fare” as having pork and shrimp potstickers at every meal, including at breakfast. This apparently is what results when you bring your boyfriend home and your boyfriend tells your mother that he loves all of her food, but the dumplings in particular. It was nothing but the truth, but even I didn’t think my mom would make sure that he’d never go a single meal (this included breakfast) without at least a few. I can’t say I didn’t completely mind, as I more than once snuck down the fridge to steal a few cold on, washing them down with a glass of water and a little bit of shame.
Call them by whichever name you prefer--Chinese dumplings, gyoza, potstickers--they're irresistible by any name and in any language.
Before I left I had to ask my mom for the recipe and technique, as she is in fact, the master of such things, but in typical-mom fashion, there were no exact measurements or times or directions…just a, you add a little bit of this, then you look at it to make sure it cooks to a golden brown…so on and so forth. And truly, this is the way to cook, and the way I generally cook, whether or not I have hard and fast directions, because really, where cooking (and not baking) is concerned, I think the try-as-y0u-go method is best.