… to the next installment of the International Incident parties – this month we’re bringing DUMPLINGS!
More on that later. Since it’s my (40th) birthday, I thought you could indulge me with a few paragraphs and pics about me. Because if it can’t be all about me today, when can it?
A few facts about me that might explain who I am today.
1. I have always loved to eat. Actually I have always liked to be in charge of the food as you can see in the picture below. Note my (older) sister isn’t allowed to hold the bag of chips (crisps). This has translated into me being a bit of a control freak in the kitchen (ahem) to the point where when we host dinners where everyone is supposed to bring a course (we’re in a dinner club where that’s the idea), I only let people bring cheese and chocolate to end the meal because I want my menu items to match. I mean, who wouldn’t?
2. I have always needed a lot of sleep. I was, in fact the dream baby. Check me out snoozing away in the pics below! As you can see, my sister was an excellent caregiver (note how I am just snoozing on despite the photo op!). She also forced taught me to read before I should have been reading, including her “Digger the Dog” readers she used to bring home from school. Meaning that two years later, when I started school, I had already read the reader series I was supposed to start on causing many headaches for my teachers. Begin as you mean to carry on, I say! No, I was not an easy student. But I have always loved to read and write. Perhaps I was destined to be some sort of writer even though I dropped Journalism after one year…
(hey – I was only 7 days old in that pic!!)
(hey – where did my red hair go???)
3. I was brought up travelling, in part thanks to my dad’s job at the ABC. When I was 2, we moved to England. We went on a ship (took 6 weeks!) of which I have very fuzzy memories, including mum bribing me to come inside when the boat was leaving Adelaide by telling me “We have biscuits in the cabin” (see #1 above), my sister and I going for a little walk around the ship when mum and dad were at adult dinner because my sister thought it would be fun (hey – it was 1972, that’s what you did – left your kids locked in the cabin whilst you went off to dinner. Unfortunately for mum and dad, Amanda is a smart cookie too and figured out how to unlock the door. She was 4, after all.), and inhaling a whole packet of Disprin (whilst mum and dad were also absent from the cabin) because I thought it would taste good. It did. I still like the taste and am sorry you can’t get it here in Canada.
We soldiered on and had a grand old time in England. Plus, we were very groovy, as you can see in these photos:
I guess travelling around the world at such a young age instilled a love of travel in me that I still have. When I look back at what mum and dad accomplished with two little girls without all the bells and whistles parents have these days, I am in awe. Mum and dad – you rock!
(Can I just interrupt this post right now to say how unfair it is that mum and Amanda got the lovely hair in the family? I love you dad but your straight, finer than fine English hair isn’t one of the best things I inherited from you. Just sayin…)
All that to say that I strongly believe early experiences really do shape who you are and how you see the world. And I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my childhood. Thanks mum and dad.
All right then, onto the PARTY! Amusingly, this month’s theme is dumplings which I find fitting as I *was* a bit of a dumpling as a child. There are some cruel cruel pictures mum and dad took of me when I was a roly poly baby (actually sitting next to a roly poly toy) that I refuse to post here. But mum, dad and Amanda, you know which ones I mean. The word dumpling does spring to mind.
In keeping with my stubborn nature and wanting to do everything and not admitting that perhaps I don’t have time to do everything, I was a little distressed to realise that I was not going to have time to make the dumpling wrappers from scratch this month. But hey – it IS my birthday so you have to cut me some slack, right?
I like simple flavours in my dumplings and chose this recipe from Gourmet, May 2009, for Shrimp Scallion Dumplings. I made them two ways – pan fried and gently poached.
I started out pan frying them but it got a bit out of control and I abandoned the pan since I didn’t want to have to clean up (even more) spattered oil… The “gently poaching” worked fine but I found my wrappers came a bit loose and they didn’t hold together so well. They were delicious nonetheless and reminded me that it’s not so hard to make a weeknight meal a bit out of the ordinary. Next time, though, Penny et al, I promise to do the challenge from scratch. But you’ll forgive me this one time, won’t you? I am entering my FIFTH decade, after all…
(thanks for indulging me!)
Penny will have a full roundup of all the dumpling parties soon but in the meantime, you can check out some of the other entries:
- Penny – Jeroxie (Addictive & Consuming) – Tang Yuan
- Christine – Christine’s Recipes – Fried wontons with sweet & sour sauce
- Trix – Tasty Trix
- Conor - Hold the Beef – Zwetschkenknödel
- Shirley – Enriching your kid – Paneer-Malai Kofta
- Natasha – 5 Star Foodie – Pelmeni
- Anges – Off the spork – Shanghai soup dumplings
- Joanne – Second Helping – Dumplings three ways
- Celeste – Berry Travels
- Ahn – A food Lover’s Journey – Pan-fried savoury ’sticky’ dumplings
- Cherry – Sweet Cherry Pie – Filipino Dumpling Soup or Pancit Molo
- Tracey - Tangled Noodle – The Long and Winding Dumpling Road
- Evelyne - Cheap Ethnic Eatz – Momos
- Emma – Cake Mistress – Lovely Lumps: Golden Syrup Dumplings
- Mark – Cafe Campana – Butterscotch Apple Dumplings
- Cool Lassi(e) – Pan Gravy Kadai Curry- Deep Fried Lentil Dumpling in Yogurt Sauce
- Ozoz – Kitchen Butterfly
- Sharlene – Wheels and Lollipop
- Ms Baklover - Footscray Food Blog – Pork wontons soup
- Monkylicious – Adventures of food kind
- Emily – No muss, no fuss kind of cooking!
- Lori – Wannabe Gourmand – Unfortunately, she has to pull out very last minute. My thoughts are with you.
- Casey – Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgari – Dim sum with dipping sauce