When it comes to our cooking events you can be sure that you’ll never leave the table hungry. Last Friday Ying and Congsi prepared a Chinese hot pot dinner for us and we celebrated not only the huge variety of dumplings made but also the Chinese Spring Festival which is also known as Chinese New Year. For such a huge fest it is necessary to dress appropiately, meaning: the more red you’ll wear, the better – as the color red is believed to bring luck.
Equipped with colorful clothes and an empty stomach, we started to cut up the groceries and the meat and learned what a typical dumpling filling consists of. But suddenly we realised there were not enough bowls and cutlery for our dinner! So Nadine, some of you know her as our Welcome Tour guide, jumped home and brought real silver cutlery.
Meanwhile we were shown what a variety of different shapes dumplings can take. Some looked like Italian tortellini, some seemed to look more like a tiny pouches and many more shapes were invented by our Indian to Columbian, Serbian to French cooks.
Enjoying a hot pot together is a quite social activity. First one adds all the groceries and meat into the pot with the boiling sea food or vegetable-flavoured water. As soon as everything is cooked you distribute everything on big plates and reload the hot pot. And again, and again, and again….until everyone is repleted.
And the dumplings? They were steamed and fried and accompanied the hot pot perfectly. During our meal we learned more about typical Chinese traditions. It was really interesting to find out how different the traditions are in different parts of this large country. However, some traditions were common in every part, for example the red envelope with money that unmarried people and children receive.
Without money to hand out, but with silver cutlery in our hands and a lot of chit-chat, we finished our dinner and we were even too full to have our dessert. After the fastest cleaning-up in the (still young) history of our Cooking Events we headed home to count sheep – as fortunately 2015 is the Year of the Sheep (or Year of the Goat)!