work in progress - some of the (pre-cooked) dumplings we made yesterday. as you can see from the variety of shapes on the tray, we had a few different methods of dumpling "folding", harking from various schools of thought (ie what our respective parents may have taught us). i reckon mine look the best and are the most orthodox :p
can you spot the cluster that i made?? hehe
once again i underestimated the time required to make the dumplings (as happens when you don't have enough experience under your best to be able to judge these things), and i was still preparing ingredients when my helpers showed up some 20 minutes late. plus we ran out of dumpling skin, so i had to race out to buy some more (and the first/closest place i went to didn't have any!) but we got there in the end (albeit 45 minutes behind schedule!), and this is the pot of dumplings we brought to the yf thanksgiving night. i was pretty happy with our effort, and i think next time i'll be a bit more organised (experience is a good teacher!), and might have to get a few more refining tips from my parents - i don't think there were any problems in the taste department, but from an aesthetic sense a lot of the dumplings "broke", either during cooking or mainly after storage. i can't believe i just said that - i usually care nothing for presentation etc, citing the logical fact that it's all the same when it gets to your stomach. so maybe i do care a little bit, hehe. call it taking pride in your work :p
anyways, thanksgiving night has become something of an annual tradition in yf, i think ever since the mid-90s when the chings introduced the idea (having brought it over from the states). we gather for a pot-luck dinner [see photo], followed by a time of sharing, reflecting, and giving thanks for the year gone by. it was a bit of a feast, and as usual i would have loved to have eaten even more, but at two helpings my stomach had reached its limit and i had to give it some time to digest all the goodness i had fed it :p
before the real sharing began, we were treated to a skit summarising (in a somewhat cross-pollinated sort of way!) some of the things we had covered in bible study this year. this photo shows a re-enactment of the sinister assassination of ehud (read all about in judges 3:12-30). hmm... upon closer examination of the photo, i think our ehud is using the wrong arm! oh well...
in any case, it was an excellent night of sharing and hearing about what other people have been going through/experiencing, and most importantly what they have been learning as a result. it seems that a lot of people had tough times this year, nevertheless they were all able to still see the God who is good, despite whatever difficulties they had experienced. and that's just a mightily encouraging thing. to hear the same theme running through different contexts and circumstances, really makes you reflect on what being thankful is all about... and i did share and say something about that too, which i might write about in another post.
for now, i'm off to play a bit of squares and curve ball... very simplistic games, but highly addictive! (you have been warned... :p)