Jan’s friends from childhood—she has known Barbara since the second grade—are coming once again for the Quilt Festival. One will not eat anything with chunks of cooked tomatoes and the other will only eat chicken or fish. To top it off, Jan has just had two crowns and needs soft foods like soups. How to please everyone?
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Tonight’s dinner was jiaozi (gee-aw-za, dumplings). This was a weekday meal so I did not make them myself. Jiapzi making is a major operation. The rolling out of dozens of little bits of dough becomes a social activity for a gathering (it is not really possible to make just a few jiaozi). To the Chinese, it is very similar to Mexicans and Christmas tamales, an activity that brings people together. For an everyday meal the Chinese cook will run down to the corner, where a jiaozi seller has parked their bicycles truck, and pick up enough for their meal.