“everything tastes better when you make them yourself”

November 29, 2011 |  Category:   family growing up half holidays life

Some dumpling making action over Thanksgiving weekend with my mom and the girls.
My mom claims that she hasn’t made homemade dumplings in 20 or so years. I do remember making them with her and my grandmother. She was telling the girls that when I was a kid, there weren’t that many Korean grocery stores and that they would have to make all the foods that are readily available now at stores, like dumplings and sheets of salted, toasted seaweed – you know, the kind that you can buy now already cut up in 2″ x 3″ rectangles in a foil packet. My grandmother would brush sesame oil on each large piece of seaweed, sprinkle some salt and then turn them over the fire on the stove to toast each side. She’d then cut the stacked toasted sheets into smaller pieces with a knife and store them in tupperware containers for the week. Sometimes I would help brush the sesame oil on the seaweed or snip off the roots of beansprouts before they would go into the steamer.
The girls were super into making dumplings especially since it’s Mia’s favorite food. Claudine, not so much, but making them appealed to her meticulous nature and they could have made dumplings for days. I don’t know if this happens to you, but sometimes I see flashbacks of when I was a kid when I see the girls with my parents. Making dumplings with grandma…just like I used to as a kid.

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  • PInk Ronnie November 30, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Your post inspired me so much, that I am now eating dumplings…. though to my shame, these were definitely out a packet. Love seeing the girls make their own and hearing about them doing it with their grandmother!
    Ronnie xo

  • Audrie November 30, 2011 at 12:54 am

    This made me smile :) I used to make dumplings with my grandma and I hope if I have kids one day, they’ll make dumplings with my mum.

  • Theresa November 30, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Right on to making them yourselves! Indeed, everything does taste better when you make it yourself!

  • Joy November 30, 2011 at 2:38 am

    How true! Aww I miss homemade dumplings so much.

  • Nick UK November 30, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Those look lovely. My children love rolling meatballs which I find very tedious, and this year they have begged to help with holiday baking so will be doing the sausage rolls and mincepies, and if the pastry is not as thin as I would do it then I wont eat as much!

  • Vanessa November 30, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This Thanksgiving my mother and I spent the entire day working together in the kitchen. It reminded me so much of seeing her and my Nana do the same when I was much younger, and totally made me smile :-)

  • Alyssa November 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Dumplings are actually one of my favorite foods too, and these look mouthwatering! Is it possible you can share how you made them? I’ve always wanted to try, but I haven’t found one I like (I’m a stickler for traditional recipes).

  • A of Little Alexander November 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I married into an Italian family with a tortellini making tradition. I love when making the food is as much a family event as eating the food!

  • Misha November 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

    those look so, stinkin’ good! (shoot, now I’m worrying about cooking dinner all over again)

  • Clara November 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I love holiday activities like this! So sweet. I love when cooking gets passed down from generation to generation. Sounds like your girls have a wonderful grandma!

  • Paige Davidson November 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

    If I could have one wish this holiday, it would be to be your child.

  • Nicole Franzen November 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    love this, those look ridiculous. nom

  • Rachel November 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Those dumplings look great! And what a wonderful family tradition and memory for you and your girls.

  • Atsuko November 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Seeing this post reminded me of my little days. At home in Japan making dumplings was done by my older sister, me, and my mother at home. We were always chatting random things over making them. It is a very good family tradition, isn’t? By they way, your dumplings look very delicious. What do you put inside?

  • Kiana November 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

    My mother was never much of a cook so I can’t say I have these childhood memories. They’re more like, “Remember that time mom opened a can of Chef Boyardee and dumped it into a bowl?” lol

  • jen November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    ooh! i love korean dumplings so does my son. yes, even trader joe sells korean seaweed! it’s so popular with kids these days and i often see them in kid’s lunch boxes. i pack seaweed for my son every day and i try to make my own homemade version.

  • Michelle November 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Recipe, please!!!

  • Marie November 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Would love to be there to try these – I decided it wouldn’t be practical to have them mailed. Marie :-)

  • Cecilia November 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    These look so yummy! I love how Mia is really focusing on the task!
    What a great nostalgia-inducing activity.

  • Sora November 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    So very cool. The kids get so much out of just being around grandparents. I have fond memories of my grandmother. She told me quite a few Korean folktales…some scary, but each had a lesson to be learned. And, I miss her cooking too. I hope my girls remember the soups that my mom brings them now and the time she tries to spend with them.

  • Rachel November 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    One time I ordered a mountain dew at my local Korean restaurant and got “Mandu” instead. I was pleasantly surprised and am in love with them. Now I want to try making them myself!

  • Julia November 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I never even thought about having to make nori at home… wow. Is there a reason you curl them up?

  • rebecca November 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    i’ve stopped ordering out for this very reason. except for when i’m lazy, of course.

  • sarah November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    these dumpling photos are absolutely lovely! Is it possible to have the recipe?

  • jane December 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    mmmmm mandu! i definitely have fond memories of making them with my grandmother and hope to get another opportunity with her for the upcoming new year! thanks for sharing.

  • Sue December 2, 2011 at 9:51 am

    So, I finally got around to making Mark’s Chicken Pot Pies last night. Filled 6 cute ramekins and a small cake pan full of delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe, although I admit I substituted a bit of Chardonnay for some of the stock. Happy Winter from Minnesota!

  • Tian December 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

    hooray for dumplings. admittedly i get mine homemade fr somewhere else, a hongkie store selling frozen dimsum.

    im a big fan of mung bean manjus (in melbourne they sell it in sea shell shapes and as “chestnut” manjus). would your dear parents or grandma know how to make them?


  • angi December 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    oh my, dumplings are one of my favorite food groups, but i haven’t ventured into korean mandus yet. now i can’t wait!

    also weird question: where did you get that mesh liner you used for steaming the dumplings?? i hate it when dumplings stick to the steamer basket so the mesh liner seems like a brilliant (and reuseable) idea!

  • megan champion December 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I would love your recipe!

  • Juju May 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    yet another story that made me smile and reminisce about my own childhood. i remember making dumplings for days especially nearing new year’s and thanksgiving day. also, the nori sheets – man, i used to get so annoyed whenever my mom asked me to do that!! now, i miss those days and spending time with my mom.