12 May – limbo, day 8

1. Home made mashed potatoes
2. Sunflowers. There’s a reason why they’re the state flower of Kansas and a symbol of Ukraine. They’re amazing.
3. My exceptionally warped sense of humor. I can keep myself happily entertained for hours simply by living in my head!😆

My new favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs on a bed of arugula with a side of sliced avocado. It’s even better when it’s followed up by a big bowl of mashed potatoes! Hey, it’s yummy, don’t judge.😄

Today’s the Day. It’s soup dumpling time! I think I’ll photo-document the process and share it so you can see exactly how obsessive I am in the kitchen. It’ll probably be a day-long project because I’ll have to take it slowly so my energy level doesn’t plummet. First up is prepping the ingredients for Basil’s spring rolls. That should be easy due to my fairly wicked knife skills but still, it’s time consuming. Then I’ll do the final prep for the dumpling filling, make the dough for the dumpling wrappers and THEN (*drum roll*), I’ll make the wrappers themselves, followed by filling the little buggers and pleating them. Then it’s off to the bamboo steamer before devouring them relentlessly. Umm… I’m exhausted just looking at all the steps. What the hell did I get myself into?😱

From bowl of shaggy, crumbly mess…
…To silky, silky soft and smooth!
Look! Meat jello cubes! There’s also meat jello shrapnel all over the counter but we’re not talking about that.
…Aaaand the filling is done.
The finished product, about to be set over the heat.

I didn’t show the wrapper-making or filling steps mainly because I was too busy restraining myself from chucking the whole mess into the trash. Wow, what a learning curve. I gained some valuable knowledge though – next time I’ll make the wrappers a good deal larger, and I’ll serve them immediately rather than holding them for a few minutes. The wrappers ended up on the tough side and because there was so little filling in each dumpling, the buns didn’t have that incredible juiciness that good xiaolongbao have. Bummer. Still, it was a worthy experiment and I have loads of filling left over that I’ll freeze and save for another attempt. I also have leftover aspic that I’ll save and use for either another recipe or more dumplings.

I’m absolutely flattened. I spent most of the day in the kitchen and I’m happy to say that I managed really well with no weakness, but now I just want to crawl into bed.😴