Jiaozi (饺子)

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Completed dumplings at workstation.
Completed dumplings at workstation.
Story pending

Disregarding political aspects, life in 1976 Inner Mongolia was simple. Out in the countryside before the snow-capped mountains, my mother lived with my grandmother in their own cozy hut, caring for each other and their humble farm. A common dish they would prepare together was one called Jiaozi (饺子), made from a pork filling wrapped in an easily-prepared dough, then boiled and eaten with an optional garlic sauce. They made it entirely from scratch; the wrapping for the dumplings is made solely from water and flour, strung into a snake-like shape, then chopped up. The pieces are flattened and then rolled into circular shapes. My mother, a teenager at the time, was especially skilled at this step. Other members of her village would specifically seek out her swift efficiency to roll their Jiaozi dough for them. Even now she is very proficient at the job, preparing the skin for my me and my sister to fill with minced meat, scallion, carrots, and other ingredients. As we sit there preparing them, I feel even further connected to my mother and her past. Despite the fact that we sit at our kitchen table instead of the soft ground of a dirt floor, I still feel the connection the dumplings have to my mother's culture, this recipe having been passed down for generations. To me, they represent the simplicity and quality of my past, life in the sprawling plains of Mongolia.

Place(s): Inner Mongolia
Year: 1997

– Meegan Y.

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant