Earlier in the year, one of my best friends in the world, Lin Lei, taught me how to make Chinese dumplings (饺子, "jiaozi" in Chinese; but the shape I made here would technically be called 包子, "baozi..." they're made the same, though). They are very simple to make, and so delicious. When I have extra time and the ingredients, I like to make these. The wrapper is made of just flour and water to make a dough that you roll out into small circles. The filling is a small amount of just raw, ground meat with minced vegetables and seasoning. Closing the wrapper is a little tricky, but you wet your fingers with warm water and pinch the top to make it stick and stay closed. You can either boil or steam them for a few minutes to cook the meat and the wrapper, and voila! A beautiful, tasty treat. Dip them in your favorite Asian sauce.
Thanksgiving in Logan, UT
After school got out for Thanksgiving Holiday, we flew to Utah to see Michael's momma Narayne. This was the first time we saw her since we were married in June.
Louisiana on the left, Utah on the right. It's really cool seeing the landscape change when you're in an airplane. Whenever I'm on a plane, I get a small glimpse at really how big, vast, and varied the world is (or at least the United States).
Upon arriving at the Salt Lake City airport, Narayne was there waiting for us, and she drove us back to her house in Logan. Her dog Jack (and the dog Mike's known since he was little) came along for the ride. (He recently had surgery to treat his diabetic migraines, which meant taking out his eyeballs...but he was blind anyway, so to make him a happy dog, his eyes were taken out and his eyelids were sewn shut! He's as cute as ever still. He looks like a Chinese dachshund now.) He was SO happy to have Michael around. As soon as we got in the car, he could smell and hear Mike and got excited, all wagging his tail and sniffing around for Mike. What a cute little fattie.
Here's Narayne making our Thanksgiving dinner. She did ALL of the cooking for us, and the food was all so delicious. We had dressing, cranberries, turkey (of course), pumpkin pie, and much more, I just can't remember it all (that's what I get for posting 8 months late). Boy, we were STUFFED by the end of it. Before dinner Narayne was eating some of the turkey liver, and I decided to try some...oh it was gross!!! I guess liver is an acquired taste. At least I left more for her!
Among the other things we did were explore the cute and cozy downtown area, shop at the local stores, meet Narayne's neighbors, listened to lots of Christmas music, and saw the Lee's Marketplace where Mike used to work. Narayne also gave us a "pre-Christmas package," which included silly, fun trinkets like a small felt snowman pillow and some ornaments, and a beautiful Christmas tree skirt. It's a deep red with a cursive gold "R" on it. While we didn't have a tree, I imagined how lovely it would look in our future home. She also gave us a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It's the perfect size for our little apartment, so we were going to have a Christmas Tree after all. It's good to have such an great mother-in-law. She has a very giving and hospitable personality. We felt very well taken care of while we were there.
(This is a picture I found online. I'll have a picture of OURS in our apartment in my December post.)
The snowy mountains were so beautiful. I love getting to see them every now and again. They just seem magical, since I'm used to the Louisiana swamp lands: tons of trees, little to no hills, and rarely ever any snow.
So then it was back to Louisiana, and school... I was sad to leave Narayne's company and Utah's landscape, but at least the semester was winding up, and it being almost December meant it was almost time to see my family in Houston! November and December are my favorite months of the year because I get to spend so much time with family.