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All gone now with just these two photos for the memory. We made it the day after Christmas this year while Zach was still home, and we made considerable progress just our 2nd year teaming up on them: He was the dough roller and circle cutter, and I was the filler and shaper. Flour everywhere… we had a blast.
Tried a different recipe this year and in my web-surfing I discovered that most people make it much, much differently than Grandma Protacio did… they put the filling in the dumplings still raw, and most think it’s sacrilegious to eat them in a soup (especially Siberians… you’d think they’d want hot soup more than anyone else!) Many will eat plainly salt-water boiled with an option to then panfry them brown, with nothing but sour cream — certainly not shoyu! I wanted to try the when-still-raw filling part to see if they’d be moister and juicier that way (not really) and it certainly was easier and faster. Another departure I made from Grandma’s style is that I’d only cook as much as we ate per sitting, and didn’t leave them cooked in the pot to heat up in a broken mess the next day. Funny though, the improvements we’ve made in our methods did feel wrong, for they weren’t our tradition other than for these primary bits: We use hamburger instead of pork, load in the garlic and garlic salt, eat with shoyu and the hamhock soup — is that enough to be authentic and faithful to Grandma’s memory? I do think she’d be okay with that, smiling at the episodes in the kitchen as much as our happiness eating them.
Image by yummysmellsca
Essentially layers of noodles, dried herbs and pepper, flour and cheese (a mix of Mozz and Monterey Jack) in a casserole, drenched with milk and topped with breadcrumbs before being baked. I’m not a huge fan of this approach (originally from www.cookingnook.com/best-baked-macaroni-cheese-recipe.html ) but that’s what the school gave me. Next time – cheese sauce baby!