Kimchi dumplings and Twinkies are at opposite extremes on the prepared-foods tastiness-spectrum.
A friend has mentioned kimchi dumplings several times, so I finally took her advice and gave them a try. Verdict: very good! After making a cauldron of pork bones and chicken wings, a fast and easy dinner was just the ticket! I had a package of kimchi gyoza (made in the U.S.) in the freezer. My big frying pan was in use, so I made kakejiru (broth for hot noodles) and we had soup. Mr. Tess picked the meat off the bones and with cucumbers and green onions we had most of the necessary food groups.
Hot Broth for Noodles
- 1 quart ichiban dashi
- 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
- ½ Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon shoyu
- ½ Tablespoon usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce)
In a medium pot, bring all ingredients to a very slow boil over low to medium heat. Go slow and low—you don’t want the dashi to become bitter and cloudy, nor do you want the sugar and shoyu to burn.
Don’t tell Mr. Tess, but we had a treat two weeks ago at work. There was a meeting of neighborhood businesses at our store. My favorite neighbor is of course Zingerman’s (Bakehouse and Creamery, and I guess candy too). They make sour cream cakes, lemon sponge cakes, cookies, tarts, pies—if you have dreamed of an amazing baked dessert, then they have made it! It was a breakfast meeting, so everyone brought things to eat. It was an early breakfast meeting so I was dreaming away at home while they were filling their faces. This was no surprise but by the time I got to work, all that was left was a tray of melons, pineapple, and grapes, almost untouched. And there was an unopened package of Twinkies.
I haven’t had a Twinkie for decades! After lunch, a volunteer and I broke open the package to have a taste. It must be kids have a different sort of taste buds. C. had one bite. I took two, remembering how my siblings and I would plead with our mom to buy Twinkies for our lunches like all the other kids had…
By the way, that package of Twinkies has survived a couple of weeks of the usual afternoon sugar cravings of at least a dozen people, including some college kids. It’s prominently displayed on the window sill: I have heard they can last for years.