Monday, July 29, 2019

Dumpling Dinner Delight ~ 7/27/19

Dinner events offered at our church's charity auction are always popular and this one was no exception. From well-known local chef, Billy Norden, this dinner consisted of a nine course dumpling extravaganza that also included a 45 minute set of live music by musicians extraordinaire, Paul and Julie Wesselink. The bidding was fierce but there was no way this one was getting away from me.
Gathering the eight additional people for this party was not a problem; everyone was eager to ante up for this experience. But then scheduling a party involving fourteen people was not something I was looking forward to. Surprisingly it went well. July 27 it was, and the day arrived.

Mara Norden was Billy's able assistant and server, and the two of them set to work in the kitchen.
Our first course was lemongrass chicken dumplings in lemongrass soup. Oh my. We knew we were in for a delicious evening.
Being a beautiful night, we were set up outside. The sauces were on the table along with chopsticks and dumpling spoons.
And the music was playing.
We switched seating between courses so everyone got to talk with everyone else over the course of the evening, thanks to a suggestion from our meal hostess, Mara :-).

Here are the other courses in order of presentation:

Beef and Black Pepper Potstickers
Pork and Shrimp Shumai
Steamed Bao Pork Buns
Spicy Chicken Yuzu Gyoza
Thai Shrimp Shumai
Vietnamese Beef with Watercress and Pickles Red Onions
And then came what I considered to be the masterpiece of the evening, Pork and Shrimp Soup dumplings. Soup dumplings are not easy to make and Billy did it (watch Ugly Delicious season 1, episode 8 on Netflix for more soup dumpling info). They are difficult to make, tricky to eat, and were a real treat.
Our last course was dessert, Mochi Ice Cream and it was a chewy delight.
Over the course of the evening, this Calvin College Art 101 object, now kept in the guest bathroom, became the subject of conversation so here is the story. Nothing I made in pottery as an 18 year old pleased Professor Jensen but when I created this, he accused me of having someone make it for me. Big sigh and no bitterness at all. Segue back...
Our food tonight was exquisite, a wonderful variety of flavors and textures. We all appreciated the work and talent that went into its creation. The music enhanced our evening and really 'classed it up' as one person put it :-) It was a joyful gathering of food-loving people who enjoyed being with each other.

We moved away from our dining tables and back to the circle where we began our evening, to end our evening.
Cheers to a wonderful night and to everyone who participated 💗

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