Family traditions are a wonderful thing. Now that Jimmy and I have kids I find myself almost forcing or creating traditions, hoping they stick — but growing up traditions happened naturally and weren’t always associated with the holidays or celebrations. When I was young we had house guests often. We had family coming to visit from Korea, Europe, the bay area, etc. It was a great excuse to have big parties. My dad would keep a box out for empty cans and bottles to be recycled but would give me the credit saying that I collected them. At a later date he would take me to the recycling collection site outside of our grocery store and I would get “paid.” We’d use my “earnings” each time to buy the ingredients to make mandu. We made them together at the kitchen counter, just my dad and I, all the while I would be getting credit for picking up the tab for our family meal. It was silly but also gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. My mom would even tell me the ones I made tasted the best – it was obvious which ones I made because the filling always made their way out of the wrapper in the broth, just as the one Preston made here did …
Even though our kids are still young, I can’t wait to continue the tradition of making dumplings as a family. I hope it gives them the same confidence in the kitchen and sense of accomplishment in being able to contribute to a family meal.
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