Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Countdown to the Year of the Sheep...

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve!  I am neither Chinese, nor particularly superstitious, but I do love a reason to celebrate.  Even a minor celebration, as today has been.  I admit, I was not aware today is Chinese New Year's Eve until I read this post from "i am a food blog".  I just stumbled across this blog last night, and what timing!  It was some unholy, wee hour of the morning and I was battling insomnia when I came across it, and found myself totally intrigued.  I mean, seriously... look at that recipe and tell me you're not salivating!

I decided Hubby and I were going to make the beef wontons and sauce today.  We had to run out to the store and get a few things to make it, then hurried home to get to work.  This was my first time trying to make wontons/dumplings, or anything using a wonton wrapper.  I set to work, and at first things were coming along nicely.

It is somewhat a time consuming process, but it was working better than I expected.  I often don't have luck with things that involve artistry, even if the artistry was only folding up the wontons.  Things seemed to be going just as they should, and I got all of them made and ready to boil.  In the water they went.

Initially, things were looking okay... but I think this is where I went astray.  I read the directions for how long to boil the wontons, but I suppose I took it as a suggestion, and that was my mistake I believe.  I was also trying to boil noodles {noodles and dumplings are good luck foods on Chinese New Years}, and figured I'd just let the wontons continue to boil until the noodles were closer to ready.  I probably let them boil an extra 3 minutes, and when I went to drain them... they were totally mush and completely fell apart.  Now, as I said, *I* did not properly follow the directions, and if I had, this probably would not have happened.  {Unless anyone else has any suggestions about why it may have gone wrong?}

They were completely inedible, though the bites of meat I sampled were good.  The wontons were a total loss, and we ended up just pitching the whole thing.  However, the Spicy Chili Oil {part of the larger recipe}  was amazing.  I imagine I may have bastardized it a bit, because I didn't use the ground szechuan peppercorns.  I didn't have any, and also, I am a wuss about spicy things.  I did put the red pepper in it, which gave it as much spice as I could handle.  So I tossed the noodles with the sauce.

I was disappointed that the wontons didn't work, but I'm pretty sure I know where I went wrong, and I'll be sure to try again.  But even if I never master making wontons, just getting the recipe for that sauce was worth all the effort.  A million and one thanks to Steph at "i am a food blog" for sharing this recipe.

I also learned that it is apparently good luck to clean just before Chinese New Years.  So I did a little cleaning and rearranging in the kitchen earlier, and the fridge is gonna be getting a good cleaning later.  Hubby is napping now, but promised to help me when he wakes up.  All chores automatically suck less when someone helps you with them, or at least keeps you company while you do them.  I'm not looking forward to the actual act of cleaning the fridge, but I AM looking forward to having a clean and organized fridge.  And if some Chinese New Years Eve cleaning can bring a little luck for the coming year, so much the better!

Today is not only Chinese New Years Eve, though.  It is also National Drink Wine Day.  I really only pay attention to "National _______ Day" when it gives me the excuse to do something I'd want to do anyway.  And drinking wine is one of those things.  So after the fridge is clean and the chores are done, Hubby and I will settle down with some wine and relax until we're ready for bed.  Which will hopefully be sometime before sunrise.

Wishing everyone a great start to the Year of the Sheep!

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