Diary from China – Sunday afternoon, August 7, 2005
Excerpted from Diary from China: Yesterday we went to Master Sun's home in the morning and he and Stephan worked on the book while his wife Chow Jew and I [made] dumplings from scratch (well, all of this of course, was really Chow Jew doing it, with me just helping a little). She does everything with the simplest tools – she stir fries the finely chopped tofu with two chopsticks held just so (she taught me how to open and close them to get the best effect), and stirs the larger things with 4 chopsticks held flat like a tight fan. The rolling pin looks like mine when the handles fell off years ago – a simple heavy wooden rod – and she does magic with it, rolling out perfect circles of dough. The result (vegetarian, natch!) was delicious – dumplings boiled for our lunch, and then fried later for dinner.
[Above] Chow Jew makes the dough for the dumplings and we prepare the scallions.
[Left] Using chopsticks, Chow Jew stirs the ingredients for stuffing the dumplings.
[Below] We stuff the dumplings.
Enjoying the fruits of our labor!
Excerpted from the Diary from China: What an experience [the laundry was]! They have a washing machine with two parts – on the left is a small cylinder that fills with water, you add the detergent, and it agitates the clothes for whatever length of time that you set. You take out those clothes without draining the water and add the next batch, let it agitate those clothes and so on, putting the darkest clothes in last. Meanwhile, as you pull the cleaned, soapy clothes out, you go into the bathroom (about 4 feet wide and 8 feet deep with an oblong ceramic hole set in concrete – the floor of the entire apartment is concrete, as is the floor of most homes we've visited --- plus a shower head above and a spigot on the back wall) and put a stool with a basin under the spigot and straddle the hole while you rinse the clothes thoroughly. You then take the rinsed clothes back to the washing machine and put them into the smaller cylinder on the right. That cylinder spins the clothes to wring out the water. And then you take the washed, rinsed, and spun clothes out to the back porch (8 feet deep and about 15 feet wide) which doubles as a guest bedroom (where their son fell asleep last night when Stephan and Master Sun worked on the book in the living room which doubles as his bedroom) and hang them on coat hangers along the rope strung over the bed.
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