Chapter Thirty-Three - Solstice Approaches

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The palace grounds were blanketed in thick snow. Fire burned in every hearth, every metal heater – and ladies huddled beside the fire, chilled to the bone.

The solstice approached like a snow leopard.

Kitchen staff had begun preparing for the solstice feast, mincing preserved meat and taking out the vegetables they had stored very carefully in the underground cellars. They also made the dumpling skins, rolling the dough flat and thin as paper. Some of the dumplings would be boiled, some steamed and some deep fried. Many of the ladies were comforted with hot dumpling soup.

Meanwhile, the hunt continued. A silver dragon sought justice.

~*~

Dumpling Soup

Minced chicken meat (or pork, if you like).

Chopped chives.

30 wanton skins.

Salt.

Pepper.

Spring onions.

Chicken stock/broth.

Fried shallots.

Method

1. Mix the minced meat and chopped chives together. Salt and pepper for taste. Do so until the meat and chives are thoroughly mixed.

2. Using a teaspoon, scoop a dollop of the minced meat and place it in the center of the wanton skin. Dap the edges with water, making sure the edges are well-sealed.

3. When the dumplings are done, place them in boiling water. Wait until they float so that you can scoop them up quickly.

4. Also boil the chicken stock/broth and throw in the spring onions.

5. Scoop the broth into serving bowls and place about four dumplings in each bowl.

6. Sprinkle the fried shallots as garnish, and serve immediately.

Note: If you like a bit of seafood, mix in shrimp/prawn into your meat and chive mix/paste.


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