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On Friday after work, my bff Scott and I went to our second Chinese cultural class. For the first one, we learned how to navigate the local wet market. For the class we just had, we asked our instructor if she could show us how to make dumplings. We supplied the ingredients, and she explained the procedure. It's quite easy, the ingredients can all be bought right at the wet market, and the folding part is kind of relaxing once you get the hang of it.
To make them, we just chopped up two heads of cabbage, added 1 jin of pork, a bit of ginger, and two eggs. A jin is a Chinese unit of measurement, which is about .5 kilograms. We mixed it all together, and then just put in a spoonful into the pre-made dumpling shells that we bought at the wet market. It only cost us around $2 USD for 70 fresh dumpling "skins." Scott also commented on how inexpensive the fresh ginger was, since in the States it's not so cheap.
We were shown how to pinch the dumplings in the middle and then fold them three times on each side. The first dumplings we made weren't the best looking, but at least they tasted good! You just have to be sure to seal them all the way around so they don't explode when you cook them.
After filling the dumplings, we boiled some and also fried some up. Personally, I like them fried in coconut oil. For the sauce, we put in light and dark soy sauce (a 2:1 ratio.) Vinegar is also a popular dipping sauce for dumplings here.
Scott and I both had a good time just chatting with our instructor. It was interesting to us to get a glimpse inside a local home and now we can easily re-create the dumplings ourselves. We finally know how to cook a Chinese meal!
On Saturday, Scott and I had plans to explore Qibao, which is an ancient water township in Shanghai. By ancient, I mean that it is more than 1,000 years old, as it was built when the Song Dynasty was in power. To get there, we simply took line 9 on the subway and got off at Qibao and then took exit 2. From the subway station, it was clear where we should go to get to the old town since there is a massive sign. After a short walk, we made it to the center of Qibao where we admired the bridges, the houses, and just walked around and took in the sights. There are some touristy streets full of all sorts of shops selling popular souvenirs for the area.
We did a lot of people watching, and it seemed like everyone was eating which made Scott and I want to order a snack of our own. We opted for candied fruit on a stick, which are called tanghulu. Scott's strawberries were delicious, and I took a chance and ordered...well, to be honest, I have no idea what kind of fruit I was eating. We still don't know, so if you happen to be reading this and DO know, feel free to enlighten us. I will say that it was full of seeds.
Qibao has a temple, a place to watch crickets fight, and a place to view shadow plays. If you're in Shanghai and have some spare time, I think it's worth a visit.
After Qibao, Scott and I went into the mall by the Qibao subway station so that Scott could look for some boots. He wasn't successful, and then we ordered subs at Subway to go and brought them with us on the subway back home--the irony! Since our feet hurt from walking around all day, I suggested that we go and get foot massages, which was a good call. We paid for an hour, but somehow got an extra 15 minutes because our masseuses kept talking to each other and didn't seem to care that they were going over our time, which of course we were totally fine with.
When I got back to my apartment, I was excited because I signed up for an ayi (cleaning lady) for the first time since I arrived. It's 30 RMB an hour, but I left her 50 RMB because I wanted her to clean my shower. I even put the cleaning supplies IN the shower, but she didn't clean it... In fact, she didn't clean much of anything! She didn't touch my bathroom, make my bed, or do any laundry. Scott said, "So basically you paid the ayi to wash 2 dishes and take out your trash!" He thinks I should complain about her, and I am tempted, but then at the same time I kind of feel bad. I mean, I'm only really out $8, but she still should have done more than what she did. I probably will not report it but just stick to cleaning my own place or ask around for better ones.
On Sunday, I went over to a friend's for an Easter buffet that she had prepared for a group of us. She went all out--it was sweet! Then, she even hid Easter eggs for us and we had a short Easter egg hunt. Scott wondered what was wrong with me because I turned competitive all of a sudden, but Lauren still beat me by one egg which she was all smiley about.
For the rest of the day, I just did some errands and cleaned my place since we know the ayi didn't!
How was your weekend? Link up with us below if you can!