Friday, December 25, 2009
A Christmas Story
One year, maybe 15 years ago or so, Paul and I spent Christmas with my mother and then stepfather. My mother polled each of us to find out what everyone wanted for Christmas dinner. Each of us - including my mother - admitted to wanting something other than turkey (the traditional British Christmas dinner if you aren't going to spring for a goose) because we all really just don't like turkey. So armed with our suggestions, preferences, and dislikes, dear Mama headed down to the High Street to do her Christmas shopping. So, when we all sat down to Christmas dinner, our bellies rumbling in anticipation, what were we presented with? Turkey. Why? Because, in my mother's words, it is tradition. And tradition is apparently more important than what the cook and the dinner guests want.
Well, fast-forward to 2009 and I say "Bah humbug!" to my mother's Christmas tradition. Tonight Paul and I made bings for dinner. From what I've understood in my research on the subject, bing is a Chinese word that can apply to a number of different types of flat bread. If you've ever had moo shu pork, the pancake is a type of bing. Tonight we made a kind of stuffed bing that we are in the habit of devouring at a local restaurant here in town but we wanted to try our hand at making it at home. I searched online for a recipe and found one from chef Ming Tsai that sounded like our restaurant version.
We are devout foodies, but I never meant this to become a food blog. Nevertheless, I took pictures of the process. I was in charge of making and shaping the bing dough and Paul oversaw the meat filling and the cooking portion of the project.
I cannot stress how delicious these were, and what enjoyment we got out of making a restaurant favorite from scratch in our very own kitchen. It beat the tar out of a turkey dinner. However, we are having pumpkin pie for dessert so I guess we aren't completely breaking from tradition. But in my book, pumpkin pie is a good tradition.