The Chinese Club of Greater Kansas City welcomed in the Year of the Dog with a home-style dumpling dinner and an assortment of fun activities.
When one walked in the door, it was hard to miss an orange hanging from the ceiling by a string. The gold color of oranges signifies riches in the new year, so it is customary to hang an orange for good fortune in the new year. We also enjoyed some oranges with our meal. It is noteworthy that there was a decorative orange on the table with the stem still attached, many thanks to our president Catherine, who managed to find one at the grocery store against all odds.
The evening started out by learning from the best authorities on how to assemble dumplings. We were shown how to take a dumpling wrapper and place just the right amount of prepared pork and vegetable filling inside, wet the edges with water, and seal it shut in an elegant fashion so as to avoid the dumpling coming unsealed while being steamed.
We then ate a delicious meal. Traditional dishes were prepared by Hunan Garden, a restaurant located in Gladstone, MO. Some dishes included shrimp, chicken, beef, Chinese mushrooms, and baby bokchoy. There was also a delightful spread of desserts and hot beverages available.
Everyone had a chance to participate in a few activities. We discussed some popular New Year’s traditions in different households. We played a round of Guess What That Object Is And It’s Yours, where a bamboo stick was passed around and everyone guessed what it was used for. Turns out it was a tea leaf separator! So some lucky winners got to take it home. We also had the opportunity to make our own good fortune signs to hang up at home to welcome in the new year. Some folks got very creative with Sharpies. For the less Chinese-literate folks, there were outlines available to color in. Fun was had by all.