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Make Way for Dumplings

I went to college in my hometown, at the University of Virginia—a school famous for its party scene, its pretty buildings, and its founder, Thomas Jefferson (in that order).

I was an average kid when it came to parties: I didn’t spend Friday nights swinging from chandeliers, but I didn’t exactly knit afghans in my dorm room, either.  I went out.  I went to fraternity parties to drink cheap beer from a keg and dance my butt off.  I flirted with boys (very poorly, I might add, and with little success).  And I engaged in the age-old custom of going in search of fried food at 3 in the morning.

There were (and still are) a couple of grimy 24-hour joints near campus.  One of them serves burgers with cheese and a fried egg on top.  Another slings delicious sandwiches like “The Wild Turkey” (a pile of turkey with fried bacon, melted meunster and herb mayo) all night long.  A relative newcomer, Marco & Luca, serves dumplings to order.

It’s the dumplings I want to talk about.  They’re browned and crunchy on the outside, and steamy and tender on the inside.  They come in a pool of thick, dark sauce that surpasses human description.  Biting into one of them has a tonic effect, like the smelling salts and beach trips in a Jane Austen novel.

If you’re ever in Charlottesville, Virginia, you should try them.  In the meantime, you can watch this one-minute movie about my attempt to make them at home.  Mine were fine, but nothing like the originals.  The originals–alas!–can only be found in Charlottesville, and in the saddlebags of unicorns, and in pots of gold somewhere over the rainbow.


yawnI hope (y-a-a-a-a-wn) that your weekend is a restful one!

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Awww. I want dancing dumplings.

    August 23, 2013
  2. Margaret B #

    Your dumplings aren’t the same because you didn’t sprinkle them with crack. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret ingredient.

    August 23, 2013
  3. Mmm, these dumplings sound so good! What a great midnight snack. So are you all settled into your new place? Thunder looks really happy, wherever she is.

    August 23, 2013
  4. They look/sound amazing )

    August 23, 2013
  5. Heather B #

    Those dumplings are truly an other worldly experience. If you ever get anywhere close to a copy cat recipe (especially the sauce) please share it!

    Why must I live so far from Charlottesville?

    August 23, 2013
  6. This post is too cute! Also, watching your video gave me the courage to try making dumplings – it looks very similar to the process for empanadas, and I know I can do those. My husband and I used to get the frozen dumplings from Trader Joe’s, but I’ve been missing them here in Buenos Aires where TJ’s sadly is not.

    August 23, 2013
  7. Dumplings are on demand in my home but from the freezer ;). Need to try making at home:).
    It was fun to watch your video.

    August 23, 2013
  8. Awww… cute pup face! Love your recipe, love the look of your dumplings.. and am drooling after watching you eat them in your video! Great tune as well! xx

    August 23, 2013
  9. Wonderful! All of it!

    August 23, 2013
  10. I can’t watch videos out here in the country with a signal as fast as a postman, I will just have to go to charlottesville or maybe harness me a unicorn! have a lovely weekend too! c

    August 23, 2013
  11. sue ellen #

    so…who is dancing with the dumplings outside the kitchen window?? (tee hee) Scott perhaps?
    And yes…I would ‘love’ to taste one of those with sauce…oh, make that two please.
    Thank you ~~~you always make me smile!!

    August 23, 2013
  12. You guys are disgustingly talented. As a result I will have to Love-Hate you from now on.

    August 24, 2013
    • i’m totally with you on this. i have the same exact feelings of love and utter revulsion at your talent. envy? of course, there’s envy also.

      August 28, 2013
  13. mdog32 #

    🙂 I love the video!!! Especially the opening, how’d you do that? It looks like magic. ~Gina

    August 24, 2013
  14. mdog32 #

    I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a WordPress Family blog award. I look forward to reading your blog and check out my latest post to see why. Congrats! ~Gina

    August 24, 2013
  15. jenny_o #

    Thunder looks more like she’s enjoying a good laugh than yawning 🙂 She must have watched the beginning of your video … that was my reaction to it, anyway!

    What’s in your dumplings? Or can you put whatever you want in there? They look really delicious.

    August 25, 2013
  16. “Biting into one of them has a tonic effect, like the smelling salts and beach trips in a Jane Austen novel.” So great. I wish I were strong enough to make dumplings!! I crave them on a daily basis but am a laaaaaazy lioness in the kitchen (sadly). Thank you for tackling this, for America!

    August 26, 2013
  17. dumplings? one of the best foods ever created.
    your video? same. except not a food, but rather one of the best VIDEOS every created.

    August 28, 2013
  18. yummy dumplings! I better try this one!

    August 28, 2013
  19. see now I am hungry but being so lazy I will go to my local dim sum place and let them bring the dumplings to me LOL

    August 28, 2013
  20. Kate #

    The video is amazing. Love.

    August 29, 2013
  21. Oh. I thought Thunder was laughing at your dumplings. Sigh. I’m way too cynical.
    BTW, WordPress *finally* fixed whatever was keeping me from getting post notifications about the blogs I love, so I have lots of catching up to do.

    September 14, 2013

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