Tuesday was a research day. Jon and I walked down to the Berkeley Public Library, where I plopped down in the cookbook section and scoured the shelves for mentions of dumplings. Though briefly distracted by Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, I determined she had no ye olde recipes for meat stuffs in dough, and confined myself only to those books most likely to help me in my quest. Emerging onto the hot, mime-with-accordion-filled street with three promising tomes, I was ready to kick-off this project with by sampling some professional fare.
Why, then, would I choose to drag Jon into the poorly named and dimly lit King Dong Restaurant? It had the look of death about it, as did the woman sitting behind me, but I was starving from the walk and reading about dumplings, and it was hot, and I just wanted to be sitting in front of a steaming plate of potstickers.
Steaming they were. To King Dong's credit, the potstickers came out straight from the pan. A very greasy pan, it would seem, from the oil that clung to the thick, doughy exterior. This was all wrong. These so-called potstickers consisted of a small, dense lump of flavorless meat (pork?) surrounded by miles of gummy starch. In Jon's eyes, I could see the fear that I would be pressing similar packets of gastro-intestinal distress on him on a near-daily basis. At least, I reassured myself, my home attempts at dumplings could certainly get no worse than this.