Hilda Desenberg invited us to meet at the clubhouse at Covered Bridge Estates in Ellenton. She was a delightful hostess!
As guests arrived, they were greeted by Archie, chapter president, and Hilda, hostess. Many were decked out in beautiful Chinese outfits. We had time to chat and get to know one another better.
Duane picked up our lunch from King's Wok and brought it to the clubhouse. We all highly recommend this Chinese restaurant next to KMart across from the Ellenton Outlet Mall. We enjoyed our food, talked and laughed. Instructions for the upcoming auction were given; everyone was given a preview of the items to be auctioned.
It is traditional to have jaiozi for Chinese New Year. Hilda had prepared all the ingredients beforehand to teach us how to make delicious Pork Jaiozi (dumplings). She even printed out the recipe with added tips. Chinese cooking is labor intensive. She had gone to much trouble to marinate the pork and to chop all the vegetables ahead of time. THANKS, HILDA!
Once Hilda had lead us through the recipe adding many ingredients to the marinated pork, we took a break while we had an auction. Everyone was given LOTS of joss money in red envelopes--100,000 in Heaven money and TEN MILLION in Hell money. Items brought by members were looked over by the participants and then the bidding wars started.
Grace served as the auctioneer and had much fun doing so. The wars began! In the middle of the auction, a pack of million dollar Hell money was auctioned off. Our chapter members need some lessons in finance perhaps. Over 20 million dollars in Hell money was purchased by Duane for ten million and he could have had it for ten thousand in Heaven money. From that point he had LOTS of money to enhance his bidding. Although he was kind to the others and did not outbid everyone on every upcoming item, he did announce that the bank was open and loans could be made at only 1000%. LOL
Everyone won at least one item and back we went back to making dumplings.
Hilda led us in shaping the dough and stuffing it with her tasty filling. Here is Pat in her beautiful dragon dress, earrings, and necklace following Hilda's instructions.
Hilda added our creations to boiling water and patiently added 1/2 cup cold water THREE TIMES and awaited a return to boiling each time.
We each sampled our creations and approved our efforts. At this point Hilda admitted she had never before made dumplings. We had all believed her to be an EXPERT!
A collection was taken up and offered to Hilda to defray the cost of her ingredients. She declined and gave us the money for our chapter treasury. Thanks again, Hilda!
Archie had prepared a brief presentation about various Chinese holidays. Time was running short so he opted to send this out to the members via email.
Everyone pitched in to take down decorations, return the table and chairs to storage, and generally return the clubhouse to its original state. How easy clean-up is when everyone helps! Thanks!
President Archie announced that next month's meeting will be hosted at The Alinari by Jill and Duane. We all hope you will be well by then, Jill. We missed you.
NOTE: We missed those of you who were unable to attend. Be sure to mark the third Sunday through May and save those dates for USCPFA.