The September sun up in the sky might be fading its strength. But, like the golden splash in my garden, it is a good time for cooking for your loved ones or brightening someone else’s life.
I recently talked to Lindsay Christians, a reporter at The Capital Times, about cooking Tibetan food to benefit Literacy Network. Below is our communication.
My involvement with Literacy Network
I have been involved for about 8 years in two ways: as a tutee many years ago, and recently as a speaker for Literacy Network sharing my success story.
More than a decade ago, I sought help with Literacy Network for a tutor. They soon matched me with Martin A. Brown. Martin helped with my English for five years. He and I met twice a week for the first 3 years, and at least once a week for the last 2 years. And Martin was an enormous support while earning my degree in visual communication and completing a Web design program. Martin was more than a tutor; he became my best friend.
Today, I am a user experience (UX) design consultant, and I champion literacy.
Reasons I participated in Literacy Kitchen
There are two primary reasons. As an individual who enjoys cooking fresh meals every day, and blogging about Tibetan culture through food and stories, it only made sense that I share an authentic dish or two from my homeland. Secondly, cooking a Tibetan meal was my small way to give back to the community and to celebrate Tibetan culture at the same time.
Why Tibetan dumplings (and about momos)
I chose dumplings because they are food for the rich and poor—nomads, farmers, and monastics, as well as city dwellers.
Tibetan momos are usually savory or sweet. The sweet version is almost always served during celebrations.
Savory dumplings were historically a mainstay during Losar (Tibetan New Year), spiritual rituals, weddings, and all other traditional festivals. Nowadays, dumplings are part of the weekly meal rotation for most Tibetan families.
Nomadic families usually enjoy the heavier meat-based variety, while farmers combine meat and in-season vegetables from their crops.
To this day, dumplings remain a comforting treat, an artful tradition.
Ingredients and spices used in dumplings
Yak or mutton of Tibetan sheep is the meat of choice, adding a dose of scallions and seasoning with Yerma and sea salt. But I used beef instead. And of course, wheat flour dough for making the wrappers.
How they’re served
I served the juicy dumplings with Amdo milk tea and chili-garlic sauce.
About Tibetan milk tea
In Tibetan society, milk tea is a daily etiquette. It means a meal, conversation, and symbol of comfort. It is a drink that we enjoy all day long.
When I think of moments enjoying tea in my childhood home, I think of the image of my family and guests lingering around a fire and chatting away after a soul-warming meal.
Here is Lindsay’s article: Dumplings Help Tell the Story at Literacy Kitchen Events
Thanks for the background on how this got started. We will look for more events at the Literacy Center. Great idea! Hope you do momos again. My husband ate them a long time ago when a Tibetian student was in his grad school program. He said they were deliciuos. I want to try them too! Wish we had been in town for the first one.
Thank you, Kate, I’m glad your husband had a taste of Tibetan way of dumplings. I will definitely let you know when I make them again.
Hi Jolma! Love this post and the combined tenderness and strength of your achievements, along with the sentiments and bonds of friendship toward your tutor. You’ve inspired a beautiful cause in a delicious and unique way! See you soon.
It’s so sweet of you, Peggy. Literacy is important to me, and I try to make contributions in my small way.