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Delicious Dumplings!

Fei and Jerry plan to make "jiaozi" for the upcoming Spring Festival.

Fei and Jerry plan to make jiaozi for the upcoming Spring Festival. Fei: People all over China eat jiaozi during the Spring Festival. Would you like to help me make some this year?

Jerry: You know, Fei, in the whole world, I just might be the very worst cook. Do you think you can really teach me how?

Fei: Sure, it's easy. Even a kid can do it.

Jerry: Unfortunately, I'm not a kid anymore! But I'll do my best anyway. What do we have to do?

Fei: First, we have to prepare the inside.

Jerry: You mean the "filling".

Fei: Right, we have to prepare the filling. We need to cut up some vegetables and mix them with meat. You should cut the vegetables into very tiny pieces. Cut them over and over with a quick up and down motion, like this. (Fei makes fast movements with her hand to show Jerry how to do it.)

Jerry: Oh, I see, we have to "chop" them up.

Fei: Right, you should chop the vegetables, but be careful not to chop your fingers!

Jerry: Well, I don't know, maybe chopping my fingers wouldn't be so bad. My fingers would add a little protein to the jiaozi!

Fei: No, we're going to use other kinds of meat. Anyway, your fingers aren't healthy. They're too fat! Besides, you might need your fingers for other things.

Jerry: I have ten fingers, I don't need all of them.

Fei: Stop kidding Jerry. Just remember Rule Number One, "No Fingers!".

Jerry: Okay, Rule Number One: No Fingers. So, what kind of meat will we use?

Fei: Let's use pork, It's the most popular meat used in jiaozi. We can buy it at the supermarket, already cut up, like hamburger.

Jerry: If they grind it at the supermarket for us, we can call it ground pork.

Fei: Right, it's called ground pork in English. When we have the filling all prepared, we then have to make the shells. We will make some dough with flour and water and then flatten it into little pieces.

Jerry: I see, we'll roll them out. Do you have a rolling pin?

Fei: Of course I have a rolling pin, it's very useful. Not only can we make nice, smooth jiaozi shells, I can also hit you with it if you don't make the jiaozi right!

Jerry: Okay, Fei, I'll do whatever you say!

Fei: (points the rolling pin at Jerry) No fingers!

Jerry: Right, no fingers.

Fei: The last part may be the hardest for foreigners. You have to roll the dough into thin pieces, then put the filling inside and fold them up.

Jerry: That doesn't sound so difficult.

Fei: It's not difficult... for Chinese people! Or kids! When I was a kid, my classmates and I used to fold little figures out of paper. We sometimes made little birds or frogs. Did you ever do that when you were a child?

Jerry: Hmmm, when I was a kid, we just made paper airplanes at school. When the teacher wasn't looking, we'd throw them out the window to see whose would go the farthest!

Fei: Well, try to fold a jiaozi just like a paper airplane - be very careful, and do it the same way each time.

Jerry: Then when I'm done, the jiaozi will fly... right into my mouth! Mmmmmm!

Fei: Maybe they should fly into a pot of boiling water first, don't you agree?

Jerry: Oh, yeah, I forgot. We really should cook them! Now I can't wait to eat some delicious jiaozi!

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