Monday, June 17, 2013

Learning to Make Dumplings is Not as Easy as I Thought

I placed the leaves in the palm of my hand and carefully arranged it into a triangular shape. I scooped some rice with lotus seeds and pressed it firmly into the leaves. After 15 minutes, I've finally completed my first lotus seed dumpling; I showed my accomplished product to the chef from Si Chuan Dou Hua. His eyebrows furrowed. Well, that clearly wasn't the outcome I was looking for. He disassembled my masterpiece and pointed out where my flaws were, letting me know if I were to boil my carefully-wrapped dumpling for four hours, it may actually disintegrate in the pot. Looks like my dreams to become the next MasterChef are dashed.

“Patience and concentration are key when it comes to learning something new” said Hon Megan, a first year Diploma in Food & Beverage Business student. Her fellow classmates shared the same work ethic and were very focused during the session.

The dumpling-making session was a joint project by Central Singapore Community Development Council (Central Singapore CDC) and Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurants. Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Food & Beverage Business students were volunteers in this event. They were also eager to learn the art of dumpling making from seven Si Chuan Dou Hua chefs at the event.

The dumplings were eventually distributed to 80 needy and elderly households by Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurants, Central Singapore CDC and Thye Hua Kwan Family Service Centre.

Initiated by Project We Care, and supported by National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), the project aims to encourage corporate volunteerism in Singapore, engaging the efforts of private sector CEOs and their employees to contribute towards meaningful causes in the community.

From left: Students Hon Megan, Glen Lim, Denise Xu, and Audrey Teh
For the 31, Year 1 Food & Beverage Business students, this was their first time making rice dumplings but that did not deter them from making a total of 400 pieces in four hours.

"Most youths these days don't know how to make traditional food like rice dumplings and mooncakes. Instead, they buy them from the supermarket," said Ms Linda Loke, Director, Restaurants, Bars and Events, Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurants.

She strongly believes that through such an event, the Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant chain is not only reaching out to the needy, but also helping to impart good values and the art of making traditional food onto the younger generation.

“It’s fun because I get to learn something new, and it’s meaningful because it’s for charity” said Denise Xu, a Food &Beverage Business student, summing up what this event meant for her.

Although I’m not exactly cut out to be a chef, I suppose there’s still hope.

By Pavani Jeyathasan Krishnan, Year 2, Diploma in Accountancy and Finance

When Pavani is not attending lectures or tutorials, you would probably find her browsing through books at the Library.  Other than reading and writing, she also enjoys foreign films and television shows.

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