Wontons and Nostalgia

All week I’ve been feeling nostalgic and reflective. There isn’t any one reason, but maybe several: my daughter is fast becoming a teenager; many readers have been emailing me about Both Sides Now, sharing their own stories of loss and love and living; I’ve finally completed my children’s book The Sky Is Everywhere (and with that accomplishment there is always a letting go and period of uncertainty); and yes, it’s coming up on my first wedding anniversary.

With all these feelings swirling in my head and heart, I decided to make wontons. Baking bread is always healing, and yet I wasn’t in the mood for a mess of flour. Still, I needed to make something with my hands, something complete and whole. Nothing too ambitious mind you, just one tray of wontons to accompany tonight’s dinner. Just because…







I had no recipe. I just dug through my refrigerator and freezer and selected spicy chicken sausage, a green bell pepper, scallions, fresh ginger and garlic. Easy and aromatic.

A meditative half hour ensued with me sautéing the ingredients and then lightly pressing a half-teaspoon-size portion onto each wonton skin. One by one I filled, shaped, and pressed each wonton with water to make a seal. Random thoughts came to me as I did so, like the time our friend in Manhattan, a chef, demonstrated the art of making homemade ravioli. This was pre-kids, so together we spent a delicious afternoon rolling dough, sautéing meat and pinching raviolis. I remember how fine they tasted. I remember the laughter that filled the kitchen.

Just like that I am back in time. And yet here I stand in my kitchen of today with a new family in a different home, different state, altogether different life.

Here is my recipe for Spicy Chicken Sausage Wontons

Wonton Skins
2 spicy chicken sausages, casings removed
1/2 green bell pepper
3 scallions
3/4 tsp. fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic
Soy Sauce with ginger and scallion for the dipping sauce

I was curious about how best to cook the wontons. I don’t have a fryer but I put half the batch in roughly 1/4″ oil. I cooked them three minutes on each side before placing them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.







The other half of the wontons I steamed.








Both were delicious in their own right. As they ought to be.