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image description: shot of hill overlooking a neighborhood of rooftops and shiny green trees of all varieties. Blue sky with puffy clouds in the distance.

Hi, Petals! I'm happy I joined this pleasant network!

My name is Zach and I'm a zinemaker and codewitch and friend. I used to live in NYC and Olympia, WA, but moved to New Zealand at the start of last year. Here is a nice picture for y'all, from my walk home this evening!!

Admin's New Year Resolutions 2019

Dear my Petalers! Sorry for not saying it sooner: Happy New Year. I super love all of you.

Below is my Petal To Do List. This post is unlocked, so please add ideas etc if you feel moved. Hoping to collaborate on these little bugs to big picture items. (It's mostly bugs)


Petal To Do:

• Solve Petal time, is it a color? is it a countdown from September 9, 2018?

• Fix CSS mobile bugs (think I got some padding issues, sorry)

• Adjust CSS for iOS Safari bookmark to home screen "app" feature

• Style bold text so it bolds

• New comments bump an old post to the top

• Do edits bump an old post to the top? (Not everyone wanted this if I remember correctly...)

• Unlimited likes button ++++?
-- Possibility of likes should be discussed, I know @cvrcak-1 was opposed
-- may be likes are present but not visible to everyone... what if only the author of the post sees the likes that they receive? or what if the number of likes is relative to something that we find more meaningful? i like and dislike the idea of including metrics so may be there's a way to toy with what it means to be "liked"

• Format video embeds so youtubes aren't squished in post view

• Exclude inline images from the top loop

• Teach people how to embed inline images

• Thinking about limiting the main feed to the past month and archive posts appear on profile pages only - thoughts?
-- This would be cool

• Some people were annoyed at having to type in usernames to comment - doesn't bother me, but maybe it can autofill if you're logged in

• Prevent login timeout so you're not having to type in your password all the time

• Order Petal stickers
-- Petal t-shirts down the line?

• Petal NYC meetup :) maybe the Admin will cook??

• Include comments on profile pages?

• Allow users to edit comments?


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Mrs. Nie's Steamed Dumplings

When I was in high school I spent a semester as an exchange student in Beijing. My host mother would make dumplings for dinner at least once a week, and even more often once she realized how much I liked them. This recipe is very close to the formula she used to make her jiaozi, except that I'm too lazy to make my own wrappers. I like to make about 60 of them at once, freezing most and saving out a few to eat right away.

1.5 lbs ground pork, preferably berkshire or other red-meat variety
1 small napa cabbage
12 scallions
3 cloves garlic
2" fresh ginger
2 Tbsp chili oil
60 northern style dumpling wrappers**

Dipping Sauce
3 Tbsp Zhenjiang/Chinkiang vinegar
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine

Large mixing bowl
2 baking half sheets
Parchment paper
Steamer (preferably chinese style bamboo steamer, but anything will work)
1 large bowl of warm water
1 small bowl cold water
Dry cloth or paper towel
Large cutting board

Quarter napa cabbage lengthwise. Working one quarter at a time, shred and finely mince cabbage leaves until you have a pile about the same volume as your pork. Even with a small cabbage, this will probably only be half of the head. Put in mixing bowl and season with salt

Separate white/light green parts of scallions and reserve the greens for another use. Thinly slice whites, then mince finely. Mix with cabbage

Finely grate garlic and ginger and add to mix

Add chili oil to vegetable mix and combine thoroughly

Add pork to mixing bowl, season generously with salt, then mix everything together with your hands. You should squeeze and mush the mixture so that everything is evenly combined and cohesive. Cover bowl and refrigerate

Prepare a station for assembling dumplings. Lay out your cutting board with water bowls and dry cloth in easy reach. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and set alongside your cutting board.

Set one package of dumpling skins and your pork mixture next to the cutting board. Working one at a time, place a wrapper on the board and add approximately 1 Tbsp of filling to center of wrapper, pressing filling into a ball with your fingers. Use warm water bowl to rinse your pork hand, then wet one finger with water from the small cold water bowl. Wet the inside edge of the dumpling wrapper but don't totally saturate it. Dry hand on towel, then fold wrapper over filling, bringing the centers of the two edges together. You can either simply press the edges together firmly until they are sealed all the way around, or use any kind of crimping technique you like to seal the dumplings. Repeat until all filling is used, placing each dumpling on the baking sheet without allowing it to touch any other dumplings. When you've filled one sheet, put it in the freezer and use your second sheet

Start pot of water for steaming on the stove. If using a bamboo steamer, prep steamer with paper liners or cabbage leaves and fill with however many dumplings you want to eat right away. Make sure to leave some space between dumplings, as they will expand and sag during cooking. If using a conventional steamer or steamer basket, coat the inside with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking and add dumplings, leaving plenty of space between them. When water boils, set steamer into pot and cook for approximately 10 minutes

Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl. When dumplings are ready, serve directly from steamer trays or basket, and dip liberally in sauce

When dumplings in freezer are completely frozen, transfer to a sealed bag or tupperware container. Use the same instructions to steam as above

** Northern style wrappers are a bit larger and thicker than southern or shanghai style wrappers. They should be round, and at least 3 1/2" in diameter. Fresh is preferable, but you can use frozen, just make sure to let them thaw all the way before you start wrapping. Depending on how generously you fill your dumplings, you may find that you have wrappers or filling left over. Not much you can really do with the wrappers, but you can stir fry any leftover filling and use it to top rice or noodles.