The Thom family is well-known for its Chinese dumplings. Of course, we’re Chinese, so we just call them dumplings. We’ve honed the process of mixing, wrapping and cooking these little treats into a well-oiled “Dumpling Machine.” And by well-oiled, I mean cooked in delicious peanut oil. I am The Fry Guy, an essential cog in The Machine, so I know of that which I speak.

About five years ago, we decided to bring the Dumpling Machine on the road, and took it to Pickering for an extended family gathering. There was no turning back. The Thoms are now expected to produce The Dumpling Machine at every family event. Family members line up at the frying pan to get their share of the pockets of goodness when they’re fresh and hot.

This Christmas was no different from any other. We loaded the Dumpling Machine into the car, and set it up in Pickering. I managed to catch a snapshots of The Dumpling Machine as it began operation, before my skills as Fry Guy were set in motion. Here, you can see my Dad and sister Jadine hard at work in the initial stages of dumpling production. Family members circle like vultures, waiting for the magic to unfold.

As a side note, The Dumpling Machine was almost smashed en route to Pickering. A large cargo van ran a red light and nearly mashed our car. We would have surely seen the deployment of side impact air bags and liability insurance policies had Dad not noticed in time that the van was not stopping for the light. It made me wonder if I would have noticed if I was driving. Tonight I caught myself automatically looking down every side street as I drove home, and both ways before I proceeded into any intersection. I guess it’s become such a habit that I don’t even know that I do it. I wonder what other things we do without realizing?