I probably should have included instructions with the cookies I sent to school with Vivian to celebrate Valentine's Day:
- Open the baggie
- Use both hands to break open the fortune cookie.
- Retrieve and read the fortune.
- Eat the cookie.
Like fortune cookies, Valentine's Day is a holiday of the western world that is mostly a non-event in China, although the more commercial trappings of the day have been showing up in the shops for a couple of years. Among expats, Americans are one of the few nationalities that really even bother with Valentine's Day, which makes it a fun opportunity to share a little of our unique American culture with Vivian's classmates. You see, she is the only American among 15 classmates, so she's in a truly international environment.
I made a big batch of fortune cookies yesterday using this recipe and I can report that the recipe is great, the cookies came out thin and crispy, and the omission of butter from the recipe means that there are no greasy spots on the paper fortunes tucked inside. I doubled the recipe, which I definitely recommend for first-timers, because learning the folding technique takes some trial and error. Plus you need to taste-test a few along the way...
Hopefully today Vivian's American teacher will explain to the class the interesting phenomenon of the fortune cookie, the "Chinese" tradition that most Chinese (including my beloved housekeeper) have never even heard of, and how fortune cookies really have nothing to do with Valentine's Day.