On Wednesday 10th February Martlet House invited the entire Cranleigh community to join us for a dumpling making webinar live on Zoom in celebration of Chinese New Year. Our three overseas boarders Lily Z., Monica Y. and Fran W. expertly demonstrated how to make pork dumplings from scratch whilst also teaching us about Chinese culture and traditions. Housemistress Mrs Scott and Deputy Housemistress Miss Hall hosted the event (in Year of the Ox masks!) with various staff members also displaying their cooking skills live on Instagram and Twitter. 

In the specially decorated Martlet kitchen, Lily, Monica and Fran guided us through each step of the process from making the filling with pork, cabbage and spring onions, to stretching out the dough and then folding some 40 dumplings together. The dumplings were then placed in boiling water whilst the girls demonstrated how to make two different dipping sauces – one sweet and one spicy! Due to the technical skills of Mr Scott and Mr Futcher, people at home were also able to see an overhead view of the action so that they were able to copy the tricky dumpling folding more closely. 

The girls explained that in China making dumplings together as a family is a traditional activity at New Year and so it was a lovely way to bring Cranleigh families together as lockdown continues. Once the cooking started it was great to hear people’s comments and questions coming in on Zoom; some wondered what the girls missed most about home and which British foods they were most fond of (apple crumble!) and Lily also explained that they were all wearing red as this colour is considered lucky in Chinese culture. 

We were delighted that over 100 households joined us on Zoom with more pupils also following their respective houses live on Twitter and Instagram. It was also particularly special to hear that Monica’s Father was watching live from Beijing despite the time difference! The event concluded with the girls wishing a Happy New Year to the Cranleigh China community who are currently enjoying their school holidays. 

Thank you to Assistant Housemaster Mr Hardy for all his help backstage and for running the Martlet Twitter and Instagram accounts, Mr Scott, Mr Futcher and Mr Butler for their technical expertise, Mrs Lewis for keeping everybody updated and answering questions on the chat and to Fourth Form pupil Alex R and Mr Royall for putting together a fabulous poster to promote the challenge. We would also like to thank everyone who joined us for the webinar and to those who sent in photos and videos of their dumplings!