Jeanne Lee

Sometimes it takes a season of slowing down, stopping, and stalling to be able to start something new. Our family experienced that during COVID-19 and the pandemic shutdown of 2020. School went remote, work went remote, and our parents’ business of 30 years closed their doors. In the middle of not being able to go anywhere or do as much, we gathered and drew in closer to one another. Our family of three generations bonded more than we ever had time to before and we communed over meals and activities at home. We made all our comfort foods, including the traditional foods that typically take many hands to prepare and that only Grandpa Lee has memorized recipes for. We especially loved making dumplings - a dish and an activity that everyone could participate in. Grandpa Lee hand rolled the dough and prepared the filling. We then all pitched in to fill and pleat. We would fry up as many as we could eat and freeze the rest to enjoy another time. Dumplings were always the best family meal because they were bundles of treasured moments together in the kitchen.

Two Little Dumplings is deeply personal. Food at its essence is to be life-giving. Food has always been one of our family’s primary love languages. When someone in our home or community was in need, hurting, healing, or celebrating - we brought food. We’ve been encouraged by customers who buy our dumplings for themselves but also for friends and family who are going through major life events. It has also given us a way to reinvent ourselves. As first generation immigrants, we have always felt a tension of not being American enough nor Asian enough. Food has given us a way to show our children how they can embrace their dual identities and fuse them into one.

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