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I talk a lot about how talented my grandma’s hands are. Even at her age she did some intense embroidery and erhu plucking just a few years back. But now with her muscle dystrophy there’s not much she can do, aside from sitting around and chatting. Sometimes I mourn the fact I didn’t inherit her hands, and seemingly neither did her kids (my dad and my aunt). But then every once in a while I’ll notice things and I’d be really glad.
My aunt loves making these little pastries after our New Years Eve dinner. They’re filled with red bean paste and carries a really light, breezy flavor. I don’t know the names of these in either English or Cantonese. Little me has always called them ‘fat ducks’ because that’s what they looked like (is it bad I used to try and eat their heads first?)
I never got the hang of making them. The need a really delicate but firm grasp to get the even amount of skin around each dollop of sweet paste. I always end up putting a hole through the skin, miniscule as some of them were. So I really admire my aunt, whose always perfected each one with such a casual air.

I saw this couple last night in Bryant Park and asked them if I could snap their photo. After showing them the results, I sat down for a chat. The first leaves were shaking themselves off the trees in the strong breeze and I asked what the occasion for their picturesque picnic was figuring an anniversary or birthday. The man put his cards down and smiled at me saying, “I have been married to the best girl in the world for 30 years, I am doing my best to make sure she knows that.”
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