I just started reading “A Free Life” by Ha Jin and was struck by this paragraph. The main characters Nan and Pingping have Nan’s friend Danning, who is a link to Nan’s literary aspirations, over for dinner.
Dinner was simple: eggplant stuffed with minced pork, a salad of assorted vegetables, preserved eggs, braised shrimp, and dumplings filled with beef and napa cabbage.
My wife and I were quite pleased with our first few successful preparations of pork pot stickers, (a rough equivalent of the last dish only) but it took work. Making all of those other dishes wouldn’t be simple to me!