Lucy Ash writes in her excellent cookbook A Taste of Astrology that the foods of this jovial sign are "sweet, fragrant, spicy and strong" and include cloves, asparagus, figs, mushrooms, sage, chestnuts, game, pears, tropical fruits, and curries.
Chilled by newly sharpened December winds, we recently went in search of dumpling comfort at Sichuan Village in Chantilly, VA. Near Dulles International Airport, it is often filled with hungry groups of Chinese tourists just touched down in the D.C. area.
On this visit, there were delicate crystal shrimp dumplings with pretty crimped edges, puffy, tender green vegetable buns, ginger-chicken half-moons, and a selection of excellent pickles. Here are crisp zig-zag cut cucumber pickles drenched in red pepper oil:
Crystal shrimp dumplings:
Salt and pepper squid: