Monday, January 30, 2006

Xin Nien Quai Le!

Part of the dishes served at the CNY Eve reunion dinner with our extended family. On the menu:

Jew Hoo Char - my all time favourite Chinese New Year soul food. This was one of the dishes which I have learnt to cook from memory of the taste of the food. To me, Chinese New Year reunion dinner is not complete without this dish. Jew Hoo Char is jacima/yambean fried with cuttle fish strips and pork. "Jew Hoo" is cuttlefish in Hokkien and it sounds like "abundance". Jew Hoo Char is eaten wrapped in lettuce or "saang choy". Alive with abundance!

Tau Yew Bak - stewed pork in soy sauces (dark and light). To have lots of meat for reunion dinner means abundance too. This dish is a favourite with our guests. This year, I made Tau Yew Bak with 3kg of pork!

Emperor Chicken - Chicken wrapped in herbal mixture steamed on low fire for 2.5 hours. More meat, more abundance!

Hoe See Fatt Choy - oyster with mushroom and hair fungus to symbolise good things and prosperity.

Sambal Prawn - I'd done away with buying king sized prawns which cost too much during the CNY period. I'd prepared the sambal prawns with medium sized prawns. More laughter throughout the year please!

Sir fried beans with shrimp and fresh mushroom - more laughter and more colour

Dessert was Kuih Bakul (nien gao) which was steamed and then rolled in grated coconut. "Nien gao" sounds like growth every year, for promotion and improvement every year!

We started with Happy Hour from 4pm. We sat and chatted and drank and ate and chatted while the children had fun playing with each other. Laura and Caityin decided they were "rock stars" who didn't like boys so they didn't want to include Adam in their games. I told Laura that female rock stars normally like boys but Laura replied, "Not Caityin and me. We're special rock stars who do not like boys". The rock stars eventually had to include Adam in their games 'coz their parents said so.

Laura with her best friend, Caityin. Laura was so anxious to put on her new PJs, she didn't wait until after dinner! The children had lots of treats on the eve.

Some of the dishes were already prepared the day before. The ingredients were all ready and I just had to get into the kitchen to prepare the final few dishes. Our helper has been with us for so long, she knew what needed to be done. Finally, everyone had arrived and dinner was served!

Part of our extended family who came for the reunion dinner.

There was lots of laughter and good company. Of course a reunion dinner is not complete without some card games. There was more laughter whenever someone won. The party finally ended at 5.30am!

On the first day of New Year, our children put on their new clothes although they weren't sure if they were going anywhere. When Papa and Mama finally woke up, they got their ang pow.

Laura and Adam receiving Ang Pow from Papa

In the afternoon, we went to visit my Jee Kor (2nd aunt on my father's side) who was in my cousin's place. Her children and grandchildren have gathered at her youngest son's house. Laura and Adam were pleased to have so many children to play with. My cousins' children were all tired as they also slept past 1am on the eve. Amazingly, all the children seem to have some reserve energy stored somewhere in their little self. They could still run around in the park opposite my cousin's place. Laura and Adam crashed soon after arriving home.

Tomorrow, Adam will be able to experience lion dance for the first time.


Anonymous Kat said...

This is what New Year should be about - celebrating with loved ones, family or otherwise.

With our old folks still around, we follow their traditions. But I am looking forward to the day when I can set my own! Nothing dramatic, just a slight modification, to go with the times.

Is there anything special you usually do with kids and DH on the 1st day?

2:22 am  
Blogger XMOCHA! said...

Gong Xi Gong Xi, just reading about the food made me drool.

10:39 am  
Blogger Min said...

Kat, so far our CNY tradition seems to be up to New Year's Eve only. The past couple of years, PT's daughters visited on the 1st day. Now that Melanie is also married, this year she spent the 1st day with her mom so they visited on 2nd day.

Thanks, Xmocha. There's been lots of food this CNY. We've had my version of CNY fare, authentic Penang Nyonya CNY fare, homecooked-restaurant grade Hakka fare. It's been great!

11:16 am  

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