Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Belated Chinese New Year

It's been awhile since I last blogged. It's a combination of being overworked at the office and not being motivated to spend time blogging. Well, I'm back!

I had a great time over the Chinese New Year weekend. It started on Friday Night when I went out with a bunch of high school girlfriends. Right after work, I rushed over to Susie's house for some quick pizza with her and Susan. Susan then drove us up to Yuk Yuks in Vaughan to meet up with Michelle & Christine to catch the 7:30 PM show. Susan was a bit disappointed with the YukYuk's show because the featured headliner, Ron Josol, a Philipino comedian, was replaced with a different comedian. The replacement was actually quite funny, but overall, we found that the comedians relied way too much on profanity for their acts. Anyways, it was a cheap night out since the discounted tickets for the show only cost $3 a person. Can't think of any live acts cheaper than that. Afterwards, the girls came over to my place to have some tea, dessert and other snacks. Apologies to my family (Dick, Derek & Colin) for enduring the girls'yakfest which lasted way past midnight. In my defence, I did suggest that the boys spend their time at the nearby 24 hour Tim Hortons, if they'd rather not partake in the Girls' Night Out/Girls' Night In party. But they decided it was best to stay in.

On Saturday, we visited my in-laws downtown, where Dick's mom cooked us a traditional Chinese New Years meal. It was nice to see my sister-in-law and her family and spend some real family time together with them, as we don't see each other as often as we'd like. As usual, Dick's Mom cooked a lot of food. The New Year's Feast included Roasted Suckling Pork, Whole Dace Fish (the kind with a lot of teeny tiny bones to represent togetherness and abundance). There was a dish with black moss seaweed which is a homonym for exceeding in wealth (Fat Choy) Kung Hei means wishing you, thus Kung Hei Fat Choy literally means wishing you prosperity. For dessert, she prepared some sweet steamed glutinous rice pudding (bubble soup) with sweet rice balls containing lotus seed paste - signify having many male offspring. (Well, we did get 2 and I think that's plenty).

On Sunday, we visited my parents at the Senior's Home. We were hoping to meet up with my sister and her family there, but due to the flu season, they didn't make it. We did meet up with my brother and her girfriend though, which was nice as I hadn't seen them in quite a while. I made my mom very happy by writing Chinese Greetings and signing all our names in Chinese characters in the CNY card. She was beaming from ear to ear when she opened the card and was very impressed to see that I have not lost my ability to still write some chinese.

On Monday, Chinese New Year's Day, we had an office potluck to round out the festivities. I contributed with a dish called Buddha's Delight. It's a vegetarian dish consisting of rice noodles, nappa cabbage, chinese mushroom, golden needle, wood ear, gingko nut, carrots, green beans and tofu. (that's my version). The long Rice Noodles represents long life. The gingko Nuts respresents gold nuggets. I actually like gingko nuts, because they look so cute and for the texture but my family doesn't. They all think it tastes too bitter. I don't know if it's because there was way too much better tasting food at the potluck, or if my dish consisted of too many foreign ingredients, but there was a lot left over. Oh well, all's not lost, as it just meant that I had enough leftover for another lunch the next day.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!! It's the year of the Ox. So, OXOXOXOX to everyone!!!!!

Celebrating at my In-laws

Paying respect to the gods and praying for a Prosperous New Year

Here are some of the foods presented for the New Year

The whole family gathers around for a Traditional Home-cooked New Year's Feast

Here are some of the beautiful red envelopes (lucky money) we received for the occasion.

My mom was so happy that I didn't forget how to write in Chinese.

My version of the Buddha's Delight to celebrate the Year of the Ox.

1 comment:

Connie said...

happy new year joan! glad to see you back in the blogosphere! your cny looks so joyful and delicious! i like those yellow chewy beans like things, to me, they're addictive, are they the ginko nuts? i remember in grade 7 or 8 there's this street we'd always have to pass by to get to school, and one of the houses were drying those nuts and it stunk up the place! seriously, you reach that street, thats all you smell! i'm soo lost reading all those food terminology ... i only knew them by their chinese name or the description :P

anyways, best of luck in the year of the ox!