Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy New Year Everybody!

It's that time of year where families come together and celebrate the wonders of the upcoming new year. It is also a time for little children to enjoy the lovely red envelopes filled with money to start the new year on a wonderful note!

On this New Year, I've decided to take photos of the routine that my family undergoes to bring in the New Year. Additionally, it is a way for me to remember the great work my Grandma does every year and hopefully continue the tradition in the far future. Hopefully it will be an insightful view for my cousins to see what our Grandma does every year as well.

This year the Chinese New Year date was February 10th 2013, but the preparation is completed the day before. Additionally the first day for my Grandma to start praying for those who've passed away in my family. (I'm not completely sure who we pray for)

So I've started taking pictures on February 9th and they are the following:

Rice Cakes that are made from a combination of rice flours
(I'm still trying to learn how she does it so well)

These are called Zongzi (in Chinese), or Steamed Rice with Pork wrapped in Bamboo Leaves
Normally my Grandma and me would sit down one entire day to make these from scratch,
but this year it was store bought.  

Fried Dumplings with a Sweet filling made with Candied Melon Peels, Peanuts, and Sesame Seeds.

Fried Dumplings with a Savory Filling
Made with Chinese White Radish (or Chai Gou) and Chinese Sausage

My Favorite Prawn Chips! (Not from Scratch)

 Fried Rice Noodles and Bean Curd Sheets
(We don't eat the Bean Curd Sheets)

That just was the preparation for the actual date of Chinese New Year. From start to finish, the process of getting the fried items done was about 6 hours. After each goodies were cooled, we stored them in plastic bags. The dumplings and rice cakes need to go to the fridge, while the prawn chips and rice noodles can stay at room temperature. 

On the day of Chinese New Year, the morning isn't so hectic. The only thing we had to do was cook a chicken and make one side dish.  

Boiled Chicken to perfection with a piece of Pork Belly

 Side Dish: Stir fried Rice Noodles with Napa Cabbage and thin celery stalks

With these dishes and all the goodies from yesterday, we can now break out the rice wine, the "fake" money envelopes, long red sticks, and then pray. Now in my family, we pray at two different place with the same bird. If my Grandma says it's ok, then it's ok. I've only taken one photo of only one of the place and this is what it looks like.

Unfortunately, this photo didn't feature the side dish but the other one did. I wanted to take the other one but my Grandma just finished the other place. Nevertheless, I've captured this photo to remember everything I need to pray. 

In a few minutes, my Grandma would pray and three long red sticks will be on the small "cup" on the upper left corner. The rice wine will be in the three red cups using the metal pot on the right. The small empty plate in front will have the Boiled Chicken's lower jaw, one wing, giblets (liver and gizzard), and a small piece of the pork belly to serve. There are two chairs in the front of the three cups, but I didn't get to capture it. 

If you like what you see, let me know in the comment box below. 

If you like some of the dishes that I've featured on this post, let me know in the comment box and I'll get to work on them.

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