Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chinese New Year! - February '08

Let me start off my saying this, "I LOVE Chinese New Year!" There's so many people, dishes of food and hilarious conversations that can be found at our Chinese New Year celebrations. Good times... oh, good times!

I thought I would combine my Chinese New Year posts in one entry, that way all the awesome pictures are in one place.

~ ~ ~

My grandpa decided to host his during the weekend (before the actual date of Chinese New Year) so that everyone could join in the festivities. My grandma chose to host hers on the actual day.

So during our drive to his house, I saw how beautiful it was outside. It had snowed last night and everything looked so pretty. It was one of the storms that hit most of the eastern coast. Here's a picture of a large mountain of snow near my house.

As we drove along the parkway, I saw that most of the trees had a cute coat on, so I took a couple of pictures. I think this is the best one.

Once we arrived at my grandparent's house, we started the prep work; washing and slicing veggies, chopping up meat, fixing the broth, setting the table, etc.

Then my grandpa arrived with all of the meats from Chinatown: BBQ pork, soy chicken, roast pork, squid, pig stomach and duck. We finished everything, but before we could eat, we had to first invite our ancestors to come have the feast, give thanks, pray for good luck in the future, and then burn hell money and coloured paper so that they have money to spend and different coloured material (to make clothing).
Yum yum. So that was all at my grandpa's place. Now for my grandma's place...

We (my dad and I) got there early to help my grandma and uncle prepare everything because everyone else was working. We did the prep work and then my uncle and I left for Chinatown to bring home the tasty meats. You usually have to go to pick up your meat around 10:30ish if you want to beat the rush hour. The stores that sell the BBQ meats will be packed the weekend before and the weekend after Chinese New Year, because different people host their Chinese New Year event at different times. We ran to one place to try and buy some meat, but they didn't have any roast pork when we were there, so we picked up what we could and ran across the street to grab the roast pork.

It was almost 10:45am when we got across to the other store, the Kowloon Market. There was a line here. It was pretty long. Let's see, I see about 10 heads here. I took this picture about halfway down the line, so imagine how long you would have to wait. Look at the roast pork behind the dude with the green and white shirt. Everyone who was in this long ass line wanted a piece of that. They obviously had more in the back, but I'm assuming they were being prepared. My uncle (he's near the front of the line) said that he thought that the guy in front of him was going to take the rest of the roast pork, because there was only about a handful of ribs left. Luckily, he only took two or three. How tense. I would freak out if someone in front of me took the whole thing. Anyway, we got a couple of ribs and left enough for two people (or one greedy bastard).

I should also mention that their bakery was practically cleaned out. They still had their usual things on the table in front of the shelves of baked goods though. I should've known. *Tear* If you wanted something from the bakery, you would probably have to call ahead and find out when they're baking. We don't buy anything from the bakery during Chinese New Year. My grandpa brings some back randomly though. Anyway, yeah. If I could describe how busy and full it was in the stores, I'd compare it to Boxing Day. This is our Boxing Day. Everyone is shopping for meat, there are crazy line ups, everyone is trying to get something, and things run out quickly. Does that sound like Boxing Day to you?

Wow, that's a lot random talking I just did. So back to buying the ribs...

After we bought the ribs, we headed back to my grandma's house. The table was pretty much waiting for the meat and the hot pot when we got arrived. Here's a look at 4 dishes that were prepared, starting clockwise with the top-right dish: two kinds of mushrooms with shrimp and squid, shiitake mushroom and bamboo, chicken and Chinese broccoli, and sugar snap peas with shrimp.
  Here's a close up of the hot pot. I'm focusing on the daikon - the star of my grandma's soup. You can see some nappa cabbage, fish balls, and I think I see the tail of a shrimp.
Anyway, it's too bad you guys can't taste this soup, because this soup cures all. I mean, I say that about to pho, but that's just because I love to eat it. This, however, does cure... err... you... of some things. There's so many good things my grandma adds to this soup; nappa cabbage, carrots, onions, daikon, chicken bones, chicken meat, shrimp, and other things. How is that not good for you? Come on. I want to master this recipe. This is the best soup someone can have - just look at it.

Alright, so moving on... here's the table when everything was finished. Starting from the top-right again: rice pot, platter of meat, hot pot, sauces that go with the meat (the two small containers beside the meat plate), the four stir fried dishes, chow mien with shredded napa cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts, jang (aka zongzi), a plate of baked goods (hmm, don't really remember buying that. I guess there were some baked buns left), a plate of fruit (the thing in the yellow bag is lychee, green and purple grapes, and apples), a cantaloupe, red bean jello (beside the cantaloupe), salted sunflower seeds, some cans of pop, incense, hell money, coloured paper, tea pot, alcohol, bowls, utensils, tea cups, shot glasses, the candles and the incense base.

As you can imagine, the homemade feast was moan-inducing. I over-ate again. No surprise there. I can't help myself. This is my Thanksgiving. This is when I stuff myself to the point where I waddle when I walk. I'm looking forward to next year's celebration! It's more than a month late (>_<), but Happy Chinese New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We'd love to hear your thoughts!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...