My family’s side to have the “Open Year Dinner” (開年飯) and we sure can feast!I made 6 dishes and my other sister made two. The others were store bought. The whole clan wiped out everything and of course the fried shrimp rolls were the first to go! If this doesn’t “open up the year,” I don’t know what does?
Our Thanksgiving volunteer started our day early. We did this last year, and this year, we went with the Girl and her two older sisters. I am glad my boys woke up early, no complaints and got right into work as soon as we got there.
This year, we visited another couple who, as always, anxious to share with us their life stories.
As usual, off to the inlaws celebrate Thanksgiving with them. They always have their traditional meal with a turkey, ham, a tons of vegetables. It took a long time to roast the turkey so we didn’t eat until close to 9pm. By that time, Mr. Piggy and I didn’t eat much, especially with all the carbs – mashed potatoes and sweet yam puree. I just munch on my salad and a little bit of turkey. I must say, this year’s turkey was one of the best ones I had. Mr. Piggy’s cousin roasted and it was on the spot!
For fun, I also brought a cheese platter:
Today is mid-autumn festival and we’re having dinner at my MIL’s. Seriously, I didn’t steal this picture from last year and post it here. This is the same kind of food they eat on this holiday (and any other Chinese Holiday).
This year’s mid-autumn is a special one as not only we get to witness the rare super blood moon, but also the lunar eclipse all happening the same time. The moon is supposed to be 14% to the earth and 30% brighter. We’ve been waiting all day to see it. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate, and the clouds interfered with the viewing. We will have to wait 2033 to across this glorious sight again. Hopefully, the clouds would stay away at the time.
We’ve been volunteering at this organization for a long time. However, this was our first time volunteering during Thanksgiving. Besides visiting elders, we signed up to help prepping the gifts bags for all the elders. We all got up early and got started right away. The coordinator told us we would be visiting close to 200 elders in the bay area today. After all the prep work were done, we were assigned to visit two senior elders (in same building). We later found out these two seniors were a couple. Boy, the woman’s face lit up (almost like winning the lottery). She welcomed us with opened arms and offered us drinks. She also shared with us her photo albums, her travels, her family and her valuable insights on life. We were all very delighted to have met this couple on this very special day.
It’s a tradition we celebrate Thanksgiving with Mr. Piggy’s family on Thursdays. SIL made most of the dishes, yes, including the turkey. Mr. Piggy cooked (or ‘over cooked’) his prime rib. There were plenty of food to go around. Almost everyone carried their tummies out of the door.
Chinese New Year is here! On this day, we visit our families and relatives to bai neen (“to wish one a Happy New Year”). We took the boys to visit my mother, Mr. Piggy’s parents, grandparents, and his aunts. On top of receiving red envelopes, we also ate different snacks throughout the day, it was nice to have CNY so close to a weekend.
When we go, we would bring some goody bags (fruits and candies) and greet our everyone with warm wishes. Here are the more common phrases we say:
Wishing you a great fortune and prosperity.
May you rise higher in every step of the way (direct translation), meaning to have a good prospect in job promotion.
May you bring in wealth and all treasures will come to you.
May everything go as smoothly as you planned.
May you accomplish whatever you set to do.
Thanksgiving is coming early this year! Well, it doesn’t matter when it comes, we’ll always be prepared for a big feast! There are only two days of school this week for the boys. Dai Bee’s class is not planning to do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving. Ah Lo’s class will be going all out. The teacher will be making a turkey and kids are helping out with side dishes – peeling potatoes and cutting vegetables. This will be only Thanksgiving bento.
“Today I am thankful for only having to work 2 days this week.”
Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the major holidays in Chinese history. The moon is especially round and beautiful. I made the boys the lunch to go with this theme. You can read how the full moon and the rabbit is related to this tradition here.
In this box – Celebrating Mid-Autumn – Rice, broccoli, lotus roots, pork, and watermelon.
The night was clear and the moon was shining so bright! With a cup of hot tea and a piece of moon cake in hand, what better way to celebrate the mid-autumn festival.
“Today I am thankful for the mooncake…”
Today is another Chinese Holiday – Duan Wu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival. Mr. Piggy’s family celebrate this holiday with his mom making these zongzi (rice dumplings). She said she used to make hundreds of these to pass out, now only a few for her kids. She makes 3 kinds – the sweet glutinous rice (with red beans), the regular salty glutinous rice, and the least popular ones, with regular rice.
After unwrapping them, I sliced and pan fried them. The boys love it! During dinner time, I gave them a brief history behind eating these zongzi and the background of this holiday.
“Today I am thankful for zongzi dinner…”
Today is a national holiday – Memorial’s Day. I love it that we celebrate with everyone across the nation for men and women who fought and helped protect our nation. I love it that there are not fancy meals to prepare or special gifts to pass out. I love it that it’s a day to chill, a day to sleep in, a day to be lazy, and of course, a day to remember our heroes.