Archives for posts with tag: holiday

One of the more productive Saturdays, especially for Dai Bee. In the morning, took the boys to volunteer, bagging lunches for homeless shelters. This was our first time volunteering here, so we didn’t know what to expect. It was a pretty simple job and the boys seem to take their jobs seriously.IMG_8075After the volunteer gig (2 hours later), we decided to do some letterboxing. If you are not familiar with letterboxing, check out my travels blog. We recently got into it during our road trip to Utah/Arizona. Here in our backyard, there are still a few treasures left to be found. This treasure hunt brought us to one of the most beautiful trails in our city! We’ve never been to this area and it didn’t even like we were in the city.  IMG_8111

The best part?! We found our stamp and have already met one of our summer goals!

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We had lunch and then came back for Dai Bee’s piano lessons with his cousins. Right after that, we wasted no time to drop off Dai Bee at his first violin recital. He did a phenomenal job, though I can be biased on that.

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And of course, this is Father’s Day weekend. Mr. Piggy wanted some pork chops and pork chops are what we are having. For the first time, I marinated pork chops with lemongrass earlier the day. I bet the chops would be tastier if I had more time with the marinade. Overall, it was quite good and Mr. Piggy was happy, so that’s all that mattered.

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Taking a break today from our meatless Mondays for some homemade zong zi (粽子), traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (端午節). My MIL made these, and they require a lot of time and work. She doesn’t like store bought ones and only eaten the ones she wrapped. According to my MIL, during her younger days, she used to make a big load and handed them out. Now, she only makes them for herself and her immediate family, which still requires days of preparation. IMG_7600

From the salty egg to the roast pork, from washing the bamboo leaves to boiling (for hours), she hands wrap each and everyone by herself.  Because we get it from her every year, I don’t normally buy them so I don’t know what others taste like. However, I must say, her zong zi is loaded with a decent amount of filling and hence, quite tasty. IMG_7603

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?

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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.

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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!

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For fun, I also brought a cheese platter:

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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).

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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.

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For my side of the family, we did potluck, as usual. Everyone brought something to the table. My BIL made the best homemade turkey we’ve ever tasted! It was super moist, tender and very tasty! I made my seafood pasta and cranberry apple salad, and of course dessert!

#thankful for my health, my family, my mom’s recovery, my husband, my boys, my lazy girls, my house, my job and to do things I enjoy.

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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.

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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.

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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.

urlWhen 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:

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Wishing you a great fortune and prosperity.

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May you rise higher in every step of the way (direct translation), meaning to have a good prospect in job promotion.

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May you bring in wealth and all treasures will come to you.

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May everything go as smoothly as you planned.

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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 boxCelebrating 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…”