Archives for posts with tag: holiday

A foggy day to pay respect to the deceased on Double Ninth Festival (重陽 – observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese.) The little ones were so eager to help out with grunt work.

Missed my dad so dearly…hope he’s doing great wherever he is…IMG_0258

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This time, I bought the lotus paste and the salted duck yolk. The store paste was so much different from the ones I made. These were much easier to work with. Because the colors of the dough and filling had so much contrast, I was able to wrap them nicely. Untitled.jpgHere are the finished products. I couldn’t get it to brown (yes, with egg wash) like it should be. I’m guessing it was my temperature? However, these moon cakes look and taste a lot like the store bought ones. So I’m happy to share them!IMG_0058IMG_0060

Happy mid-autumn festival! Though it’s a bit rushed (because of Ah Lo’s basketball practice), we found the time to sip some tea and enjoy the (store bought) moon cakes.IMG_0012

Attempted my first batch of the traditional mooncakes from scratch (and bombed it). There are many steps to it and it’s a great test of patience. Though I made some of the ingredients a head of time (golden syrup, the lotus paste and the dough), I was in and out of the house this weekend because of Ah Lo’s basketball tournament. It was hard for me to get this done correctly (with the time constraints). I am too embarrassed to show the end result. I won’t give up that easily. I will keep trying…

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Meatless Monday is serving garlic chayotes, oyster mushrooms and chestnuts over a head of lettuce, and finally, stir fry enoki mushrooms, wood ear, with bean curd skin. Luckily, I always have the last couple of items at home which is a great help on meatless Mondays!IMG_9756With three dishes and a pot of soup, we still don’t have much leftovers for the boys to pack lunch the next day. They are making their own lunch after dinner (for those days we don’t have leftovers). The thought of me making cute little bento boxes for them not too long ago, shows that times have changed for sure. IMG_9761Untitled.png

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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