Archives for posts with tag: tradition

That time of year again. Check back to see what we’re working on for this year!

Here’s our 2016 pumpkins!

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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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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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My side of the family is going for the CNY celebration today. We had to switch it from yesterday due to schedule conflict (Dai Bee has a choir performance he can’t get out of). Anyway, one sister and I cooked most of the food. I made the tea leaf eggs, braised beef brisket and tendons, and this new dish I learned called “yee sang” (魚生) or “low hey” (撈起) or also known as the “prosperity toss.” It’s the vibrant color of this salad that first caught my eyes. Pretty simple to make, but lots of chopping to do. With smoked salmon (center) and shredded vegetable, this salad is apparently pretty popular in Southeast Asia during Chinese New Year. You can pretty much add whatever you like.

Here I shredded: purple cabbage, carrots, green onions (and cilantro) red and yellow bell peppers. I deep fried the wonton skin strips (in advance) and bought seaweed salad. I also made the special sauce with dill, orange juice, sugar, orange juice and sesame paste. It was a huge hit!img_5874

Some of us grabbed the chopsticks to partake in this tossing ceremony known as literally ‘to toss up one’s good fortune’ in Cantonese). This mixing of the salad is to ring in a new year full of abundance and prosperity. Here’s to a new tradition!

Instead of passing out the traditional red envelopes this year, I’ll be handing out these chicks! I started out with one, and then a brood of them came into life. I’ve only made enough for my nephews and nieces. Not sure if they will keep it, but I had fun making it.

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These are marbled tea eggs (茶葉蛋) are one of the more popular dishes on the table during Chinese New Year, but can be consumed all year long! The eggs symbolize prosperity and wealth. Sometimes when I crave for it, I  would buy them as snacks. This year, I found simple recipes online and made a few as one of our dishes for meatless Monday meal.

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Here’s the CNY version of meatless Monday meal.IMG_5812.jpg

Recipe for tea eggs:

  1. boil 6 eggs
  2. in a pot fill up:
    • 2-3 cups of water
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 2 bags of black tea, any kind you like. Pu-erh is traditionally used.
    • Soy Sauce, about ½ cup
    • 1 teaspoon of pepper corns
    • 1 small rock sugar
    • dried orange or mandarin peel (optional)
  3. gently crack the hard boiled eggs
  4. put cracked eggs in the pot and bring everything to a boil. Close lid, simmer for 40-50 minutes.

This is the Open-Year Dinner with my inlaws welcoming the Year of the Rooster! Same menu every year, and always a big feast. Sometimes I wish they are more open to try new dishes. Luckily my side is more receptive, giving me more areas to explore!

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Last night our Chinese lesson revolves around CNY theme – writing calligraphy. It is tradition families decorate with red banners inside and out of the house during this time of year. Greetings and phrases related Chinese new year are written on these banners. I had the boys wrote their 4-word greetings on a piece of red sheet. They practiced their Chinese calligraphy as well as learning the words and meanings of the phrases.

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Chinese New Year is around the corner, so I got my boys to help put up some decorations for this festive holiday. You’ll notice I’ve re-use the same decorations every year, but I still buy new one or two every year. So I’ve collected many items over the years.

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