Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gong hei fat choi!

I am very fortunate to have married into a very wonderful and generous family. They have taught me much about the value of sharing time and many wonderful meals in the company of those you love. From my father in law comes a wealth of wonderful traditions from his Chinese heritage.

Every year we come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. As any good celebration, this one culminates with a feast shared with the extended family. The New Year is a celebration of good fortune and prosperity which is reflected in the dishes served. There are usually long noodles which represent long life. There are dishes with elements that bring to mind wealth or prosperity sometimes just because of their name or appearance.

This year we had Cantonese Chow Mein , Shrimp stuffed Tofu, Braised pork shoulder with dried oyster,mushroom and fat choi, duck with Chinese yams, chicken, white rice and tea steeped eggs. We also had sweet and sour pork to appease the white people at the table. Those white folk love their red sauces ;)

The children and unmarried people are given a red pocket of lucky money and everyone goes home with a clementine.

More important than all the food and decorations is undoubtedly a leisurely meal spent enjoying the company of family who wish each other a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Out with the old

Farewell to 2008! The Christmas decorations are (mostly) put away. The tree has been tossed to the curb. A new year begins. What it will bring we do not know. New resolutions to change old behaviors are always a given. Cheers to 2008! It was a year with many happy moments but not without the loss of some family friends. I remember them fondly and hope the coming year brings healing to their families. I resolve to treasure the moments I spend this year with everyone I love. Life is a precious gift.

Happy 2009! May it bring health and happiness and the grace to deal with the challenges that each year brings. Happy New Year to all!