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.

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