I was watching a snippet of one of Fresh Off the Boat’s Chinese New Year episodes and was still laughing out loud when I realised I had better write up my notes for this year’s celebration in London.
This year, in the Chinese calendar, it is the Year of the Pig
With all my UK relatives present, there were 17 of us for dinner the weekend before last. This can be the stuff of nightmares, since I do not have a full-time helper as you would usually do in the East. However with a two-day head start in the kitchen, two supermarket food deliveries and a trip to the butcher, we managed to feed everyone and have a jolly time. The rule of thumb is that you need one whole day’s preparation for every eight people you have around the dinner table.
It is a sad thing that, in the rush of serving, I actually did not manage to take a photo of the chicken curry I made. On the positive side, that can be the subject of another later post.
Yee Sang which started the meal, and which is tossed communally to bring good fortune
Roast pork was one of our main dishes
We had two desserts, Tiramisu and a Chocolate Fudge Cake to celebrate Niece Number 2’s birthday
These little pigs have retired and the chocolate gold coins were unwrapped and added to chocolate chip cookies
Next year we celebrate the Year of the Rat. I cannot imagine how we can portray rats as being cute. The only cute rat I have come across is Rat in a Hat from Bananas in Pyjamas. This might be my model for next year
To be sure, there was a lot of preparation beforehand and a lot of cleaning up afterwards, but everyone so enjoys these gatherings. For me, what is important is that it creates happy memories for the younger generation so that they would want to hold their own large parties in future. Then I shall retire and enjoy the fun.
The sun is shining and the sky is blue, which makes it ideal weather for Spring cleaning. There are always online tips but the most effective way I have found (I am a huge, huge fan) is Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. Here is a short introduction to it but I recommend reading the book, on an annual basis if possible.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, published by Vermilion, ISBN 978-0091955106.