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Chinese New Year 2010 (Day 2)

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

Date: 15 February 2010, Monday
Venue: Uncle's house
Occasion: Family lunch to usher the new year of the Tiger

I'm sure some of you may be wondering what's taking me so long to post up the blog posts on my CNY 2010. Well, I just came back from Kuantan & Kemaman!! It was full of madness, & I assure you that I will share it here asap!

Anyway, here's the Day 2 post:

Day 2 of the Chinese New Year is known as the day to "hoi nin"(open/welcome the year). Every year without fail, my dad's side of the family will gather for lunch, & oh, it's a sumptuous & scrumptious meal! :D

The Lunch Spread

Steamed Chicken with Home-Made Ginger Oil Sauce & Garlic Oil Sauce
This is my aunty C.T's specialty. The chicken was cooked to perfection (without being over-cooked 'til the meat gets tough & rough), & is further perfected when dipped into the garlic/ginger ("sa keong") sauce.

Fried Chinese Sausages Drizzled with Thick Dark Soya Sauce & Oil
This was THE BOMB! It's my favorite among the many dishes on the table & I could just have this with white rice alone *slurp* The fragrantly fried sausages that's crispy on the outside is sinfully coated with oil & seasoned with thick dark soya sauce for added "umph"! I can have this every week & happily get my arteries blocked! *eeek!*

Braised Mushrooms with Scallops & Blanched Broccoli
I thought the mushrooms were of the right bite-size. They were soaked with the fullness of the broth & soft enough for the young & old. The scallops gave the dish an extra "kick", while the broccoli balanced the dish up to make it more colorful & a healthier one too!

Braised Fried Chicken Feet with Mushrooms
My mum cooked this & I thought the chicken feet were lovely :) This dish is best when everything is soft & flavourful.

Stir-Fried "Nga Ku" ("Baby" Arrowroot) with "Khan Choy" (Chinese parsley) & "Siew Yoke" (Roast Pork)
This dish is an acquired taste. If you're a fan of parsley, potato-taste arrowroots (the texture is powderish like potatoes), & roast pork, this is a dish you must not miss! I do eat this dish, but I don't highly fancy it :P

Steamed Waxed Duck with Arrowroots
It's quite salty that you just can't eat it on its own. The taste of the duck is SO fragrant & the oil that oozes out from the duck is extremely flavourful that the slices of arrowroots actually soaks up the oil & taste of the waxed duck. If you have waxed duck at home, try this style of cooking it. It's very simple & doesn't take much creativity :P

Stir-Fried Cucumber Slices with Chicken Gizard & Chicken Liver in Vinegar
Sounds gross & totally unappetizing? Perhaps it's another dish for the adventerous, but for those who tried & love it, you'll never see the humble cucumber the same way again! Whose family actually cooks cucumbers this way? As far as I know, I haven't come across anyone who cooks this dish apart from my family! It's been passed down for generations & we have this dish EVERY year during CNY & other Chinese festivals.

Steamed Duck Liver Sausages ("Ngap Yun Cheong")
Who is a fan of duck liver sausages?? I know I am!! There's a tinge of alcohol taste from the sausage, so it's VERY appetizing & addictive once you fall in love with it.

Fit for a King!
In Chinese, the number 8 ("patt") means prosperous ("fatt"). Somehow, the family managed to cook out 8 dishes for lunch (the Duck Liver Sausage wasn't served when the photo was taken)! How often do you get to have a 8-course meal during lunch?? *joy joy*

After lunch, we're basically 'free' to go wherever & do whatever we want with our own family. This year (just like last year), after lunch, I left for KL to pick Aaron up from the bus terminal :) It was a good 3 days to spend together during the festive season! *joy*

We ended up at 1Utama after picking him up from the bus terminal. He was craving for Carl's Jr., so this is the nearest place (to my house) that could satisfy him. To my greatest delight, the lion dance was about to begin & being able to catch the performance was splendid! (I haven't seen ANY lion dances during CNY this year, & this was my 1st for the year)

Two Lions on the Stage

Lions with their Well Wishes to the Crowd
The whole performance was captivating. The lions were lively & highly entertaining. It was at that 20+minutes that I felt like a kid once again :D

Carl's Jr.'s Charbroiled Chili Cheese Burger (almost RM17.00/large meal)
According to Aaron, the size of the burger was disappointing. The 1st time he had this years back, the burger was much bigger & probably cheaper or around the same price. I haven't had Carl's Jr. before, so I can't comment, but I seriously think it's over-priced.

With a full stomach, we left 1Utama & headed home to wash up & get ready for dinner! *lol* Just imagine that, 'lunch' & dinner back to back. This is what happens when you have lunch around 2:30p.m. & dinner is at 6:00p.m.

Dinner was at the New Formosa Restaurant in SS2 with my dad's family again. Yes, the family loves to gather & will grab any opportunity to do so. This restaurant has been at the top of my family's list since I-dunno-when. We have had dinners here almost every Chinese New Year & during any other family dinners as well.

The Restaurant

Uncles & Aunties Tossing the Yee Sang

My Table Tossing the Yee Sang

New Dish: Beancurd with Minced Pork & "Dai Thao Choy"
A rather different dish than the usual beancurd dishes I have tasted all throughout my life. The dish is salty & slightly spicy & slightly sweet. It feels very much like a 'Teochew' dish, but I think this is yet another Taiwanese dish (since this is somewhat a Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant)

Butter Prawns
Nicely flavored & the most important part - the prawns were fresh :)

Crispy Deep-Fried Sesame Chicken
One of the most desirable dishes available in New Formosa. The batter that coats the chicken pieces was fragrantly accompanied by sesame seeds. The fried chicken was 'juicy' & well-marinated that even if you took the breast meat, it ain't dry nor gets stuck in your throat.

Stir-Fried Hong Kong "Choy Sum" + "Siew Pak Choy" with Garlic
Not over-cooked! :D The veggie were still crunchy, but it didn't have that uncooked green smell/taste.

Deep-Fried "Man Tao" Bread
This bread is lovely eaten on its own or when dipped into any gravy/sauce. Usually, we'll dip it with the fish's gravy or the better one is with sweet & spicy crab's gravy!

Deep-Fried "Sek Pan" Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce (Min See)
This dish was so-so. I felt that the fish was a 'lil over-fried, hence the texture of the fish didn't feel very smooth anymore.

Dessert: Deep-Fried Yam with Caramel
This is THE BOMB! You MUST try this as I feel that this is the ONLY place that offers this dessert & it's really delicious, especially if you're a yam & caramel fan! The outer layer of the yam is crispy, while the inside is warm & soft. Totally delightful!

Dessert? Plum Drink
I've no idea why we were served this drink, but it wasn't all that bad in taste. Just imagine a piece of preserved plum with some syrup in ice water...sounds weird? I thought so too...

Partial Family Photo
Some of my uncles, aunties, & cousins weren't around at the time the photo was taken. I'm thankful for this family. (Aaron was the photographer, so he ain't in this photo...there's another photo with him, but I don't have it with me yet)

Aaron & I

After dinner & family gathering, Aaron & I headed over to Jody's house for a mini high school friends' reunion. It was quite some catch-up before Aaron & I called it a night :)

The high school gang + Aaron

On the overall, CNY Day 2 was quite an eventful one :) It may probably be one of the most awaited day of the CNY since it was the day when Aaron arrived in PJ to celebrate CNY with me & my family :D

Loves festivals,


Chinese New Year 2010 (Day 1)

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Date: 14 February 2010, Sunday
Venue: Uncle's house
Occasion: Family gathering for day 1 of the Chinese new year!

The 1st day of Chinese New Year is usually filled with excitement. But this year around, we celebrated the festival with a softer tone as my uncle just passed away last month. According to the Chinese (Buddhist/Taoist/other Chinese religions) tradition, the family shall not celebrate any festivals within the 100 days of the demise. However, I reckon in my uncle's case, there is an exception. My uncle loves & encourages family get-togethers. Thus, Chinese New Year shall not be any different, & the family were to continue gathering & live their lives with joy.

My family
(where is my mother looking at...? =.=") Grandpa was in the photo too!

For the Wongs, the 1st day of CNY begins with family breakfast of THE vegetarian dish (not just ANY vegetarian dish). I'm not sure how other families begin their 1st day of CNY, but my family has held on to this "tradition" since I-don't-know-when; perhaps even before I was born!

THE Wong's Vegetarian Dish
Looks colorful, huh? :D Dig in for a mouthful of treasure - ginkgo, Chinese black mushrooms, button mushrooms, straw mushrooms, plain beancurd sheets, sweet beancurd sheets, black fungus, dried beancurd (taufu pok), beancurd "balls" (min kan), deep fried glass noodles, red chili, Chinese cabbage, & the ingredient that gives the dish a kick, fermented beancurd (fu yue)!

THE Wong's Vegetarian Dish with the Gravy
My aunt was cooking the dish as the sun rose :)

The Chef - Aunty Anne
Her cooking of this dish gets better by the year ;) *thumbs up!* You are almost like grandpa! XD

The Rice-Scooper - PerutBesi Ruth
Every year the cousins will usually be the rice-scooper, & this year, I was the "Head Rice-Scooper", while my cousins & aunts took the bowls of rice out to the tables. According to family traditions, one is encouraged to go for seconds/"tim fann" to have abundance in everything we do throughout the year (that's why the 1st round of rice will be just 1 small scoop).

Creative Basket
My aunt's friend crafted this :) Interesting, huh? Takes up loads of patience & hard-work too!

Vegetarian Dish Served
I actually like this photo *yums*

Breakfast is Served! "Sek Fann!!"
This was our family's breakfast table :D I enjoy CNY Day 1's breakfast every year!

Dad & Mum at the Breakfast Table

In the past years, my family will set foot to visit our grand-aunt after breakfast. This year, the family didn't go for our usual visitation. No home-made prawn keropok nor cookies :( Instead, we stayed in the house for games of mahjong, cards, & to watch television for those who don't play such games.

Aunties & Cousins Playing Mahjong

There was nothing much done on Day 1 for my family. We came home to rest, after which, my mum prepared a simple dinner for us.

Fried Double-Happiness!
How do you like it? I fried these! Yeap, one's an Omega-egg, the other is the usual chicken egg.

Chinese Sausage with Rice
One of my favorites! The simple rice cooked with "lap cheong" *drools*

Stir-Fried Cauliflower with Mushrooms & Fish Cake

Day 1 of CNY ended with the family for PerutBesi. Unlike "kampungs" & small towns, the city doesn't offer much of a festive-mood; there were only faint sounds of fire-crackers & not a sight of fireworks at my housing area! *sobs* Sometimes I wish that I was somewhere else during CNY.

How was your CNY 2010 Day 1? Was it roaring with laughter? :)

Roaring into the Tiger year,


Chinese New Year Eve 2010

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

Date: 13 February 2010, Saturday
Venue: Uncle's house
Occasion: Family gathering for Chinese New Year eve

What better way than to spend the eve of the new year with the family. It's not everyday that I get to sit down for a meal with my family, unlike many of my friends. Have we taken our family for-granted?

Simple home-cooked lunch
My mum cooked a simple lunch for the family. To me, it doesn't matter if we have loads of dishes or just 1 dish; what matter most is the time spent with my loved ones :)

Lunch was at home, while dinner was at my aunty Anne's place. This year, we decided to have a steamboat dinner instead of the usual pot-luck. On such a warm day, having steamboat is truly a "free sauna" experience!

Greens & Fungi

Unusual Sight
Mama pomelo with her little baby! SOOOO cute, right? Oh, it's indeed a time for family!

So long! *shocked*
I've no idea how my uncles & aunties wanted to eat this *sweat* My aunties were suggesting not to cut the veggie into smaller pieces! *gasp* can't imagine getting choked by the long stem* The entire veggie is longer than my neck+head!! I argued my way to cut the veggie into at least half the length...

Home-stuffed Dried Beancurd/Taufupok
My aunty Anne patiently cut & stuffed the dried beancurd before frying it for our steamboat :) *thumbs up!*

Aunties at Work
Mum, aunty Irene, & aunty Mary were busy peeling ginko/pak kor for the next morning's vegetarian dish. The dish is one of the many dishes at the top of my list.

Uncles at Work
Uncle Bob & uncle Chee Peng pouring the soup into the steamboat pot.

Cool Cousins
PerutBesi Ruth with her sister, Rach & 3 of her cousins at the dinner: Kris, Lynn, & Suk Harn

Baked-Reheated Dumplings
Aunty C.T. brought over some dumplings as starters. It actually tastes not too bad - tastes better when reheated in the oven than in the microwave oven.

Enjoying the Dumpling
Everyone was enjoying the delicious & warm dumplings, especially my sister! :P

Table 1 Digging into the Pot
At 6.30p.m. everyone was ready to dig into the hot pot of soup for their goodies. *scoop scoop!* Hungry uncles & aunties just started without their 2 other members (2 more stools vacant!)

Table 2
We haven't even started when table 1 started...wergh...but we were surely enjoying our meal no less :)

Happy Table 1

Beancurd & More
It's a very easy-to-prepare & easy-to-eat dinner. All you need to do is to wash the food items & throw them into the pot of soup to cook ;) Steamboat is best eaten during cold weather though...ahhh...

This is how you should cook your prawns when having steamboat - avoid over-cooking the prawns & lessen the hassle of fishing for your prawn among the mass of other food items in the pot.

Dinner for the Wongs is never complete without dessert. Somehow there will always be something for dessert; you'll find either fruits (if aunty Nga is around), tong sui, or kuih! This time around, aunty Mary made 2 of her many specialties: Kuih Talam & Kuih Koh Swee *yums!*

Home-Made Kuih Talam
A perfect marriage of slightly salty white coconut-milk top with sweet & pandan-fragrant kuih.

Home-Made Kuih Koh Swee
I love this best. Indulge into the small-cup-sized gula Melaka kuih, coated with grated coconut as the grand finale of your dinner! *high in sugar*

Red Bean Soup
If you think that the kuih was the peak of the night, check this one out! Like omg...how could anyone eat anymore?? I had to somehow eat this - at least ONE spoonful, so I shared one bowl with my mum. Aahhh... "yat lau"... splendid ... "ummphh" ... satisfactory ... *lip smacking*

What's better than home-cooked food??! Nothing beats it, man. I am the kinda girl who rather have plain home-cooked white rice with a happy & warm family than having a grand meal with strangers. How about you?

How was your CNY eve 2010?

Loving her family,

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