Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

As I tried to think of a clever title for this post, I realised that almost every permutation involving things bovine had been used in the mass sms-es, and just about every headline in the papers, when talking about the advent of the new lunar year. So, we shall stick to a plain, dull and simple title, but straight to the point.

I vaguely remember parts of this little ditty from kindy:

[forgot the opening lines]
Cow Tow first to papa, mama, then to uncles aunties too,
How I love the chinese new year,
Everyone loves too....

Not big on rhyming, these chinese songwriters.....




Like all the other events, I am amazed at the speed with which they reappear, in the blink of an eye, I seem to be handing out the familiar "hoi kong" angpows to my office people, and there's the massaging for playing cards, and the familiar yelling of "PIKCHER, PIKCHER"....Reunion dinners at my place are a fairly sedate affair, most of the older generation need to be in bed by 10.30 or so, and there are no cousins my age, to indulge in a spot of gambling. In the days of yore, when my grandmother was alive, at least the older generation would make an effort to play some mahjong and the younger set would at least try to play some blackjack while waiting.

Chinese New Year morning seems like any other morning.... the sun rises, (duhh), we get ready for the tea ceremony. I don't remember when this tea pouring tradition started, coz we certainly didn't do it when we were kids.

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Every year, we string up the collective chinese new year cards we receive. Seems to be a lot less this year.....

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Who said only Christmas Trees have decorations?

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Strange flowers bloom apparently only on chinese new year.

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Hmmm, Exodus 32:2 comes to mind.....

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We usually have a vegetarian lunch at the in-laws place, with my all time favourite MUTTON CURRY. Yummy, I have instructed the wife to ensure we get to eat it more often. Afterall, its not like vegetarian mutton is seasonal....

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The mandatory Lion Dance performance at the in-laws. For the longest time, Kid no 2 has been terrified of Lion Dance, and it wasn't until last year, when he was about to turn 7, that he faced his fears and conquered it.

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The MIL has really green fingers. Look at her pomelo tree with red pussy willows at the back. Are they called pussy willow? I'm not sure. Or is it wussy pillow? But yeah, she has a veritable orchard and herb garden.

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Kajang Satay,...... in its finest form.

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Then there's the grand dinner on the night of the 1st day. No prizes for guessing where THIS chocolate fountain is from.

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Apparently these pink flowers are Cherry Blossoms.... not a florally inclined person, I wouldn't know a Cherry Blossom from a Dying Strawberry, but I thought they were quite pretty....is this the famed Sakura that the Japanese rave about?

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On the 2nd day, after hosting a small gambling session for my "1st generation friends" as they now call themselves, and managing to intoxicate myself on Johnny Walker Green label, I had to make my way for another in law dinner in Sg Chua, Kajang. A new restaurant called Xin Lin Tong or something laidat.

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There's something beautiful about the whole concept of tossing salads communally.
Such a sense of camaraderie, and esprit de corps. Oh, and family, of course. I like my yee sang the traditional style, none of these new fandangled fusiony yee sang.... so this was good.


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Hmmm, my stand on this is, try not to order it, but if its already there served, don't try to be too dogmatic about it. Very controversial stand that.

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Various tapas.....

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Luscious suckling pig....mmmm, lovely crispy skin. I still think the chinese suckling pig trumps them Western versions.

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My favourite fish, Pomfret. Tai Tou Chong...the meat was firm, and sweet. Perfectly steamed.

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Tasty prawns, dunno done what style, but thankfully not doused in butter or overly oily.

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The lap mei fan...rice with waxed meats. A great filler.....

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Mmm, I loved this fah lam with the prosperity vegetables and oyster. Tender slivers of belly pork, melting in your mouth and coagulating in your arteries. Very good.

I would like to try this restaurant again, as the food seemed pretty good. Anyway, its in Sg Chua...as you exit the SILK Highway into Kajang Town, its the first right turn after the highway, and you cant miss it. It is humongous.

And so the feasting continues..................... sigh. Minimal exercise too, for the last one week.

26 comments:

breadpitt said...

hey hey.....the result were out, and ur "kneads" brings u chocolate , ahah

thenomadGourmand said...

Gong hei gong hei FBB!!
Wahh.. sounds like a darn gd plc to wallop gd old Chinese dishes.. prices how ah?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your horticulture explanations are killing me, tangechi.

Life for Beginners said...

"MUTTON CURRY. Yummy, I have instructed the wife to ensure we get to eat it more often. Afterall, its not like vegetarian mutton is seasonal...."

ROFL!!

Damn. Now I feel like some mock meat too. Or KFC. That works also. Same difference. :P

Steve said...

Yes, not a very controversial stand that at all. But good on you for at least having a stand on it. I am so with you.

As someone said to me when I raised the possibility that the fishermen were removing the fins and ditching the rest back in the sea... there's no way they'd be Chinese fisherman - more likely caucasian fisherman. I couldn't argue with that and shut up.

qwazymonkey said...

Let's all go "lo sang" communally now! Can you believe I've only done it once so far?

breadpitt said...

hey since u dint send ur contact to me i think i have to delay your chocolate give away till you sent me your contact , sorry for the delay ya......;-/

Bernsy said...

FBB , Happy NEw Year to you and family.... The prawns looks like marmite prawns, sweetishly taste to the shells right, and you just find yourself, sucking everybit of the juices from the prawns ya ?

Sg Chua, is one crazy place to find food, almost everything is good there, plus its very very cheap....

Anyways Happy New Year to you... yours pictures are getting nicer and nicer...

fatboybakes said...

bernsy, how's life in OZ? thanks for the comps...u a dad yet?

breadpitt, yay, thanks in advance for the pralines. hey, i did email u, but i think there are some compatibility issues between streamyx and hotmail. damn!!

qwazymonkey, yes, lets go toss it together.... what? only once? my my...

steve, hahah, i shall not court more trouble by continuing on that topic...

LFB, yar, what is it with KFC chicken huh? is it made from flour? i just had my 3rd prosperity burger for the season...

thamby, i was never the whore-ticultural type...

TNG, i think it was very reasonable. but as i didnt pay, and was inebriated from an afternoon of gambling and drinking, i forgot to ask...

qwazymonkey said...

FBB: Get Kenny and my new BFF to organize since we're the lazy ones around. Hehe

duodishes said...

Great foods and good memories. Love that you will be doing minimal exercise. That's fun too! :)

550ml jar of faith said...

Minimal exercise, hear hear! I tried to redeem all that feasting with a hike two days ago, and now I'm aching all over. Very dangerous, this exercise thing...

mh said...

OMG...those pics remind me of all the CNY dinners that I'm missing this year...DAMN!! While I miss the food and people, and definitely the CNY atmosphere...I definitely don't miss the fats that come along after CNY break!!!

Very cool blog entry......give me something to visualise about CNY..and the Yee Sang looks so much better back in M'sia!! Malaysia Boleh!!

Sze said...

dying strawberry. you kill me.

Henry Yeo said...

So many trips, so little space to blog them all in. At least, thinking how to write should burn some of those festive calories.

Argus Lou said...

Hi there. Happy CNY, dear FBB! Sorry I've been missing in action.
Love that cute print-red and gold stuffed bull/cow. And your lap mei fan and heart-stopping pork belly are making me cry -- with drooling hunger.

Precious Pea said...

The last photo on the fah lam looks really really good leh!!!! Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family too!!

breadpitt said...

hi , mind telling when u will drop by 1 utama area?email me or add me up on msn k ;-)

Nic (KHKL) said...

"is this the famed Sakura that the Japanese rave about?"

me thinks sakuras are cherry blossoms while plum blossoms are for cny. they come earlier (in the winter months summore) than the sakuras.

nice satay pic lah!

and this post is just a like foreplay before other cny feasts, eh? we will be waiting for the climax!

fatboybakes said...

hairy berry, ah, thank you for the clarification. i did recall that SAKURA WAS IN THE SPRING, and was wondering how come these are out so early. hahaha, i dunno if that was foreplay or not...

breadpitt, whats your msn? i seem to have probs emailing u via hotmail.

pea, ya man, pity i was a bit gone to remember how good it tasted...

fatboybakes said...

argus dear, GXFC to you too. is it a white chinese new year for you? (as in snow...hahah, not the company)...pore u. yeah, i kinda missed CNY when studying abroad last time.

henry, yeah, i think my mind has been numbed... have been like a zombie the last few days.

sze, you hot hungarian goulash, how are you!!!!

mh, yee sang is a malaysian born thing apparently!!! so surprising hor.

550ml, i did the unthinkable this morning, and went for a jog in lake gardens, ON MY OWN VOLITION, and on a public holiday. I can almost here the angels in heaven applauding my resolve....

duodishes, when u visit kuala lumpur, make sure its during chinese new year, or one of the other festivals... the ability of malaysians to eat might shock you forever.

qwazymonkey, yala hor...

CUMI & CIKI said...

fah der lee, fah der lam... FAH LAM!

looks like you had a great feast. no wonder you have been exercising like a madman... see you soon:D

Argus Lou said...

It was a white n yellow CNY for me (the company; well, the snow too - when there's dog or cat pee on it). Well, almost everyone wore red - funny I didn't use to wear red when living in M'sia; now very China-Malaysian from living away. ;-)

Ah Shui said...

You have a good skill in taking photos. Like the photos you took.

Simon Seow said...

Wah, vegetarian mutton curry. That's a first for me. I tried vegetarian pandan chicken during CNY day 2 lol.

Lianne said...

Gong Hei Fatt Choy FBB! What a feast you had, AS USUAL. Talk about controversial issues over some of the dishes there .. aiyo, but I don´t care lah, its damn good leh hehe