Chinese New Year

Published February 14, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello Everyone, blessed Chinese New Year & Happy Valentines day… this year is the year of Tiger, really in Perth you can’t feel the atmosphere of Chinese New Year unless you are in Northbridge which is kind of like Perth’s China Town. There will be lion dance and fire crackers going, but apart from that nothing special happens in Perth it’s just another day. At this time in Taiwan, there will be lots of red packets, family dinner, lion dance and people celebrating Chinese New Year on the streets and shops crowded with people buying things. Last night Pandabear and I went to my in laws for a family dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year. Now my mother in law is a great Malaysian cook, she often whip up meals like within 30 minutes. Yesterday, when we arrive at 5pm she was close to finishing everything off. She always stir fries her vegies last as it doesn’t taste too good when they go cold. I brought along stewed gravy beef with potatoes and carrots and my sister in law made some home made mango pudding and baked a chocolate mud cake. We also had some close family friends over as well and they brought some roast duck/bbq pork/roast pork along with home made “An Gu Guey” – Red and turtle looking starchy glutonese rice flour with yellow bean filling (very tasty!!)

My mother in law is a typical housewife her life revolves around looking after her family and making sure they get fed and the house is functional – clean & nice. I have since then learn’t a few dishes from her. My Chinese cooking is different from my mother in law’s cooking as most of my Chinese dishes I’ve learnt from my mum and hence my mum’s cooking is more Taiwanese where is my mother in law’s cooking is more Malaysian so I have the best of both worlds 🙂 I really enjoyed the scrumptious meal my mother in law whipped up, I think we had more dishes than it’s needed to feed everyone – but it’s always good to have more than not enough. So my mother in law ended up packing some take away containers for me 🙂 I love meeting up with my father in law, he’s into planting organic vegetable garden. Mine is nothing compared to his. He’s planted these fantastic long string beans that are so sweet you can just eat them raw. All his vegetable plants and fruits are growing so well that when it came to harvest time they bare so much fruits and vegies that sometimes they don’t know what to do with them. He has fig tree, persimmons, bitter melon, string beans, oranges, sweet potato leaves, Chinese Gang Kong, lettuce, spring onion and the list goes on… Cos I love those sweet string beans, I’ve asked my father in law to give me some seeds and he kindly offered me some seeds that he has harvested & dried and also some long string beans to take home 🙂 Yay!!

Dinner was delicious, my mother in law made some deep fried Nien Gao – deep fried sweet potatoes with glutenous cake – it’s a traditional dish for Chinese New Year. They are so addictive once you have one you would want another one and another one until you feel pretty full. She also made some spring rolls (they are not deep fried) wrapped inside are some cabbages, home grown string beans, vermicelli, carrots and sweet chilli sauce – they were really tasty. She even made some without the chilli sauce for Pandabear cos he doesn’t eat any spicy food (how thoughtful). We also had some mushroom chicken served with broccoli – the key to this dish is not to over cook the chicken breast otherwise it will be dry and flaky. But the chicken breast was done perfectly, it’s juicy and tender 🙂 I think my mother in law also attempt to make something western, a tomato based chilli mussels with some squid rings. There were also some pan fried fish with soya sauce, a vegetarian dish that consists of stir fried black fungus, mushrooms and vermicelli – I love that dish. We also had some deep fried Quail. So there were lots of food to go around. I was so full!!

When it came to dessert time, we had my sister in law’s mango pudding & chocolate mud cake they were delicious and also some fruits with “An Gu Guey” – by that time my tummy was to the point of exploding and had to take a break to go and watch the episode of Iron Chef – more about food. Tonight, I will be celebrating Chinese New Year with my own family at Mum’s place we are having steamed boat and I’m looking forward to it 🙂 I’ve been having problems uploading some photos…so sorry no photos on this post till next time!

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