Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

I didn't have any shark fin soup this year for Chinese New Year's.  Last year, I couldn't have any because I was pregnant.... this year I didn't have any because we spent New Year's with my mom's side of the family instead (and my dad's sister is the one who knows how to cook it.. it's a pretty hard recipe from what I hear).  My mom, dad and brother were sadly absent from the festivities here in the U.S.... probably having a more authentic and elaborate celebration in Taiwan.  With the Chinese New Year being such a big deal in our family... it was kind of strange not having them around this year, so it was nice (and a sigh of relief that I didn't have to try my hand at some Chinese dishes) when my uncle invited the three of us over to his house to celebrate.

Besides the extensive menu of fish (it's important to eat, supposed to be good for the upcoming year), pork, chicken, and other stuff I'm incapable of translating, we watched football and drank a lot of apple cider (which my cousins got for us as they drank Taiwan Beer, yet at the end of the night, everyone was drinking apple cider because let's face it... it tastes way better than beer).  We did come up with the realization that once our parents are gone... none of us know how to cook Chinese food the way they do.  That's going to be a sad day but probably remedied by a lot of take-out from fobby Chinese restaurants.

Now the tradition of lucky red envelope or hong baos is you stop receiving once you're married and have to give a red envelope once you are married to the single children.  So we gave my thirteen year old cousin a small red envelope for the new year and scored with Jordan who left with five red envelopes!  He didn't care for the green inside, but he sure loved those red envelopes this morning!  He's meticulously inspecting each one before tasting them, and he decided that wealth tastes bittersweet.

Gong Xi Fa Tsai!  Good fortune and propserity and hopes for a dragon Phillips baby, though a snake would be okay too...as my uncle reminded my recently married cousin and her husband they had three more months to make a dragon baby!

The lucky platter of fruit and Chinese candies and nuts

Our Chinese New Year meal!  

My racist cousins. Note Cindy told her husband to put up a peace sign, then advised him to squint his eyes.  Yes, that's my family folks.  

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