I miss having family around Lunar New Year. Every year around this time we would have hot pot with my great uncle’s family. Also, usually around this time is the Spring Festival at the Chinese School and since my dad was the president of the parents’ association, we were actively involved in that. It made New Year more festive! This year I’ve been too busy to cook up an elaborate dinner – it’s also not worth it to cook up all that food just for two people. However, I am looking forward to Winterlicious lunch with high school friends (it’s still like getting together with family – ACI family).
I did make New Year cake (nian2 gao1: 年糕) this year, and we had fish (年年有餘 – symbolizes bountiful harvest).
When we were in England, I tried bringing Lunar New Year there. Luckily there was a small Chinese grocery store in Chatham – they had some Taiwanese products (I was impressed).
This didn’t turn out so well. I should have steamed it.
Last year, I had a bunch of friends from Waterloo over. It was a lot of work preparing the food but it was worth it. It’s good to have people over or gatherings around new year – lively atmosphere helps with prosperity.
I made Eight Treasure Rice/Pudding. I used purple glutinous rice – I like it more than regular ones.
Similar recipe: http://eggwansfoododyssey.com/2011/01/20/eight-treasure-rice-pudding-chinese-new-year-dish/
Last year around this time I was also laid off, so it was nice to do something festive. Orange = luck. The cake on the right was from New City Supermarket. The cake was a disappointment. It was dry, very dry.
This year’s new year cake turned out nicely!
I got the recipe from: http://blog.xuite.net/hjhm86/h123456/23106381
240 g glutinous flour (about 2 cups)
1 cup red bean/azuki bean
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
1. Soak the Azuki beans overnight.
2. Cook the Azuki beans like you are cooking rice.
3. Mix together glutinous flour, vegetable oil and sugar as well as 3/4 of the Azuki bean (save 1/4 for later).
4. Slowly mix in warm water. Mix well. Should be thick.
5. Pour into a greased container or if you have New Year Cake paper – line your pot with it then pour the mixture in.
6. Top with the remaining Azuki bean.
7. Put two cups of water outside steamer (I have the exact kind of steamer as this person, so it worked well) and steam for about 45 minutes.
* You can fry it afterwards but I like it just steamed.
Happy new year!