Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chinese New Year - Eve

(Post Publish)

After weeks of food hoarding and spring cleaning, the much anticipated Chinese New Year finally arrives!!! Although Singaporeans are generally more modernized especially for the younger generation, but Chinese New Year is still very much an important festival for most of the Chinese. People are more than willing to follow its many customaries and traditions.

The New Year mood started late for me this year. I wasn’t too keen to decorate the house like I did last year. It wasn’t until days before the New Year that I started to get pick up the spirit. The last minute shopping at NTUC really help to boost the celebratory mood! NTUC at my place are usually packed with people during normal days’ peak hours and during Chinese New Year, it was filled to the brim. My goodness, there are people everywhere and the line at the cashier never seems to end.

There are always the “essential” things that people need to stock up for New Year. Seafood like fishes and prawns were going off the counter in lightning speed rate, meats and poultry were also grabbed up as soon as they were restocked. I wondered if they really had such big family and they really need all the food to tide them over for those two days? Hmm…

In the past, people would hoard food during Chinese New Year as shops owners will take long breaks during this period. Nowadays, a lot of shops are also opened during the holidays for business which means people no longer have to hoard as much food. However, the practice of food hoarding serves another meaning for people of our generation. Chinese believes that the fridge and 米缸should not be empty and should be filled up as full as possible so that there will be abundance food in the coming year.

I am not saying that my family doesn’t hoard food. We do, in fact my mum does. She even complaint that our fridge wasn’t big enough to store food. The fridge was quite new, just bought last year and was bigger than our old one. Don’t understand why it wasn’t big enough for her.

I was so busy on New Year’s Eve and luckily my boss gave us a day off on that day. Early in morning, my mother entrusted me with an important task - to pray and made offerings to my Grandmother at 双林寺. On the way back, my mum called me to buy some more ingredients for my vegetarian uncle who is coming over for dinner later. She has somehow thought that he wasn’t coming for dinner.

Ended up, I had to incur the additional ingredients cost and even had to cook his dinner… Anyway, I made him a three course meal with starter vegetarian herbal soup with Huai San and winter melon, followed by fried “mock abalone” with sweet peas and blanched broccoli with enoki. (So busy that I didn’t managed to take photo…) By the looks of what left, I guess he like my cooking. Honestly, the soup tastes the best. :)

Our family then started off our New Year’s Eve with Steamboat, my mum’s super duper ngoh hiang, Hock Chew fishballs and dumplings. After dinner, we started our first mahjong game for the New Year! Even though I lost quite a bit, but I still love the game. It really trains and works your brain.

Hee Hee. New Year Coming Soon!!!

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