Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Something to celebrate

The Chinese New Year occurs on January 26th this year. I think we shall do a little something to mark the day. It will fulfill my NYR of exposing my children to worldly cuisine on the montly basis. I will plan a menu and patronize my local Asian markets to get the supplies.

They really have a wide variety of stuff at the markets. We went there yesterday, which is where this whole idea came from. The Astronaut chose a Sarsi, which turned out to be a sasparilla. The Princess decided to get two Hello Kitty lollipops and gave the Squirrel one. The Squirrel decide to get Lotte Strawberry Koalas which she generously shared as they were much better in theory than they were in practice. I got some pepero, which are biscut sticks-by biscuit I mean unsweet cookie-dipped in chocolate and almonds. They were delicious. I picked up a few other little items, too: jasmine tea, rock candy, rice wine vinegar, lemongrass.

I don't know much about Chinese New Year and the foods that surround it. I've been researching and this is what I've found:

Most of the dishes served during Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) are symbolic of something positive and hopeful.

  • Chicken and fish, for example, symbolize happiness and prosperity--especially when served whole.
  • Dishes made with oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China's most plentiful fruit.
  • Noodles represent longevity: therefore, they should never be cut!
  • Duck symbolizes fidelity, while eggs signify fertility.
  • Bean curd or tofu, however, is avoided because its white color suggests death and misfortune.
I don't do tofu anyways, so no love lost there. I don't know about whole chicken, but I can swing a whole fish. More:

Another popular Chinese New Year dish is jiaozi, dumplings boiled in water. In some areas of China, coins are placed in the center of jiaozi. Whoever bites into one of these dumplings will have an exceptionally lucky year. Try some of these lucky Chinese dishes for a prosperous year to come:
I think that I shall try some. I am getting excited already!

Oh, and while I am on the subject of NYR, Squirrel and I went to the Museum on Sunday. The Astronaut and the Princess weren't home. They went to my brothers and their grandma's respectively. We had a blast. Side Salad went too, but he was cranky. He has a little cold and two teeth coming in, poor little guy. Squirrel had a blast toying with inventions that came from the great mind of Leonardo da Vinci. I think her favorite part was the dinosaurs. There was this full of....stuff and the kids used paint brushes to unearth a dinossaur fossil. She even got to touch fossils and touching is always good because little kids tend to be tactile learners. She also got to get on a full sized replica of the tragic Best Friend and go in a one room schoolhouse. It was special becaue the bigger kids were gone and I got to spend some time alone with her.

I have got to get on the ball, compiling my recipes and creating my grocery list and getting the kids started makng decorations for the Chinese New Year. I think they will really enjoy this. I know I will!

Until next time, ni hao!

1 comment:

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Oh that sounds like BIG FUN! What a wonderful way to teach your kids about another culture. I hope you guys have a blast...