Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year!

lunar 09



It certainly feels like yesterday, when OCT and I flew home to celebrate Chinese New Year with our families! And in the blink of an eye, another new year arrives without us realizing.

Most of my friends flew back to Malaysia/Singapore to be with their loved ones during this time of the year and I am a bit sad that I couldn't join in the festivity. I miss the reunion dinner on new year eve, when everyone comes home no matter in which part of the world they are working; The firecrackers, which children and kids-at-heart let off once the clock strikes 12 in the midnight. The festive but cheesy chinese songs that flood every shopping malls; and the pineapple tarts, bak gua, love letters, prawn-crackers, nian gao and other new year goodies we serve our visiting guests. Most often than not, the goodies are consumed by ourselves way before the festival begins.

I went to the Chinatown in Chicago this past weekend in search of traces of Lunar New Year festive ambience which my friends back home told me is ubiquitous in every corner of Asia. I came back to my little studio after an hour of strolling, with disappointment and a pair of numbed toes and none of the described atmosphere.

Having said that, I got myself a tray of nian gao, a kind of traditional chinese glutinous rice cake, which is sweet and has a chewy texture made with brown sugar and glutinuos rice flour among other ingredients. Dipped in beaten eggs and lightly pan-fried, it's one of my favorite treat on Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year Goodies


If I were home, I would also make a few trays of crispy golden daikon/radish cake, my beloved pineapple tarts and horlicks animal cookies. But I am contented with the store-bought turnip cake for now. And tomorrow, on the actual day of Lunar New Year, I am bringing some to school for my classmates. I can't wait to see their responses. Especially my Mexican classmate- Fernanda, who winced slightly when I described nian gao to her last Friday.

For those who are celebrating the festival, here's wishing you a healthy, prosperous and wonderful Lunar New Year! Gong Xi Gong Xi!

17 comments:

Amanda said...

Happy New Year to you too! I wish I was celebrating but my mom hasn't done the Chinese celebrations in years. I miss it :( I would love to down some of the egg tarts and ring in the year of the ox with others, especially since it's my year!

Bunny said...

Your New Year treats all sound so good, those animal cookies are adorable! I hope you get to celebrate next year with your family.

ring-a-ding-a-ling said...

I dont even get nian gao here haha I love the way my mom fried it, with 1 slice of yam and 1 slice of sweet potato...oh so yummmy!

tigerfish said...

Happy Lunar New Year to you! Sometimes, I wish I were overseas during CNY ;p

Rasa Malaysia said...

Happy Niu Year to you.

I still don't know how you make the cuts on your pineapple tarts. I got your recipe not your skills obviously. I use fork but they are not as pretty. Let me know. :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Mandy, yes, it was just like yesterday when you told me you were going home for CNY. It's amazing that one year has already past! While I was walking along the Bugis area on Sat morning, I could still remember those photos you took last year...with similar stalls selling flowers and CNY goodies! Here's wishing you a Happy & Prosperous New Year! 祝你'学业'进步!!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai & Happy Ox Year!

The Duo Dishes said...

The tarts and cookies look great! Happy New Year to you. :)

Maria said...

Happy New Year to you too! The treats look great. The perfect way to celebrate!

The Food Librarian said...

Happy New Year!!! Everything looks yummy.

Vicky said...

Happy Chinese New Year! I can totally understand the numb feeling and no CNY mood when we're overseas..chance upon yr blog and it sure made me feel more at home.

Cheers,

Vicky in cold Sweden

terri@adailyobsession said...

cny celebration is best in sabah! truly, my friends tell me so, tt it's not the same in the big cities, even in shanghai n hk or singpore. the firecrackers n fireworks at midnight n throughout the next few days, the lion dance (about 6-8 came to my hse on the 2nd day), the visiting, the food, the noise...come home next year!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Happy new year dear! All the treats look great but I love those cute animals!

Jane of All Trades said...

Gong Xi Fa Chai to you Mandy.

Chinatown CNY celebration is this weekend. The parade stars at 1pm. Just don't hype yourself for a grand lion dance..hehehehe

BTW I left you a private message on MyB.

Piggy said...

Happy lunar new year, Mandy! Looking forward to more yummy cakes from your baking lesson!

Manggy said...

Happy new year Mandy! :)

Stardust said...

I'm truly late, but better than never. Happy New Year Mandy! Your bakes are gorgeous as ever.

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