Celebrating Chinese

Last year, I bought pussy willow to make the dutch home feel like Chinese New Year. Read > Here

This year, I did the same but more because I’m not gonna be in Singapore for Chinese New year which kinda sadden me, so, I’m gonna celebrate CNY the dutch way. 🙂

You know,  it’s time like this you want to be with your family. Sometimes I wish one can be at two place at the same time or distance be made less noticeable. Anyway, don’t wanna get all emotional here. So,  let me share with you the happy things. 🙂

There are a few things that are mandatory during Chinese New Year.A Sumptuous Reunion Dinner, Pussy Willows, Mandarin Oranges, Bak Kwa (Roasted Pork), Pineapple Tarts & Red Packet! Sadly, there are only a few I manage to achieve in order to make that dutch home looks almost Chinese New Year-Sy.

The easiest to achieve was Mandarin Oranges. The dutchies eats Mandarin as their daily fruit intake. So for that is it not new. The only thing is, the dutch mandarin are way smaller than those we have in Singapore which we import from China mainly. The size is at least double but not at all sweeter. So Dutch Mandarin 1 – 0 Chinese Mandarin.

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Surprisingly since last year, pussy willows are easily available in the Dutch land. And it seems like they sell them during this period of the year. So I went back to the same florist I did last year to buy those pussy willow. They are still pink and pretty like they were. The pussy willows that we have in Singapore which are also imported mainly from China aren’t pink. They have really long stalk, so you will need some muscles to carry them home and a huge vase to place them. So Dutch Willow 1 – 0 Chinese Willow.

What is different this year is, I am here to watch it blossom!

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Bar Kwa (Roasted Pork), Pineapple Tart & Red Packet are those that are not achievable. I realise I wasn’t allow to bring in any meat products while travelling back to Holland so i did not take the risk of smuggling some. I don’t know why I didn’t bring back any pineapple tarts, I’m just stupid. Now I am regretting it like a big time. And the dutchman won’t give me red Packet so I don’t have red packet as well 😦

Nevermind, I get over it. In order to make myself happy, I reckon I must at least have a reunion dinner kind of meal! So I send Jos a text while he is at work that we will have steamboat tonight. To my surprise, he didn’t ask what is that but readily said OK!

The typical kind of reunion dinner in Singapore are; go out to a fancy Chinese restaurant and be ready to spend a lot of money. Because these restaurant worked so that you can have your reunion dinner so naturally, their prices are way above the usual rates. Or, make your poor mother/father/grandparents whipped up a sumptuous feast of at least 6 dishes. These old people are usually really good with CNY food. I don’t know why. My mum is one very good cook but because she is now old, we usually eat out. I miss her cooking, she made delicious curry chicken, Soy Sauce Pork and many more. It’s time like this I miss her even more. Okay not because I’m hungry for food, more because it’s Chinese New Year and we should have reunion dinner together! So, anyway,  I called her just before the new year and we have made a deal that she have to pass down her culinary skills to me!

The other kind of reunion dinner for the not so good cook is to have STEAMBOAT. And that’s clearly why I decided I will make do with Steamboat as a reunion dinner with my white man. All you need is a good soup base and everything else is dependent on what is your favorite. I love prawns, the huge ass ones. On the contrary, Jos hates prawn. So good, I have them all to myself and I bought a lot of it. Some nice cut meat (Chicken, Pork, Beef), some Shitake Mushroom, Some Fishballs (typical steamboat ingredient), Tofu maybe and whole lot of vegetables; bak choy, broccoli if you like and any others. In another words, it’s a steam pot with whatever you want. It’s so easy and it’s really yum! So here are the pictures of the ingredients for our steam-pot.

Did you spot the chinese chop sticks and spoon? I bought them from the chinese supermarket especially for this. I reckon it is important to make it as authentic as possible. 🙂

So that’s how I spend my first Chinese New Year in Holland. Not quite the same but okay.

One Man’s Meat is another Man’s Poison.

So I’m back again in the lowlands. I’ve spend a great short week back in Singapore enjoying the glorious food and magnificent company of my family and friends.

To many people, Chinese New Year  are about visiting relatives (some they don’t even see for years), collecting “ANG PAO” (Red Packet with money in it) from the elderly and married ones. So if you don’t want to be throwing money, refrain from getting married! I find it annoying when people stay unmarried like forever and still collecting Red Packets without shame. Last but not the least, people indulging themselves in gambling (Mahjong & Poker Cards) their wealth away.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, I’ve lost it. I do none of those during the period I was back for the season. I dislike visiting extended relatives that I hardly speak to for like forever. I know this sounds rude but why would I want to see someone that doesn’t know or care about my well being for the whole freaking year and only come together on a random Chinese new year to ask questions on your personal life? I prefer to spend time with my immediate family and close friends who cares about me every day of my life. So yes, visiting distant relatives feels fake to me. I’ve never like gambling so Chinese New Year shouldn’t be an excuse for anyone to gamble.  I don’t want to feel like I’ve lost my roots but somehow, Chinese New Year seems to have lost it’s meaning.

Collecting Red Packets!

No, this is not a rant post. I have to say, one thing I really love about Chinese New Year are the goodies I cannot stop eating. Although these goodies can now be found like any time of the year, eating them during Chinese New Year feels better. The truth is being in the Netherlands and not being able to enjoy all the food I love from Singapore has always been a pain for me. So, the Pineapple Tarts, the Bak Kwa (BBQ Pork), the Egg Rolls adds to the numbers that shows on my weighing scale just a minute ago. But no, I’m not telling you my weight.

Pineapple Tarts

Naturally, having tried, tested and tasted all the goodies, I want the Dutchman to also enjoy what I truly enjoy. I’ve tried to enjoy the boring Dutch Food, so I reckon he should enjoy the interesting Asian food without too much trying right?

So, the Roasted Pork and Pineapple tarts flew with me, like over 6500 miles… only to face a Dutchman sniffing them and says “Ewww” without even trying. Because I have too much pride about the food I like, I’ve insisted that he has to try ! Well, he did and give me a wrinkly facial expression. How bad can these food be? Really? For the record, I wasn’t trying to poison you… 🙂

I refuse to tag this under Ranting… because This is still not a rant post!! 😀

Bak Kwa – Source from Bee Cheng Hiang

Introducing Chinese New Year to a Dutchman

I am leaving for Singapore tomorrow to arrived just in time to celebrate Chinese New Year with my Family and Friends. While I hate to leave Jos alone here… I have to cruelly leave him when he just fell ill! The good news is, I am only away for a week! 😀

While I was running a quick round at the mall during lunch today, I found some pretty Pussy Willow in one of the florist. I was so attracted to it, I decided it is time I turn a Dutchman’s home into a home celebrating Chinese New Year. What really draws me to buy them was also because instead of white.. They are pink! How pretty!

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Told you they are pink! Lovely isn’t it? This must be the most pretty pussy willow I’ve seen. Without further a do, I quickly run into another shop to buy some decoration like what people do during Chinese New Year. Being in Netherlands… I can hardly find anything close to what we usually do. So …. I make do with these…

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So what do you think of the end results? The Dutchman hasn’t see this because he isn’t home yet. But he is not going to like the pink decoration…. But it’s Chinese New Year so he has to live with it! 😀

If anyone of you reader celebrate Chinese New Year… I want to send my best wishes to you for the year of the Snake (I think so), prosperity and happiness all year round! Gong Xi Fa Cai!