Today is 3rd day of CNY. It has been for more than a decade that the 3rd day of CNY is the first day of CNY that I can really relax and enjoy the new year holidays. Days before CNY and 1st and 2nd day are always the busiest days which I sometimes wonder why must I stressed myself out with CNY preparations, baking, washing and cooking. This is all because I have to be a responsible daughter and daughter in-law to my parents and parent in-laws. I have to bake CNY cookies for both families. I have to cook for my in-laws for ancestral praying and also prepare lunch/dinner for visiting families [about 5-6 families] for 2 days. Luckily, some sis-in-laws help out with the washing after the meals otherwise I would look more like a maid. This year was no exception with more responsibilities because my mum in-law couldn't walk cos' of a crack pelvic bone since the eve of New Year 2011.
Anyway, I managed to bake these cookies - Peanut cookies, butter cookies, cranberry & oatmeal cookies, choc-chip & raisin cookies, floss & sesame cookies, kuih bangkit [helped by my hubby] and ribbon biscuits. Actually planned to bake more varieties [smaller quantity] but couldn't because of the above constraint.
For ancestral praying on eve of CNY, I prepared the following dishes - Too Thor Th'ng, Lor Bak, Black Vinegar Trotter, Nasi Kunyit Chicken Curry, Jiu Hoo Char, Fried Yellow Noodles, Fried Fish and Pak Cham Kai [boiled chicken] and rice. You may wonder why I prepared so many varieties but this is my mum in-law's 'style'. For years, I have also to prepare steamboat for dinner [for 3 families] after ancestral praying but this year I do not want to over stress myself, I told my 'MIL' I can only prepare steamboat for lunch on 1st day of CNY [for about 6-7 families].
Then is cooking dinner for about 25 people. Dinner I cooked - Mixed Vegetable Soup [left over ingredients from steamboat], Fried Fish Fillet with 3 Flavoured Sauce, Vegetable Curry and salad [one of my hubby's sibling's family is vegetarian], Stir fry Assorted Meat [Chicken, Roasted Duck and Pork] with soy sauce.
On 2nd day of CNY, because I have to visit my parents, I prepared Vegetarian Tom Yam Beehoon and Fried Rice with Sausages and Eggs for lunch again these are for hubby's visiting siblings and families. By late afternoon, I have to rush home again to prepare dinner for the same number of people. For dinner, I cooked - Spicy, Sweet & Sour Big Prawns, Chicken with Corn/Chayote Soup, Stir fry vegetarian cauliflower/broccolli, Stir fry Beancurd with Leek, Steamed Teochew Style Fish Head and Lor Bak [balanced from CNY eve] just reheat in oven toaster.
You may be wondering why I have to do all these stuff - this is my MIL's style. Luckily, my hubby helped during the cooking and the later clean up after the people left later in the night. For your info, I have no children, so it is worth all the trouble? The main factor is because we have to abide to my 'MIL's style in ushering the CNY and other ladies in the family claims that they can't cook. Best part is we have to leave our own house a few days to do all this at her house.
Lucky thing is my hubby announced eating out today, otherwise these duties will carry on until the holidays are over. So what is CNY to me? Our priorities are not my hubby or myself but basically is to be a responsible son and daughter in-law and not to offend the 'MIL'. Saddest thing - none who ate in the house said a simple 'thank you for the food and trouble'.
Sorry, no photos of the food and cookies taken because of the huge crowd in the house and I am stressed out. Maybe in future when my priorities change, I will post the pictures and share the recipes.