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Friday, January 27, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012 - Dragon Year [II]

I know my MIL will never keep to her words.  It is not steamboat for ancestral worship on CNY eve.  Steamboat is for CNY eve dinner for her childrens' families.  Got to know that only when I reached her house a day before CNY eve.

For ancestral worship prayers, these were the items that I have to get ready for cooking on CNY eve morning.  Most of the items were bought by my MIL because she loves to buy.  Myself, I bought the ingredients for Chicken Curry Kapitan, Meat Rolls, Penang Prawn Noodles [recipe posted before] and bake a Chocolate Marble Chiffon.

Food for CNY Eve
  1. Pig Tripe's Soup
  2. Chicken Curry Kapitan
  3. Stir Fry Turnip [Jiu Hoo Char]
  4. Stir Fry Cauliflower and Brocolli
  5. Stir Fry Teow Chew Noodles
  6. Fry Fish [Senangin]
  7. Lor Bak [Family Style Meat Rolls] - recipe posted before
  8. Pak Cham Kai [Boiled Whole Chicken - 2 birds] 
  9. Chocolate Marble Chiffon [recipe posted before]
  10. Braised Duck Teow Chew Style [prepared by my MIL]
  11. Braised Bamboo Shoots with Pig Trotter [prepared partially by my MIL]
Apart from the above, I have to prepare steamboat for dinner and also Prawn Noodle Stock for CNY first day lunch [taste better to cook the stock earlier before serving].   Moreover, I cannot cook this on CNY day because I am on vegetarian diet.  Mind you, the quantity is not small [about 40 pax]. 

Apart from all of the above, my MIL bought more items below to add to the above for ancestral worship.
  1. Roast Duck and Pork [Siew Yoke]
  2. Angku and Huat Kuih
  3. Fruits
  4. Thnee Kuih [Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake]
I think it is too excessive but they are great eaters, the food were all finished up.  Is it because of one's character or too much money?   With so many things prepared, the saddest thing is that none of her other children [my hubby's siblings] turned up for the prayers.    I think they must have forgotten the meaning of ancestral worship on such ocassions.  Some came later for dinner.  Myself, have been in the kitchen the day before to prepare the ingredients and cooking since 6 am in the morning on CNY eve and busy till late afternoon and again in the kitchen from 5.30 pm to get the steamboat ready for my hubby's siblings and families.  You must be wondering why I have to slave myself, my problem is I can't bare to see an old lady doing all these things for her grown up children.  It should be the other way round.  I would find it hard to sit down  and enjoy these food.

There are still many, many more things to prepare such as Kwang Cheang, drinks and sweet dessert.  My MIL didn't manage to prepare the Kwang Cheang before the second day of CNY because of her knee problem.  I could not help her with this because my hands are tight with so much to handle single-handedly and of course she has her own recipe [different from mine].

Don't forget the cleaning up of the kitchen, dining hall, living room and house compound when all have left late in the evening.  My legs are aching by then.  It is really very tiring and you can't even complain or make a comment.  You may be branded as 'calculative'.  Even a maid has the right to make face when overworked but not me.   My hubby wanted to comment on this when his siblings arrived but I stopped him because they may blamed the wife.   Best to do more and zip up the mouth.

So what's the meaning of CNY for  me especially when my hubby and me do not have any children.  Just take it that we are doing charity work for people.

Food for First day of CNY 
Lunch -  Penang Prawn Noodle Soup [40 pax] , Chai Boey and reheat the CNY eve leftover dishes/soup.

Dinner [30 pax] - Steamed Fish, Vegetarian Curry, Chai Boey and the CNY eve dishes etc.
[managed to take pictures of only a few dishes - too busy with the serving].  
Cooked according to my MIL's instruction

Luckily for today, I did have 2-3 of my sisters in-law to help with the serving and washing.

Food for Second day of CNY [no pictures taken - really busy with the food preparation and also have to visit my mother before lunch and has to rush back to cook dinner [35 pax].  The following were the food for the whole day.
  1. Braised Sea Cucumber with Roasted Pork
  2. Chicken Soup with Straw/Button Mushrooms
  3. Stir Fry Boiled Chicken with Soy Sauce
  4. Stir Fry Beansprouts and Tau Mui
  5. Stir Fry Leafy Greens with Fish Sauce
  6. Steamed Fish with Ginger/spring onions in soy sauce
  7. Spicy Sweet Sour Big Prawns
  8. Stir Fry Vegetarian Dish [Snow Peas, Mushrooms and vegetarian gluten balls etc]
  9. Stir Fry Vegetarian Mutton with Sesame Oil and shredded ginger
  10. Steamed Braised Duck with braising stock
* The vegetarian dishes were prepared for one my hubby's  sibling [the couple are vegans]

For 3 consecutive nights, I have to wait till almost midnight before I could clean up the hall after all the people has left otherwise I would not have the time to do it the next morning when there are more chores waiting to be done.  Imagine how can one enjoy this kind of CNY with lack of sleep/rest and especially when there is not even a word of appreciation from the people. But I felt happy because I have done something good for the CNY [this I have being doing yearly since I got married in the 1990s].

Lucky for this CNY, most have left earlier because the the official off day was till Tuesday.

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