My how the fifteen days of Chinese New Year flew by this year. I don’t think it was because we were particularly busy celebrating everyday as a family, but perhaps because individually our lives have begun to really restructure and return to reality, leaving our holiday mindset behind. Though I admit this is more applicable to everyone in the family but me (I’m still on summer break), with Mumma’s work schedule showing no mercy and Lil’ Bro sitting his first set of HSC assessments, our celebration of this annual event revolved around the significant days, which luckily for us fell on weekends. Working towards each date, the 7th day, the people’s birthday and of course the 15th and final day, punctuating Chinese New Year within hectic schedules really did make it pass with all the more haste. Nevertheless, it was of course filled with good food planned by Mumma and I.
The last weekend of Chinese New Year was a rainy and cold one. I took this as a sign to warm the soul with the goodness of oatmeal. I had just bought an adorably sized pot from Peter’s of Kensington and was slightly overexcited at the thought of using it. Thus came both Saturday and Sunday breakfasts of oatmeal.
Banana whipped vanilla and cinnamon oats topped with almond butter, coconut, a drizzle of honey and sliced banana.
Banana whipped vanilla and cinnamon oats topped with vanilla bean yoghurt, sliced banana, melted peanut butter, a sprinkle of wholewheat crumble, toasted coconut and a drizzle of honey.
Simple, healthy, delicious and comforting on cold weekend mornings.
Saturday night was the eve of the final day of Chinese New Year and this had really only just occurred to us that morning. We had not booked a restaurant, Lil’ Bro was studying in his own world and Mumma was overworked from a long week. Once again, Golden Century takeaway came to the rescue, providing a gourmet feast in the comfort of our own home. Our stomachs were indeed satisfied and any stress on Lil’ Bro’s part was minimised as he refuelled for more study!
On the menu for the night was my favourite Fried Fish, the taste and texture of which I think no other restaurant can replicate – wonderfully crispy while retaining the flavour and tenderness of the fish, not to mention the flavoursome and appetising sauce and spring onions which complement the dish perfectly.
Not even the hyped Roast Duck at Mr Wong’s can replace that of Golden Century. Although it was takeaway, the duck was absolutely perfect! As I usually claim ‘ownership’ of the Fried Fish, Lil’ Bro was taken by the duck – in fact the whole family was, so I sneakily went to forgo some of the fish in a trade. The skin was perfectly roasted with the fat rendered off, leaving a crisp layer encasing an extremely tender and flavoured meat, which had no hint of dryness!
After trying this dish on the first day of Chinese New Year, Mumma and I knew that the Soya Sauce Chicken had to be ordered again to finish the celebration. It amazed me as to how tender and smooth the chicken meat was, with the sauce not dominating the star of this dish. It was quite heavenly!
We even created our own ‘Kiong Yong’ – Ginger and Chilli Condiments to add to these dishes. Being the chilli fanatic that I am, I was quite the happy eater.
Sundays in my family are usually quite laid back and what I have begun to see as the day of cooking, appropriate for the final day of Chinese New Year.
Mumma boiled her wonderful Chicken Broth with Corn, Carrots, Vermicelli Noodles and Fish Lip. In my mind, boiling soup is a sign of comfort, home and love. Nothing can compare to such a nutritious and organic bowl of love to chase away the prospect of the weekend ending!
Mumma proceeded to state that we could now treat ourselves after such a healthy ‘entrée’, so we created an absolutely delicious ‘Toastie’ of Sharp Cheddar and Ham with Dijon Mustard. I can never find a toastie comparable to one made at home. Most of the time we attempt to do so, Mumma, Lil’ Bro and I (The Toastie Musketeers) are left rather disappointed. Such a dissapointment occurred on my Saturday lunch with Mumma, while Lil’ Bro and Papa were at their boy’s basketball!
Although the ingredients at the new Pattinsons’ Pattiserie at Westfield Bondi Junction were indeed fresh and quality, it lacked the flavour and ended up rather dry. However, our creation was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
wasn’t already enough food, my Auntie E who just returned from Kuala Lumpur brought with her an abundance of Chinese New Year ‘snacks’. Who could pass up the authenticity and deliciousness of these wonderful munchables?! For once I forgot the amount of calories and sinfulness in these yummies and gave in to the inevitable.
The perfection of the Peanut Cookies almost had us in tears. They were melt in your mouth yet crisp, peanut butter tasting, yet slightly salty and sweet. I was speechless.
Yes, we still managed to fit in dinner. How could we not end the celebrations with a hearty home cooked meal?! Our stomachs were satisfied with a simple Fried Lettuce dish, the standard and much loved Wagyu Beef and Grilled Salmon Belly and a new edition of Soya Sauce Chilli Prawns.
Grilled Salmon Belly, has become a usual suspect in our meals, with its super crispy and golden skin and melt in your mouth meat. I think we have perfected the technique for this one!
Live Prawns from Central are a must try for any seafood lover in Sydney. Somehow, they taste above and beyond the usual fishmarket variety and when cooked with soya sauce, chilli and a hint of garlic, something magical occurs. I may or may not have ended up wiping the sauce up with a scoop of rice….
I must say that we ended Chinese New Year quite well this year, even though we were without our extended family. Making an effort to cook and buy delicious meals, ensuring that we took the time to appreciate the tradition truly made this year’s ‘celebration’ more meaningful and left me very content.
On another note this is my last post before SECOND YEAR university begins tomorrow! A decision to transfer to Medical Science has resulted in a rather hectic timetable and I didn’t think that was possible after my first year! Please excuse me if there is a short hiatus/minimal posting. I’ll hopefully still be instagramming (a hard habit to stop!), but bare with me as I find my feet and maintain balance and health as the craziness begins. My goal is a find a way to keep everything in complete balance and find a way to integrate blogging into daily life. Until next time!