Chinese New Year 2013

Happy Chinese New Year 2013 to all my friends, family and readers of WinnieKepala.com

Chinese New Year is coming to an end this Sunday. This year of the snake, I got to spend it with my family and great friends with loads of food, conversations, fun and more food again.

Festivities starts with the traditional CNY Eve Reunion Dinner with family and relatives. This year, we switched things up a bit to lessen the load on preparing dinner for over 15 people on my family side. We decided to go potluck style, where everyone contributed a dish or two and we had a great mix of so much delicious food on the table.

CNY 2013 Reunion Dinner with family
CNY 2013 Reunion Dinner with family

There were so many dishes of curry chicken, steam fish, marmite ribs, roast ducks, stew pork, vegetables and garlic chilli padi lala.

I contributed the lala (clams) dish, which I Instagram-ed and tweeted about it after a previous attempt at cooking this dish. I bought over 3 kilos of lala.

Almost 3 kilo of lala I'm cooking for reunion dinner potluck with family tonight. Shitloads of lala, no kidding!

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

The lala (clams) was made by yours truly – which turned out super spicy and would’ve been better served piping hot.

My Reunion Dinner potluck dish - garlic chilli padi lala (clams)
My Reunion Dinner potluck dish – garlic chilli padi lala (clams)

Not bad, for someone who used to be culinary challenged and set fire to my kitchen.

Kick off Reunion Dinner with a Yee Sang toss
Kick off Reunion Dinner with a Yee Sang toss

Yee Sang, for those non-Malaysians or Chinese, is also known as a Prosperity Toss or Lou Hei, consisted of a mix of shredded vegetables, condiments and sauces with (usually) raw salmon, where everyone toss (like a salad) with their chopsticks while saying good wishes for the year. This is usually served at the start of the meal, usually over festivities like Chinese New Year, to symbollise wealth, prosperity, good luck for the lunar new year.

Relatives are especially cheerful when there's a new baby in the  family
Relatives are especially cheerful when there’s a new baby in the family

There were, of course, too much food that everyone ended up almost taking back some food for supper.

 

15 days of Chinese New Year of the Water Snake

Traditionally, my family used to have all our relatives over for Day 1 and Day 2 of CNY lunch at our place. Keeping things simple this year, we decided to just have a small lunch of my immediate family only. Commonly, most people have vegetarian meals on Day 1 and Day 15 of the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Day of CNY lunch was simple vegetarian
Day 1 of CNY lunch was simple vegetarian

There were only 6 of us, so we had a simple lunch of vegetables and mock meats, which is rather common for Chinese vegetarian dishes. Some might not enjoy mock meats, but I quite like it.

As with any Chinese New Year, the married couples gives ang pows (red packets) to the younger, unmarried kids (or adults). In my family, this includes giving ang pow to an aunt, or any older relatives, who are unmarried.

Giving ang pows
Giving ang pows

Friends and family would know that me and Hubby have our own customized ang pow packets, which consist of our monogram, from our wedding a few years back.

Geoff & Winnie Ang Pow packets
Geoff & Winnie Ang Pow packets

The rest of the week consists of a lot of visiting to family and friend’s houses for CNY. Loads of snacking on munchies and good Chinese food.

We also had some relatives over at our place
We also had some relatives over at our place

Also had an awesome CNY dinner with close friends (thanks again, Melissa) at Han Room at Gardens, Midvalley.

More Yee Sang toss
More Yee Sang toss
Awesome suckling pig
Awesome suckling pig (before being served with man tao and leftovers fried chiew yim style)
One of the most delicious steam fish I can remember
One of the most delicious steam fish I’ve tasted

Although the food at Han Room was excellent, I can’t say the same about their service. Dishes came out late, requests throughout the night had to be repeated several times and they also had a major mistake and confusion with our bill. Maybe they were packed, under-staffed, or maybe they’re just blur…

Nevertheless, I can still remember the food, which we couldn’t finish, and became my delicious lunch the next day. Yummy!

 

Annual Chinese New Year Open House

On the first Saturday of the CNY week, me and Hubby had our annual CNY Open House for our friends at our home. Check out our 2010 CNY Open House post here.

This has been going on for many years (except we skipped last year when my family was still in mourning). This year was no exception – we had  a bunch of friends over for dinner, drinks and (ahem) the usual CNY card games (read:gambling)

Because we usually have so many friends over, we do take-away foods instead to feed our guests.

Yee Sang to kick off dinner
Yee Sang to kick off dinner
Food courtesy of Wong Ah Wah Restaurant at Jalan Alor (they delivered!)
Food courtesy of Wong Ah Wah Restaurant at Jalan Alor (they delivered!)
Porkie pork of Siew Yoke (roast pork) and Char Siew (barbeque pork) courtesy of Jalan Gasing Ipoh Chicken Rice
Porkie pork of Siew Yoke (roast pork) and Char Siew (barbeque pork) courtesy of Jalan Gasing Ipoh Chicken Rice

With plenty of food and drinks, all our guests spent the night of fun, games, catch up conversations, etc.

The (mostly) girls gather for some Black Jack
The (mostly) girls gather for some Black Jack
The boys take over the dining table and the poker chips
The boys take over the dining table and the poker chips
Loads of chatting and catching up
Loads of chatting and catching up

The party lasts until our last guests leaves. Minus those who drank so much that they had to spend the night, the party lasted until 4.30 am this year! Not bad! After all the cleaning up, I was exhausted and finally went to bed at 5am!

It was another huge success for me and Hubby. I truly want to thank all our friends for coming and making it a great great night and celebration! 

PS. Friends who came, the rest of the pictures are up on Facebook, guys!

Oscar wishing you all a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2013
Oscar wishing you all a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2013

While I still have time, I want to wish all my Chinese friends and readers, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR of the SNAKE!!!

CNY is not exactly over yet, as the last day aka Chap Goh Meh is this Sunday, 24 Feb 2013. So, you still have a couple of days of visiting Chinese friends you can do. Me, I still have a couple of days of ang pows to give away…

How has your Chinese New Year been this year? You wanna come claim your ang pow from me, while you still can? *wink*

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