Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese New Year superstitions

Are you the superstitious type? I am not. Well, I think I kind of am but I don't take it to the extreme. I know some people do and every ritual must be performed to the T to gain luck, prosperity and..and..oh, I don't know, just to have a smooth sailing year I suppose.

Back in the day before I got married, Dad will ask us to cut our nails at night on the eve of Chinese New Year. We will sit with him, complete with the clipper and newspaper (for the clippings). Not your conventional bonding moment between father and daughter, but if clipping our nails does it for Dad, it will do for us! I never really asks why but I guess it has something to do with good luck I guess.

Oh, and CNY eve is truly the busiest time. No one sleeps until past 12 midnight. After dinner, Mom will hurriedly clean the table, put everything away and prepare for midnight prayers. To welcome the God of Prosperity I was told. For that, a table will be laid out in front with prayer stuff, all windows and doors open (welcome mozzies!) and Dad will be busy sweeping and mopping the floor. Perhaps this is not a supersittion but it's a ritual thingy that my parents go through every year on the eve. 

Ah yes...the one common belief of both my in laws and parents is that we're not allowed to wear anything black on CNY. Apart from our black hair, nothing else can be black. Even our undies have to be coloured something other than black. We can be wearing blue, green or purple but never black. The colour black is often associated with bad, or bad luck or just generally very black, and considered highly inappropriate for CNY which is a time to celebrate goodness, prosperity, good luck, positivity, etc...

Anyway, these are some of the peculiar rituals or beliefs my family indulges in. How about yours? Do you have any peculiar CNY superstitions or rituals that you go through?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

How was your Chinese New Year celebration so far? As much as I looked forward to eating, I didn't eat as much as I wanted to. Blame it on old age, blame it on the moon and the stars above -- I don't know, just  didn't quite make the gastronomy scale this year. But, I did try.

New Year's eve for us has always been eating twice : once with my in-laws (think that's mandatory) and at my grandmother's house after. My MIL is usually very efficient with her cooking on NY's eve. Like for instance, this year, we had our 1st dinner at 5pm. Yep, we were shooed out of the house by 7pm. We even made a pitt-stop to COld Storage to get some drinks before heading out to my grandma's and still made it in time to have dinner with my uncles, aunts and cousins (read : before the food got completely wiped out). So, 2 dinners in one night has been quite the norm for us, even before kids.

Hubby and I had our 2nd dinner while the kids entertained themselves with whatever they could find and whoever they could con. So, yeah, it was indeed a much needed peaceful dinner for us (for me to be exact). So peaceful that I ended up having 2 helpings of my 2nd dinner. All in all, I had 4 helpings in total on CNY eve alone! I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move. So stuffed I was that my body ended up on my grandma's bed. Trust me, I was up to my throat with yummyness.

More of the "makan-makan" awaits as mom cooks up a storm and as usual, we all wait eagerly around the table for that!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Xin Nian Kuai Le

Wan Shi Ru Yi..

Learning Mandarin because when Ash learns Mandarin, I have a head start. 

Who am I kidding? You can take the banana out of the girl, but not the girl out of the banana. Huh?

OK..nevermind. It's Chinese New Year and have a great celebration all!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wheels insurance

With the coming outstation travels, best to give your car a thorough check before disembarking. Some of you may have new wheels so this check will not be necessary. However, for those with old junks (like mine), best to get your car serviced in time before travelling.

Most people will not think about getting that spare tyre pumped. You should actually. I mean, you won't know when you'd meet with a..urm..situation (knock on wood) and if your spare is also flat, that could mean a whole lot of trouble.

Even better if you can get a 5th wheel insurance. You know, just to make sure no one steals your wheels and get away with it. 

Whatever it is, better to be safe than sorry. We don't want any un-toward anything happening during the festivities. 

random thoughts

Another warm and sunny day. It's really rare for me that both kids are somewhere I don't have to worry about them. I honestly relish the alone-ness, the ME time to do whatever I want and in a completely peaceful surrounding. For as long as I can remember, there have been none of those. 

The most important I truly treasure during times like these is the fact I get to eat. Really. Eating is something I haven't done in a long time. I am someone who rushes through food. Hubby always say I don't know how to enjoy food. I have had a friend who always complained I eat like a mouse. These folks do not know a thing, I tell ya...Don't know a thing!

I have always been like this. Taking my time when it comes to food. Especially when it's a truly yummy dish, I eat slower to savour every taste, every smell, every bite like it's the last thing I will ever eat on the face of this planet. Don't matter if there are more than that single serving on the table, I will simply take my time and enjoy the gastronomical ride..slowly. 

Many have said the mistaken belief that because I eat so slowly, I must not like food. Are you kidding me? How can anyone not love food?! Especially yummylicious food. It's a hiong sau that most people do not appreciate the way that I do. 

With my new found freedom, I take my time to have my breakfast after sending the kids away ('away' - that sounded soooooooo good). It could dining at a favourite mamak joint or kopitiam. Again, taking my time. Thankfully, I have found someone who also takes her time to eat. So, you see, there may be more of 'us' out there. 

By the time I finish my long breakfast or I should in fact call it my brunch, I'll be too stuffed to have lunch proper. And, I can just relax when it's time to feed the kids during lunchtime. Isn't that the best thing ever? I think it is. 

Now, all i need to do is look forward to the day where I send both off to boarding school. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Help in the kitchen

helping in the kitchen 

 Seemingly enjoying themselves.

By the way, I need to back-up my photos that's sitting in my HD right now. In doing that, I realised there are plenty of photos I took dating back 6 to 7 months ago that I've not published, processed or did anything to them. For one thing, I have been lazy (what's new eh?).

So now, I reckon, is the right time to do all of it. And, when I do come across interesting ones, I'll put them up on this blog. Take the one above for instance -- they were helping me peel the peanut skin to make soup. Well, they tried their very best cos despite soaking the nuts overnight, the skin really stuck on and it wasn't that easy to peel. But, you know, the kids had a grand time nevertheless. When there's water involved (and making a mess in the process), anything is fun.   

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