Welcome to Plaid Eggnog!

Welcome to Plaid Eggnog!

Feb 15, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

Gong xi fa cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

In honour of our many Chinese friends around the world, we like to celebrate Chinese New Year. When we lived in Toronto, we used to live just a short walk from Chinatown, with its bustling markets, colourful wares and superb selection of local and international produce. Throughout this post, you'll see pictures from Toronto's Chinatown.

But getting back to Chinese New Year, how better to celebrate, than with Chinese food? Gryffin the Welsh Terrier would say we always seem to be eating around here...and why doesn't he get to eat whenever we do? However, Gryffin would agree with this next bit...here we want to say a special thanks to our Taiwanese-Canadian buddy, Chung, who takes us to an Asian food superstore in Calgary, every time we visit him there. And thanks to him also for putting up with us crashing at his place whenever we go to Calgary for a get-away! This is where Gryffin would concur. He loves to sit beside Chung's kitchen counter when he's concocting an Asian dish for us - because who knows when something will fall on the floor? ;-)

Over the years, Chung and other friends have introduced us to all sorts of Chinese fare - everything from how to cook rice to just the right consistency, to how to order dim-sum, to (yes, even this) how to eat chicken feet. Asian food - be it Chinese, Thai or Indian - is now a regular part of our diet. In fact, we eat Asian food more than we eat potatoes! So we've ventured out quite a way from the traditional meat & potato cuisine we grew up with on the east coast. This year, our Chinese New Year feast included homemade beef & broccoli, served on wonderful Taiwanese spinach noodles, and topped with one of the wonderful (and easy-to-use) Chinese sauces from the Lee Kum Kee line. They come in single-meal pouches and are very inexpensive, too.

Chinese cuisine is not known best for its desserts, but there are actually many interesting Chinese treats. The photos show one of our favourite Chinese sweets - little dessert balls, filled with interesting pastes. Not everyone likes them, as they have quite a different texture from western foods. The little balls are not solid like cake, but rather have a somewhat squishy feel to them. But we love them! These ones contain the following delectable surprises inside: white balls - sweet red bean (you can also make a wonderful sweet dessert soup out of these red beans); mauve balls - taro (Julie's favourite); brown balls decorated with seeds - nutty sesame (Steve's favourite); and  green balls - a rather pungent green tea.

So enjoy Chinese New Year, thinking of your Chinese brothers and sisters around the world. And maybe even send a note to someone you know, using one of Canada Post's cool new Year of the Tiger / Chinese New Year stamps. Gong xi fa cai!

1 comment:

  1. I would love some recipes!! Chris and I really enjoy food from other parts of the world and I have dabbled in thai food and love curry. Any Chinese/ Asian food secrets you want to share I will receive! Also, thanks so much for your comment!! AND Aimee LOVES getting mail from you guys. When we got your V-Day card I said who do you think that is from and she said, Steve, Julie and Gryffin! =) I am loving your blog!! AND, I will let you know when we try those super fun cupcakes.