Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Dragon, y'all! It starts tomorrow. I hosted a Chinese New Year shindig last night, and made it easier on myself than last year by:

1) Doing the prep work for the jiao-zhe filling the day before. That way the veggies had plenty of time to soak up the salt and expunge their water. Who wants to be wringing out veggies at the last minute? Not me! Doing it the day before minimizes chaos.

2) Soliciting more help. I asked for N/2 people to show up early and wrap dumplings. All N of them did so! I also only made filling and roasted the chicken. I solicited help with the rest of the menu. My noodle-maker, upon hearing that noodles=longevity in superstition-ese, decided to up the ante by making each person one 3-foot long noodle! I'd never had a personal noodle before! The person who volunteered to make the nian-gao had never had a proper one before (my lousy one from last year definitely does not count!), so I was very impressed when hers turned out much better!

3) Switching it to the nearest weekend night rather than doing it on New Year's Day. Then we can stay up late, sleep in, etc. Of course, I don't want to spend New Year's dinner alone, so I'll be trudging across the street to my neighbors with leftover chicken and the rest of the uncooked jiao-zhes, which we can cook then!


My cabin, evidently, fits a friendly crowd of 12 humans, 4 dogs, and 1 very patient rabbit!

Charcoal came from across the street. He was holding Linden's paw, whispering sweet nothings to her, when I rudely interrupted with the flash:

Sam's papa brought the trout:

My personal noodle!

Portrait with Charcoal fail:

The jiao-zhes came out in batches:

Another beautiful chicken! Damn, I'm good! This one was stuffed and infused with herbs from BT's garden.

Some dogs that I won't name have no discipline and jump on the couch!
Mine, who have much superior manners, wait until I leave the house, and then jump off it when they hear my car pull up in the driveway!

Five! Five fuzzy things in my cabin! Ah, ah, ah! Wahndurful!


mdr said...


bt said...

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Looks like an awesome party. I love that my garden herb trimmings made the trip back and into this festival!

Happy year of the Dragon!


Rena said...

Happy New Year!! Everything looks delicious and everyone looks happy. What a nice way to start off the new year.

I was admiring the trout, and then realized that your rivers and lakes are all frozen solid. Where in the world did Sam's father find fresh trout? Surely noone ice-fishes during the middle of January? I mean, I saw people ice-fishing in Wisconsin this time of year, but the temps only regularly get down to 0 or the negative teens there, not -40!

Arvay said...

He ice fishes. The lake ice was only a few feet thick. :)

mdr said...

What might be the bundle of white thing in your noodle bowl?

Arvay said...

It is an overexposed (too bright flash) jiao-zhe.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

The winter trout looks awesomely delicious! Send a virtual my way, wouldja?

And, of course, Happy New Year!