Posts Tagged ‘Festivals’

The Best Place


I am convinced – I live in the best place in the world. God paints me a new sunset daily and I have the best view. Biased? Not at all! Haha! SunsetKKJust wait till Chinese New Year eve comes round. I can see fireworks from the vantage point of my home. The entire horizon lights up, albeit at different times! I wonder whether anyone bothers to synchronize their watch with the correct time! Or perhaps they are just being enthusiastic…. Anyway, even the neighbourhood joins in the festivities. We get to enjoy fireworks blasting from all sides  and even the housing estate below us, causing us to cram our necks to see where the next one will be let off. Our photography skills are put to the test yearly. Interspersing sounds of “Ohhhh”s and “Ahhh”s with “Waaaaa” and admiring silence, our friends and family join us to delight in this special time of the year in our special place, that is, our home.

Roll on this weekend!



I live in a multiracial country. Here, we have a lot more holidays than most other places because there are special holidays for the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and the indigenous folk. This variety of holidays translates into lots of time to visit one another and to see the sights.

It also means that intermingling of culture takes place. For instance, the giving of ang-pows used to be only done by the Chinese. Over the years, the Malays do it, but their packets are coloured green. Recently the bank gave me some ang-pows to give away – for Deepavali. These were in purple!

Now, this fusion has evolved even to the interpretation of symbols. Take this mall decoration for instance. It’s the year of the Rabbit I am told. But the main features are butterflies. Beautiful colourful and lovely butterflies.

They settle on lilies, and the rabbits are pale in comparison.

I like the butterflies actually. It really does add to the variety!

The Dinner


It’s the thing to do.

It’s tradition. It’s custom. It’s filial. It’s right.

Every Chinese New Year eve, the clan gathers.

They come together to eat and to trade stories of the past year, to pay respects and to look each other up.

For us, our two older Arrows came back for Christmas. So they both elected not to return so soon. That was fine with us.

So we had Arrow #3 with us and invited some friends over. Their children too, were away.

This is what we ate.

Or rather, we tried to finish eating. We were not successful. There were seven of us.

I am stuffed….

To Lose and Yet Win


OK. So we are asked to fast. No, not just one day, but three!

Just as well I suppose. Otherwise, in this season where there is always an abundance of food, weight gain means money loss! In fact, it is so easy to gain weight but we never think about money when we enjoy the food and drinks we consume while gaining weight.

Of course exercise and diet must be top of the list in terms of methods of losing weight. Then there is the best weight loss pill which is probably worth a try. But I think I will lose weight from this fasting period too. And that, is surely losing to win!

The Hills are Alive….


My title is the first phrase of a famous song.

It goes on to finish the sentence, “with the sound of music”.

I was reminded of this song because I saw a song being scheduled for this Sunday’s service, and realised that it was not just a song being sung, but rather that soon my life will be filled with the sound of…..

…. Christmas!

Dish of Feet


Since we had so much to contend with at our New Year Eve dinner, we found ourselves overwhelmed by the food and not vice-versa.

Hubby, wise as he is, knew this would happen. So he prepared contingency plans. He was going to make a special soup!

He got together some ingredients such as mustard vegetables, dried chilli and dried tamarind slices. Making made a few queries to find out more, he then put his plan into action this afternoon. He cooked “choi keok” pronounced “choy” as in ahoy and “keok”, as is key and york with a silent Y.

In the Cantonese dialect, which is my Hubby’s mother’s lingua franca, the words “choi keok” can mean a few a things.

“Choi” can be vegetables or even meat dishes, used as in “What’s the dish (choi) today?”

“Keok” directly translated means “feet”.

Put together, you have a Dish of Feet! Or more correctly, the DISH of LEFTOVERS!

choikeokHere you can see it bubbling away on the stove, made into a lovely soup, fit for a king! Indeed, legend has it that the emperors of China loved this dish.

And so does the king in my castle, my Hubby!

Bon Appetit!

The Duck Saga


We just wanted a duck. A roasted duck. It would be ideal for the Chinese New Year eve dinner. So we went to get one. We knew this shop opened at 8.30am so we set off to arrive at that time, bringing along our plate for it to be cut and arranged nicely.

When we got there, this was the sight that greeted us. duck01The queue folded back on itself three times!

So we asked our foster son to queue while we went to shop other things.

duck02And queue he did.

For half an hour!

This is the sort of thing that was on sale. He had duck, chicken and pork on sale.

duck04But what the people really wanted was the duck and the proprietor kept bringing in more and more of that.


Yes, we were all after the duck. One family ahead of us bought FIVE! At RM48 each, that is not cheap!

duck07So we got out duck finally and went home with it. But it wasn’t cut. The man didn’t have the time to spare to cut it up. He said in Chinese, “Every year also like this! I never cut! Never finish if I cut!”

Fair enough. So I did the chopping up. You can see the results of my mutilating act in The Hinge.

This Chinese New Year

Look at what you can do with a mandarin orange!
You’d never think that peeling a mandarin can be such fun!
See how creative you can be!

This is for real!
Look! It’s possible to do it!
And this young lady did!!!!!

In Preparation for Chinese New Year


I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately. Part of the fun of making cupcakes is the icing after. I enjoy doing them. Here’s a selection of what I have done last year.

I have been experimenting for Chinese New Year too! These are my attempts at the lanterns. I needed to get a special nozzle size No 2 for this. I used to use a Nozzle No 1 but it was really too fine for the work I wanted to do.


This is my attempt at firecrackers! The red firecrackers are done with Nozzle No 5 and the yellow “explosions” are a star burst nozzle.


With all my baking and icing, together with flowering fruit trees outside the house, we have had a lot of ants visiting. The ants are God’s way of fertilizing the flowers so that they become fruits. But these ants are not satisfied with the nectar from the flowers. They love my icing and cakes too! So I have had to make little moats of water to balance my cakes on. They can be pretty precarious!

That is, until now.

Dear Hubby saw this at the top shelf of our local supermarket and decided to get me two!


What’s so special about this? Take a closer look!

cny061Yes, it has its own built-in moat! With less than a third of a cup of water, the moat and its crevices are nicely filled up.

Now I can bake even more!