Chinese New Year 2020

Happy New Year of the Rat everyone! Chinese New Year is always such a happy time of the year for me. It's so close after Christmas, and feels like Christmas all over again with another chance to catch up with family.

This year, I had more decorations readily to put up around our home and it felt like there was even more food than last year! I still had old decorations of the year of the pig (2019) but it's so cute that I am happy to reuse every year, plus it's harder here to get nice Chinese New Year decorations than in Hong Kong.

We managed to have a wander in London's Chinatown too, it looks so cheerful with lanterns strung up everywhere.

Reusing old red packaging that would have ended up in recycling, I held Isaac's hand as we wrote "sum sheung see sing" which means success in everything that you wish for. And how cute is the little lightbox that I picked up from B&M for only £1.50!

Chinese New Year eve is the big celebration where families gathers to have a big, big feast consisting of all sort of auspicious dishes. G's uncle made and brought over a Hakka hotpot made with pork belly, lotus root, pork balls and fried tofu, as well as a delicious salted egg yolk fried prawns. There's also steamed chicken with spring onion and garlic oil, abalone with Chinese dried mushrooms and pak choi, steamed red snapper fish and scallops in black bean sauce.

Sweet foods are a must for a sweet year ahead, so there's pan fried 'nin goh' (sticky glutinous new year cake), assorted dried candied fruit and veg (sharon fruit, lotus root and winter melon), a plate of clemetines/mandarins with white rabbit sweets and a sweet soup made with beancurd skin, lotus seed and rock sugar.

On the first day of Chinese new year, my family has always honoured the tradition of eating vegetarian food only and I am continuing that tradition too now that I have my own family. I made noodles for longevity, tofu puffs braised in red bean curd, fresh tofu simmered with enoki mushrooms and preserved mustard green. 

Isaac's nursery was celebrating Chinese New Year in full gear, so I had to step in and offer a helping hand too. I made a mini feast of noodles and spring rolls, and brought in prawn crackers, new year cookies, new year cake and clementines. The kids and teachers absolutely loved it and it was utmost joy for me to share in their excitement!

Isaac showed his friends how to use children's training chopsticks (I brought in a few spare ones too) and he kept saying "thank you mummy for cooking all the food". My heart absolutely melted to see him being proud of his mama's involvement.

I hope you all had a wonderful Chinese New Year! 
Wishing you all good health and fortune in the Year of the Rat.

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