when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
an article or two in The Star recently made me realize that it’s really stressful being Chinese sometimes.. i think for most of us young adult Chinese, this annual celebration and coming together of the whole clan is not as eagerly looked forward to as compared to when we were younger and still naive to understand anything about the ‘kia su‘, ‘kay poh‘ and, not to forget, ‘ai bin‘ games that’s become a norm amongst adults during gatherings..well i’m pretty sure it’s not uncommon with other races as well, but, somehow, it seems to be magnified to the high heavens for us Chinese..
just like everyone else, hubs and myself aren’t spared the attacks either and Chinese New Year is fast becoming our least favorite time of the year.. oh, we’re happy and glad to meet up and fellowship with our parents and siblings, but, it’s the pesky, nosey, AND intrusive extended family members that contribute to those annoying moments during familial obligatory meet ups.. true, the unfortunate occurrences do provide great laughs and amusement as we reminisce on the behavior of the offending person/s, after a while of bristling with annoyance, that is.. le sigh.. sure, the very few who genuinely care do mean well, but, after years of patient tolerance, it’s easy to tell between those who do and those that don’t.. well, having had enough of all the nonsense, and at the same time fearing that we may get influenced by the unsavory behaviors in the long run, hubs and i decided sometime after we got married to simply give the widest berth possible, any of the ‘freakish’ relatives who deem it their given duty to apply as much mental distress to anyone applicable in the extended family.. prevention IS better than cure, we believe..
i still have half of the leftover sauce from last week’s deep fried sea bass recipe sitting in the freezer, and as there’s another piece of sea bass thawing in the fridge, i decided to prepare another simple and easy Chinese style fish.. and speaking of fish, it happens to be one of the most ordered dish of the day for family gatherings, and very much so during Chinese New Year.. fish, in the Chinese community, symbolizes abundance and affluence.. if you walk into a shop selling and displaying decorative pieces for the home during Chinese New Year season, you’ll spot plenty of fish ornaments amongst the bright red and gold galore.. while shopping in Chinatown for goodies to bring home to our family, i like to walk into these shops and just look at the many lanterns, pussy willow and peach blossom branches, banners, gold and silver ingots, hanging ornaments, etc etc.. to be sure, it doesn’t really feel festive until you have these decorations around in your home to welcome in the new year~
so, for those celebrating,