I do not typically take all my kids grocery shopping with me. I am so much faster by myself or with just a couple of them. Last week we celebrated Chinese New Year. I knew the kids would love roaming the aisles of the asian/international grocery store, so we loaded up and headed there together.
We got several double glances…I can’t imagine why.
This next photo is for those of you that have little ones and you load 17 shopping bags on your two arms and carry a baby at the same time. One day…you won’t carry the bags or the baby. One day, you might have lots of willing helpers. And IT. IS. AWESOME.
My friend Bopha’s mom let a few of us come watch her cook dumplings and steam buns last week. I jotted down a bunch of notes and was determined to make all the dumplings for our family feast. Typically, I cater most of our New Year’s meal because…well, I want it to taste good and I’ve yet to master the art of Chinese cuisine….until this year. I am thinking I might have a little bit of Chinese in me – the dumplings and steam buns were awesome. However, the mere fact I am calling them dumplings and steam buns instead of their actual names proves that I am in fact not Chinese.
Regardless, I do have lots of friends that know how to celebrate Chinese New Years and know how to cook authentic dishes…so I will learn a little more each year and have fun in the process.
I wasn’t sure if the kids would be able to ‘pleat’ the dumplings, but they did a better job than me. My mom came over to help us too, so that doubled our working speed!My youngest daughter just wanted to tear all the dough circles. She did an awesome job at it.A traditional part of Chinese New Year festivities is the Lion Dance. My mom started our own family take on the tradition three years ago. Each year she makes a costume with the kids that goes with the animal of the year (Year of the Snake, Year of the Monkey, etc.). This year was Year of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, depending on who you ask). During our dinner the kids danced around in it, similar to the traditional Lion Dance. It is our Okie Chinese New Year – I basically love this night each year.In 2012, on the morning of the day I would meet my youngest daughter I ate a steam bun for breakfast. “Attempted to eat” would be more like it. To this day, I can’t see or eat a steam bun without thinking of that day. Every little detail of that day is etched in my memory in a profound and unusual day. I’ve always liked steam buns, but after that day – I relish each bite. I followed Bopha’s mom’s directions for making them. The outsides still need lots of work, but they taste so good. I still can’t believe I made them. The smile below is one of surprise and shock that I actually made them and they tasted good!
Later that night our home was full of laughter and familiar voices. Holidays have always been a big deal for my extended family. I love that life of my youngest daughter ushered in a new holiday that brings us all together in MY home. My mom and aunt get Thanksgiving and Christmas in their homes. I get Chinese New Year!