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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016--The year of the monkey

Over the past year, we have been blessed to become friends with another family from church who are American born Chinese.  Not only are they so much fun to hang out with and are always up for a good time, but they have taken us under their wings and allowed us to delve a bit deeper into the Chinese culture.
As with many relationships, this bond has been strengthened through the mutual love of sharing and eating food.  Coming to the table together helps to draw people out, linger and really share.
We've made jiaozi, gone for Sunday dim sum after church, churned homemade ice cream, participated in hot pot, celebrated Christmas Eve English tea, and even helped feed over 50,000 people in a Care for AIDS project.  We're also experiencing life together as part of a small group at church.
So when we were invited over to celebrate Chinese New Year, of course we jumped at the chance! We knew it would be a traditional/authentic meal (read: some foods we've never had before!!) but we were up for it.  Girls included ;)
While my friend, L, is an awesome cook (probably one of her love languages), her hubby, S, decided to take the lead and went.to.town.  When we saw her at church Sunday morning, she informed us that he was at home preparing the pig trotters.  Yes, you read that right, pig feet.  Insert deep breath here.
When we got there Sunday night, on the eve of Chinese New Year, the kitchen was hopping!  All kinds of delicious smells greeted us and the kids were beyond excited.
I swore that I'd take notes so that I'd remember all of the menu items, but then got carried away with talking and so didn't.  Here's hoping I can keep everything straight...

 Bok Choy with mushrooms and dried scallions
"Long life" noodles with pork
"Long life" noodles with tofu
A whole chicken (head, skin, bones--literally a WHOLE chicken!)
A whole fish (see above)
Turnip cakes
The famous pig trotters
Rice cakes with cabbage, mushrooms, fish cakes and pork
 Then, for dessert....
Almond cookies, coffee and strawberry roll cakes, mango jigglers, various Chinese candies, tangerines, pomelo and Mei Mei's Gotcha Day cake, the super-sweet American mint chocolate cake and
 glutenous rice balls with peanut and coconut with sesame (?) filling
 The kiddos had fun slurping the jigglers.
After we finished eating, we all sat around and I read a book that we had brought before we turned on the Super Bowl--
J of course couldn't resist this one, the matchmaker.  We sent this to my brother.  The chicken head and the fish head kissing.  Ooo la la!
 And you know it was a great CNY when you turn around in the garage and see this.
Happy year of the Monkey everyone!

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