As we wind down Chinese New Year, I must confess I am glad to see the back of it.
I’ve had a torrid time this year for reasons unrelated to the actual festivities (for once!!) but nonetheless due to family. I guess family relationships are always tricky things. Unlike friends, you can’t choose your family and for better or for worse, you’ve just got to work it through. Or better yet, hope the issues blow over and go away. (Spoken like a true ostrich, I’ll admit!)
But trials aside, I genuinely enjoyed the opportunity to gather and meet with relatives that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. I guess that’s the beauty of Chinese New Year, something that has grown on me over the years. I think it helped that our schedule was not packed to the brim, leaving us with enough downtime to enjoy visiting and not feel wiped out!
One of the highlights of the fortnight was having KFC for reunion dinner. Ok, probably more of a highlight for the boys and kids in the family than me but hey, whatever makes everyone happy and eating with minimal fuss!
Happy with KFC!
I was far happier with the soup that my Mum also made. Too bad there wasn’t enough for too many helpings!
This year was also the first time the four of us were able to join my extended family for lunch on CNY Day 1. I used to meet these uncles, aunts and cousins every year for reunion dinner and some of my best CNY memories are derived from those days, from the good food, to the gathering with cousins, to the gambling! Ok, I know my husband would disapprove, but in those days, with money in hand from freshly procured ang pows, it was tremendous fun to try our luck at dice roulette games that my uncle would helm.
The annual reunion petered out after my grandfather passed on but my eldest uncle started hosting Day 1 lunch instead — right about the same time that I got married into a family that also hosted Day 1 lunch. I could never join the rest of my family for that gathering. That is, until last year. But because of Mei’s HFMD last year, it was only this year that all four of us were there. We even made it for the pre-lunch photoshoot too! No more gambling (haha) but still lots of fun.
Everyone say, “Huat ah!”
Cousins in their matching outfits from Elly!
This year, the children were keenly aware of what was going on, specifically their ang-pow collection, which they dutifully and carefully kept on their own. And counted up their rather substantial haul at the end of the every day too! The joys of being a kid during CNY!
Ang pow smiles!
Godparents and godsisters whom we are going to miss dearly in the coming year.
With cousins on 元宵，whom they missed during the initial days of visiting.
Because we didn’t have that much visiting to do (by which I mean we didn’t have our usual crazy schedule), I had time to try a new recipe which was a BIG HIT with the whole family, especially Noey — Chicken Abalone Porridge. Guess that shouldn’t be surprising since it is abalone after all! But my kids don’t eat abalone and it was the porridge cooked with yummy abalone stock that they slurped up. All the better for us adults who got to enjoy the abalone without having to share! My non-porridge eating son liked it so much that he has requested this again the following weekend. He clearly has expensive taste!
Chicken Abalone Porridge. Mmmmmm.
I’m glad I sat down to write this because I guess amidst all the painful bits, there were moments to cherish.
Hope your CNY was a good one. And now, into the new year we go!
From our family to yours, happy CNY!