As a previous post implied, I’ve been trawling through my blog archives a little. The reason why I was back-checking some posts was because I vaguely remembered posting a picture of a bunch of us in our CNY Eve gear. What I’d forgotten was that it wasn’t just us, discreetly cropped, in our loud, loud shirts; the whole entry
was about CNYs and featured pictures of our 2006/2007 feasts. Er, much like this one for 2010. Hey, this could be a point for consistency, if not originality.
Our CNY shin-digs have been much lower key than what we were used to growing up in Queensland. Having so many rellies in Brisbane meant that CNY was always at least one dinner party for 40+, and lots of visits/phonecalls over the next 15 days. Here in Melbourne, we have the ‘reunion dinner’ on CNY Eve, and the vegetarian breakfast on the day itself, but nothing really other than that. If we didn’t have the 2 (v. young) sprogs in tow, I’m sure we’d be doing a lot more in terms of engaging with CNY in the city. I love a lion dance; so much excessive noise and colour! And the exploding lettuces are always a treat.
This year, CNY Eve was at our place, with a lovely stray friend included in the family gathering of 11. Below are a few pics to represent the evening: 3 of our pre-dinner snacks, and 1 of the feast itself.
An aerial view of our snacks for the evening
A CNY feast just doesn’t feel right without a plethora of snacks. Because we don’t have that many people around, we limited ourselves to five things. It was hard.
Gnau yee pang (Cow’s ear biscuits)
Think shape, not content. We love these biscuits. They have a great whole-spice aroma and are extremely more-ish. Luckily, a packet of them is rather substantial. My sister and I split the leftovers that night, and no blood needed to be spilt.
Just plain old biscuits with fish printed on them. I’d expected a filling of some sort, but…no. I forgave them their simplicity, considering their decoration. Our family just loves the fish motif!
Our CNY spread for 2010 (from front):
Roast duck, jiu hu char (stirfried jicama, dried squid, cabbage, carrot, spring onion + coriander), roast pork, my mother’s famous homemade Penang loh bak (deep-fried pork roll), + har lok (prawns braised in spicy tomato sauce).
It also feels different to have CNY in Melbourne. We’re used to spreading ourselves across available verandah spaces in Brisbane’s slickly humid February/March evenings. In a perverse way, the perspiring atmosphere, and sweating through our CNY clothes, makes the event feel more like ‘home’, wherever that happens to be.