Chinese New Years Eve Feast
Chinese New Years Eve is almost upon us! Families are waiting with anticipation for the feast of all feasts. Every fiber of the day has been shouting, it is time! Indeed it is time, to shop and begin the long hours of planning and cooking the Holiday Meal. Every woman is in the market choosing the perfect meat, vegetables, and fruits. Even the market has taken on a festive look, as they know it is almost time. Every man and child wait, as they know not the secrets that await them from the kitchen. Preparation for Chinese New Years Eve Feast has begun.
Chinese New Years Eve is an opportunity to honor family and friends with special culinary delights from the kitchen. Every home will want to have tangerines and oranges in beautiful displays. These fruits are thought to bring wealth and luck. It is good to display in groups with the leaves on the stem. The leaves are said to symbolize longevity. Care is also taken to never display in groups of four, as four is the number for death. If the menu includes noodles, then they are kept as long as possible to symbolize long life.
Every home on Chinese New Years Eve will have a tray of togetherness. Family is important in Taiwan, and this tray of 8 compartments will be filled with awesome snacks such as preserved kumquats for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, loganberries to bring many sons, and the traditional red melon seeds which symbolizes happiness. Extra trays will have been prepared by the cook, so that each invited guest will have a tray to take home. Great care goes into these special trays.
Chinese New Years Eve is the perfect opportunity to make Nian Gao or year cake. This is a steamed sweet of glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, and oil. Many add sesame seeds, red dates and nuts. Dates are used a lot during Chinese New Years Eve, as they are believed to bring early prosperity. As the week progresses this chewy cake will harden and then what ? No problem, you slice and dip in egg and then pan fry. The inside will soften and the outside will get crisp.
So as this delightful day of all days approaches, families bond in special ways, homes take on a festive look, and special scents and flavors escape through the air. Yes, it is time…..it is time for Chinese New Years Eve Feast. It is time to welcome…..The New Year!