Saturday, January 31, 2009

Greg & Nee's CNY Food Gallery

We do almost all of our Chinese New Year visits on the first & third day. The first day involves squeezing in as many relatives' houses as possible, following a patriarchial hierarchy, starting from both sets of our parents down to our first uncles & so on down to the rest in line.

Whatever that is left over is squeezed into the third day when we do our friends'. And you can imagine that by the third day, it's usually a full day, non-stop marathon. We targeted 12 houses & hit 10 on the third day. Not bad eh? It felt like a bull run.

This year has started out pretty good with cool weather albeit a little rainy. That was perfect for our outings & sleeping in as well. Oh, FYI both of us are not exactly sun people. In the olden days, they call people like us vampires.

Our second day this year was our open house from 11am-4pm. We like to do open house. It's a great way to get everyone to come within a stipulated window of time, rather than having to sit around waiting for little spurts of people, or having to greet them in our pyjamas i they come by too early, or having to rush home immediately just because some guests decided to pop over out of the blue.

This year, I decided to go for catering so that I could take a break from all that baking. I certainly didn't want to jump from one baking marathon to a cooking one. If I did that, the State Sports Council would have awarded me with a SPORTSwoman of the Year award.

These were the flower arrangement from Spring Florist. We wanted a garden feel and they gave us orchids and helicornia. Quite pretty dont you think?

This was where the main setup was. Our walled up porch was converted into this little dining area which confused a couple of kids who were trying to make sense of whether it was a restaurant or a house.

This was entertainment/dining area no. 2 which allowed Greg & I to alternate between our guests, splitting them up, sort of like a crowd control mechanism, in case they fight over the food.

We've had Kuching Park Hotel food quite a number of times before & they have been consistently quite pleasing. The umai was excellent & we'll definitely be bringing it back next year.

However, I can't say the same for the Lamb with black pepper sauce. Somehow, I think nobody touched it at all. This one will be out of our menu.

This was actually quite nice but the brocolli turned slightly soggy and brown after a while due to the continuous heating. So the presentation didn't looked too appealing & thus it wasn't very popular.

Next time we will get butter prawns to replace the lamb and brocolli.

This was Greg's must-have chicken curry which went very well with the bee hoon.

This was the fried bee hoon that went very well with the chicken curry that Greg must have. It was completely gone by about 4pm.

The Braised Seacucumber with mushrooms were excellent. The Sea cucumber was still very crunchy and the mushrooms were really thick and fresh.

The was the dessert department which consisted of my very own homemade cakes. They were also completely wiped out by 4pm.

Nee's Fruit Cake ~ yes this is really my cake because for some reason I just love the smell of rum and fruits. So I made this for myself.

Nee's mango agar agar.

Nee's Choc Brownies

All time favourite ~ Nee's White Choc Macadamia Cheese Cake

Nee's Blueberry Cheese cake.

And this was the eat-cookies-as-you-wait-for-your-turn section.
Nee's Kuih Momo

Ikan Bilis ~ a gift from Aunty Yeo. Do not be fooled by it's simplicity. It is deadly addictive.

Grandma's Traditional Mung bean cookies (Lack Tao Koh) made with traditional patterns from traditional wooden moulds personally carried home from China more than 50 years ago.

Nee's Almond Cookies

Nee's Pineapple tarts.

Grandma's traditional Kuih Bangkit.

Nee's Namyue cookies

And of course, the lapis gallery. This was what I've been doing all this while.

Cheese lapis

Mocha Lapis

Choc Mint Lapis

Prune Lapis

Sancha Lapis

And with that, we officially end our New Year binging ... until Chap Goh Mei of course.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Another One: Happy CNY 2009!

There's minimal decoration this year. As usual, we're sandwiched between two neighbours who are all out in full blast with their red lanterns & firecrackers, while we opted for the more sanitised & minimal display. But of course, in keeping with the tradition, there's always pockets of red colour here & there in the living room, the sofa, the flowers & the dining table.

As usual again, we have our one flower for all seasons, the lily.

Nee's keropok of the fish & sweet potato kind turned out alright. The sun decided to come out long enough one day & my mom managed to sun dry & fry them with my sister's assistance. It sounds like a family affair, but CNY always does.

Last night, it was like a war zone as usual, albeit with a shorter window of firecrackers. This morning, as we drove around the neighbourhood, we couldn't help but notice the piles of used fireworks boxes all stacked up neatly & orderly in front of houses. It looks like a direct defiance of the police's warning.

Greg & Nee wishes all our dear readers a very happy, prosperous & healthy New Year, & may you find hidden opportunities within the feconomic crisis!

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