Friday, January 27, 2017

reunion

Chinese New Year is upon us once more! (ya I know its outdated but I'm catching up)

I really like writing about our reunion meals because these posts have served a really useful purpose in analyzing what went right or wrong.

I mean, nothing in the rest of the blog is very useful. But these meal posts, we actually go back to it for reference.

This year, we take it down a notch. Since we end up every year having to heave our bellies post-meal, Por Por decides to cook much less.

It’s a spectacular success (again, thanks to Jai and Por Por who do all the cooking).

In terms of quantity, the best reunion meal ever. Almost everything – apart from some chicken bones and soup stock which my mother-in-law brings home – is wiped clean. I revel in gleefully removing each plate as its emptied and bringing it to Jai in the kitchen, yelling – Finished! (and knowing very well that I didn’t overeat)

People really have to get over this notion of having to over-provide every time there is a meal. I'd rather be a little hungry and snack on some junk or fruit to top up.

Item ranking (my ranking, since not everyone agrees with me):

Prawns (new dish): 9/10
Finally! After so many years the prawn dish is a hit! One of the first dishes to be cleared, it is most happening dish of the night because its spicy. It gives kick to my rice, and to the rest of the meal. What makes the prawns appealing this year (previous years they never seem to go away): Smaller quantity, the spicy sauce, and the prawns which are rather big and plump are shelled. THE PRAWNS ARE SHELLED. That’s all it takes.

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*A very small mound of prawns

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* Me and my prawn

Broccoli with scallops (new dish): 8/10
I tell my folks that the kids love broccoli. Turns out almost everyone loves broccoli, including the in-laws, especially with some stringy bits of salty scallops. This was the first dish to disappear.

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Pig stomach soup with pork, cabbage, bai guo and water chestnut (repeat dish): 8/10
Good as always.

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Steamed fish (repeat dish): 7/10
We wisely steamed half the fish instead of the entire thing this year. It was picked clean, even though the fish only emerged from the kitchen after we had all finished our rice.

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Pen cai (new dish): 7/10
Something we never had before, pen cai or poon choy, was a gift from Phoebe, who went home to Malaysia for CNY and wasn’t with us. It’s a mish-mash of seafood and meats, the likes of abalone, fish maw, dried scallop. It came in a huge can full of sauce, which led Choon to remark: I’ve never seen anyone pay that much for canned food in my life. But it was good and briny and glue-y, every luxurious mouthful.

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* The ingredients as shown on the pen cai box

Mum's red-bean soup with a tang-yuan (repeat dish): 7/10
It’s an annual feature. This year, it’s a little sweet so it falls in the ratings. Jo eats her tang yuan and passes me her entire bowl of red bean: Mama can you eat for me?

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Salt baked chicken (new dish): 6/10
Instead of the “samsui lettuce-wrapped chicken with ginger sauce from Soup Restaurant” we make our own chicken. Truth be told the dish was on the other side of the table and I was so lazy to stand and reach, I didn’t eat a single bit of it. Plus it’s got bones, which makes it leh cheh on a night when there's so much else to feast on. But I’m guessing it’s a six?

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Lap cheong (new dish): 2/10
I guess it’s easy? Just steam and slice? It’s pretty normal and boring. And I’m never one for sweet meats.

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Other shots from re-union dinner night:

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* Lu has no space at the glass table. She sits by herself, isolated in the living room facing the TV screen

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* Brothers

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* More brothers

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* Tata, with pursed lip

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* Nene, with pursed lip

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* Gong Gong chopping up the chicken

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* Bonding with Kaofu Teng over the screen

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* Bonding with Kaofu Choon on the bikes...

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* ... and via badminton

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* Bonding in the back garden

2 comments:

crabbycrab said...

i like the steamed fish .. and the marble stools? v pretty!

Sher said...

what strange details people notice! the marble stools were discards we picked up from a relative who didn't want them. heavy as hell, back-breaking to carry into the dining area, but we didn't have enough chairs.