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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chinese New Year Eve: the build-up

Chinese New Year statues

Chinese New Year festivities always involve food. And lots of it. Of course they should!

Our family doesn't make a big deal of Chinese New Year, but luckily for me, I have friends who do! Friends who cook! Obsessively! And who think nothing of ordering a whole suckling pig for a modest New Year gathering just because we can!

As we raced to Bankstown late on Saturday afternoon for some last minute dinner items, most shops were already closed or in the process of doing so. It was bizarre to see the usually bustling Greenfield Parade begin to look desserted as shopkeepers packed up their boxes of longans and pomelos and spruiked the last remaining army-green parcels of Vietnamese sticky rice.

Gift-giving is a big deal during Chinese New Year. There are criss-cross visits from family to family with auspicious-sounding fruits delivered, well wishes exchanged and lots of happy children receiving lucky red envelopes with money inside.

Chinese New Year gift baskets
Chinese New Year gift baskets

Chinese New Year gift basket
Gift basket with a Year of the Dog lucky red envelope

Chinese New Year rambutan
Rambutans

Back at Foodie Central there was an impressive display of bananas, oranges, pomelos, giant watermelons, sticky rice bundles and two very cute statues to watch over it all:

Chinese New Year fruits

And then there was the food.

Chinese New Year feast

I told you there was lots!

See the feast.
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 1/31/2006 11:59:00 pm


6 Comments:

  • At 2/01/2006 4:55 am, Blogger Rose said…

    Nice pics and nice post. Is there anything australian-chinese/vietnamese/korea/japanese special in terms of food?

    Also, I'm running a series of posts on the symbolism of food during lunar new year. Please check it out if you have time.

    Here's the link for the first one:
    http://thehungryrose.blogspot.com/2006/01/woof-woof-happy-lunar-new-yearpart-1.html

     
  • At 2/01/2006 2:41 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    That's all so beautiful! And looks so delicious. Look forward to more pics!

     
  • At 2/01/2006 3:04 pm, Anonymous AreEyeTeeYou said…

    Kung Hei Fat Choi. Love all the info on your blog. How do you serve up pomelos in Australia? Growing up in Assam, India, I remember plucking pomelos from a huge shady tree, playing football with them as they were really quite big, and eating the almost ruby red fruit - served without it's skin - with lots of finely chopped green chilli, splash of mustard oil and salt ... yummy! Great on a hot summer's day!

     
  • At 2/01/2006 5:03 pm, Blogger jismgor said…

    =O bankstown on a saturday arvo?!

    I was doing the exact same thing! - perhaps i saw you =O

    or even stood next to you?!?!?! >.<

     
  • At 2/01/2006 7:31 pm, Blogger fooDcrazEE said…

    Nice! Chinese always believe in abundance of food for the reunion dinner which means a lot of leftover. It signify more food for the coming year and they can live better and prosperous from there on.

     
  • At 2/01/2006 9:10 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Rose - I was going to go through the dishes one by one in the next post, but your blurbs are great! Great work!

    Hi Julia - Thanks. I can't take credit for it though. And it was delicious. I really wished I had a bigger stomach!

    Hi Areeyeteeyou - Happy New Year to you too! I can't see I've eaten that many pomelos, but I can see myself dipping it into a tasty mound of chilli, salt and sugar.

    Hi jismgor - Perhaps. Altho' I'm sure you would've spotted the camera =)

    Hi foodcrazee - Exactly. I think we're going to be rolling in excess foodstuffs for the next hundred lifetimes. Bring it on!

     

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