The Great Taste of a Traditional Chinese New Year Dish

Let’s see WHAT, is cooking in the kitchens here, shall we???  Translated…

Every year, it seemed, that after the village had a peace prayer and offerings, days seemed to fly right by.

And now, my kids are all away at school, and so, every year now, the cleaning, I’d had to handle all alone.  Sometimes, as the end of the year approached, the weather isn’t at all good, and it’d made cleaning especially hard, and so, I’d prayed that the skies would get sunny around the end of the year, so I can clean everything up, start the year brand new.

Every time, it took over twenty days’ time, washing the windows and the screen doors, the fans, the air conditioning systems, along with repainting the walls in and outside of the house, and, we must throw things out.  And, oftentimes, before we’re near done, it is New Year’s Eve already, and, we’d all stopped what we were doing.

Since we were growing up, our grandfather had not been around, and our grandmother is aged too, my father had five other siblings, but they all had their separate families, and even though, they’d helped each other out, they rarely intervened into one another’s life.  Every time before the New Year’s, my mother would bring rice to a family in the village, for them to help grind it up, took it home, and drain out the water.  During this time, she’d stayed in the kitchens, busying herself about, and my mother would make sweet buns, radish cakes, along with a few bowls of specialty New Year’s items.

In the olden times, we’d cooked with a brick oven, and needed straws to start the fire, then, we’d put some wood in.  As children, we’d often run in and out of the kitchens, to see what is going on, and even though, the smokes would get in our eyes and noses, we’d had that whiff of the sweet cakes, and felt the busyness of the adults, along with the excitement that children feels around the New Years.

Before and after the New Years, the ten of us would eat the cakes for lunch and dinner, and would share it with our guests too, and the two huge baskets of cakes would be gone, in no time at all, and, our hearts, filled with bliss and happiness.

After my mother got older, she’d no longer made those cakes, and now, my eldest sister would give us half of the radish cakes she’d made.  And, in the time of eating what my sister made, I couldn’t help, but miss what my mother used to make around this time of year.

So, this, is how you remembered your childhood, by the holidays, and, in this day and age, traditions are fazing out, as NOBODY has the time, to make anything from scratch anymore…

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Filed under Childhood, Connections, Family Matters

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