Happy Chinese New Year 2012

This year’s Chinese New Year comes a bit early.  The first day of the Chinese New Year is at midnight January 23, 2012 and it is the year of the Dragon. Like every year my dad pays homage to our ancestors on Sunday, Chinese New Year’s Eve.

The table was set for two, for my grandparents on my dad side.

My grandfather was Chinese, he came from China as a young man and his story was very much like many that came to Thailand and Laos for better opportunity.

My dad and sister went to Charlotte to get the chicken. It is rather expensive since they weighted the bird by the pound and this chicken cost $19.  It is important that they get one with it’s head, tail and feet intact to symbolize completeness.

The noodle soup has a symbolic meaning also.  If you want to live longevity then you eat long noodles and my sister prepared cellophane noodle soup with mushrooms, Chinese flowers and meatballs.

Lee and my niece received Lai See money in red envelopes from the adults. It’s like Christmas all over again for them.

We had a get together on Saturday and ate plenty of long noodles of Pad Thai.

I fixed Tum Maak Houng following my GI Joe sister’s recipe and it came out very much like hers.

My first time deep frying squids, and it tasted okay.

My sister made Cassava Coconut Flakes Dessert.  My oldest sister told us that many people from Thailand died from eating half uncooked cassava.  It is very scary to know that if it’s not fully cooked then it can be deadly. According to wikipedia, improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and has been linked to ataxia or partial paralysis. Bo showed us a picture of 700 cattle that were killed overnight by poisonous weeds in Australia, 1907 and this freaked one of my sisters out. She stopped eating the dessert immediately after she heard this.

I saw this in a Thai magazine, I didn’t know that they made MSG from cassava.

Besides the Cassava Coconut Flakes Dessert, my dad normally stocked up on Asian cookies and candies during this time of the year.

Chinese New Year At My Dad’s House

I missed taking a picture of the Chinese New Year’s chicken this year since it fell in the middle of the week and I had so much going on and didn’t get a chance to stop by my dad’s house.  These 2 pictures were of last year‘s Chinese New Year, my dad is half Chinese so he does one for my grandfather every year and it has become a tradition for our family.  As kids, we used to get money in red envelopes, and now Lee and my nieces and nephews receive the red envelopes from us.

Chinese New Year photo taken February 13, 2010

The table was set for two, my grandfather and grandmother, both passed away before I was born. My grandfather was Chinese, he came from China as a young man and his story was very much like many that came to Thailand and Laos for better opportunity.

Chinese New Year photo taken February 13, 2010

We had our Chinese New Year celebration at my Dad’s house today. My second sister made baked chickens, pork and I made Pad Thai. The noodles actually have a symbolic meaning, if you want to live longevity then you eat long noodles.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/6.3, 1/8sec, ISO 100, focal length 78mm, white balance shade, spot metering, fill flash, tripod mounted

Most of the grilled scallops were eaten before I had a chance to take picture, that’s how it is around here.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/7.1, 1/8sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance shade, spot metering, fill flash, tripod mounted

The sweet treats brought back a lot of memories for me, my dad would buy these every Chinese New Year as long as I could remember.

Aperture Priority, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 3200, focal length 184mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance shade, evaluative metering

My mom’s orchid has 2 blooms now, it looks like one for every week.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/13sec, ISO 100, focal length 91mm, white balance cloudy, evaluative metering, tripod mounted

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/6.3, 1/50sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance cloudy, spot metering, tripod mounted

My dad poured out the rice that was offered to my grandparents for the birds.  The neighbor’s dog came and ate it instead, he knows to visit every Chinese New Year now.

Aperture Priority, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/6.3, 1/50sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance sunny, evaluative metering

The new Mimis and Mimi look a like are adjusting well to their new home. They are very loud when they see my dad but they have not learned how to speak Lao or English language yet.

Aperture Priority, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 3200, focal length 84mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance shade, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 3200, focal length 159mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance shade, evaluative metering

I was surprised to see the crescent moon look like a smiley face tonight.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance cloudy, spot metering, closeup cropped, tripod mounted

Happy Chinese New Year

I was searching through my old photos and found a picture of a rabbit that I took at Wat Lao Buddhavong last year. Today is Chinese New Year, I wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year…Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Taken on July 3, 2010 at Wat Lao Buddhavong

It is the year of the white Rabbit, some say that you may pin hopes on your sense of intuition. But don’t be impatient or be in harry, in 2011 year of the Rabbit without concentration you will fail. It’s also predicted that this will be a placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year. That’s what I felt like last year, and hope that this year is not a calm before the storm, but truly a better year.  To read more about the year of the Rabbit.

I went back and looked through some more old photos and found a few of Lee taking with the same rabbit.

Photo taken July 2, 2008 at Wat Lao Buddhavong

Photo taken July 2, 2008 at Wat Lao Buddhavong