[Sca-cooks] That Time of Year -- Again...

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Jan 18 23:01:33 PST 2012

Hullo, the list!

I realise we have lots of new people on this list, and I haven't been as 
active as in previous years, as I spend most of my time pretending to be 
a serious academic.

However, after discussing with the spouse the pros and cons of doing the 
Lunar New Year as we have done in previous years, something that takes 
about a month of planning, and a previous year that included three or 
more really significant deaths (including one that made national news, a 
co-worker of my wife's was killed in a ridiculously preventable 
office-building elevator accident while the spouse waited for that same 
elevator with her Starbucks cup in hand) we have questioned the value of 
going all-out this year. In spite of that, and after a lot of 
discussion, including questions on how I'm going to be in class taking 
midterms and performing brilliantly at the same time that I'm at home 
stir-frying shrimp with lobster sauce, we have decided that shirking our 
cultural responsibilities is shabby.

Here's our limited menu (the one we agreed we weren't going to do 
because we're too flaming busy):

Moonrise dinner, Sunday evening:

-- Seaweed Egg Flower Soup in Chicken, Pork, and Shrimp Broth
-- Fried Fish (two whole fish, whatever looks nice at the market on the day)
-- Steamed Lop Cheung Sausages (multiple of two)
-- Steamed Chicken (whole, head and feet) With Scallion Rub and Dipping 
-- Stir-fried Baby Shrimp with Ketchup
-- Drunken Ridiculously Large Freshwater Prawns in Shell, Head On, etc. 
Poached and Marinated in Wine Sauce
-- Blanched Green Veg with Ginger and Shallots (probably Chinese 
broccoli, more leafy and stemmy than its European counterpart)
--Steamed White Rice
--Oranges, lichees and longan

The fish and the sausages are not eaten Sunday night, they're just 
prepared and more or less displayed for the Kitchen God to indicate that 
we Did It Properly...

Steamed dumplings all day Monday, whatever I (or whoever is home, should 
there be visitors) pull out of the freezer: Shrimp har gaw, Pork and 
Crab Juicy Buns / Soup Dumplings, Pork, Shrimp, and Leek pot-stickers

New Year's Day dinner, Monday night:

Any leftovers from Sunday night (since there will probably be three 
people eating, maximum, the stuff above, this is pretty much a given; 
the fried fish and the steamed sausages will be reheated). In addition:

-- Sweet and Sour Sauce with Pickled Ginger for the aforementioned fried 
-- Cold Five-Spice Beef with Ginger-Scallion Oil and Dried Shrimp 
dipping sauce, as well as the Five-Spice Soy Sauce the meats were cooked 
in, which is also the Ultimate Dumpling Sauce
-- Soy Sauce Chicken
-- Roast Pig (purchased from local restaurant and pre-chopped; we don't 
need a whole pig; I ordered three pounds from the belly and loin)
-- Shrimp With Lobster Sauce (Tiger Shrimp with Pork, Black Bean and 
Wine Sauce with Egg Flowers)
-- Jai (The Usual Suspects, a mix of veg with fried bean curd, dried 
bean curd sticks, black mushrooms, cloud ear fungus, and cellophane noodles)
--Twice-Cooked Pork Belly (braised, cooled, sliced thin and stir-fried 
until crisp, then glazed in the wok with bean paste, garlic and chiles
-- Cold Marinated Bean Curd and Preserved Duck Eggs (chopped, served 
rolled in lettuce leaves)

We stocked up on some very nice Spanish wines (Muga 2009, among others; 
I forget what the red was) after enjoying them a great deal at the 
Western New Year, so we have plenty of that, plus the usual teas, and I 
can't rule out ardent spirits both straight up and mixed... I expect 
there will be desperate need for dry martinis, myself.

Up at 6 for class. If I don't sign on again before the weekend, may you 
all have a glorious Year of the Dragon!


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