Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back in KL....Winter Solstice

Yippee.....back in KL after work; half-day lar on the 22nd of December....sorry for the long outdated post but I haven't gone online for a week....anyway, there's also the disruption in the network services due to the Taiwan earthquake as published in the news...so, not entirely my fault:p
Anyway, after the nice little lunch in the afternoon prior to my long-awaited trip back to KL( I took a week off for Christmas and both New year to be home...yeayyy!!!), I was home in time for the reunion dinner.
In case you do not know, Winter Solstice or known fondly by the Chinese community traditionally as Dong Zhi; the Winter festival...sort of after harvest celebration. It is also a time for reunion and basically the start of a new year....it is to mark the end of a harvest year or something and to welcome their new harvest year.
In fact, according to the older folks, this is actually a more significant festival to mark the beginning of a new year compared to the very much celebrated lunar Chinese New Year; as said in the Cantonese saying " Dong tai guo Nin" (Winter Solstice is more important than Chinese New year)
Oooo...another thing is, this is also known as the festival where you have those glutinous rice balls which come in different colours and sizes. It is basically made of flour and doughed or shaped into little balls(it can be big or small) and cooked in sweet soup as dessert.
As you can see in the pictures, the little rice balls can also be colored in various colors :)
Typically they will use red or light pink (Chinese love this auspicious color which signifies happiness and luck:)
You can even put fillings into the rice balls if you want....the conventional ones are plain...without fillings:D
Mum makes these once in a while...rather, once in a blue moon:p
This year, nopes, Mum didn't make it....hehe...I am not a fan of this, so, doesn't matter:p
** I will do more factual research to relate more on the festival:) **
As I was saying(I always talk too much before the food:p..pardon me for that), I was home in time and mum was busy cooking....my family is not the typical conservative type; probably also because we were Catholics and we rarely follow those taboos and superstitions or each and every festival.
Mum just likes to remind us of this festival to focus more on the family bonding and relationship thing. Furthermore, now, my brother and I are both not frequently at home:p

Hehe....mum was happy that we were both home on that day; thank God it was a Friday:)
She was doing some homecooking and served a simple few dishes for dinner:)
This is...a chicken? a turkey? a goose?
Hahaha....it's actually a duck....these came out pretty dark here when I posted them; too bad:P
Another sharper pic of the duck....this is not homecooked; dad bought this from one of those best-selling stalls lined up near the Kepong food court area; the old Glutton Square.
Mum had this instict that bro will want duck and so got it before dinner...haha, these motherly telepathy does freak me out sometimes:p
How can a meal be complete without vegetables? Hehe...mum cooked leeks ("suan" in Chinese)..which is sort of a cross relation of spring onions. As usual, mum did the assorted stir-fried style....with carrots as condiments and this round, she added some fish cakes (sliced) and shrimps!! Woooo...this was nice...the fish cake was nice (first time mum bought from this lady:)...my fave dish!!:)
Next, another of my fave....steamed garoupa!!!
Mum bought 2 this round; one slightly larger....hmmmm, it was not bad but one of the fish; I think the smaller one was overcooked:p
Probably due to the simultaneous steaming of 2 fish at the same time....the timing was right for the bigger fish which requires longer time but will be overdone for the smaller one:p
I am picky with steamed fish; especially when it comes to my favourite fish:p
Soupy soup.....mum cooked some herbal chicken soup....not a very nice pic....
Our simple family dinner....my first homecooked meal when I got back....
Hehe...the typical Chinese dinner....3 dishes and 1 soup:)

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