Our Chinese New Year

Yesterday marked my first attempt at celebrating the Chinese New Year as an adult with my own family. As all the members of my immediate and extended family reside everywhere but here, I rarely feel enthusiastic about carrying on Chinese traditions on my own with the help of a local Chinese restaurant. But I went for it this year. I knew I couldn't pull off a lion dance, festive decorations, or the character of a multi-generational familial ensemble. I knew my children would fail to understand the big fuss over receiving a red envelope, as theirs would contain maybe one dollar, or two tops. What could I do, then, to introduce my children to Chinese New Year when energy spent on celebrating anything currently feels like a luxury? I started by making simple lanterns with the boys. Amazing what a little construction paper can do! As with all Chinese celebrations--it's all about the food. Along with the many other Chinese families celebrating the lunar New Year, I taught my family and a few good friends, how to make Chinese dumplings, a tradition in celebrating the New Year. You might recall last year's dumplings. But this time, without the supervision of my parents, or the comradery of my brother, I was left to execute a recipe everyone only knows by taste. My tastebuds have a decent memory, I guess, since our celebration resulted in a lovely feast. Though different from the ones we made, this is a lovely tutorial on making dumplings.  I made a large pot of my hot and sour soup, and we finished off our meal with clementines and a small assortment of candied melon and coconut. A nice evening...no lions, no envelopes, no zodiac...just us feeling satisfied with our little piece of Chinese New Year.