Happy Chinese New Year! [PICS]

Chinese New Year greeting[MANY PICS BELOW UNDER FOLD]
Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year would be coming round this weekend and I am absolutely excited to usher in the new snake year.

My family has bought new pots of flowers, red glittery decorations and gave the house a good scrub. Most importantly, we have started baking festive delicacies, many of which are finger licking good and drool worthy.

This will be the starting point of my new project this year where I will spend the year writing and snapping pictures of my mum’s cooking. At the end of it all, I hope to be able to produce a family recipe book that records not only recipes but also kitchen larder tales.

Pineapple tarts - Annual Chinese New Year festive bake
Pineapple tarts freshly baked for 2013 Chinese New Year

I was inspired by the cooking journey of Cheryl Tan Lu-lien (click here for review of her book), where she detailed her journey into the kitchen learning her traditional family recipes typically passed down generations orally. Her stories reminded me of a lot of the tiger in my kitchen.

My mum is an amazing cook who can whip up a lovely meal anytime but is a terrible as a teacher in the kitchen. (Sorry mum, please don’t kill me for saying this) When asking her how much sugar to add, her answer would typically be “aga-aga,” which translates to roughly estimate.

I hope through conscientious recording and probing that I would be able to compile a compendium of recipes I grew up eating into a cookbook filled with step-by-step instructions, pictures and stories.

For me, this is exciting because food plays such a central role in most Asian Chinese societies, where it is common for people to greet each other asking, “Have you had your meal today?” Even on this tropical Southeast Asia island, we are pretty obsessed about our food culture.

I will be blogging every month to update you guys about the progress of the book and of course, provide you with some great recipes to try out.

Below are some pictures I have shot of the various festivities around town. Wishing all my readers a happy Chinese New Year and indulge in all the goodies!

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