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Chinese New Year


DameEdna
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I intend to observe the Year of the Pig by enjoying it in as many forms as possible, and often. This should go better than Year of the Rat did. Blech.

--Matt

Homer: Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute. Lisa honey, are you

saying you're *never* going to eat any animal again? What about

bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!

Homer: [Chuckles] Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

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The Year of the Pig starts Feb. 18. Anyone doing anything special? In spite of idle speculation,

I was born in the Year of the Tiger, not the Year of the Pig.

Dragon here.

I would like to make a traditional Chinese New Year meal this year. Apparently, it ensures prosperity and luck, which I could use.

Also, many male offspring -- in my case, it will have to be grandchildren but I am ok with this.

Among the dishes -- whole fish, whole chicken, which includes head and feet, a vegetarian dish called jai.

http://www.educ.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/438/...onal_foods.html

Any suggestions on where to find recipes?

Recently bought groceries at Great Wall on Gallows Road in Merrifield -- they are selling Chinese New Year decorations and symbolic items, and put a package of red envelopes in my grocery bag as lagniappe. The red envelopes are used to give money to children and elders as part of Chinese New Year.

Last year I bought Chinese New Year cards and stamps but did not use them, but this year will do so, as a family emergency kept me from doing this for Christmas. That's the great thing about holidays, if you miss one, there's always another one. (Need to add two cents to the stamps -- little brown moth stamps will look strange with the bright Chinese animals.)

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I'm not going to be ambitous enough to cook for Chinese New Year but would like to go out somewhere. Any suggestions for places in the MD area?? For example, I was thinking Hollywood East.

We usually do dim sum at either Hollywood East or New Fortune when they bring in the lion dancers.

HE is doing this Sunday the 18th at noon; New Fortune is next Saturday the 24th at noon. Get there by 11a if you want a table. HE will take a reservation for large parties, but New Fortune will not.

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...Among the dishes -- whole fish, whole chicken, which includes head and feet, a vegetarian dish called jai.

http://www.educ.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/438/...onal_foods.html

Any suggestions on where to find recipes?

...

Read the "Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" by Grace Young. There's a great section that explains Chinese New Year and the traditions and foods surrounding the holiday. This is a Cantonese/Toisanese cookbook so the recipes and traditions would apply to that part of China, however, the traditions are pretty much the same across the board in China except for certain regional differences.

If you are going to prepare jai, you're supposed to eat it the first day of the New Year. Technically, you're supposed to be vegan the first day of the New Year if you're very observant. Also there have been reports that the black seaweed moss (fatt choy in Cantonese) that is important to the dish is banned in HK due to impurities or something like that.

Happy New Year!

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We usually do dim sum at either Hollywood East or New Fortune when they bring in the lion dancers.

HE is doing this Sunday the 18th at noon; New Fortune is next Saturday the 24th at noon. Get there by 11a if you want a table. HE will take a reservation for large parties, but New Fortune will not.

I hope they have good dancers. Nothing worse than a half-assed lion dance done by people who don't know or don't care about what they're doing. Ugh.

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Geez, you all are making this sound like strictly a Chinese affair. It's the Asian Lunar New Year. Asia is somewhat bigger than just China (the last time I checked). A small group of friends will repair to the Escoffier/Grover manse and indulge in a Korean New Year lunch normally served only to the highest ranking member of the Korean Court. Possibly pictures will follow.

PM me and I'll let you know the address to send those red envelopes :o .

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The Lunar New Year is celebrated by not only by the Chinese but by other Asians like Korean and Vietnamese; people who traditionally use the lunar calendar. Typically Korean Lunar New Year food is rice cake soup (Duk-guk) or dumpling/rice cake soup (Duk-Mandu-guk). I usually make either dumpling soup or rice cake soup (those are the normal new year foods) but this year, I have invited friends to celebrate and am going to serve Korean court food, food which is not served at any Korean restaurant in the DC area. The food to be served is: Gu-Jeol-Pahn (Julienned beef and veggies with flour pan cake - the photo below left) as an appetizer, Shin-sullo (I'm sorry I can't explaint it - the photo below right) and Duk-bokki (stir fried rice cake with veggies) as the entree, banchan (Kimchi, of course, cucumber dish and tofu dish). For dessert, sweet rice cakes and fresh pear will be served with ginger tea.

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Escoffier - We're all Chinese in God's eyes. [duck] :o

Even if we aren't, we'll still eat well if we act like we are!

For the new year, I'm going out with friends for Peking Duck and I'll roast a pork shoulder and do pulled pork the next day. So it will be like being southern Chinese.

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Geez, you all are making this sound like strictly a Chinese affair. It's the Asian Lunar New Year. Asia is somewhat bigger than just China (the last time I checked). A small group of friends will repair to the Escoffier/Grover manse and indulge in a Korean New Year lunch normally served only to the highest ranking member of the Korean Court. Possibly pictures will follow.

PM me and I'll let you know the address to send those red envelopes :lol: .

Most Asian countires celebrates the Lunar New Year in one form or another. However, most East Asians migrated however many centuries ago from China so traditions overlap. Think of it as a big ol' rice pot. :o I just think that over here in America, the Lunar New Year is closely associated with the Chinese because they were the first group of Asians to come en mass to America.

Acutally, Southern Chinese people have a whole fish and a whole chicken on the table during the new year. A roast pig is a nice addition but not as important as those items.

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Acutally, Southern Chinese people have a whole fish and a whole chicken on the table during the new year. A roast pig is a nice addition but not as important as those items.
Just got back from Great Wall, where I bought the ingredients for Buddha's Delight and Eight Treasure Rice, but held back on the whole chicken and the whole fish until tomorrow.

I looked at several whole chickens. The label says "age chicken" but they look fresh and smell fresh. Some had rooster combs and some did not. There were also whole black chickens. What to do?

And for the fish, I read that you need to buy a live one. No problem for me to deal with a live fish but will definitely wait until tomorrow to buy one if I won't cook until tomorrow.

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Just got back from Great Wall, where I bought the ingredients for Buddha's Delight and Eight Treasure Rice, but held back on the whole chicken and the whole fish until tomorrow.

I looked at several whole chickens. The label says "age chicken" but they look fresh and smell fresh. Some had rooster combs and some did not. There were also whole black chickens. What to do?

And for the fish, I read that you need to buy a live one. No problem for me to deal with a live fish but will definitely wait until tomorrow to buy one if I won't cook until tomorrow.

Black chickens are pretty cool; they're more nutritious and have a mustier flavor. They tend to be given to women after they've had babies. If you're cooking for a bunch of people go traditional on this one since black chicken may be an acquired taste.

Don't let anyone crossing over a bridge flip the fish. It's bad luck, because then the fish will come and flip your boat (car).

Don't share pears.

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The Year of the Pig starts Feb. 18. Anyone doing anything special?

We'll be celebrating with some Chinese friends....starting at 5 with a dumpling wrapping party, proceeding to the main event. We were at the same party two year ago and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven....the food was out of this world

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Read the "Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" by Grace Young. There's a great section that explains Chinese New Year and the traditions and foods surrounding the holiday. This is a Cantonese/Toisanese cookbook so the recipes and traditions would apply to that part of China, however, the traditions are pretty much the same across the board in China except for certain regional differences.

If you are going to prepare jai, you're supposed to eat it the first day of the New Year. Technically, you're supposed to be vegan the first day of the New Year if you're very observant. Also there have been reports that the black seaweed moss (fatt choy in Cantonese) that is important to the dish is banned in HK due to impurities or something like that.

Happy New Year!

I found the Grace Young book at the public library. It is very helpful and even has photos of some of the ingredients, which helped a lot last night when searching for ingredients at Great Wall. I even found the black seaweed moss by comparing the photo in the book to the strange looking stuff on the shelf. Unfortunately many of the items imported from China for Asians don't have very useful labels if you can't read anything but English. "Dried vegetable" just doesn't cut it.

The only thing I could not find was dried lily flowers, but have seen those at Super H.

Epicurious has a section devoted to Asian New Year with some appealing recipes that call for more common ingredients than fatt choy and dragon eyes, although the recipe for Buddha's Delight calls for the dried tofu skins, which may require a trip to the local Asian market.

http://www.epicurious.com/cooking/holiday/chinese_ny/

Also, there will be a free parade in DC China Town tomorrow, February 18, 2-5, with a Dragon Dance, a Lion Dance, folk dancers, five story high firecrackers, and Kung Fu demonstrations.

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Also, there will be a free parade in DC China Town tomorrow, February 18, 2-5, with a Dragon Dance, a Lion Dance, folk dancers, five story high firecrackers, and Kung Fu demonstrations.
They do this every Lunar New Year. Go early if you want to see anything unless you're 7 feet tall. The street fills up very fast.
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What is this strange place you speak of?
We made Buddha's Delight and Eight Treasure Rice with a synthesis between the recipes in Grace Young's The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen and the Epicurious recipes for Buddha's Delight and Eight Treasure Pudding.

The recipes are ingredients-heavy and labor-intensive but the whole family pitched in and we are pleased with the results.

BUDDHA’S DELIGHT (JAI)

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1. Soak for half hour about a dozen dried Shiitake mushrooms in six cups water.

2. Soak for half hour one package of thin dried rice noodles (about 1/8 inch wide) in water to cover.

3. Soak for half hour 1 cup of dried cloud ear mushrooms in water to cover. Note: cloud ears and tree ears look very similar but cloud ears are darker and smaller. You can also use tree ears but cloud ears are traditional.

4. Soak for half hour ½ cup of fatt choi seaweed in water to cover. Note that this seaweed looks like black hair and should be rinsed well before soaking. The package says rinse for 5 minutes.

5. Soak for half hour ½ cup of lily buds in water to cover (the ones we used look like tiger lilies.)

6. Slice 1/2 pound to 1 pound fresh black Chinese mushrooms – these are shaped like common grocery mushrooms (agaricus bisporus) but have a distinctive black top with white striations. If you can’t find fresh, use dried and soak ½ hour then slice and reserve soaking water.

7. Prepare other ingredients (mise en place): 1 cup shelled ginko nuts (from freezer case); 1 cup sliced water chestnuts; 1 cup sliced bamboo shoots; 2 cups snow peas; 1 head escarole cleaned and chopped (you may use 2 Romaine hearts cleaned and chopped); 1 pound fresh soybean sprouts; ¼ lb. some kind of dried or fried bean curd or bean curd skins; ½ pound fresh firm tofu drained and cut into ½ inch cubes; ½ cup dry sherry or shao hsing/shaoxing or dry sake; ½ cup tamari (you can use any soy sauce, preferably light); 2/3 cup oyster sauce; several cloves garlic minced, 1 inch fresh ginger or galangal peeled and shredded or sliced, ¼ cup toasted sesame oil.

8. Drain, squeeze and slice soaked Shiitakes but retain soaking water.

9. Drain and slice cloud ears. Discard soaking water (you could use if you like).

10. Heat ¼ cup toasted sesame oil in large heavy pot, medium heat.

11. Lightly stir fry garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.

12. Add all mushrooms – Shiitake, black Chinese mushrooms, and cloud ears, stir fry for about 2 minutes.

13. Stir in snow peas, drained water chestnuts, ginko nuts, drained bamboo shoots, drained fatt choi, dry or fried bean curd, drained lily buds, stir fry for about 2 minutes.

14. Add wine, soy sauce, and oyster sauce, mushroom soaking liquid and stir, let it come to simmer.

15. Add fresh tofu and soybean sprouts, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, covered.

16. Add rice noodles, drained, and simmer another 5 minutes, covered.

17. Add escarole or Romaine, simmer another 5 minutes, covered.

18. Serve it forth in bowls. This makes a rather thick, hearty, healthy and delicious stew.

EIGHT TREASURE RICE

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This recipe is made in layers arranged in a lightly oiled heatproof glass bowl, so for ease of conceptualizing I will describe the layers.

1. First or bottom layer is dried fruit and nuts. I put half walnut in center, surrounded by a ring of dried shelled longans (dragon eyes), then a ring of glacee cherries, then completed the pattern by putting half walnuts between the cherries radiating out like little petals.

2. Second layer is dried fruit cooked in syrup. I used as follows:

a. 1/2 cup shelled dried lotus seeds soaked in water to cover for 1 hour then drained;

b. ½ cup dried red dates, soaked in water to cover while soaking lotus seeds, then drained, sliced into pieces and the pit removed and discarded. I bought two kinds of red dates, little tangy bright red ones and big sugary ones. Since I couldn’t decide which to use, I used ½ cup of each.

c. ¼ cup dried pitted Montmorency cherries, soaked in water to cover while the other fruits soaked, then drained.

d. 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel (I actually used 3 tablespoons which I liked but the husband said was too strong).

e. ¼ cup dried apricots, sliced into strips.

f. ½ cup Chinese rock candy, boiled in 2 cups water in a heavy small pot until dissolved.

g. Add the rest of the dried fruit, lower temperature to the lowest temperature on your stove that will cook but not burn the concoction, and simmer one hour covered.

h. Spoon some of the cooked fruit over first layer, about ½ to ¾ inch thick, reserving liquid.

3. Third layer cooked sweet glutinous rice, ¾ inch thick, spooned over second layer and smoothed. The package will probably say sweet rice. You will need to keep the spoon wet, or if you are using your fingers, keep them wet, and smooth down with the back of a spoon kept wet. We used about 5-6 cups of cooked rice total divided between layer 3 and layer 6. Note that this is not the same as 5-6 cups of rice, cooked.

4. Fourth layer sweet red bean paste, ½ inch thick. You can find this canned at Asian markets.

5. Fifth layer the last of the cooked fruit, reserving the liquid.

6. Sixth layer more cooked sweet glutinous rice, almost up to the top of the bowl.

7. Seventh layer pour on the liquid from the cooked fruit.

8. Put a layer of oiled foil on top.

9. Cook in a bain marie (water bath) at 325-350 for an hour.

10. Let cool, loosen from sides of bowl with oiled spatula and then carefully invert on a serving platter and serve it forth immediately. If it sticks to the bowl or spreads out, try to keep in shape so it looks pretty. Grace Young says "plump it up with your hands to make a round mound." Epicurious suggests cooking individual servings in 6/8 ounce custard cups or ramekins.

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Well, it's almost that time of the year again. Chinese New Year is on the Monday, January 26 this year and now celebrating the Year of the Ox/Bull. Other than sweeping out the old and buying new clothes (or hoarding red envelopes, heehee), are there restaurants to try specials at? Anyone want to take a field trip to Odenton to see if Grace Garden has specials?? I really miss celebrating this holiday and am resolved to celebrate this year.

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Geez, you all are making this sound like strictly a Chinese affair. It's the Asian Lunar New Year. Asia is somewhat bigger than just China (the last time I checked). A small group of friends will repair to the Escoffier/Grover manse and indulge in a Korean New Year lunch normally served only to the highest ranking member of the Korean Court. Possibly pictures will follow.

PM me and I'll let you know the address to send those red envelopes :P .

Wow....that brings back such great memories. I felt as though Christmas came twice a year. And the gifts were not limited to just family.Aunts, uncle, mom,dad, grandpa, grandma, and anyone I would flash my pearly whites to, gifted me with that glorious envelope. :D

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We usually do dim sum at either Hollywood East or New Fortune when they bring in the lion dancers.

HE is doing this Sunday the 18th at noon; New Fortune is next Saturday the 24th at noon. Get there by 11a if you want a table. HE will take a reservation for large parties, but New Fortune will not.

This year both Hollywood East Cafe and New Fortune are doing the lion dancers on Saturday, January 31.

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I celebrated Gregorian Solar New Year at Gamasot (with, serendipitously, Escoffier and grover) with a big bowl of free duk gook. Perhaps I'll celebrate Asian Lunisolar New Year there with a paid bowl of duk mandu gook. Sadly, I missed celebrating Islamic Lunar New Year (the only true lunar calendar in wide use) on 29 December (aka 1 Muharram).

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I think it is the time to change the subtitle (Chinese New Year, Anyone doing anything for the Year of the Pig?).

I prepared 4 courses for the Lunar New Year dinner and we had a good time.

1. Spring Roll with Gu-Jeol-Pahn stuffing

2. Dumpling Soup

3. Lion Head Meatball

4. 溜三絲 (I have no english traslation. Anybody?) Stir-fried Julienned Bamboo shoot, Pork, Shrimp, Leek and Chive with oyster sauce based starchy sauce.

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I think it is the time to change the subtitle (Chinese New Year, Anyone doing anything for the Year of the Pig?).

I prepared 4 courses for the Lunar New Year dinner and we had a good time.

1. Spring Roll with Gu-Jeol-Pahn stuffing

2. Dumpling Soup

3. Lion Head Meatball

4. 溜三絲 (I have no english traslation. Anybody?) Stir-fried Julienned Bamboo shoot, Pork, Shrimp, Leek and Chive with oyster sauce based starchy sauce.

And every bite of it was totally wonderful.
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I think it is the time to change the subtitle (Chinese New Year, Anyone doing anything for the Year of the Pig?).

I prepared 4 courses for the Lunar New Year dinner and we had a good time.

1. Spring Roll with Gu-Jeol-Pahn stuffing

2. Dumpling Soup

3. Lion Head Meatball

4. 溜三絲 (I have no english traslation. Anybody?) Stir-fried Julienned Bamboo shoot, Pork, Shrimp, Leek and Chive with oyster sauce based starchy sauce.

And please don't forget the delicious dessert, sliced pears with pomegranate seeds, followed by an assortment of digestifs.

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The Year of the Tiger dare competes with Valentine's Day this year. Which shall you choose to celebrate??

Year of the Tiger. As I have mentioned before, both sons are graduating this year, with no job prospects in hand, and I got my own job after celebrating Chinese New Year properly for the first time in 2007 (thanks in large part to this site, learning how to do the celebration, I mean), so hoping for luck again.

Also, after being married for almost 30 years, I think the thing that would excite my husband the most would be if the boys were able to pay their own student loans.:angry:

I am not really superstitious, but, on the other hand, why not go along with tradition, and have some fun and good food?

So, bring on the Year of the Tiger!

(Not, however, going to make Eight Treasure Rice again, or if I do, make it non-Chinese style. Chinese food is delicious. Chinese desserts, not so much.)

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(Not, however, going to make Eight Treasure Rice again, or if I do, make it non-Chinese style. Chinese food is delicious. Chinese desserts, not so much.)

Ilaine - now I am curious - what happened or which grains/red bean paste used elicited that reaction? How would you do it non-Chinese style?
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Ilaine - now I am curious - what happened or which grains/red bean paste used elicited that reaction? How would you do it non-Chinese style?
Scroll up to my post which has the recipe I followed and a photo of the results. Everybody agreed that it had the approximate density of lead, if not plutonium.

I will make a variation on Riz impératrice with organic fruits and nuts, e.g. dried cherries, raisins, dates, almonds.

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Scroll up to my post which has the recipe I followed and a photo of the results. Everybody agreed that it had the approximate density of lead, if not plutonium.

I will make a variation on Riz impératrice with organic fruits and nuts, e.g. dried cherries, raisins, dates, almonds.

Yeah the density of lead sounds about right. That's how it always was growing up in my family... Could be interesting to make a version similar to arancini..

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I have been stocking up for Chinese New Year Feast at Whole Foods, the quality of which, I confess, makes me more comfortable than Great Wall, but ingredients there limited, had to branch out.

Thought I'd give Super H a try for some of the more exotic ingredients (fresh winter bamboo shoots, ginko nuts, lotus seeds) -- the dried items are all imported from China anyway.

Suffering from stir-crazy, craving stir-fry, decided to throw caution to the winds and give Great Wall another try, stocking up on ingredients for Buddha's Delight. (Re: caution, read Fuchsia Dunlop's comments on polluted food in China, see, e.g., “Shark’s fin and Sichuan pepper” ~ but see her comments on the general healthiness of Chinese cuisine.)

At any rate, the produce there was very fresh and in excellent condition. Also snagged a couple of packs of the all-important red envelopes. First pack of six free with purchase, second pack 99 cents.

No matter how much I try to steel myself, cannot bring myself to purchase a whole raw chicken entire with head and feet, but the whole Peking ducks looked mighty tasty.

Cannot find faat choy anywhere.

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This year's Chinese New Year's Eve is on Groundhog Day, and the actual New Year's is on February 3.

It will be the year of Rabbit, which might be apt as a result of last year's snowstorms (applies only to those born after Feb 3, of course. Otherwise, still a Tiger's tail, as we say).

I made my own adzuki paste for the first time this weekend, and while not Chinese, but am inspired to make mochi with red bean filling for my New Year's contribution. Little man and I will probably celebrate at a local restaurant too.

How about you all?

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Went to the Great Wall (GW) yesterday. Had forgotten that it is the Lunar new year this week. The place was so packed I really had a difficult time moving around let along shopping.

Although not a new year purchase, I got rice and 3 from their food "court". I am continually underwelmed by their food court. The food at the annandale place and certainly at maxim in Rockville is way better.

Will go back for some duck and pig. These will be good sides to the Dduk Guk (rice cake soup) which is the traditional lunar new year dish in korean culture.

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Feb. 2, cleaned the house. Unleashed the (2) Roombas which over the hours collected a LOT of dust and kitty fur. Grandmother swept the corners, I dusted the ceilings, tops of bookcases, washed walls, and cleaned bathrooms. Many things left uncleaned, but I got a late start. Chinese calendars not something one sees in the places I ordinarily frequent. Cannot actually find a good Chinese calendar that gives the proper dates for doing things except generic ones, that say things like "first day" or "day one." NOT helpful.

Feb. 3, was gonna make jai/Buddha Delight but a crazy lady drove her ginormous BMW SUV into my open car door at Whole Foods and kind of ruined my day. Especially when she insisted it was MY fault because if my door hadn't been open she would not have run into it. Decided to wait until Feb. 5, when both sons would be in town.

Feb. 5, we went to Joe's Noodle instead and have so many leftovers decided to make jai Feb. 6, instead. BTW, the salty soy milk dim sum soup at Joe's Noodle is excellent. The fried bean curd skin croutons are to die for.

Have more than enough ingredients for jai (fresh shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, Chinese celery, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, dried bean curd skin, fried tofu puffs, baby bok choy, yu choy, soybean sprouts, ginger, garlic, ginko nuts, green onions, mung bean noodles) decided, after researching, that faat choi may be hazardous to one's health, if fake, and harvesting of same bad for the environment, if real. Decided to substitute hijiki, in no way related, but looks very similar.

After all, real jai contains things that look like money/wealth (e.g., carrots) and sound like luck (e.g., faat choi) so why not carry the theme a bit further and eat something that looks like the thing that sounds like luck?

Also bought a bag of gondre, a Korean dried green vegetable called thistle. Not sure what to do with this. Thought it was some kind of seaweed. I was in a hurry.

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The Year of the Pig starts Feb. 18. Anyone doing anything special? In spite of idle speculation,

I was born in the Year of the Tiger, not the Year of the Pig.

I was born in the year of the pig and would love to celebrate.

Any ideas as to great Chinese restaurants in the DC area?

I have yet to find a great one.

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Also bought a bag of gondre, a Korean dried green vegetable called thistle. Not sure what to do with this. Thought it was some kind of seaweed. I was in a hurry.

Well, you can do some Google Translate cooking. From looking around the Internet, you seem to boil gondeure in saltwater, and then rinse in cold water. Looks like it's an mountain herb used in "rural" Korean cuisine? Hmm...maybe use it like fernbrake or bellflower root, i.e., in a bibimbap?

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I was born in the year of the pig and would love to celebrate.

Any ideas as to great Chinese restaurants in the DC area?

I have yet to find a great one.

While I've been away from DC for a while, I still find your comment a bit difficult to get my arms around. Either your standards are awfully high (nothing wrong with that except maybe it leads to a lot of disappointment), or you've been looking in the wrong places. Let's start by asking, which ones you've tried so far and found wanting?

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