I went to the market a few days ago and the fishmonger warned me, “If you want to buy tau-tay (white pomfret), you better buy within these two days. Now it is RM80 per kg (local tau-tay, not the cheaper Thai ones), come CNY, RM100/kg. Even that, no more stock.” (because these cunning people will keep all the fishes in deep freezer, not selling and hike up the prices and de-frost the fishes and sell near CNY.

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Chey, of course, I don’t give a damn. I am not one of those who must eat fish to get the ‘nin-nin-yau-yee’ (yee or fish rhymes with ‘abundant leftover’ something like that. I am not superstitious on CNY. I am merely ‘lau juak’. So, fish or no fish, I don’t give a fish.

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Just found this photo of 2008 CNY’s eve. I think we had some lousy dinner at some lousy restaurant in Queensbay because we didn’t cook anything. Looking at all my four sons, I can just marvel how they changed through the years.

sticky sweet Chinese New Year cake - nien gao

Now that I am a Catholic, I also no longer need to buy so many tnee-kueh to bribe or rather glue the kitchen’s god big mouth before he reported to the heavenly emperor. I also do not need to prepare the passage for Mr. KG aka kitchen god with prayers and offerings. Last time, CNY was a big hassle because one week before CNY, ie 12th lunar month, 24th day, I have to take leave just to ‘bath’ the guan yin statue after I send all the gods for their annual cruise to heaven.

bee hive chinese new year cake - kuih ros

Now, my God doesn’t take bribes. So all the Chinese New Year cookies and goodies are only for my own consumption.

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Actually, this year, I am a little adventurous and am thinking of making kueh kapit or love letters. My two elder sons are big enough to man the fire. All I need is a little recipe and we can probably play around with 6 to 8 moulds. Just that I am not too sure if we can find a time when all three of us are free.

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This photo was taken in 2006. Today, I just confessed to someone that lately, I am too busy to even go to church. And I am sometimes, too busy to even prepare for Chinese New Year.

I do not want to think about it at the moment. We have catechism classes every Saturday, I may have to work on some of the weekends. My eldest son is probably going for his permanent job anytime soon. My second son has college. So, I shall just take a deep breath and not think what I should prepare for Chinese New Year.

chinese pussy willow

I do not even have time to go to Tesco and see if they have started selling my favourite pussy willows. I must have it every year.

chinese trinkets

Maybe if I have gotten some of these Chinese trinkets, I could actually remember that Chinese New Year is only three weeks away.

I shall leave the ‘what shall I feed my in-laws with?’, ‘when do I do my annual open house (for in-laws)?’ and other panicky stresses till the last minute. Or who knows, maybe I ask all my in-laws go to gatecrash at the State Chinese New Year open house so that I don’t need to juggle work, in-laws, families and other CNY related matters? In-laws are very important because my late mother-in-law has entrusted this honour of gathering all her descendants at my place every year even before we got married. It is a tradition I had carried out for over 20 years so I have to somehow find the date to do it. *sigh* Can you feel my stress already?

Chinese dried sausages

Gosh, I haven’t got a chance to visit my favourite Cantonese dried seafoods shop! Oh my lapcheong!