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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, my God doesn’t take bribes. So all the Chinese New Year cookies and goodies are only for my own consumption.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Gosh, I haven’t got a chance to visit my favourite Cantonese dried seafoods shop! Oh my lapcheong!