My birthday falls in the middle of the week this year, so we have moved the party to this weekend. I like to have barbequed lamb, but the “spare the air” alerts have been almost constant this winter. Jan pointed out that next Friday is Chinese New Year and that we could use that as the theme.
Note: This post ties together my last nine posts. Each post covers one of the dishes I selected to make for my birthday/Chinese New Year’s dinner. In this post I try to explain my thinking in selecting each dish for this feast.
Noodles are a symbol of longevity in Chinese tradition. A usual recipe for Chinese New Year would be to serve these in a Longevity Noodle Soup. Traditionally, you slurp these noodles whole without breaking them, so that you do not cut your longevity short. For my birthday/New Year’s feast I decided to go a different route.
Karl’s Cold Sichuan Noodles
No Chinese meal is complete without some rice. You can eat until you are bursting, but if you have not eaten at least one bite of rice, then all you have had is a “snack.” To leave rice out of a New Year’s meal would be very inauspicious.
Mimi’s Confetti Rice
My sister, Karen, and I were at the Christmas breakfast table reminiscing as one does. The subject of beef tongue came up. Our mother, Claudia, would make beef tongue occasionally as we were growing up. I decided to whip some up to go with the Chickyssoise I was making for dinner.
Karl’s Pickled Beef Tongue II
I usually do my traditional recipes for Thanksgiving. I do not do anything spectacular for the turkey (butter and Bell’s Poultry Seasoning under the skin and apple, lemon and herbs in the cavity) and I have already posted my Thanksgiving stuffing. Chris, my son-in-law, requested my cauliflower au gratin (yes, this is the third time in three weeks—he and Jan really like this dish). Other dishes we made this year were Jan’s Cranberry Cumberland Sauce and Jan’s Pecan Pumpkin Pie (this was just her pumpkin pie topped with pecans). The other dish that Jan requested for this year was mixed roasties.
Karl’s Mixed Roasties
It is a constant struggle to keep week day meals interesting. My mother, Claudia, was a strict budgeter; with 5 kids to feed she had to be. However, the result of this budgeting was that frequently you could tell what day it was by what was on the table. I had the same problem when I worked off shore, “If it is Tuesday it must be T-bone steaks.” No matter how good the food is, it gets boring if it is predictable.
Karl’s Tofu and Chinese Broccoli Stir-fry
Jan and Eilene went on a walking tour of the coast of Devon while they were in England. They stayed at Home Farm, a B&B run by the Stubbs. During the day Michael led them on guided tours of the historic area and at night would come back to food prepared by a master cook. Alison Stubbs is working on writing a cookbook, creating healthy, locally sourced, takes on traditional Devon fare.
Karl’s Carrot, Coconut and Ginger Soup
It is a constant challenge to make my meals meet all of my family’s food preferences: low fat, keto, soft food, yes mushrooms/no mushrooms, not to mention various allergies. Most of the dishes that I am planning for this Sunday are a bit bland, so I thought that I should make at least one with some kick to it.
Karl’s 40 Clove Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms
I had originally planned to roast the potatoes with the chicken, but both Jan and Eilene went, “Alison made these great sesame potatoes.” [Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more.] Again I am making this recipe based solely on a description of the finished product.
Karl’s Sesame Potatoes
The best pickled tongue I ever had was at a Basque restaurant in Fresno, California. The worst pickled tongue I ever had was at a Basque restaurant in Fresno. Done right this dish is a Tasty delight. Done wrong it is horrid.
Karl’s Pickled Tongue