Archive for the ‘Chinese New Year’ Category

Articles

Waffling

In Chinese New Year,Food,Hong Kong,Pancakes on February 8, 2011 by triotriotrio

I often waffle between whether I like pancakes or waffles more. But is a silly argument because at the heart of it they are two completely different foods. Sure – there are similarities. People like them for breakfast, and butter and syrup are a perfect complement.

But consider the differences. First, waffles are crispy. Their texture is one to give the consumer a tactile delight in the mouth. But pancakes are essentially all about the spongy qualities, even though a crispy outer coating is a must. Let me put it this way, would you ever eat ice cream out of a pancake?

This is a round about way of telling you about a recent experience that I had concerning Hong Kong waffles. I won’t make the expense draw out – they were awesome! It makes me wonder why waffles have been perfected but my search for the illusive excellent pancake goes on?

During Chinese New Year a certain kind of waffle is often served. I discovered my example on the streets in Soho. Two ladies were pushing a handcart with a charcoal burning fire. The batter was poured directly into the sandwich griddle and placed directly over the coals. They were pulled out piping hot with some char on them.

The batter is made with coconut milk, which gave them a slight sweet taste. They were crispy and the smoke from the fire gave them a complex taste. No powered sugar or confection was on them. They were just served in a paper bag. And I couldn’t think of anything that would have made them better.

Last – the waffles griddle is separated into egg shaped portions. So it was so easy to pull off individual pieces. I think that is so people can share. But in the future Jennifer is going to have to get her own because they were that good.

Until next time – keep on flipping!

Articles

Fireworks

In Chinese New Year,Updates on February 5, 2011 by triotriotrio

One of the things I remember from history is that the Chinese invented gunpowder. Their intent was not for warfare, but fireworks. The New Year’s fireworks display lived up to the reputation that the Chinese have with pyrotechnic proficiency. The dazzling lights over the harbor were one of the best display that I have ever seen.

One of the things that made the display a step above the rest is how they used Harbor barges as a second launching pad. While the wonderful displays were high in the air, there was a low blanket of color also taking place. Four separate launching areas also contributed to to the dramatic effect. The harbor setting that also creates a bowl of display where the surrounding high-rises hold in all the powerful booms!

I also enjoy a variety of displays that I have never seen before. One of the most interesting was an explosion that spelled out, ” I ♥ HK” I also enjoyed a wide variety of explosions in the shape of flowers. The chrysanthemums were especially impressive.

The finale was unmistakable. It lasted a good five minutes and was a continuous outpouring of sound and color. The first set would be exploding when another was already taking place. The couplings were so impressive it was hard to believe that such a display could be sustained.

This year’s New Year celebration comes to a close. And I am glad that in my first month in Hong Kong that I was able to be a part of it.

Articles

Chinese New Year Parade

In Chinese New Year,Updates on February 3, 2011 by triotriotrio

Tonight was the Chinese New Year Parade. It went down Canton Street, in the heart of the high end business district of Kowloon. Jennifer and I got there extra early in order to get a good spot. Space was definitely a premium. We learned first-hand from a Grandma that her kids were going to get a front-row seat whether we liked it or not. She was all business – not afraid to throw an elbow or two. Below is a highlight of some of the performers. The video really speaks for itself but here are three observations:

Not Too Chinese: I suppose I was expecting this to be an all out Chinese celebration but it wasn’t. Like many things in the Hong Kong there was a very international feel to the parade. Performers from China, the Czech Republic, the United States, Thailand, Korea and many others were all represented.

Jazz Hands: We saw a lot of performances tonight, not necessarily marching bands and such. Let me put it this way, Lady Gaga’s Pokerface was being played on high rotation. I have never seen this many performances in a parade. And the costumes were outstanding. Everything from traditional Chinese attire to space costumes from the future were represented.

Crowds of Patient People: The parade started almost 50 minutes late. But nonetheless, everyone in the crowd was well-behaved. And although people may have been complaining on the inside, it didn’t show on the outside. I was especially impressed by the number of children who either sat there patiently or played amongst themselves.

It was really exciting to see the Year of the Rabbit get off to such a great start!

Enjoy the highlights!

Articles

Victoria Park Flower Market

In Chinese New Year,Food on January 30, 2011 by triotriotrio

Chinese New Year is upon us. And we have been excited that this occurrence is one of the first big celebrations that Jennifer and I will be able to participate in. Today we went over to Victoria Park because we had learned there was a special flower market set up for the holiday season..

We came across a public park filled with lots of energy. Everyone seemed eager to get ready for the big three-day holiday. Here are three observations that I am happy to share with you:

Beautiful Flowers: There were beautiful flower stands everywhere. We have learned that flowers are a popular decoration for the holiday. Outside on the streets and in people’s homes flowers, fruits and trees adorn the spaces. Different flowers symbolize different themes for the New Year. Plum Blossoms, for example, symbolize luck and kumquats represent prosperity. We saw beautiful examples of each including interesting arrangements. The orchids were especially beautiful.

Families: We have also learned that the Chinese New Year is an important time for families to be together. And there were many families out today enjoying each other’s company. A friend told me that his family has an annual Mahjong family tournament. Stores tend to be close during this time. And many families travel vast distances to be together.

Food: And of course, food is an important part of any holiday celebration. There were many wonderful stands serving all kinds of sweets and fried foods. Jennifer spotted a huge pot of simmering oil. The stand was serving fried tofu. A line of wonderful condiment sauces was lined up. There was a huge line of people waiting to be served, so that seemed like a good sign. As I waited in line I thought to myself someone around here has some terrible BO.

Jennifer said, “You go first.” As I began to take my first bite when I noticed a group of locals watching intently to see what my reaction would be. I turned to Jennifer and gave her the big thumbs up as I swallowed the first piece. I smiled the best I could to the on-looking crowd.

But in fact, all of that was a big show. I was dying on the inside. Because what I learned when I took the first bite was that it was in fact STINKY tofu. A fermented product that could give the most pungent French cheese a run for its money. Maybe it is an acquired taste? It is just not for me.

Nonetheless I am excited for the upcoming New Year. May the year of the rabbit bring us prosperity and luck. And with providence, may it be a year without any stinky tofu.