Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Year Of The Sheep!

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the sheep, ram or goat, depending on who you ask. The Nanfang has a great article about that one, if you're interested in learning more. I'll just go with sheep since it's what my husband first told me and what he calls himself when asked about his birth year.

So how was our celebration? Well, to be honest, I think the food last year was much better. The food during last small CNY was also better.

But this year, we put out nuts, seeds and fruit as a snack. Which is very typically Chinese thing to do. Also, we began drinking before the real food came out. Scandalous! Jeremy's parents were not keen on drinking before the food. They think it's strange to drink without eating at the same time. Oh and I found one of our last beer mugs! I'd thought all of them were destroyed by the in-laws. One survived!

Slowly, MIL adds food to the table. We don't mind the slowness of it, since it's only about 4:30pm at this point. This is some cooked beef that they serve cold. It's cooked with Chinese spices that I don't even know how to explain but that other foreigners who've been here will go, "Oh yeah, THAT beef." It's not bad but I really can't stand to eat more than a few pieces of it. I also get annoyed with this dish. Because they serve it COLD. But if I try to drink a cold glass of water or milk, or eat a cold American dish, watchout! Because it will kill me, yo!

 Gah! It's that century egg with ginger on top. I do not eat this weird fermented egg thing. I can't. It makes me gag. Plenty of other people find it delicious though. If you're one of them then good for you. I skipped this.

 Meanwhile, my husband has forced me to turn the satellite channels off and put on the Chinese cable. Boo. But wait...this is interesting...some crazy lady with an ugly dress. Also, dig on the cutesy wootsy ram digital ram in the corner. That is SUCH an Asian thing to do. It makes me want to scream.

 Speaking of things that make me want to scream, see this dress. WTF?!? All I could think of was my friend Aaron Gordon and what he'd do if he saw it. Like always, he probably heard my laughter from here.

Ok, look, I don't mean to be a bitch or anything but if you're going to dress up in a gown that resembles an overfertilized flower market from hell, leave your glasses at home. Get contacts and put them in for this one event. Or just grope around blindly. It makes you look like Old Mother Hubbard bought herself a dress from the town dump.

 More ham. Because she probably bought a giant slab of it when she shopped for the stuff she made for small CNY.

 She made la pi at Jeremy's request this year. She made it so much better last year. Seriously. This was very blah. La pi is a potato noodle and vegetable dish. It's served cold with a garlicky, peanut sauce and also has bits of ham. She did a very half-assed job on this one.

 She slopped this on the table too. Garlic sauce for that ham. Sigh.

Cabbage and jellyfish salad. Very tasty!

Also, please notice Raelynn's little fingers snatching more ham. We moved it away from her because she gobbled up so many pieces. We wanted her to eat other food as well. But of course, FIL disobeyed our wishes causing her to disregard the things we say. Urgh...

 The table is filling up fast with food now! Here's a very ugly but tasty store-bought chicken. Also served cold. Also cooked with those odd Chinese spices. I miss American seasoning on things. I was happy the breast was there though. I like white meat. My in-laws think I'm strange for that. I think THEY are strange for many reasons of course, but because under that meat you see, there are chicken feet. Blah!

 Somebody took a nice long nap so Mommy could enjoy some food and many beers before doting on her. Thanks Seoul!

 Now we have some very jumbo jumbo shrimp. They were so good!

Seoul is trying to steal things off the table while Raelynn is making some sulky face. I'm not sure why...maybe because we took the ham away?

She made abalone but instead of making a soup like she did last year, she served them like this. I didn't find them very delicious this time.

 Raelynn busts out her busted demon bunny. This thing is so much worse than I thought. FIL put batteries in for her before the dinner. It squeaks but thankfully, not too loudly. And it hops around.

You can't tell from the photo but it has a broken leg. This is how he gave it to her, incidentally. she did not break its' leg! Oh and photobomb courtesy of Jeremy's foot.

This is a soup with scallops and cucumber slices on top of a steamed egg. It sounds and looks vile but it's incredibly tasty.

 You can see the egg better in this photo. What annoyed me though was when MIL brought this out, FIL took his chopstick, stuck it into the broth and put it in Seoul's mouth. I shouted at him about it and my husband said it wasn't nice to yell at people on the holiday. Look, I let a lot of things slide from those 2 morons but sorry, he needs to wear his ass as a hat for this. He could have made her very sick! She's only 7 months old. She can't have eggs yet. Or seafood! What an idiot! Even MIL yelled at him. I did not apologize. And I won't. I can't wait to move my children away from that dangerously stupid man. MIL is incompetent too but she frightens me much less than he does.

 Just some meh-dish with pork, that weird black mushroom thing and some leafy green that's like spinach but is not actually spinach. This was like what she'd make us any other day of the week.

 Here's the head troll holding the baby. She's wearing her green vest she wore the other day. This time, she's paired it with a pink shirt. Which pisses me right off. Not because it's pink but because Chinese people constantly refer to pink as red. It. Makes. Me. INSANE. Red is the color for CNY and to wear it is lucky. When people get married, red is a lucky color too. And then they cover sewer grates and ugly things by the newlyweds' home in PINK paper. Because. They. Think. Red. And. Pink. Are. The. Same. WTF China?!? Augh! Stop it, please. I lectured my husband about the difference between pink and red. He's got 2 daughters. He NEEDS to know there is a difference between these colors.

At this point in the meal, I felt the beer was making me very full. I wanted to maximize my drunk and salute my folks who were unable to come visit us this year. So I switched to baijiu, a very strong Chinese alcohol.

Cheers, Mom & Dad! It was like they were right there at the table with us. Sort of, anyway.

 Big steamed fish time! Meal is almost over now. Fish was fabulous as always. She has never messed this one up.

 Dumplings had come out at some point while I was in our bedroom putting Seoul to sleep. Despite all the loud pops and bangs that night, she slept very well. How were the dumplings? Not bad, but not her best either.

And now, I leave you with a couple photos from bad Chinese cable TV specials. May this CNY be prosperous and wonderful for you all!


  1. I think I would not be able to eat anything but that ham there,...You know, I can accept all kind of food as I was in the Finnish Army but this looks even worse!

    The bunny is great though, perfect for scaring kids at night.

    1. It probably was worse. And that is the bunny of my nightmares. I looooooooooooove that he gave it to her with a broken leg. I mean come on! Can't you buy the kid a normal toy?!? Sigh.