Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Red and gold decorations have taken over the markets and everyone is cleaning their homes to welcome the new Lunar Year. There is a buzz of activity everywhere in Taiwan. People are anxiously awaiting the holidays and a welcome break from work to spend time with love ones and to visit friends whom they haven’t seen in awhile.
For my mother-in-law, it is the time to plan the ideal Chinese New Year’s Eve feast to accommodate everyone, and when I say ‘everyone,’ I am specifically referring to her daughter-in-laws, myself included.
She always laughs and smiles when she tells her friends and family what a difficult task she has ahead of her every Chinese New Year’s Eve. See, if you could pick three daughter-in-laws with three different eating habits and restrictions, I swear you couldn’t have picked a more diverse punch, even if you tried to!
One is vegetarian, one loves seafood, and I am allergic to shellfish.
So, you can imagine the amount of time and careful planning that goes into making sure there is food for everyone and the careful preparation it takes to ensure that no meat touches the vegetarian dishes and no shell fish touches the meat and vegetable dishes.
But with the help of my husband and I, my mother-in-law will be cooking up a storm in our kitchen on Chinese New Year’s Eve while I entertain her with stories of my crazy Taiwan adventures and she will be happy to spend the entire day and evening with the ten of us. She considers the huge amount of effort a minor inconvenience for spending time with the people who mean the most to her.
And as long as San Bei Ji (three cup chicken) is on the menu, this daughter-in-law won’t mind cleaning up and doing the dishes on Chinese New Year Eve (with the help of others, of course). 🙂 Hey, it’s my house (well, my husband’s, too) so I don’t mind putting in the extra effort and welcoming the new lunar year with a clean kitchen!
And on that note, Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy year of the Horse!!
Two weeks ’til Chinese New Year’s Eve!