Chinese New Year

Lots of cranes

A couple of weeks ago Emily and I had a Chinese New Year party, this was partly because it’s fun to have a party but mainly because Emily wanted to cook a shit load of Chinese food and I wanted to eat it!

I spent my Saturday decorating the house with strings of red paper cranes and apparently (according to Pinterest) traditional chinese paper cuts.

Paper cuts

We had a pretty ambitious menu and Emily did almost everything single-handed, but I made a few sweet things and was her kitchen bitch for the prep. I utterly failed to take photos of all the delicious food as I was drunk (bar the uncooked dim sum below – I cut the square wanton rappers into a circle with a cookie cutter so they looked pretty) but here’s our menu, you can use your imagination!

Dim sum

Menu

Starters
Freshly deep-fried prawn crackers
Pork dim sum
Spring rolls (Clair made these – also fucking delicious!)
Pork buns
The most amazing ribs of all time!

First Course
An entire crispy roast duck with all the trimmings

Second Course
Beef in black bean sauce
Char sui pork
Salt and pepper prawns
Stir fried cucumbers in hot spices
Braised Aubergines
Pak Choi and soy sauce
Sesame tofu and vegetables
Broccoli in hoi sin
Steamed rice

Dessert
Fortune cookies
Almond cookies
Lychees
Jasmie tea

Lotus flower origami

We had a very tight prep schedule so Emily allowed me Saturday evening to ‘go nuts decorating/setting the table’, so as well as the cranes I made these lotus flowers for the table. They are ace because they use up the leftover ends of the A4 sheet of paper you used to cut out the squares for the cranes – genius right?!

Incredibly accurate future telling devices these fortune cookies

I made the fortune cookies from scratch which was super fun, it’s basically like making a tuille biscuit so you really need one of those rubber mat things (which luckily I have), you paint them onto that and then put them in the over for about 3 mins, which them out and use your extremely tiny window of opportunity to insert the fortune, fold and seal it. I started by putting about 8 in at a time but there was no way I had time to fold them all so I reduced it to batches of 4. I used this recipe which was not only delicious but helpfully suggested cooling the cookies in a muffin tin to stop them uncurling.

Almond cookies

I also made some almond cookies which were a bit shortbready (recipe here), they were so easy to make and went really well with the jasmine tea, I ate a LOT of these.

Crane

The cranes look so pretty I don’t want to take them down, I might move them to the craft room, it’s definitely not busy enough in there with all the crap I make.

Spring!

Last thing: this is the symbol for Spring, it’s supposed to welcome it in so I’m leaving it up until it actually arrives!

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