This time the date really crept up on me and I didn’t even have a chance to send my friends in China an appropriate greeting. I am sending this in hopes that they will know that I have not forgotten them.
I WISH YOU ALL A PROSPEROUS AND PEACEFUL YEAR OF THE RAT!
Now, since I didn’t have time to go shopping for materials for an extravagant New Year dinner, I searched through the freezer and, low and behold, a six pack of small quail. This week I had received an email from The Woks of Life and they had numerous (25) recipes suitable for the New Year celebration and there was a squab recipe among them.
Now the squab shown in the recipe is a lot larger than the quail, but they will work just fine. As I write this, they have been simmered and are now sitting in the front of a fast fan to dry off for the maltose vinegar sauce to start drying on them.
This year we decided to keep the dinner simple. For a start, we will have a homemade Chinese noodles (wheat, no egg) in noodle soup. I made a large batch of noodles, again from Woks, and froze half of them. After the soup, which also was the broth for simmering the quail, we will move on to the quail, rice, bok choy, shredded daikon salad, sliced tomatoes, cucumber salad and for dessert a sweet rice balls and tapioca in a coconut cream (soup).
I feel like my Chinese friends will think me a poor housewife with such a simple meal for the holiday, but there are just the two of us and we don’t eat as much as we use to, plus six quail will probably be overkill.
Fortunately, as there is little in the island groceries for this type of meal, I had most of the ingredients in the cupboards and freezer. The bok choy we grow in our own greenhouse along with Chinese cabbages. We have it covered.
The coconut soup included sweet rice balls (mochico flour). I had never made them. When we lived in Beijing, we could just purchase them already made and ready to steam, boil or whatever. It is just the flour and water, being careful to have them the right consistency before putting them in the hot water or soup. They turned out great.
I had purchased the blueberries, which will be used in the coconut soup, earlier in the week to have for blueberry pancakes, so I had that covered too. It is going to be an international meal as the blueberries came from Chile!
Well, there you have it. It is not the twenty dish meals we had with our Chinese friends, but it will be wonderful, modest and wonderful. I wish that I could share mine with them, and they theirs with us, but alas, they are far away and the New Year was already yesterday for them.
If you would like to prepare the dishes for yourself, I would suggest going to The Woks of Life https://thewoksoflife.com/ and looking at their suggestions for the New Year. The squab (pigeon) is https://thewoksoflife.com/chinese-fried-pigeon-squab/ and the dessert soup is https://thewoksoflife.com/coconut-tapioca-dessert/. None of the recipes are difficult, and they have different levels of difficulty with lots and lots of instruction and pictures.
I wish you all HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR OF THE RAT!
Well, it was great. We had a big pile of bones but not much else left over. Check out the recipes and enjoy.
sorry about the out of focus bone pile.