Chinese New Year Preparations – 2

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Assorted Yummy Chinese New Year Cookies

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Mandarin Oranges From China

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Homemade Kuih Bakul / Nian Gao

Good evening, dear friends 😀

Usually, I like to finish my decluttering and cleaning so that I will have peace of mind that all is clean in my house and we are ready for the Chinese New Year (CNY). Then, I will go shopping for all the things that I need like new brooms, new mops (old ones are thrown away), new floormats, various foodstuff, drinks, and mandarin oranges.

However, this year things went a bit differently 🙄 when my husband decided to take a half day’s leave to run some CNY errands now instead of waiting to do them at the last minute like we always did.

The first thing was to go to the bank to change new money notes to be used in ang pows (auspicious red packets containing new money to symbolise new chi). Then we went shopping for the CNY cookies and since I have decided to only make the traditional Pineapple Tarts and “Kok Chai” (Peanut Puffs) this weekend, the rest of the cookies had to be bought.

I had also bought some Kuih Bakul or Nian Gao from an elderly lady who makes them in her home every for CNY. Kuih Bakul is made from glutinous rice flour and sugar and steamed for 10 hours, hence the dark rich colour. Nian Gao means “every year higher and higher”, sort of like our luck gets better and better, i.e. great prosperity. Usually, I would trimmed the banana leaves near the top of the Kuih Bakul before offering it to our deities and ancestors during CNY together with many varieties of fruits.

Must haves for the CNY are the traditional cookies like Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Flour Coconut Milk Cookies), Kuih Kapit (Love Letters), Pineapple Tarts, Peanut Cookies, Peanut Puffs/Kok Chai, Dragon Cookies and Kuih Rose. The rest are the usual cookies that we can buy all year round like chocolate chip almond cookies, chocolate cookies, and other types of Westernised butter cookies. I will show close ups of these cookies when we serve them to our guests during CNY. Meanwhile, they are displayed on my table, waiting for CNY to be opened (see photo above)! 😆

My husband also bought an assortment of drinks –

* 2 cartons (24 cans in each carton) of Anglia Shandy

* 7 cartons of Yeo Hiap Seng’s Sugar Cane Drink, Wintermelon Drink, Chrysanthemum Drink, Lychee Drink and Soya Bean Drink

* 1 Carton of 100 plus

* 1 Carton of 7-Up

Therefore, with the drinks and cookies, we are loaded with lots of sugary stuff during the CNY! 😆 Not to mention the feasting that will be going on for days. There is lots of food and drink to symbolise abundance during the new year.

Lastly, we bought 5 cartons of Mandarin Oranges as every year, we would give a box of them together with some cookies to our neighbours, and they would also give something similar back to us – so there is a lot of generosity going around in the giving and the receiving – good chi flow, I would say! 😉

Today, I am almost done with the kitchen decluttering and cleaning. Tomorrow, it will be my laundry room and prayer room to be cleaned, to be followed by the top floor where our bedrooms are but at least my children will be decluttering their own bedroom themselves this weekend. I only have to check on them to make sure that they are doing a good job of it. Curtains are being taken down to wash and after the curtains, then it will be the bedsheet sets. Then, the ceiling fans , air-conditioners and windows have to be cleaned. With the bathrooms washed, all the floors mopped and the car porch scrubbed, my house would be completely cleaned.

Then, the CNY decorations would be up but I will have to go shopping for them with my daughters on Thursday and on Friday, we will be shopping for clothes, shoes and handbags. Weekend is baking time and planning the menu for the big Reunion Dinner on the eve of CNY. Phew! I hope I meet my deadlines! 🙄 😆

I am see double now as I am typing this because I am so sleepy and tired….I’d better go to bed now….

Good night and sweet dreams! 😀

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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    How fun! This year, we’re going to the Chinese New Year Festival in Chinatown. I’m really excited. I’ve never gone before.

    Like

  2. 2

    rozalia said,

    Oh, my dear friend ! I would like so much to see all this. You have so much work to do, but in the end it must be so beautiful to celebrate like this! In my part of the world, neibourghs hardly say “Happy New Year” when they meet you on the street… :(: …but give fruits or cookies… never.

    I wish you happy decluttering and cooking, but please take care of your joints … and if you take picures, I’m sure you will, don’t forget about me.

    Te pup,rose

    Like

  3. 3

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Good morning from KL, my dear ladies! 😀

    Hehe, I had so much on my mind thinking about today’s list of things to do that I woke up at 5.30am…couldn’t sleep already 🙄 but I usually wake up at 6am to send my kids to school.

    I haven’t been to Chinatown here for many years for my Chinese New Year shopping because these days, the stalls are mainly run by foreign workers (non Chinese) that it doesn’t feel las much as Chinatown anymore. Nevertheless, I am going there this Friday to buy my CNY decorations and to absorb the CNY festive mood there – I will take some photos there for you to see! 😉

    Have a great day today!

    Cheers,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  4. 4

    yen1908 said,

    Hi choesf

    This weekend, my friend and me will be going to the Waterloo Streets, Chinatown to absord the CNY festivities. Testing out the cookies before buying them! And also to the Nursery to buy flowers, plants etc for decorations!

    Have to go now, continue with my decluttering! then to the hairdresser later in the afternoon.

    take care
    yen

    Like

  5. 5

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Thank you , my dear yen, for your feedback on your cleaning! 😀 We must be the only 2 crazy ladies busy cleaning here at this blog…nevertheless, we are enjoying ourselves tremendously with the new chi, ey? 😆 😆

    I went to Chinatown just now to try and catch some of the CNY festive mood there but I must say that it is a real disappointment as there was no CNY music blaring out loud at the shops…very quiet and not many people there. Where are all the shoppers? 😯

    My friend, KC, told me that they have gone to the pasar malams! 🙄 I think I will head there, too, tomorrow night!

    Hope you have a good hair session there. Yesterday, I had coloured my hair but they did it too red (hahaha! But perfect for CNY hor because then there is “ong” on my head! :roll:), but they told me to return this Sunday to “redo” the colour!

    Take care and have fun sampling the cookies!

    With love and hugs,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  6. 6

    CookieClub said,

    What is “Homemade Kuih Bakul”

    Like

  7. 7

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there and welcome, dear CookieClub 😀

    Kuih Bakul is the term in our Malay language for “Nian Gao” (in Mandarin), and it means literally “cake in a basket.”

    Kuih Bakul or Nian Gao is a traditional Chinese sticky dessert that is made from a batter of glutinous rice flour and sugar, and steamed for 10 hours or so. The homemade variety tastes much better because they are made in only small batches as they take so long to cook….the commercial ones made in factories are too runny and sweet.

    Happy Lunar Chinese New Year!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  8. 8

    Queenie said,

    hi.. may i know the nian gao where you bought it one? i’m still finding for nice one in kl… since tough for me… please provide me some info… please email me at qhlc25@yahoo.com. tq

    Like

    • 9

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Queenie 😀

      The nian gao is bought from my local grocery store and it is made by a lady that stays in the area. It was convenient for me. Sometimes, I buy those really nice looking ones (but they don’t taste good at all) from supermarkets, complete with red decorations and cups…just for prayers and as a tradition for having nian gao for Chinese New Year.

      I believe most wet markets (pasar) and pasar malams will have the type of nian gao shown in the picture above also.

      Good Luck and Gong Xi Fa Cai! 😀

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like


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