Loooooooong picture-ful post. Go get your drinks and popcorn while waiting for the images to load. You could even savour your main dish in front of your computer. Those viewing this on your smartphones and other hand held devices, I suggest you skip reading this post till you get home or you might risk jamming your device and cursing at my blog in public. I know my turtle friend did that once minus the cursing in public. =P
There are 15 days of Chinese New Year. In certain areas of China, Chinese folks observe the 15-day tradition closely. In Singapore, CNY Day 1 and 2 are official public holidays though many Chinese continue to celebrate CNY over the next two weeks by visiting relatives and friends and gathering for feasts.
~*CNY Day 10*~
The VIOS group organized the most atas BBQ ever for our CNY gathering this year. The company was lovely and all the food was SCRUMPALICIOUS! We had a smorgasbord of food like fish, scallops, mussels, gambon austral prawns, squid, gourmet sausages, rib eye steak, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms, portobello mushrooms topped with cheese and truffle oil, grilled vege and chicken skewers, yellow and white corn, potato and cheese wrapped in popiah skin etc.
It was a full attendance that day.
Kh looked like a retard here coz he was laughing at something funny that Flor said.
Perhaps this is a better group shot save for the fact that my hand was up to sweep my wind-blown hair away from my face.
The girls were photobombed by Jerm.
The boys were photobombed by SL.
The Super Family arrived fashionably without their capes because Edna fromThe Incredibles said NO CAPES!
Those who met up earlier at Peggy's place for the preparation process.
Jac was the head chef that evening while all the guys were the sous chef.
The sous chefs.
Benson's hobby with planes came in useful during the BBQ to start the fire. While other people at other pits were frantically fanning the charcoal, Benson simply switched on the plane's motor and soon, the charcoal were evenly heated.
Pandan leaves were used as brush to grease the food for more flavour.
These "Gambon Austral" prawns were so finger-licking good! When they were cooked, a heavenly fragrance of grilled atas prawns wafted through the air. They smelled and tasted almost like crab or crayfish. Most of us had a cholesterol-rich time sucking the brains out of the prawns other than feasting on the sweet succulent flesh. I know that sounds absolutely disgusting but people who love sucking prawn heads would tell you how delicious the rich yolk-like liquid oozing from the head tastes. My Singaporean-Chinese friend once told me that her American room mate exclaimed, "You mean these things have heads???!" when she cooked them whole without shelling them. Seriously my dear American friends, you're missing a lot.
Look who had got so much prawn shell on his plate?
Gourmet sausages in original and cheese flavour. Delicious but quite salty,
We know we have expensive taste when even for mushrooms, we had to choose portobello.
Portobello mushrooms topped with cheese and truffle oil. The layer of liquid gold you see there was the juice from the mushrooms and not oil. Slurp!
The rib eye steak was tenderized by a commercial tenderizing marinade and old-school pounding. Gotta try to remember the name of that marinade. Yummy!
Those who wanted medium rare had it a little too rare. Back to the grill!
Just one of the many signature dishes of Jac's -- potato and cheese wrapped in popiah skin.
We had an assortment of sauces and dips like truffle oil, bbq sauce, black pepper sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and sambal chilli sauce. The latter two are pictured below.
The sweetest corn I've ever tasted.
I knew Jon made some beer-infused mussels but the stuff in this picture looked too white to be mussels.
Squid cooked in different styles.
Guess what is this gross looking insect-like/ alien-like creature? It is actually a piece of mussel. Would you eat it if you didn't know that?
Time to Lo Hei! This is a vegetarian Yu Sheng and the mock raw fish are Konnyaku jelly.
I don't particularly enjoy BBQ in Singapore as it is usually synonymous to school days gathering, chalets, humidity, burnt chicken wings, lots of processed food and no vegetables. I would get a bad sore throat the day after a BBQ. I know that BBQ in the west is a completely different affair with lots of grilled meat and healthier food choices (or at least healthier than a typical BBQ in Singapore). Everyone agreed that that was the most atas and delicious BBQ we have ever had, quite unlike the usual Singapore BBQ. As we grow older, we seemed to enjoy the finer things in life.
All photos in this section were taken using iPhone 5 with iPhone filter.
~*CNY Day 11*~
Some of Kh's paternal cousins dropped by to 拜年.
After that bestie Cyn and my Godkids came over to 拜年.
Boy Boy ang pow for Jase. Girl Girl ang pow for Charmaine and Mia. Charmaine is always around. She lives in our hearts. =)
Godpa Kh and Godma Jo with Jase. He is such a big boy now.
This wasn't meant to be a multiple shot anigif thingy. You know how my poses would change when it is a multiple shot thing.
Godpa Kh was Mia's favourite playmate that day. Cyn and I were AMAZED by their bond. Cyn was particularly surprised as except her father and brother, Mia doesn't usually like guys.
Look who had such a sweet smile, who had such a punch-me face and look who photobombed.
Kh put Mia on the couch and she started to smile coyly and posed.
He taught her some hip hop moves like folding the arms, tilting head and those yo yo hand gestures. Jase assisted her in imitating the actions.
Kh also did the Mission Impossible baby thing and the Lion Dance thing. Mia was so tickled!
Intrigued by the magnifying glass and giant eye.
Who was the notti one who pulled down the pineapple lantern and looked up so innocently at the putting up of lantern thereafter?
This is how Mia would look in future when hoards of boys call her and she doesn't know how to reject them.
Group shot! This sofa is getting more and more air time here.
~*CNY Day 14*~
My eldest sister passed all the mental and physio tests and was certified fit to be discharged after her open brain surgery and being warded for the past 20 plus days. (Those of you on my Facebook would have read the updates on her condition.) Since she missed almost the whole Chinese New Year, we had a mini reunion dinner and Lo Hei in the comfort of our home on the 2nd last day of CNY.
I bought the big Yu Sheng from Din Tai Fung. The dish was so big and I was practically knocking into everybody during the whole commute but look at how little the whole thing was after pouring all the ingredients out.
The crispy golden pillows which my sis and I love were replaced by yam shreds though overall, Din Tai Fung's Yu Sheng is good.
My sis can't eat certain food so she had food separate from us in containers like CUTE Mickey and Minnie Mouse lunch box! So CUTE can? I also want.
All photos in this section were taken using iPhone 5 and iPhone 6.
This post sums up CNY 2015.
I know that many Chinese LURVE CNY and for those of you who have been reading my blog from way back then, you would know that I'm not a fan of CNY. This CNY has been a little different especially with my sis's ordeal during the festive period and the strong fight that she had put up.
For those who don't know, 1 in 3 people drop down dead immediately from aneurysm rupture. 15% of those did not die immediately die on the operating table. Majority of the remaining would overcome the surgery with various degree of vegetative state. Some do not regain full control of their lives. Finally, a pinch of them would recover and be fit enough to go back into the workforce and lead a relatively normal life. My sis seems to belong to the pinch of people. There is still a 6-month after surgery observation window for her when anything could still happen. However, we are remaining hopeful as she had really battled against all odds to show everyone what a true fighter she is!
I am once more humbled to be thankful and appreciative of what I have. Do Treasure all familial ties, kinship, friendship and most importantly, HEALTH! May the year continue to be a rich one for us all!