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Sunday, March 08, 2015

羊年 Chinese New Year 2015 Part 2

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!


  1. Oh wow, loved the photos! That was an awesome BBQ you guys had! Loved the idea of the mushrooms with cheese and truffle oil! Very creative and more high end for sure! My family loves grilling up prawns, squid, satay, sausages and corn! I totally want to try that creation of the stuffed popiah skin with potato and cheese! Hah! Sounds great! And yes, I'd eat that alien looking mussel! I love seafood bits too much! I recently had a BBQ at home with just my boyfriend and to balance out all the yummy grilled food I made us each a bowl of salad! All the best for your sister's recovery, she is very lucky and I'm sure she will fight and get back soon! My grandmother has lived with several veins in her brain that scans have shown have gotten quite clotted for years, doctors told us that it's far too dangerous now to have surgery so the best she can do is to live as normally and if she has any blackouts or sudden dizziness to bring her straight to the's quite scary knowing that a rupture can happen any day but these health ailments are part of life and we can't do much to change things now but to support and do as much as we can to prevent further complications. I totally wish that I could go back and relive all the food and build up to the days! Your posts have been great to read Jo!

    1. Always love reading what you have to say, Sharlynn. You would sooooo totally love our portobello mushrooms topped with cheese and truffle oil. It is simply full of juicy goodness. Your grilled BBQ with your family and the one with your bf sound great too. Ah yes, I've read something about clots in the brain and when there are times and age when it is better not to go for any surgery to remove them or it might worsen things. I pray that your Grandma would continue to stay happy and positive so as to prevent any rupturing. xo

  2. Happy Sunday Jo! Next year, I want to come to you anc celebrate CNY, what a blast you had at the BBQ! So many delicious things, so beautiful company! Im so inspired by the vegetarian Yu Sheng, never heard of that dish but must be so scrumptious. Mia is the sweetest baby, what a smile she has with ur hubby! Hope ur sis is better, still in my thoughts <3 Happy International Women's Day dear, hugs xo

    1. If you ever come to Singapore, I would take you around to eat lots of local food that you've never eaten but often talk about trying on my blog. I love those Yu Sheng with actual raw fish slices though I wonder if foreigners would love it. I do know that some of my non-Chinese friends love Yu Sheng too. Thank you for keeping my sis in your thoughts dear Lilli. xo

  3. Gurrlllll, you forgot the 'You will wipe your drool off your laptop' warning! Haha! Gosh, you have the best gatherings, I can only imagine how fun and cool it is to have a friend like you. No worries, this post loaded instantly for me so no worries about too many pictures!

    I miss CNY dinners, my dad used to cook steamboat for us and this year we had fast food burger. Not the same at all. LOL!

    Looking forward to your next post!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Hahaha... I hope you haven't dirtied your laptop with this post or you had better wipe that drool off, Shireen. Ooh... I didn't eat any steamboat this year. That's one of the stuff that we Singaporeans gather for too. Now I'm craving for steamboat!

  4. Jo... I am so happy that your sister was in the small category of survivors... I have heard how awful aneurysm are and how deadly they can be... that is very scary, I hope and pray your sister does well over the next six months and beyond, she is truly a fighter, that is awesome.

    You pictures are amazing as usual... I love all you Instagram photos... it is such a great way to stay in touch... Guess what, I don't eat any fish or seafood at all... and very little meat period... I am more of a fruit and vegetable girl.. I do love cheese and eggs though, so I could never be a true vegetarian that way...

    I am glad that your Chinese New Year ended up better and that your sister is home now... Happy International Women's Day xox

    1. Ah yes, Launna. Thank you for your concern and prayer. I'm so glad we are FB friends. You're one of those blog friends who saw my sis's whole head of stitches and scars on FB. I think she is so cool with those battle scars to show what a fighter she is. You're a good fruit and vege girl! I should try to eat healthier like you too. I'm curious as to why you don't eat fish and seafood. Is it due to allergy or preference? You could be a lacto vegetarian and that's also great for health and the environment. Kudos!

  5. I'm glad you were able yo enjoy some CNY celebrations with everything going on this year and more importantly I'm really happy to hear that your sister got through her surgery and has been discharged. It's great that your family was able to have a make-up dinner with her too. I'm sure with that scare, it must put into perspective the importance of family and being together. How fortunate that is is within the pinch and here's wishing her much strength as she continues with her recovery! May this year of the sheep be happy, healthy and prosperous for us all.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    1. Thank you for your concern and well wishes for my sis, Rowena! Really appreciate it. I could see how you had a nice little CNY celebration too. I know you've got health issues too so may abundance of health be with you too!

      PS: How cool that you're on Instagram now. =D

  6. Being an American was not the reason that goof ball didn't know about the heads!!!

    1. I was utterly shocked at the bimbocity of my gal pal's roomie when she related that incident and many others.

  7. Hi Jo! Hope you're doing fine! These photos speak a lot for the Chinese new year's celebration you had! SO much fun! I always enjoy a BBQ party! I remember the little Mia from you last posts, she's the cutest kid ever! Your hubby is a fun guy too! I saw on Instagram and Fb about your sister. I just wanted to tell you to stay strong and be with her, because I know what is like to have a sister! She's the second you! I am happy to hear she's from the pinch, Jo! Wishing her, you and your family lots of health! May the new Chinese year be a wonderful one for you all (although you are not a fan of the CNY)!

    1. Hello Sany, Thank you for your concern and well wishes. Really appreciate it. I'm so glad we are FB friends. You're one of those blog friends who saw my sis's whole head of stitches and scars on FB. I think she is so cool with those battle scars to show what a fighter she is.

  8. it was an amazing virtual trip to your culture:) Thank you for sharing such a positive post, dear:) all those dishes look very special, I have never tried real Chinese food, I mean we have some Chinese restaurant where I live, but all the stuff there is adapted to our culture and tastes, hope you understand what I mean:)
    I've got to say happy Chinese New Year to you:) Good luck in everything you do!

    1. Good to see you here Alexandra. I'm glad to be able to share my culture with my blog friends from all over the world just like how I enjoy taking virtual trip of other cultures too. Ah yes I understand totally, much of Chinese food in Western countries have been modified to suit locals' taste buds. I don't particularly enjoy Chinese food in Western countries coz they just aren't done correctly.

  9. Ahhh...this was wonderful, am glad you all enjoyed yourselves and had such a wonderful time. How important family is, with or without scares, we must always hold them dear and treasure the time!! I hope your sister continues to get better and rest with much strength. Have a gorgeous week :) xx

    1. Thank you for your well wishes for my sis, Kizzy. And yes with or without scare, we should always treasure our loved ones. xo

  10. I'm drooling over the steak, portobello mushrooms and those prawns Jo! You guys had a beautiful feast. So much fun before, during and after. Your husband is so good with children! I love the way they laugh. I love that Mickey and Minnie Mouse lunch box.

  11. Oh what lovely photos!! Love seeing on how people celebrate. I just love when families get together, thanks for posting these xx The food looks WOW amazing :P


  12. my fav photo is the one where Mia sits like a boss:)! such a cute baby girl!

  13. and seeing all this delicious food made me really hungry! How interesting that the celebrations last that long...must be exausting but aslo nice because you get to spend time with family and loved ones.

  14. What a fabulous collection of photos! Looks like February was one fine month! T.


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