Thursday, February 3, 2011


Happy Chinese New Year! Especially to all you Rabbits out there - which means you were born between...

  • 29 January 1903 – 15 February 1904: Water Rabbit
  • 14 February 1915 – 2 February 1916: Wood Rabbit
  • 2 February 1927 – 22 January 1928: Fire Rabbit
  • 19 February 1939 – 7 February 1940: Earth Rabbit
  • 6 February 1951 – 26 January 1952: Metal Rabbit
  • 25 January 1963 – 12 February 1964: Water Rabbit
  • 11 February 1975 – 30 January 1976: Wood Rabbit
  • 29 January 1987 – 16 February 1988: Fire Rabbit
  • 16 February 1999 – 4 February 2000 Earth Rabbit
  • 3 February 2011 – 22 January 2012: Metal Rabbit

According to Wikipedia anyway!

To celebrate the New Year, I decided to take my younger sister's advice and clean my house. At least I meant to. I mostly cleaned my kitchen, put out the recycling, and then took a much needed bath. Tonight I plan to pack for my weekend trip to Pittsburgh (HERE WE GO STEELERS! HERE WE GO! *clap* *clap*), finish up some gifts for my goddaughter, and paint my nails red for the holiday.

Yesterday in honor of the New Year I took a crack at recipe (also suggested by my younger sister - go, Jo!) featured on NPR's Kitchen Window, which explored Chinese cooking in the Caribbean. Apparently, Chinese culture is pretty well entrenched in the island of Trinidad. Chinese cuisine, however, had to be adapted to accommodate local agriculture, though some dishes remained fully intact.

One such dish is pow, otherwise known as bao - those addictive little pork-filled steamed buns you can usually pick up at any Chinese food stand. We normally have a few bags of frozen bao in our house, but I thought I'd try to make my own for once. You know, for kicks.

...Which is how I ended up spending a good bit of my evening cleaning just my kitchen. Don't misunderstand - the pow were great! But I lack access to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, so I ended up over-mixing my first batch of dough (note to self: dough hooks are a waste of time), and the next batch took a while to mix by hand.

Still, this stuff makes for a tasty treat! Next time I'll be a little more generous with the filling. (I tend to be conservative when I first attempt a recipe.) I'll also make BHE take care of the clean up.


You can find the recipe, courtesy of NPR and Ramin Gainshram's book Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago, here.

For dinner tonight, I'm thinking lo mein or some other type of noodle, which symbolizes longevity and can (more importantly) be delivered directly to my apartment.

And remember: The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. Including that jerk you cut you off on the highway this week.

Peace & love in 2011, people. Enjoy!

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