Gung Hay Fat Choy, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Xin Nin Kuai Le on this first day of The Year of the Monkey. You may hear one of these greetings today depending upon the person’s family dialect. My ohana says the first one as they speak Toisan.
I am fourth generation, Chinese American so you can imagine how watered down my culture is for me. The only customs I practice are making sure the house is clean before the first day of New Year, if the husband has to sweep in the house to sweep inwards away from the exits, and I don’t wash my hair on day one so I don’t wash away the good luck. I basically take one for the team. I was going to make the keiki do it this year, but today is weirdly warm in the Bay Area so I’d rather not have smelly girls around with my hound dog nose.
You know what orchids are as they are lovely housewarming gifts that we were lucky enough to receive from the Jaravatas and from El. You also see a glutinous rice flour cake called nin gou (Cantonese) or nian gao (Mandarin). My maternal grandmother, or PauPau, makes it every year. She usually made smaller ones but after learning I like to eat it, I get a big one for myself. My mum taught me to cut it up into slices and wrap them up in plastic wrap and foil to store in the freezer. When I’m ready to eat a slice, I pan fry each side. You hear the sizzle from the carmelization. Nin gou is sticky and sweet.
Well, it’s obvious I’m running late on my It’s Monday! What are you reading? post, linking up with Kathryn. We actually were supposed to have gone to Lake Tahoe with the Jaravatas and Tams but you can read here why we had to bail if you’re curious. So our ohana traveled further up the Bay Area to the peninsula for my brother’s Super Bowl party which was just the ten of us. I brought cheesecake chocolate chip bars and oinked out on pulled pork sliders, wings, spanakopita, flat bread pizza, and kale salad. After the game was done, we had pumpkin cheesecake and my bars. Did you host or attend a Super Bowl party yesterday? If so, what commercials were your favorite? The Doritos baby was hilarious and I liked the first, Prius 4 one.
Princess Cupcake was thrilled reading the comments left on her Monday book post. I hope Monday book blogging visitors caught that she did write that post herself and weren’t misled by her old, baby picture. You can see here how beautiful my firstborn has grown. She’s a GATE performing student who is known for her academics and who gives friendship unconditionally. I learned and started to appreciate how goofy my daughter was when her fun, fifth grade teacher had mentioned it at our first, parent-teacher conference in 2014. And you’ve seen evidence of her voracious consumption of books. Her and her younger sister now store their library books on the fireplace mantle. Every day the tween is perusing her stash to see what she’ll be reading next; I believe she reads three to five books at once. Recently one night, my daughter stayed up all night to finish The Swap by Megan Shull. Princess Cupcake loved it. I am lucky to have such a wonderful child. I remember one time, she was reading a book that had a lot of swearing in it. My tween told me how she didn’t like that and didn’t finish it.
You know how I’m usually a fast reader. This 2016 I am behind as my Goodreads Reading Challenge tells me all the time, saying I’m five books behind. I’ve been giving priority to knitting deadlines and whatever else. I’ve only had time to read at night for about an hour before I go to bed.
While I work on my STITCHES West 2016 cowl, I listen to the Librivox version of David Copperfield. In high school I had read Great Expectations of course and have seen The Christmas Carol in its many TV versions. I thought it’d be nice to listen to a classic as there would be no way I’d read the physical version. (Although I have to say I do love seeing those old style covers on the classics at the bookstore.) I remember reading or hearing somewhere how Charles Dickens has places of rambling in his works because he was paid by the page? David Copperfield, which is considered his “child,” took some getting used to but now I like it. I get a glimpse into life during that time. And oh boy, talk about the freedom of beating a child which made me think of Filtch in the HP books who always wanted to torture students the old fashioned way. There are 20 YouTube videos and I’m only getting through the third one so I’ve got a ways to go.
As for eBooks, I need to check how many more days I have left to read my library’s Kindle version of Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1) by Jaqueline Winspear. One of you talked about this series. I really like this first installment! I am enjoying the time period after World War 1. It’s a window into fashion, mannerisms, and customs. I just finished up the section where you travel back in time to how Maisie came to be the investigator she is so now. I am excited to learn more about the mystery and what’s going on.
I am also reading the sixth Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince. I didn’t get to finish all of Rowling’s books by the end of January for the #PotterBinge. It doesn’t matter because I am enjoying this book that I haven’t read as often as the first couple of books in the series. I feel like I’m on a broom flying along for the adventure.
Well I don’t know about you but my throat is parched and since I didn’t make my water quota yesterday, I need to make up for it today. Off to make my green tea. Have a good Monday and Happy Reading to you!