Yes...by now, I should have blogged about the Retro Party but I think it's more auspicious to post my Winter Solstice Dinner experience first. The Chinese always say, "Starts with the head and ends with the tail". So, here goes....
I used to frown when I was forced to attend family dinners. As a kid, I would bring along my much beloved M.A.S.K. vehicles to keep myself occupied while the adults prepare the dishes. As a teenager, I would bring my Tetris or my Walkman. These days, besides taking photos, I participate more in conversations too. As I grow older, I begin to enjoy family dinners.
Perhaps distance DOES make the heart grow fonder.
Cousin bought the famous roasted duck from PJ (which apparently sold out within a few hours). The meat was soft, with a hint of Chinese herbs while the crisp skin was sweet and slightly savoury. A dish that never fails in whipping up our appetite. If fat is not of a concern, do indulge a little for that rich and aromatic experience.
The humble Steamed Chicken was not well-received as it was less flavourful compared to the rest of the dishes. A rather “yellow” or fat chicken. The juice was sweet and went well with white rice. What I enjoyed most was the “chicken” taste that is rare in the days of frozen and processed chicks. A soya sauce-based dipping with minced shallots/cilantro provided a burst of freshness.
For dessert, red bean soup was served with glutinous rice balls. The rice balls, which symbolized togetherness, were filled with 2 different fillings; black sesame and peanut pastes. Both distinctively rich and tasty. We bought the balls from the frozen food section in the supermarket, by the way.
Perhaps we will never experience winter in this part of the world. Perhaps rice balls are just rice balls. But let us continue to celebrate this festival that provides us with good food, not just for the stomach, but also for the soul.