When I was a kid, as Chinese New Year draws here, I will be busy helping out with the baking of “kuih kapit” (love letters), “kuih bahulu”, “kuih bangkit” and all kind of cookies for the occasion. I don’t have to worry about buying groceries, preparation for new year’s eve dinner and everything else. Just do the “ke po” (busy body) work will do!
As a teenager, of course more helping in the baking department and more help in cooking department. Apart from that, have to worry about what to wear for the new year, hairdo .. all the beauty stuffs! Again, no worries on all the preparations, decorations and everything else.
Then.. married with a kid.
The list is now longer! Much longer!
Cleaning granny’s house. Got to pre-book maids to help out with cleaning a 8-bedrooms house for my aunt, uncles and cousins to stay when they are back. Check for rats and rodents as the house was not being occupied for a year. We only use for Chinese New Year gathering. Check all electrical appliances still functioning and pipings still working and fill up water reserve tank.
Then cleaning of my own house. Phew!! Next in the list… gifts for aunts and uncles, groceries, food (got to figure out how many chickens, ducks, fish.. to buy), vegetables, menu for dinner, “tong sui”, cakes and cookies for visitors, fizzy drinks and prepare “ang pow” (gotta go to bank for new notes). Beauty department, got to fix my hair, baby also need a haircut… new clothes, shoes.. bla bla blah…
And then… my aunt decided this year that the next generation should take care of the cooking department now for eve’s dinner and first day of new year… huh??!?!? Me and my cousins are kind of having panic attack now.
What to cook? But the real question is… what do we know how to cook? I hope we don’t end up eating fried rice or ordering pizza delivery. I have decided to sub-contract out some of the dishes, my mom is the first sub-contractor who agreed on one dish, we hired a friend for another dish. At least we have 2 decent and presentable food on the table.
I’m sure looking forward to meet my relatives, despite all the work that needs to be done, we are going to have a whole lot of laughs in the kitchen and on the dining table.
… perhaps some cooking chaos this year… 🙂