Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, January 23, 2012


    Kung Hei Fat Choi! The Year of the Dragon. Cixi, the last empress of China was nicknamed "The Dragon Empress" because of her supposed greed, lust for power, and notorious bad temper. However, this term was probably coined by Western journalists as Dragons in Chinese folklore are not the fierce, fire-breathing beasts of Western literature. Rather, they're benevolent creatures—rulers of the Heavens and Oceans. They're water symbols and are considered good luck because they can bring the rain and good harvest.
   If you're born in the Year of the Dragon, you're passionate, brave, enterprising, tactless, conceited and quick-tempered. Find out more about the Chinese horoscope here.
   Some Chinese New Year rituals of note: clean your house from top to bottom, resolve old arguments and pay off any debts before the New Year to start the year off with a clean slate. But do not sweep your floor on New Year's Day lest you sweep your good luck away. 
   Luck and wealth are significant New Year themes. Common gifts on this holiday are "lucky" red envelopes given by married people and the older generation to children and unmarried people. It's a wish for a prosperous year, but the act of giving red envelopes is also supposed to bring the giver and receiver good luck. Potted peach blossoms make beautiful adornments for the home, but also symbolize fertility. The more blooms on Chinese New Year, the better. Tangerines because of their round shape and orange color resemble gold coins, so signify wealth.
   The Chinese New Year feast consists of foods that represent certain prized qualities either based on the sound of the Chinese character for that food (for example the word for fish sounds like the word for abundance and so represents prosperity when eaten) or on their appearance (noodles or sea moss symbolize longevity because of their length). Dumplings like pot stickers look like the old Chinese yen, so symbolize wealth. My favorite Chinese New Year food item is turnip cakes. Actually made from daikon radish, and not turnips, they symbolize "rising fortune" or "good omen". Here is a great turnip cake recipe I use.
Turnip cake batter—rice flour, chinese sausage
green onions, dried shrimp and cilantro
Turnip cakes after steaming

Yum! Fried in oil and ready to eat!
Home made potstickers

Pot stickers in the pan


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