Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fresh Starts

Well I'm back now! After a crazy holiday season I'm ready to emerge into the world again. Right before Thanksgiving I came down with a nasty cold, then as soon as I recovered from that I got hit by the flu as well and then to add insult to injury I managed to get food poisoning about a week before Christmas. So I was incredibly ill and like everyone else dealing with the craziness of the holiday season. Honestly I was so stressed out right before the holidays that I could barely keep sane much less do any leisure activities such as cooking.

The holidays were amazingly happy time for me. I spent Thanksgiving with some wonderful friends in San Francisco and I went on vacation in Phoenix, Az to visit my Mom for Christmas. Some highlights of the season included a truly yummy turkey, video games with the family, Harley rides in the desert and best of all long talks with Mom. As much as I was stressed out before the New Year I am now feeling relaxed and renewed. I'm also feeling so grateful that 2009 is over as it was year that was filled with trials for me. I'm so happy to be starting over again in 2010 in a new year and decade.

Now I know that for most of you that the New Year has already started, but for me it's only partially begun as I wait for the Chinese New Years which this year falls on February 14. It's going to be a doubly special day as it will be Valentine's as well as New Year's. I'm so excited as I love both holidays. I adore Chinese New Year's, because it connects me back to my roots and it's such amazing food. As for Valentine's I love it, because I'm incredibly sentimental and I like the thought of people taking the extra effort to show their love. Of course we should do it every day, but there's something sweet about a day devoted to love. Plus, all the products for Valentine's is freaking adorable hearts and pink all around makes me a happy girl.

Back to Chinese New Year's it's always celebrated on a different day each year depending on the lunar calendar. There's traditional foods and customs to be followed to bring luck and prosperity into the New Year. None which makes me happier than the Mooncake which is a Chinese pastry that is filled usually with red bean paste. As a child I knew that mooncakes were hard to come by living in Virginia and they were only around during holiday season. Getting to have a mooncake was a luxurious treat especially if it was one with a salted egg yolk in the middle. Luckily I now live in a city that has a large Chinatown and I can go to a bakery to fufill my craving for a mooncake. I made a special trip two days ago to Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown which is largely acknowledged as the best Chinese bakery in town for a lotus seed paste mooncake with salted egg yolk.

I was so happy carrying that pink box out the door and home that it was worth the half hour wait in line to get into the bakery. Then getting a taste of the first mooncake of the season starts my New Year's off in the right direction.

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