We realised how far we had come as we were preparing dinner this year - the calmness of the whole affair was a far cry from last year's noise and chaos. Coordination is difficult when more than half the house is cooking at the same time. In fact, its quite likely a fire hazard but we work like a well-oiled machine nowadays - light chatter instead of screaming and (what I deem to be) the greatest feat of all, time to spare before the guests arrive.
Stir-fried vegetables, Sapna-style.
Diana's seemingly bottomless Chick-kut-teh.
Chinese-style roast chicken, also affectionately known as "the chicken your (my) parents made".
Anusha's Secret Recipe Roast Potatoes.
Sook Fun's Never-Fail Stir Fried Chinese Mushrooms and Broccoli.
Our collection of Yee Sang, a mix of Chinatown and good old Kuantan.
For dessert, cookies, other Chinese New Year yummies, and 4 litres of ice cream. Yes, 4. The yummies definitely made my celebration - love letters, pineapple tarts, peanut crunchies and my personal favourite, fish crackers. While fish crackers might be a bit of a puzzle to some, it's one of the staples back in my hometown - there's nothing like sitting rickshaw-puller style in the dining area with your cousins with a deck of cards and a huge tin of fish crackers.
Bulk. That's the first thing that comes to mind whenever we're attempting to feed the whole house and more, and it was bulk indeed this time around with enough food to last two more meals - definitely no complaints there, especially when you've got a whole host of dishes to choose from for breakfast the next day!
In the usual spirit, we had lots of food, lots of laughter, good music and silly chatter. Needless to say, I think we gave the Tiger Year a nice, warm welcome.
Here's to a year of good health, prosperity, happiness and success. Happy Chinese New Year!