Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recession At Work

The receptionist lady at work was laid off this morning. She was a very nice person and always went out of her way to help everybody. It was sad to see her clean out her desk and sent out of the door. Guess the recession has hit my workplace as well. Will head down to Florida for work next week so at least I can escape from the bitter cold weather for a while.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Ox Year!

Today is the Chinese new year! And this is the year of ox. The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Hope that the economy will recover in this year and make a bull market!

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Year Cake (年糕) and Fa Cake (Steamed Cake)

It will be Chinese new year next Monday. And I have made the two kinds of traditional new year cake and steamed cake for the new year. The first one is the traditional Chinese new year cake (年糕) that my parents make every year. I got the recipe from my parents and have been making it for several years. It will bring good luck by eating the year cake during the new year because the Chinese pronunciation of the year cake is a homonym for "every year higher and higher". It is made of glutinous rice, brown sugar, and cooked red beans. After steaming the mixture and letting it cool for days to harden, you can eat as it is or pan-fry it. Yummy!

The second one is the steamed cake. It is also called "Fa" cake. The pronunciation in Chinese and Cantonese are a homonym for "Getting richer or get promoted". It is made of rice flour, brown sugar, flour, and baking powder. The crack of the cake on the top means that the exploration and explosion of the good luck in the upcoming year. So lots of businessmen really like to eat this cake in the new year. These cakes just bring back lots of my childhood memory.

My family was not in very good economic situation back then. We did not have too much but my parents always managed to give me and my younger sister a happy new year. It was the only time of the year that we would get to eat all the candies, sweets, fruits and delicious dishes that we did not get to taste usually. And we could watch all the TV we wanted. I got all excited when my parents started to prepare to make both cakes because it meant the new year would be coming and the school would be off. The kids nowadays are much luckier in having so many material stuffs but they seem to lose the pure pleasure of enjoying something. Well, it is time for me to enjoy the year cake!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

-30'F (-34'C) Outside!

It is only -30'F (-34'C) outside! Ouch! And I have to head out to work! Cold!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold Is Coming

It snowed again this morning. And not surprisingly, it caused big mess on the highway traffic again after the 12 cars piled up yesterday. The temperature has continued to drop since the morning. It is only 11'F outside now. The thermometer has been baked in the sun for hours and still only got up to 30'F. And it will plunge down to -2'F tonight and windchill -30'F. Brrr!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cambodian Snacks (Warning: If you are or going to have some food, don't read this post now!)

Warning: If you are or going to have some food, don't read this post now! Ok, now since you have been warned, you must have seen the picture with this post. After all the delicious cookies pictures, it really takes me a while to decide if I want to post this. Anyway, my parents joined a tour around Christmas time to the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. They told me the story last week when I talked to them on the phone. Here it goes.

The temple was amazing and the trip was good. And during the trip, their tour bus stopped at a local market spot so they could go to bathroom or have some snacks. Their local tour guide bought 4 pieces of the "snacks" from a local lady who sold the thing in a big bucket in the picture (my dad took the picture). However, nobody would dare to try it so the local tour guide just enjoyed the snacks all by himself. And he also claimed that one piece of the snacks containing lots of "eggs" and really tasted yummy. I think I am going to throw up even when I type this. Do you know what the snack is?

Spiders! Each one is bigger than your palm! Yike!