Seasonal Almanac

Major cold: pheasant hens brood (5 of 5)

January 25th, 2009

Major cold 5 of 15Today is the thirtieth day of the twelfth lunar month. Tradition has it that families gather for a ‘reunion’ dinner on the last night of the lunar year. In times of yore (and probably still), people would travel miles to get back to their hometowns for this most important meal of the year. Women would brave the crowded markets to obtain the freshest ingredients. It used to be norm to prepare and enjoy this elaborate meal at home but for many years now it has become common to share new year’s eve dinner in restaurants.

As the matriarch of the family (being the wife of the elderest son), it’s my mum’s job to organise this family gathering. Four of my dad’s sisters, two of their husbands, my maternal grandfather and uncle, my parents and us made a respectable table of twelve at a nearby restaurant. Dinner with my family and relatives always gurantee much amusement. My relatives’ ages and states of health mean that there is ususally a lot of discussion about who shouldn’t be eating what, who can’t eat what, what is ‘good-eating’ (what is not), how to cook what, who likes to cook what etc. etc. Redmond was holding a can of Sprite for the picture – very much a forbidden drink at this particular table. But for people who have been put on special health diets, tonight is the night when rules can bend.

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