Friday, February 11, 2011

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with the Cowboy & Kids in West Texas

My #Letslunch pals picked Lucky Foods for February and I jumped into the project with 100 percent enthusiasm. I figured I’d use the opportunity to interview my friend Rose Ng, who owns a successful Chinese restaurant in our community, and get some insight on the Chinese New Year. Well, I did that and it turned into a cool The Family Table column.

But along the way, the Cowboy and both kids, got into it too. On Thursday, Feb 3, the first day in the year of the Rabbit our entire family wore red. I sent them out of the house with a wave and Gung hay fat choy!

That weekend, the kids and I decorated the chandelier.

After we were done, my son looked up and spied the Made in China and stickers. Eyes wide, he turned to me and announced, “They really are from China!”

For dinner, I adapted a recipe for Long Life Noodles shared by Rose. You can find the recipe at the end of the column (see above link).

First I got all the ingredients ready.

Yes, the kids questioned the Chineseness of the pasta, but it's whole wheat and better for them. However, next time I'm using red bell peppers for more color rather than yellow. I also doubled the soy sauce and oyster sauce amounts. And added Shrimp...because I love them, and they are a sign of happiness.

My 6-year-old suddenly decided she didn’t like noodles (though any other day that’s one of the top favorites). So I told them that the Chinese believed in leaving the noodles long as a wish for long life for all the people at the table. “You can’t cut the noodles, but instead you have to try and eat them long,” I added. Suddenly, both kids presented their plates to be filled.

Later, my son asked if the Chinese really believed that long noodles could lead to a long life. I gave him Rose’s explanation: the Chinese believe in symbols and signs. Having a visual representation of your hopes, make them that much closer to reality.

For dessert, we had oranges, which symbolize good health, wealth and good fortune.

After dinner we lit the candles and turned off the lights. The kids had a blast spotting animals in the shadows thrown against the ceiling. Both spotted rabbits, one spotted an alligator and another a cowboy on his horse among other things. The Cowboy and I enjoyed glasses of wine in front of the fire.

My lucky meal did bring good times to the table.


  1. I, honestly, am smiling so wide just reading about the wonderful family meal. What a great Mom you are and they'll remember this forever. I love that honoring a different culture than our own just reminds us of how alike we all are. I had a great time with this Lets Lunch posting too. Fantasic and fun post!

  2. I love this! Must try the noodles. (I didn't see the recipe though). IN any case, I think it was fun that you got your family into it. What a great for your children to learn about other cultures.

  3. THanks for visiting and for your kind words. I really enjoyed getting ready for this one. My online presence is a bit spotty today since getting ready for a HUGE lunch 2morrow. But wanted mention the recipe is in the "column" link in the first para of the post.

    I ate my serving with Sriracha...heaven!

  4. Ah-ha! I'd been poking around for a Long Life Noodle recipe I'd be willing to try. Here we go!

  5. Z. told Me-Ma she loved long noodles and did not want them broken (i.e. the Ramen garden variety.) Grandpa struggled with his, but they all had a good time. Hummm . . . magic noodles?!

  6. p.s. Your photos make this the prettiest blog EVER!

  7. That Z, she definitely makes life interesting! :) So glad to have you back home!!