Friday, January 20, 2006

Chinese New Year @ SS2, PJ - Part 1

The morning market in SS2 has always been great with Chinese New Year items but this year SS2 Cares, a charity organisation has added more stalls with a special Chinese New Year street carnival that will run till January 27th. It's so bustling with goodies that I have had to split it into two parts or else lots of computers will crash with the amount of pictures I have.

Let's start off with the ESSENTIAL for Chinese New Year i.e the kam or mandarin oranges that everyone must have at home. This picture features the tinier versions known as tangerines which is now very popular and a must for my family as we love them. Even before the new year starts, I have eaten loads of this as they're really sweet this year.

These are the honey mandarins or honey pon kams as their skin is all puffy making them sweeter than the normal mandarins. They all come packed in plastic bags and in paper carton boxes which you need to remove when you get home or else your kam will go bad. I usually chuck them in my fridge as I love them cold. This year we have been told by our regular fruit seller not to buy them too early as the first few batches are sour. We'll probably get ours nearer to the new year as my mother usually gives them as gifts to the relatives.

Every day I have a favourite picture from my Chinese New Year walkabouts and this is the one for me. I love the effect of the rows and rows of these nian gao in the traditional banana leaves. For us we usually eat them on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year but some eat them on the first day of New Year for breakfast. This sticky cake is a must as an offering to the Kitchen God as it's meant to keep his mouth all glued up so he can't report any family misdeeds when he makes his yearly report card.

Pomelos are also a must in Chinese New Year. I love the sweet sacs and you can even find them lurking in your plate of yee sang.

These are known as fatt choy pumpkins and not meant for dinner! Instead they are used for offerings to the ancestors and gods during prayers.

Chinese New Year just won't be the same without cookies and there are so many to choose from. You'll see these red topped plastic containers filled with goodies everywhere whether it's in the market or your local hawker stall and even the laundry. There are so many varieties: almond cookies, pineapple tarts, little puffs with fillings inside, butter cookies, nga ku (arrowhead) chips, dragon cookies and etc.

Pineapple tarts come in a few shapes, the usual tart form or this popular way where the piped pastry encloses the jam within. Usually the jam is bought ready made from the bake shop to save time as making the jam can be tedious since it needs constant stirring.

I have to plug these amazing looking pineapple balls. Her approach is so unusual that they will make excellent gifts as she has painted them till they look like mini pineapples with a clove stem and bits of green plastic as their leaves. The lady who sells them says the jam inside is a bit tangy unlike the overly sweet jam you get. They're selling for RM15 each and can be found at this stall that sells cookies just opposite a stall which sells flowers. You will have to walk in from the McDonalds' side for the fastest way to this stall which is after the fish stalls.

Something unusual that you don't see all the time - seaweed crunchies. I wonder how they taste like?

There are always new varieties and this one to me is a winner - deep fried lotus root sliced thinly. I had a bit of it and I liked it. Too bad this was just a trial pack and they weren't selling this. Hopefully with the positive feedback given, they'll start producing some next year. Incidentally, did you know even making Chinese New Year cookies have certain taboos or traditions? It seems once you start making them, you must continue to make them each year or else some bad luck will befall the family. You only don't make them if you're in mourning for a loved one.

You can get your New Year clothes at the market at extremely reasonable prices. I love the kids' clothes and you can deck your kid in these adorable looking dresses that even comes with a matching bag. There are also mini cheongsams for kids which came in baby pink.

This really amazed me - they were selling Korean outfits with the Chicken Little picture at the side pocket! I know the influence of Korean outfits is from Malaysia's craze for the Jewel in the Palace series but I honestly don't know how Chicken Little got involved.

It's the Year of the Dog so there are loads of doggie novelties to decorate your house with. According to Chinese beliefs, the dog is said to represent future prosperity and bring luck. I love this particular doggie novelty - the Zhao Cai Gou in mandarin which means Wealth Dog as he carries a banner in his paws with the words Zhao Cai Jin Biao which means ushering in wealth and prosperity. It's a take of the famous Wealth Cat which you see everywhere near cash tills in restaurants and businesses. The paw will rotate up and down to wave in lots of wealth and prosperity in towards your business.

If that's not your thing, you can opt for a doggie figurine where they feature them on top of pots of gold coins and gold ingots which will bring you lots of prosperity for the new year.

There are also hanging decorations with dog motifs. Some feature even famous cartoon dogs like Snoopy, Goofy and the 101 dalmatians from Disney.

If you don't want the paper ones, you can go for these spray painted gold ones which has different kinds of dogs. Besides this one, there was even a greyhound one.

I liked this colourful dog decoration and this particular one looks more like a mythical dog with wings on it's back. Sorry for the very short write up as I'm rushing a bit today, will try and post part two soon which features flowers and traditional foods.

SS2 Cares Chinese New Year Street Festival
Along Jalan SS2/62, just next to the Wai Sik Kai (Gluttons Lane)


Wingz said...

im feeling it bebeh~~~ im feeling itttt

Alyssa said...

Are the stalls open only during the morning or the whole day? I am thinking of going there.

Flower said...

Just come back from the neighbourhood shop and bought myself satu tin milo of kuih kapit. They have niang goa too and jam tart. Didnt buy the jam tart though. I really missed Chinese new year in KL. Eventhough I'm not chinese, being M'sian, I love all festival. Because it is usually Makan time.

Flower said...

Forgot to mention that I'm in perth, W. Australia.

Unknown said...

we are really getting into the lunar new year mood (mode), aren't we! lolz at the chicken little hanbok..

boo_licious said...

wingz - got your red underwear already?

alyssa - stalls opened in the morning. Only the plant and mandarin oranges throughout the day.

flower - yes, it's all about makan during CNY. Looks like Perth is pretty well equipped.

cath - yes, that hanbok had me in stitches. Must be a gimmick to get the kids to buy since it has chicken little's pix on it.

Vish said...

omigosh, all these look so yummy. Will definately miss CNY at home... =(

Anyway, just wanted to say that I really love your blog cos it never fails to remind me that home is best! (for food, anyway)

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

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