For the first time, NPY and I have the same (sorta) Picture of the Day! I was disappointed that he did not snap one picture at his birthday dinner at Phnom Penh as they were able to order more dishes that time when just he and I went–that’s what I get for not nagging (er, reminding) him about it! So I asked if he was slated to have birthday cake and, in a way, he did. Mooncakes. Traditional mooncakes (月餅)with the brown crust and white lotus seed paste and the new-fangled version with what I gather is glutinous rice flour, better known as mochi, skin.
September 12 is not the day every year NPY celebrates (or ignores) his birthday. This year, September 12 does correspond to the lunar date when he was born 30-something years ago. While some people don’t care or have difficulty remembering their Chinese birthday (like mine, is it “February” 3 or “March” 2?), his is easy because he was born on the Mid-Autumn festival day (15th day of the eighth month) many moons ago. Thus mooncake is his Chinese birthday cake until a little while from now when he can get his western (chocolate) birthday cake!
Tonight Lil Sis and I worked together to make one dish with chicken to try to capture the essence of the Chinese festival. We’re not sure what chicken symbolizes but Lil Sis had observed that, amongst other things, Mum made sure that it was present on the special days. Over the weekend, we picked up some Chinese desserts: (dessert) soup balls (湯丸) and new-fangled mooncake with the frozen mochi skin. Alas, I did not have the recipe to make the “sugar water” I made 5 years ago that was dark and makes the black-sesame filled balls pop in contrast but it was not 100% bland and you don’t drink the “soup” anyhow. As for the new mooncakes… we didn’t like it either!
* NPY’s Picture of the Day. While I’m in Toronto and he is in Vancouver, 3400km away, we will try to share with each other (and consequently this blog) pictures that capture our day.