Saturday night my dear friend Vanessa hosted another excellent lunar new year eve celebration with her (local, chosen) family. I was delighted to chow down at that table, especially for Year of the Pig! Once again I hustled to Chinatown in the morning to fight with sharp-elbowed Chinese grannies for the juciest Peking duck, hearty BBQ pork, delicate soy sauce chicken (head and feet intact of course) and lean roasted pork with such crackling skin it put chicharrónes to shame.
Really, that crispy skin is what potato chips wish they were.
These lovely veggies make an appearance each year. They're shaped like a big bulb of garlic, and the texture is a cross between a parsnip and slightly undercooked potato. The little suckers are boiled until fork-tender and taste like a more green, vegetal potato with a teeny hint of sweetness. I like that no one knows what they're called, not even Vanessa.
The meal ends with delicate almond cookies, which our hostess made from scratch this year. She says this is the traditional way to serve them... but I don't know.
Gung Hay Fat Choy is "Happy New Year!" in Cantonese (I think). Best wishes to you in this Year of the Pig; I plan to celebrate by eating as much bacon, ham, and pork stew as I can!