But it's really not a movie, because if it were, this would be an entirely different post. You see, I am no Asian chef. Asian cuisine is absolutely not my strong suit. I can barely cook rice. Risotto, sure, I make a mean risotto, but white rice - NO.
So what's a gal like me do for Chinese New Year? Wing it, baby.
My husband and I went to the Asian supermarket today to look for Chinese New Year (CNY) decorations for our CNY dinner. Wow, $15 for a cardboard lantern with a dragon on it. Sure, I like to wing it but not crash and burn.
What we did find was that you can get carp - to eat - at Asian markets. Do not misunderstand me with what I say next - I respect all cultures...but...poor carp! If we ever build a koi pond, Pete and I know how we'll stock it. Be free, poor carp, be free! Moving on...
At home, I put together my mixed-matched version of a CNY. A spicy shrimp stir-fry, jasmine rice, pineapple and tangerines, and yes - sparkling Sake.
Yes, I am aware that's Japanese, not Chinese. No judging here.
Anyhow, time to decorate. But with what? When you wing it with a themed dinner, you do what you must. You take anything you have in your home and switch it around. So with the chocolate Chinese dragon coins we bought at $.25 a piece (steal!), and some bamboo from our garden, I was good to go.
I find that if you have candles, you can pretty much make anything look fab. Those black votive holders? Not votive holders - they're tea cups. The buddah was from San Fran and the foo dogs were from an internet sale. Red tea lights were a Target Valentine's Day deal from 2011. Decorations, done!
The stir-fry was my biggest challenge. We don't eat much in the way of stir-fry in my house and mostly because I don't care for rice or the bother of Asian noodles. I am at a culinary loss with these things. I think I lack patience. I've boiled too rinse-and-eat kinds and rinsed the boil-only sorts of Asian noodles. Jasmine rice to me is sticky and gelatinous, yet my family loves jasmine rice. A mom's gotta do what she's gotta do. I put on my big girl panties and got to work.
The scent of ginger is heavenly...
That oil wasn't hot - it was nuclear
In the end, it wasn't half bad. Spicy, with a hint of fresh ginger. Nice!
So will I try again next year for an improved CNY dinner? Sure, why not! If you have a great, tried and true stir-fry recipe, please send it my way. I love that with stir-fry meals, you can put in lean proteins and loads of fresh veggies and in minutes, you have a meal. Winning!
Enjoy your Chinese New Year, even if your stir-fry is more like scrambled eggs. Just get cookin'!