I was not able to celebrate the Chinese New Year with my friends and family back in Singapore - for what, the 11th year? And have once again missed out on all those delicious lucky dishes, the endless visiting and snacking, giving out red packets (yes, I wouldn't mind doing that 'coz I have 3 kids so I normally wouldn't lougi* ha ha), catching up with the relatives and especially the cousins etc etc. As it was, I spent the last weekend in France, with my MIL and SIL and Hubby's best friend the Banfields...
We had to visit MIL principally because I had been buying like crazy on a few France-based websites and have had my purchases delivered to her house. Apparently my stuff were piling up really badly in one of her rooms and she was getting mad about it. I must say that when I entered the room I had quite the shock of my life (couldn't remember that I even ordered half of the stuff) and started worrying that Hubby would freak out once he saw the boxes.
To his credit, he had been strong, just shook his head and muttered that I must be quite mad to have bought so much. I worked really hard and fast to get rid of the wrappings and to try to reduce the pile and even then it filled up the entire car boot (and we have a Monospace for a car so try to imagine the generous boot space). I promised myself that I would stop this buying craziness and for the past 48 hours indeed I have not bought a single thing. :-)
The kids were happy though. They were entitled to a few different costumes and wasted no time in trying them out on the spot. Quite the Fantastic Three, I must say.
We were lucky SIL was there 'coz for once we didn't have to cook every single meal (MIL refuses to cook or do anything for that matter nowadays, she is in her I-rebel-against-domesticity phase). She made us Skate with butter-capers sauce on Friday evening and Couscous for Saturday lunch. They were very good.
We provided dinner (raw oysters, smoked salmon on toasts, seafood platter with prawns, shrimps, crab...) on Saturday and lunch (Rocket Salad with Prawns, Grapefruit and Parmesan Cheese, Roast Leg of Lamb with Sauteed Potatoes and White Beans) on Sunday. The Banfields brought a dessert with them - a delicious Macaron with Pistaccio Cream and Berries.
The Banfield best friend is French, but the family are cousins a few times removed of the current English Queen. He looks like Brad Pitt, is smart, intelligent, witty and takes great photos. But he also smokes like a chimney and drinks like there is a hole in his stomach. A pity, don't you think so? But well, if you do not have to live with him, he is wonderful company and so we had a good time.
MIL was quite a sight, since she just had her eyelids stretched surgically in the name of beauty. Well, at least she did look like she was really going to recover and look younger, compared to the first days after the surgery, when she looked like a Panda Bear, Battered Woman etc all mixed up. I told her that now that the eyelids no longer droop, it made her droopy chin look even more droopy. Is she going to stretch her chin too? Believe it or not, she is actually considering it.
At the dinner table, we did the usual French thing - laugh at a few common friends, and we also discussed Politics, as in who-we-were-going-to-vote-for in the coming Presidential Elections. I was the only Foreigner at the table and it looked like I'm the only person who would not vote for the Socialists. I am the only person who would not make my children and grandchildren reimburse my debts. All this over the very last bottle of champagne from our wedding.
This evening I warmed up a packet of fish soup for the kids and gave them a few crabmeat sticks to go with it. Hubby as usual has flown off on some business trip. For myself, I made something special since it's the Chinese New Year : Mini Buddha Jump Over The Wall (courtesy of my mom) and Crab Claws in Tomato-Chilli-Egg Sauce. I also spent 40 minutes on the phone with my mom and had her describe to me the 8-course dinner I paid for but was unable to taste. I thought of throwing a CNY party for the Singaporean and Malaysian friends I have here, but we would be going away to ski on Thursday and I didn't have the courage to cook and entertain in between.
Well, have a Happy and Lucky Year of the Pig, everyone!
And especially my dada as he is one old pig!