Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year Baking

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Where the Mountain Meets the MoonTo be honest, I only remembered about Chinese New Year when I saw some interesting events on our library’s website and when I saw Chinese crafts pop up in my Google Reader. However, we spent quite a lot of time “in China” recently by reading along a superb book by Grace Lin Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and playing with tangrams. Smarty also knew about Chinese New Year from school and requested her favorite dish for dinner tonight – a Chinese takeout of sweet-and-sour chicken and rice.
We might still make it to some Chinese New Year events next week if all the stars are aligned, so I decided to go not with a craft but with a baking project on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I was inspired by this post, but used All Recipes variation instead. Next time I am curious to see how butter-free recipe would work.
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First, we typed some wishes/wise phrases to put inside of our cookies. Smarty’s first suggestion was, Happiness is the key to success. I asked her how she came up with this, and she said that she got it once in a fortune cookie. She typed some on her own and was delighted to be introduced to the power of Microsoft Word spellchecker. I hope she won’t decide that lear ning to spell is no longer a requirement.
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Smarty loves to help in the kitchen – baking/cooking projects are always met with much more enthusiasm than arts and crafts. Her favorite part was, of course, adding food coloring, and she was very proud to be able to handle it on her own and to decide on colors for our cookies.
To be Jan21_FC3honest, the recipe was not “so easy” for me as advertised, especially in the folding part. Also, the paper scraps with wishes were sticking badly to the dough. Smarty, however, was very pleased with the results and gobbled up a few fortune cookies right away. She got, Water Your Mind. Read in one and Pick your favorite food and eat it as soon as possible in another, which, of course, prompted her to ask for chocolate.
Jan21_FC4And here is the end result – not picture perfect, but tastier than restaurant variety and good enough to share with friends yesterday during a play date. We will finish the rest off today with our Chinese New Year dinner.
Are you celebrating Chinese New Year?

12 comments:

Christy said...

How fun! I'll have to try making fortune cookies with my kids!

Ticia said...

Even with all of these blog posts I didn't get organized enough to do anything, and it's the Year of the Dragon, how cool is that? Sigh, maybe next year.

On spell check, back when my brother was in elementary school he used spell check and it kept telling him his words were spelled wrong, but had not suggestions, so he just hit "add to library." Eventually he added a couple hundred words to our "dictionary."

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

My kids have been begging to make fortune cookies - their Aunt was making them with verses inside for a lady's retreat at her church the last time they went for a visit - that would have been a good idea for today.

Phyllis said...

I made them once as a teen and I remembered them as difficult as well; that's why I haven't done them with the kids. It looks like the experience was great for Anna, however.

AshHadAns said...

Cute! We made them in school once and I remember them being hard to make. We have been celebrating all weekend. The girls have done a bunch of crafts and tonight we're cooking Chinese food for supper!

Susan said...

Making fortune cookies is a neat way to celebrate Chinese New Year :) I've thought of making them before, but I figured they'd be tricky. Guess I was right, but maybe it would be worth it.

MaryAnne said...

I didn't get organized enough to celebrate this year. Hopefully next year!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We have never made fortune cookies! Now I so want to!

Debbie said...

Your brave! I've never tried fortune cookies, but hey maybe we might just have to give it a try.

hey said...

I think you are very brave to tackle fortune cookies! I think they look great. The ones in the plastic little packages are terrible. I'm sure yours were much tastier!

Did you see The Emperor and the Kite that we posted at waddleeahchaa.com this week?

The language and the illustrations are both just beautiful.

jeannine: waddleeahchaa.com

Jackie H. said...

Sweet and sour chicken and chocolate! Anna has good taste!!

Elise said...

I would have jumped at the opportunity to indulge in some chocolate too!

Even though this was "fiddly" it still seems like such a worthwhile activity and one worth giving a go (at least for the memories that Anna will now have from doing this with you).

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