>my mom and i had decided to celebrate the chinese new year when she came down here at the beginning of march, so i was half intending not to do anything at all to mark this day. as evening approached, though, i realized that there was no way i could just ignore chinese new year. i decided to make a new year’s dinner, but what with? i had been planning a dinner around leftover rice and a bag of spinach — hardly banquet material. with the help of gloria bley miller’s great book, one thousand chinese recipes (the go-to cookbook in my family in times of crisis), i was able to cobble this menu together:
fried rice with chinese sausage (i had some duck liver sausage in the freezer)
spinach with mushrooms (since dried black mushrooms are always at hand)
i knew that i had made the right decision the minute i started to cook. with every act – chopping, mixing, steaming, frying – i felt as if something were falling into place. it was the simplest meal, and nothing to be proud of, but it was perfect. best of all, baki found little to object to in the steamed egg. i have actually never made steamed egg before. it’s a savory custard, and i usually do not eat much of it when we order it out because my family tends to get the three egg kind with salted eggs and preserved eggs. it’s a little too eggy, if you know what i mean. this was just plain eggs, though, with stock, green onions, cooking wine and peas (because i am addicted to peas) and it was warm, silky, and super plain. mmmm.
after the meal i felt good all the way through. maybe i was just overdue for a home-cooked chinese meal, but i felt as if i’d had happiness in my rice bowl.
happy year of the tiger!