festive joys

February 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. – Susan Cain.

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While having to indulge myself effortlessly over lunar new year , it’s easy to forget that I had not celebrated this tradition in five years. Loud colourful fireworks, red paper cuts decorations, luminous pink lanterns hanging along the front doors, a visit to the overly crowded chinese temple for good blessings, new clothing and a great deal of scrumptious food.

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This year, was new. Ironically, every year should be, but there are rituals we hold and evolve as grandchildren grow up or aunts/uncles get wiser. With grandmother’s absence, we return to the eldest aunt’s house for reunion dinner. The feast was immaculate. We gathered around the dining table, examining the dishes and bashfully helped ourselves with gentle heaping. As vivacious as my aunts are, their cooking is always vibrantly spiced, carefully prepared with freshest ingredients and wholesomely presented. They often compare their cooking, which I find slightly too competitive on a happy occasion like such, but nevertheless, incline myself to eavesdrop. I remind myself, it is what makes them sisters. A bond formed with exchanging jars of Indian pickles, a bowl of freshly stir fried noodles with massive mushroom from China, or a box of Marks & Spencers cookies after a long winter visit.  Little gestures to take pleasure in, take pride in and learn to love.

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This year, is new. Rarely, does it rain so often at this time of the year. Rarely, do I spend saint valentine’s day. Rarely, do I get surprises. A cool evening, a bottle of good red wine in a lovely bistro and an embracement of affections. A quiet retreat for two, lazy morning walks, impromptu dinners with friends, good wine/champagne/cocktails, more unexpected rainfalls and snuggles under warm blankets. Smiling inwardly with shared simple moments and deep thoughts.

vscocam488 vscocam485It is still pouring outside. As I reflect on the past two weeks of what seem to be, endless, social activities, I am craving for some quiet time. Refocusing on the new cafe, new menu, food pairings, kitchen space and more personal projects. Get to the soul of the matter, baking and writing.

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