Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hosting our first CNY lunch

Last Sunday, we hosted our first CNY lunch for our family.
It was our first time cooking for 10 people and thankfully we didn't tear the kitchen down in the process. Cleaning up was terrible. There were so many dishes to wash.
I was that close into agreeing to buy a dishwasher.

The husband believes in cooking from scratch (as much as we can) so there were no takeouts, no fast food and no deliveries. Not even ready made frozen food was allowed.

Meal planning started as early as a month ago but we did not finalise the menu (a very simple menu) until Friday night.
It was a crazy Saturday morning spent at the supermarkets (we went to both Cold Storage and Fairprice) only to find that the selection of seafood and meats weren't that great due to the CNY break.
They don't look fresh at all.
We had to wake up at 6 a.m. on Sunday for grocery shopping, before rushing back home for lunch prep.

The husband took charge of two dishes. The two we were attempting for the first time.
I must say I'm very proud of him.
He worked independently and I'm loving the moments we spent working in the kitchen.

The husband cleaned out the fish so perfectly. Without gloves.
How can anyone touch a fish and clean out its insides without wearing a pair of gloves?
He says I should blog about it so here it is.
Clearly he doesn't know no one reads this blog. :)
Alas, we realised that the fish wasn't fresh and it made it to the trash can instead of the table.

These are my contributions.

* Some simple vegetables (I actually wasted precious prep time trying to cut flowers out of the carrots. Great tips from Noobcook )
* Ketchup Prawn
* and the Cashew Nut Chicken I'm so confident of. (Thank you Rasa Malaysia!)

These, the husband took charge of.
*  Braised Pork (we switched out the pork belly to some other meatier parts). We don't have huge pots that can cook for 10 people. There was no space for those poor eggs so they are not braised enough.
Both the recipes were from Noobcook.
I took snapshots of the recipes and placed it in a separate folder in my iPhone's photo gallery for easy reference. In case the pages don't load. I just couldn't trust the 3G network in times like this.
Lunch was served late because I soaked the fish maw too late and it won't soften. But thankfully everyone seemed to enjoy the food, despite them a little being cold.
This sounds strange but the two of us always do AARs (after-action review) after we have family members coming over for meals.
1. We really have to work on time management. We can't be serving the meals late all the time.
We did improve quite a bit compared to the last time we hosted a meal for our family. but I'm sure we can do better.
2. Prep work should be done the night before (for lunches) or by lunch ( for dinners) as much as we can. This saves a lot of time.
3. The husband should always be the one cleaning the fish.
No, we didn't really come up with #3 together but I like that best.

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