Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Happy New Year Some More

Is this the third New Year-type post this year? Yes! This time it is for Chinese New Year, which is a vibrant experience in New York City. I started in Flushing, Queens for dim sum with friends on New Year's eve (1/25), watched fireworks over Manhattan from my fire escape during the week, and went to the parade in Chinatown this past Saturday. I am just now learning about this celebration, and it is easy for me to love. Dim sum is thankfully around all year, and is so appealing with its seemingly endless rounds of small different bites. Combine this feasting with copious amounts of joyful red, fireworks, and drums, and I am a giddy mess.

We started with shumai, and went on to a fried shrimp-stuffed chili, stuffed eggplants, pork shortribs, a bland congee (rice porridge), and lots of tea. I had chicken feet (above) for the first time, which were covered in a lovely sauce, and that is all I'll say about that...

I was impressed with the steamed pork buns, which were sweet and smoky and parceled in a heavenly dough that I wouldn't mind being wrapped up and steamed in myself. The perfectly spherical ones were filled with a thick sweet bean paste that tasted of peanuts. My favorites were these pork folded dumplings that slipped wonderfully, and delicate curried beef turnovers. All of the pastry-making was a marvel of texture and craftsmanship.

I insisted we order a gelatin dessert because it just looked so amazing, and reminded me of the fish tanks behind our heads. It was very firm and flavored with tea and goji berries and was interesting but so aromatic and strong that I couldn't eat more than a bite. After all this the bill was delightfully puny and we strolled through the busy streets and unusual markets.

On Saturday, the parade came down Mott street stopping and starting, with confetti shooting in the air, loud bangs, and tacky, traditional and exuberant everything. Afterward, we walked with every other person in the city down to eat soup dumplings on Pell street, which were perfect and simple and cheap. I felt lucky to be in such a city and especially to eat these wonderful things in the year of the ox. Here is to each bite taking us closer to our fortune, and not missing the opportunities on our plate.


Gered said...

Amelia!! Where is this Dim Sum joint in Flushing? And where/when are your cookies available?? I was at your Whisk & Ladle dinner in december and I'm still reeling from the dessert! Keep up the good work!

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