Gong Hei Fat Choi!

Today is the Chinese Lunar New YearI haven’t yet posted about the overabundance of Christmas in Hong Kong, but I will.  However, New Year’s preparations were underway at the same time, and even more seriously.  Entire shops were devoted to paper products to be burned at the graves of ancestors (money, clothing, food items, all made of paper), and red-and-gold decorations were for sale in most other stores.  I bought one such piece of home decor for my classroom (I will take a pic tomorrow) with Charlie Brown and the gang on it.  Today my classroom celebrated by learning how to say Happy New Year!, using chopsticks, and baking mock moon cakes.  (Even more mock when you are using gluten-free baking mix, let me tell you. )  Well, we only made the dough today, and then it had to chill, giving me time to stop at the Asian food store for a can of red bean paste for the filling.  I was lucky the place was even open, being the most important holiday of all, and in fact the shelves were absolutely decimated. As long as I was there, I bought a few things to share with my students, like a can of aloe-and-coconut drink, which we’ll have sometime this week with coconut milk and pineapple as part of math class (we’re measuring with fractions, which is why we are cooking in the first place).  While at the store, I looked for some interesting fruit, but they were out of everything… if they’d even have it at all.  I was really hoping for a dragon fruit, especially as I had recently sprung for a package of the dried stuff at Trader Joe’s. 
The photo on the package is disconcerting because the flesh of the fruit in Hong Kong was white with black seeds; here it is a dark pink.  The dried product is a deep red, and basically very leathery and seedy.  Hard to chew, with not much taste.  That makes sense, as the fresh stuff has a very light taste anyway.  I was also thinking of wowing my kids with a Pomelo, if I could find one, because I kept seeing them in Hong Kong and they are really impressive.  I mean, they are enormous.  Here is one next to a beer bottle just for the scale. 

A lot of it is rind, like an enormous grapefruit only more so.  As you see, when you cut off the top you still haven’t gotten to the fruit.  There is a lot of rind to go through.  The pomelo is also called a Chinese Grapefruit, and a tangelo is supposedly a cross between a pomelo and a tangerine.  I was happy to learn something new.  However, I never got to taste the pomelo because it turned out to be unripe.  So… I guess I have to go back 🙂

Happy New Year!

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6 Responses to Gong Hei Fat Choi!

  1. wait wait wait…I’m confuzzled…are you in Hong Kong now???

  2. Anonymous says:

    I must get a differnt variety of pomelo because it doesn’t have that strange top. it’s like a giant green grapefruit. I just cut them in 1/2 and dig out the sections w/ a spoon. Yummy, though.
    they had a big celebration for chinese new year in seattle, but I didn’t go because I’m a homebody.
    that’s so cool that you’re using cooking to teach them fractions. it will really help them care more about it. I really love math, but most people don’t. even though they use it all the time.

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