Last night my Audriella and I attended a Chinese New Year Dinner class at our favorite cooking school in Austin (I realize that the cover above says 2009, but it actually took place this year - 2010). The class was taught by Houston chef Dorothy Huang. Born in China and raised in Taiwan, Huang has a Master's degree in Education with a minor in Foods & Nutrition from the University of Houston. She has taught Chinese cooking in Houston, Texas, for over twenty years. Huang is the author of two cookbooks, Chinese Cuisine Made Simple and Dorothy Huang's Chinese Cooking.
The class was hands-on, which means that the students participated in preparing the meal. Huang wrote the name of each recipe on a piece of paper, folded up the pieces, placed them in a basket, and passed the basket around, thereby allowing each pair of students to select their own recipe (much like selecting one's own fortune cookie). We selected Chicken in Lettuce Wraps. The other recipes prepared were Pomegranate Chicken, Good Fortune Fish, and Double Happiness Shrimp.
Huang taught us much about the Chinese New Year. For instance, we learned that the color red signifies good luck in Chinese culture. We also learned that the Chinese always serve fish on New Year's because it symbolizes abundance. The fish is usually steamed and served whole. This year the Chinese New Year falls on February 14th.
Huang also showed us the Chinese New Year calendar for 2010. 2010 is the year of the tiger. Audriella and I looked up our own birth years and corresponding fortunes. Having been born in 1979, I am the year of the ram. Here is my fortune according to the 2010 Chinese New Year calendar:
"Anticipate this year your trend will be rising, hard to have obstacles. Be careful of flunky, if you are not preventing even though you have good luck, you will be in dangerous as the sheep in the tiger's mouth. In the year of tiger, you should keep your courage and cautions, do not have relations with those dubious guys. Avoid gambling and lechery. You'd better wear a piece of metal with tiger shape."
[Blogger's note: The Chinese New Year calendar could benefit from the use of an editor. Also, I think Audriella added that last line about wearing a piece of metal shaped like a tiger.]