The Year of the Monkey is an auspicious (吉祥的) year for those who are born in the Dog Year, (1946 , plus or minus twelve zodiac animal year cycle). The word auspicious has different connotation for different people, even among the dogs (zodiac animals have no sex discrimination). I like to start the year exploring its meaning, whether it implies good omen, success or luck.  Just before the year, in my usual early morning walk, I stepped onto a number (1613), marked red, and I spent Rm10 on a national bet (Toto) once only. At this age with no income at all, I was trying to find an easy and cheap way, to beat the currency decline and inflation. That small investment was not successful. However, this year I have visited more houses and relatives, and, in turn, received more visits. A lot of feast and drinks, and joyful togetherness. Good relatedness is also a success, albeit a non monetary one. My two grand daughters’ birthday fell on Chinese New Year, and they were very happy about the extended families on both paternal and maternal side. Actually, they hardly met half of them. Harmony, both internal, intra- and inter familial are significant auspicious signs.

The top picture was a Hakka Super bowl cuisine, a dish enjoyed by many Chinese. It’s delicacy depends on the soup, and the contents. The soup contains, boiled white, red carrots, vegetables,  dried oysters, and ingredients to augment taste; varied kinds of meat and fish. Matched with wine and whisky well. This dish was prepared by my sister-in-law.

My wife brought ten pieces of lamb cutlet, marinated with wine, salt, sauce for a week, then oven at 215 C for 20 min.




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