Beginner’s Choice: Simple Celebrations

New beginnings

As we start a new year, we look forward to new adventures and ventures.

Yesterday I came across a documentary about a nineteen-year-old boy in Thailand, who has to work very hard to buy rice to feed his family. He is working to support himself and is determined to finish school so that he can go on to university and to realise his dream of becoming a teacher. His sixteen-year-old younger brother left school to start working to support their parents, making it possible for him (the nineteen-year-old) to go back to school. Life is still very hard in many places, where to put rice on the table could mean carrying kilos of luggage up a mountain and walking for hours.

Blue pea flower and khao yum

I have come to appreciate simple things, like flowers which grow along the pavements, some of them are edible like the blue pea flower, which is used as food colouring.

Recently, Dr V sent a photo of khao yum or Rainbow Rice Salad. The yellow rice is coloured with turmeric and the blue rice with the colouring from blue pea flowers. khao yum is a popular dish in southern Thailand. The rice salad is tossed like other salads to mix the ingredients (khao yum sauce, dried shrimps, roasted coconut, roasted sesame seeds, chili, rice, lemon juice and sliced vegetables)

I have never thought of making a rice salad, but then why not, since there are other salads with carbs like potato salad and pasta salad.

Prawns for lighter meals

Celebrations with less meat can be just as enjoyable. Prawns and pineapple on a stick is a good choice for something simple.

Prawn and pineapple sticks

My mother’s Teochew prawn porridge was a success for Christmas day lunch. Mum’s cooking is awesome!

Other Christmas and New Year Specials

My friend Judy who lives in the north of England had a Chinese steamboat dinner on Christmas Eve with her family and her brother’s family. It makes a lot of sense to have a hot soupy dinner on a cold winter’s night.

Val was busy making kimchi over the Christmas holidays. She made enough to give away to friends. Now she is not only famous for her amazing packed lunches but also for her kimchi.

Elena has been whipping up her Christmas and New Year Specials. Her petit chou with cream and crunchy caramel was quite delightful.

Thank you notes

HomSkil would like to thank everyone who joined the online courses in 2022 (HomSkil’s Homemaking 101, Essentials of Chinese Cooking, HomSkil’s Thai Cooking Adventure Series) and the Essentials of Chinese Cooking workshops.

HomeBlog by HomSkil would also like to thank all contributors, especially Andrea, Anne Lise and Val.

Most of all we would like to thank you for being part of the HomeBlog by HomSkil experience.

We have gone through three years of Covid, fighting a common enemy. We have learned many lessons about the fragility of life. There are many things beyond our control, but there are also many things within our control. We can improve our quality of life, at least within our own homes. Home skills are life skills which make life at home an experience that is treasured by everyone.

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 1 January 2023

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