Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy New Year!

January 1st marked the New Year for those who use the Gregorian calendar.  Saudi Arabia uses the Hijiri calendar, and the corresponding date for Hijiri 1432 was on December 7, 2010.   February 3rd was celebrated as the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit for the Chinese (Lunar) New Year.  Another birthday passed for me on January 7th.  And the 14th of February marked my one-year anniversary for being in the Kingdom. 

In many Asian cultures, noodles are a significant way of marking the New Year, whether it is a calendar new year of a birth new year.  Noodles symbolize long life in the Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino culture.  In 2011, I have eaten my fair share of noodles!  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a store that sells soba noodles, so I was unable to have my Japanese new year’s noodles (toshikoshi soba).  I did make pancit (Filipino birthday noodles) for several occasions that recently passed and had lo mein (Chinese style noodles) on February 3rd.  My vegetarian pancit specialties are pancit bihon (they are the thin, glass noodles also known as bean thread noodles or rice vermicelli) and pancit canton (the thicker flour noodles, often a yellowish color).  I often fry up some tofu or put in seitan to supplement the usual cabbage, bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, onions, chilies, soy sauce, some veggie stock, garlic and garnished with scallions and lemon or calamansi juice.

To the Asian brothers and sisters out there, what is your background and what foods do you celebrate with? To the non-Asians, what types of foods do you enjoy for new years and birthdays?
And in the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution, I resolve to be a better blogger and keep you all posted in this year's adventures in food.