Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Chinese New Year! - Recipe from Yunnan, Eight Treasure Rice Pudding

My name is Keng Keng and I am Malika's Aunty.  This picture above was taken many years ago with myself (on the right with pigtails!) and my cousin; it was taken at a photo studio during the Chinese New Year - do you like the funny cake?

 I come from the capital city of Yunnan Province, Kunming in Southwest China.
Here is a map of Yunnan Province - Can you find Kunming, my home city on the map?

 Now I live in London where I make hats.  

For Chinese New Year our tradition is that everyone should have a new outfit. Most people wear something red which symbolises luck. If it is your year, for example, if you were born in the year of the pig and the new year will be the year of the pig, it is very lucky to wear a red belt, red shoes or red underwear!

We also make decorations for our home. Many people hang branches of pine on their front door, and write poems which they stick to the door frames. We also spread pine branches all over the floor at home which means the house smells lovely!

We have many special dishes for Chinese New Year - Chinese cabbage and leeks. We do not chop them because long leaves symbolise long life. Another dish is eight treasure sticky rice pudding, which is cooked with lots of sweet treat!

You can make Eight Treasure Rice by steaming sticky rice then mixing it with dried fruits, red bean paste, rose sugar and dates! Delicious!  In China we believe that the number eight is  a lucky number. The lucky number sounds similar to another Chinese word "發", which symbolizes "rich". 

When I was a child I was so excited by the New Year fireworks that I always wanted to go outside and join in with the fun, so I only ate a small amount then ran outside to play!

My Chinese zodiac animal is the mouse! Squeak squeak! What is yours?

This year I will invite some friends for dinner then after dinner we will sing and dance!  I run a popup restaurant in London called YunKeng with Malika's Uncle Connor.  All the food is vegetarian and we make traditional dishes from Yunnan Province.
Here is a link to my pop-up, https://www.facebook.com/groups/719172051446188/ - you are all welcome to come eat here!
(This is a picture of me with one of Yunnan's most famous rice dishes - Pineapple Sticky Rice! - Do you think this looks delicious?)


Dear Malika,

Here is the recipe for the Eight-treasure rice pudding fresh from the YunKeng kitchen...I hope that you and all your Multicultural Kid Blogs friends enjoy!  It is really simple for children to make and they will love decorating the bottom of the dish.....

Eight-treasure sticky rice pudding 


For the base:

450g glutinous (sticky) rice
Couple of knobs butter
Five tablespoons sugar


Glacé cherries
Crystallised orange peel
Crystallised ginger

Various seeds
Bean paste (made using Auduki beans and red sugar, or just use dates and blend with water to form a paste) 

(We substituted orange peel for rose petals the second time we made this dish which gave the dish a beautiful scent...)

Cook the rice slowly in one and a quarter pints of water until soft, then add butter and sugar and cook for a few more minutes. 

Stone the dates, and break nuts into smaller pieces.
 Prepare the treasures!
Grease a large bowl or mould and begin to arrange the treasure in the inside, so that when you turn the pudding out it will look beautiful!
When the treasures are arranged, begin to scoop the rice into the bowl, press gently, then add a layer of date/red bean paste. Alternate layers until the rice is used up. 
This should then be steamed for around one hour. When finished, turn it out onto a plate and serve hot. Delicious!
Enjoy cooking this Dear Malika, Love Aunty Keng-Keng xxx

This was our first attempt last weekend....It is such a great dish to make with children as they love to prepare and arrange the treasures!  The scents of the rose petals and chinese dates bring this dish alive!  But a word of warning - it is very moreish!

We love the fact that eight is a lucky number in Chinese!

This was our second attempt and we preferred using Chinese dates to make the dish more authentic.  We bought a packet in our local Chinese Supermarket.

And we loved listening to this Chinese New Year Song as we cooked...


We have thoroughly enjoyed following the Multicultural Chinese New Year Series from our home in Scotland....So 谢谢 (xie xie - Thank you) to everyone at Multicultural Kid Blogs for a wonderful series. xx

 We have loved practising calligraphy for "Yang" in anticipation of the Year of the Goat....

And made many lucky red decorations to bring the spirit of the Chinese New Year to Scotland.  Have a great and prosperous Year of the Goat 2015 xxxxxx

Chinese New Year | Multicultural Kid Blogs
This post is part of the Chinese New Year series and giveaway on Multicultural Kid Blogs. Enter our giveaway to win one of these great prize packages, and don't forget to link up your own posts about Chinese New Year on our main page!
Giveaway begins Jan. 21 and goes through midnight ET on March 5, 2015. Enter below for a chance to win! Remember you can make a comment on the blog post of a different co-host each day for an additional entry.

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Long-Long's New Year
Also from Tuttle Publishing, Long-Long's New Year, a beautifully illustrated picture book about a little Chinese boy named Long-Long, who accompanies his grandfather into the city to sell cabbages in order to buy food and decorations for the New Year. Selling cabbages is harder than Long-Long expects, and he encounters many adventures before he finds a way to help his grandfather, and earn New Year's treats for his mother and little cousin.
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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Review of KidWorldCitizen Chinese New Year 2015 teaching pack

Well it's been another Chinese themed weekend here in Banff, North-East Scotland, in anticipation of the Chinese New Year of the Sheep.

We spent Saturday making Yunnan Eight Treasure Rice Pudding, which is quite a typical desert to eat for Chinese New Year.  We'll be sharing this recipe on February 27th as part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs, Chinese New Year Series.

And today thanks to Becky over at KidWorldCitizen, we spent the morning trying activities from her brilliant Chinese New Year teaching resource aimed at PreK, Kinder and 1st Grade.  

This was perfect for us as Malika is five and Ameenah two - the pack was full of wonderful activities that suited both my girls.

The pack started with a great overview of the Cultural Background of Chinese New Year and advised that it is very typical for Chinese families to clean their homes from top to bottom, to clean out bad luck and misfortune before the New Year starts...We attempted a little tidy up before starting the activities but as anyone with two under-fives knows this is easier said than done!

Becky has also included a great list of recommended Chinese New Year books...I've bought the girls three different Chinese New Year books this year so it was nice to see some new recommendations.

The girls loved these "Count the Spring Blossoms" by ten sheet and it was easy to adapt these for both their abilities, with Ameenah able to colour in and Malika able to attempt the mathematics.  An additional activity could focus on teaching numbers in Mandarin.

Again this sheet was really adaptable for both Malika and Ameenah and they both really enjoyed coloring and counting the mandarins, Chinese lanterns and lion dancers.  Again this activity could be extended to counting in Mandarin or teaching some vocab.

Malika started P1 in August last year and she is developing her confidence in reading and writing; she loved this series of worksheets to encourage writing on the theme of the Chinese New Year.  Becky's pack also included writing sheets for "hanging lantern," "Chinese New Year", ""red envelope" and much more...

Malika loved this "Colour the Lion Dancer" worksheet as she said "I love colouring and counting!"  Once again an extended activity could involve teaching the colours in Mandarin in either pinyin or characters.

The pack, which is over 50 pages, also included listening exercises, craft activities (making lanterns and red money envelopes), flashcards and much more.  Becky has created a wonderful teaching resource which can be adapted for the classroom or home school environment.  And we still have many more activities and worksheets to try so.....

谢谢 Becky! (xie xie Becky!)  xxx Love Malika and Ameenah xxx