Despite the fact that both my little ones are under the weather and consequently being more demanding than usual, I decided to go ahead and celebrate Chinese New Year with a special dinner - if only for the excuse to use an oriental bowl set that my much missed older sister gave me on the occasion of my first wedding many years ago (a wedding which had it not yielded four amazing daughters would have counted as the biggest mistake of my life).
I had grand plans involving an elaborate menu and painting dragons but on account of my poorly babies, I downscaled. I did egg noodles and quorn nuggets with dipping sauce (that is tomato ketchup dolloped onto a little plate) for the less adventurous palettes and a vegetable thai red curry that was as easy as chucking frozen stir fry vegetables into a wok with a jar of curry sauce. I managed to turn the nuggets hard and leathery and the rice soft and blancmange-y by overcooking both but nobody minded once they had entered into the spirit of celebration.
I'm not sure how much the little ones actually ate but they enjoyed the novelty of chopsticks and spread noodles and ketchup far and wide.
Dessert was another cheat - shop bought chocolate fudge cake (not very Chinese but they both start with Ch) which we decorated with some little plastic dragons that I found in a tin of mythical creatures I had forgotten we had until I had a rummage for a dragon that I know we have but failed to find. These dragons were much better anyway!
The one thing that we did spend a bit of time on that made the evening special was our origami fortune cookies. I pointed Charis in the direction of a You Tube tutorial, provided her with paper and left her to get on with it. Rather than fortunes, I told her to insert little slips of paper with monetary values on them from 5p to £1 and for one lucky person £10. The money corresponding to the amounts was left tantalisingly on a small plate waiting to be claimed.
Charis did an amazing job in the time she had and wrote little messages telling people what they had won rather than simply putting the value as I had suggested.
I won £1 which made me stupidly happy given that it was me that put the money into the pot in the first place! It wasn't Taylor that won the £10.