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Asher’s Full Moon Celebration and Ginger Wine Chicken

They say parenthood seems to make time goes faster. I never quite get it till it happened to us. I’m not sure how the time flies. Perhaps it has got to do with the daily routine of changing diapers, feeding, burping, playing and sleeping. Or that soothing a baby can sometimes take longer than expected. Or perhaps, just staring at a newborn seems to make time stop (or go faster!).

Even before my family arrived in Perth, discussions about the full moon party for Asher has already begun. Grandma even brought the dye for the red eggs. After all, it’s a party that announces our baby boy- their grandson/greatgrandson. Full moon celebration is a tradition where family and friends gather to see the baby and feast on food. I think it’s something to do with how babies die easily in the olden days, hence reaching a full month is a milestone.

The day arrive faster than expected. What happen to our newborn fresh out of the oven? Already he is longer (6cm!) and his hair has grown. He knows who will cuddle him the way he likes it and who is his food source (me!).

My mum and Asher 

The kitchen buzzed the day before and madness emerge on the morning of the event. Grandma’s arm isn’t exactly healed so mum and I made her famous Yam Cake. The house smelt of vinegar as we cooked the confinement special of Sweet and Sour Vinegar with ribs rather than pork trotter. Ginger was peeled and grated for the Ginger Wine Chicken. I  threw in a mix and made a salad by roasting some pumpkin (to my grandma’s horror!) and prepared a batter for my clean eating Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Yogurt Frosting.

Mum was the chef, I was the sou chef and Grandma was the supervisor.

Asher eyeing the food before the party.

My dear friends came early to put up some decorations for us. Love these poms poms! So much so that I’m going to recycle and use them to decorate Asher’s room.

Food and more food.

It feels great to “show” Asher off. They say a baby brings joy to the family and now I know why. We had 54 guests. Asher is very very blessed- like his name. And it shows. Aunties and uncles love and cuddled him. Gifts were showered.

You know how they say kids seem to behave well for others but not for parents. Well, no one told me that it starts THAT early. Asher slept pretty through the whole thing (just not really the night before) and behaved like an angel… except before his feed.

I shared recipes before I delivered in previous posts- very irrelevant to Asher. This time round though, I thought I would share my grandma’s version of Ginger Wine Chicken that we served at the party. My mum makes an equally delicious version as well. While it is laden with alcohol and not recommended to have it just before breast feeding (Preferably at least 2 hours before), the dish is meant to nourish the body and increase warmth. Warmth helps remove any “wetness” and helps the uterus contracts back. Certainly I felt weak the days following the birth and was glad of nourishing food that helped. I’m sure all the guests enjoyed a mix of traditional and not so traditional (sushi!?) at the party. Asher though, was the star.

Ginger Wine Chicken (enough to serve 8)
1 kg of chicken thighs or drum lets
1 kg of ginger- 500 grams sliced and 500 grams grated with juice squeezed.
about 2 cups of raw peanuts
a handful or 1/2 cup of red dates (deseeded)
250 grams of fungus hydrated with some water water
2 litres of water
1 cup of DOM (or Brandy)
Drizzle of sesame oil
Salt, pepper

Saute half of the ginger. Brown chicken quickly. Adding the red dates and water. Simmer it to a boil. Add in peanuts. cook till peanuts turn soft. Then add in black fungus. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Add in Dom and cook for another 5-10 mins. Taste and adjust salt accordingly. Drizzle with sesame oil before serving.

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