New Traditions: Easter with my new family in Hong Kong
My lasagne – ready to hit the oven… mmmm
family – old and new
Feels like a million years since my last post… Over the last week and a half I’ve played ‘host’ and ‘tour guide’. A dear friend that I studied with in my masters programme was in town… AND THEN!!! Two of my best friends (from Melbourne) spontaneously booked their tickets on Tuesday and Wednesday to come to HK for Easter weekend!
I’ve realised that you only start to appreciate family traditions with age and distance. I come from a big Italian family and the one part of our Italian heritage that lives on post my parents/grandparents immigration to Australia is our love of food. It is our family tradition at Easter (and other religious holidays) to eat lasagne and feast on a variety of salads and meats.Thus, all religious holidays go hand in hand with gutsing ourselves silly until we cannot move. It is fabulous.
I wanted to re-live ‘the feast’ in Hong Kong. On Easter Sunday, after a ‘night of crazy’ that ended at 4:30am, I woke up early to make my mum’s famous lasagne. The menu for our original party of 6 was as follows:
- Cold cut meats and cheese/starters (my friend who is currently kitchen-less was going to bring the first course)
- lasagne (as cooked by moi)
- potato puree with truffle, and a fig, basil and buffalo cheese salad (to be cooked by my foodie friend)
- apple crumble (whipped up by my roomie).
If only it was that easy.
At about 11:20am, one of my party-boy friends called to say he would be making an appearance at my local Church. So at 11:30am I rushed off to Easter mass, leaving the others to sleep/nurse their heads…
Within a few hours that morning, our party of 6 grew to a party of 9. The more the merrier I thought The 3 additions were close friends anyway and the only reason I didn’t invite them from the very start was my concern about space in our apartment (HK apartments are tiny). Nevertheless, I knew we’d make do; I was happy that they would be joining us for our family lunch.
1:30pm comes and goes… 8 of us are sitting around the table. Starving. My friend, who was doing the starters, is running late. We all keep looking at each other… hunger pains set in. We eventually decide to scoff the salad and potato mash…
2pm arrives… and my friend waltzes in… we all look at her eagerly… she holds up 2 bottles of wine as she screams ‘hiiiiiiiii’…
‘we’ve been waiting – we are starving’ – we all proceed.
‘oh? I brought wine!’ At this point I look around for the plastic bag of cold cuts. Nothing. ‘Do you want to get the cold cuts/starters out?’ I ask.
‘I thought we’d have a liquid lunch!’
My friend had substituted cold cuts for alcohol. It was hilarious. 8 hungry faces look around the table… My best friends from Melbourne look at each other confused that we aren’t feasting in the usual Italian way.
Eventually, one of the (hungry) boys got up with a promise that he would return with glorious food so we could start ‘feasting’. He returned with McDonald chicken nuggets, roasted pork (Chinese style), roasted duck (Chinese style), and some more salad.
I didn’t get my traditional feast, but I did start a new tradition! I had the best time and just thinking about it makes me so grateful for the new friends (and old ones) that I’ve made. My disastrous lunch was fabulous. I hope to do the same thing next year with my new Hong Kong family.
Future Easter menu:
- wine, wine and more wine
- lasagne (some things never change)
- McDonalds chicken nuggets
- roast pork (Chinese style)
- roast duck (Chinese style)
- fig, basil and buffalo cheese salad
time to eat!!
gimme some of that duck!