Happy Year of the Black Snake!
E and Z's best friend and his parents joined us for our annual Chinese New Year celebration Sunday afternoon (Past Chinese New Years: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009). We had a daytime party, because I had a meeting to go to Sunday night, and it turns out that the middle of the day is the best time to have parties with kids––they went out to play in the snow, and no one was tired or cranky or kept up past their bedtime. Too bad it took me eleven-and-three-quarter years of parenthood to figure that out!
Anyway, our friends brought lo-mein, a yummy jicama salad, stir-fried veggies with beef and beef teriyaki on a stick. I made egg rolls with my world-famous sweet & sour sauce.
We didn't do any Chinese New Year crafts––I got out our Buddha Board and some origami paper, but mostly the kids wanted to play out in the snow (except when they snuck upstairs to watch Ninjago on the computer...at least it has an Asian theme...), which is just how it should be.
I had looked up traditional Chinese New Year desserts online, but everything sounded complicated, with steaming and mysterious ingredients (glutinous rice flour). So then I was going to make the brownies from the Forks Over Knives cookbook, using aduki beans instead of black beans (aduki beans bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year), but I didn't want to go out into the blizzard to find things like date syrup and caramel extract. And then it snowed. A lot. So what else is a person to do but make:
Coconut Snow Ice Cream
Whisk together until smooth:
1 can coconut milk (the thick, creamy kind)
2 cups coconut milk from the carton (the thin, milky kind)
1/2 cup (or more) sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut milk
Scoop your largest mixing bowl full of fresh, clean snow.
Scoop about half of the snow into another bowl.
Pour the coconut mixture into the second bowl of snow.
Stir. The snow will shrink down as the liquid mixes in. Add more snow until all of the coconut mixture has been absorbed and it takes on the consistency of ice cream. The amount of snow you need will depend on how much moisture your snow has to begin with. Play around with it until it seems right.
Scoop into bowls and eat right away. This recipe made enough for eight people to each have a small bowlful (about one cup each). If you try to freeze it for later, it will lose its ice cream consistency and turn into a solid block.
(P.S. I suppose coconut is probably more Southeast Asian than Chinese, so probably not all that authentic, but it was yummy).