My last post was all about Valentine’s cookies, but this coming Sunday, February the 14th, is not only Valentine’s Day, it’s also the first day of the Chinese new year 4707. According to the L.A. Times, “This is a rare convergence — it’s only the third time since 1900 – and it won’t happen again until after 2030. Added to that, it’s the year of the Tiger, which traditionally symbolizes great passion.”
So why not celebrate both passion-filled holidays at the same time? Here are a few ideas for ways to incorporate these two distinct holidays into your upcoming holiday meal planning and table decorating:
1. Using Paula Deen’s recipe make your own fortune cookies and fill them with romantic fortunes. Even better, whether homemade or store bought, dip the ends of fortune cookies into melted chocolate, then dip into toppings of your choice such as Valentine-colored sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut shavings, or finely chopped white chocolate. Let cool. Serve for dessert.
2. Decorate Chinese take out boxes with stickers or use rubber stamps and emboss the boxes. Place one at each place setting and serve fresh salad or delicious pasta inside of them. Stick in a pair of chopsticks and you’re good to go!
3. Make Chinese fortune cookies out of felt a la Martha Stewart and tuck Hershey Kisses and personalized fortunes into them. Scatter these on the dining table, place them in a bowl, or use them as party favors.
4. Use rice in your candlescapes by arranging candle pillars on a platter and pour and smooth white rice around them.
5. Set your table with napkins folded to resemble fortune cookies.
Solid-colored light brown or tan-colored cloth napkins
Paper strips and pens or computer printed fortunes
How to Fold Fortune Cookie Napkins:
A. Place napkin completely flat, right side down on an even surface.
B. Bring lower edge up about one third of the napkin height.
C. Fold down the top of the already folded napkin so that the top third of the napkin covers the bottom third. You should have a rectangle at this point.
D. Hold your thumb at the center top of the rectangle and fold the right half under itself and pull down so it extends about 3 inches below the edge of the rectangle.
E. Repeat a mirror image fold with the left half.
F. Fold up each of the two corners of the left tail so that they meet at the base of the large triangle and form a new triangle with the point at the bottom. Repeat with the right tail.
G. Fold the left tail up so that it touches the top point of the large triangle and creates a rectangle.
H. Fold the rectangle in half to form your fortune cookie. Turn it over so that the slit side is up. Place “giant” paper fortunes in them.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!