The Kitchen God

Kitchen God for the Year of the Horse

Kitchen God for the Year of the Horse

As the year of the snake comes to a close, and preparations for the new year are in full swing, it is time to pay special attention to a very important member of the Chinese home, the Kitchen God.

The Kitchen God lives close to the stove or hearth in each home. Usually in the form of red and gold sign of his name or in a photo, his purpose is to observe the health of the family throughout the year and return to the Jade Emperor to report what has been said and done in the household over the past year. He is one of the most worshiped and respected of all gods that protect the home and family. Additionally, he can inspire the cook to make healthy and flavorful food for the family throughout the year.

Before the Kitchen God returns to heaven to make his report, offerings of liquor and delectable foods are offered to make him happy and maybe a bit tipsy. Additionally just prior to his return on New Year’s eve, his lips are smeared with honey to “sweeten” his words or to stick his lips together so he cannot report. The effigy is then burned, and a new one is put in its place. If you are lucky enough to have a statue of the Kitchen God, it is removed and cleaned to begin a new cycle.

My kitchen god is in Hong Kong awaiting my return. He oversaw my purchase and seasoning of two good and trusty woks that prepared many a delicious dish. He also inspired my cooking and kept all who entered our home well-fed and happy.

The Kitchen God has been invited into our Phoenix home, and he will preside over the health and happiness if this place. Also, a new flat-bottomed wok found is way here just in time to cook for the beginning of the year of the horse.

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms

This was my first posting to the Wok Wednesdays group. This is a group of people cooking their way through Grace Young’s Stir -Frying to the Sky’s Edge and meeting and posting and sharing through Facebook and blogging. It works great for me, because I am very interested in wok cooking and there is very little offered here in terms of cooking schools.

Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms was not my first stir-fry, the first engaging with the group. It is a great dish for the Chinese New Year. Also, it prompted me to go out and find some fresh noodles in the market. Found a great little shop with a long line buying noodles. There was great conversation over the lo mein noodles and they were obviously getting the seal of approval from several of the women buying, so I thought it was a good place to buy. We were not disappointed. The noodles were excellent. I was quite pleased with the result of the dish. I would work a little harder at browning the chicken, but I was pleased that the meat was not overcooked and the cabbage was crisp.

Wok Wednesdays - Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.