Reunion dinner, probably something to look forward during a Chinese New Year. I've heard some family has a strict rule/principle, of only commencing their reunion lunch or dinner, when each and every of the family members are seated at the table. Well, I did managed to miss one reunion dinner once because of work, but not since that. After my parents aged, we usually have our reunion dinner in restaurant to save the hassle of preparing the dishes and clearing them up when we have loads of other clean up to do. But this year, it was different. We were still on vegetarian diet because it was not over 49 days for my father's death. Plus, there seems to have nothing much to celebrate or a reason to have it in a restaurant at such circumstances too. We usualy bring Grandma over for the dinner, and maybe invite some of the cousins who happened to be free to spend reunion dinner together. This year, Grandma was no longer around, neither do father.
It was disheartening because I do have an urge to prepare an extra set of rice, hoping we could pretend father was still there dining with us. But of course, my poor rational mind shoved that all away. We cooked the meal and packed some from the store outside. It was simple, but good - because we were eatingat home together.
Those who were studying or working abroad would have shared the sentiment. The best thing when you get back home, was to have meals with your family. That's something you can't have when you are miles away.
I was not so fond of those mock meat, but I do enjoy the vegetables, especially sticky gluey lady fingers, steamed. It was the same old soup, same old mixed vegetable dish. And we had the same old dessert, which we almost forgot and have to take some time to consume because we were just too full.
Here is my brother enjoying the meal. It was a very confused dinner.
After the dinner, it was followed by massive last-minute gotong-royong. We made sure no rubbish lying around and neated up the place. We prepared our new pyjamas and listened to the roaring fireworks blasting just above our roof. Others were busy with the praying and fun, we spend the night, resting well. We couldn't sleep till quite late because the neighbours were bombarding the crackers anyway. I was, as always, confused.