February 12, 2021 Steph Wakelin
Chinese new Year is a special celebration in my family. It started with cleaning in preparation for the special event - year of the Ox - then the celebration itself. Much like Christmas 2020 due to Covid it was one of pickups and drop offs. Fun just the same.
❤ A favourite memory of mine is when our church held the International Food Fair and Concerts over the years. Jack Chow (and Karen) have been a regular and generous contributor featuring China - Chinese Food. I can still see Jack in the kitchen preparing and the smell of delicious foods wafting into the hall.
Explanation (from Wikipedia)
New Year for the year 2021 is celebrated/ observed on Friday, February 12. This year the animal sign is the Ox. Chinese New Year is the first day of the New Year in the Chinese lunisolar calendar (Chinese traditional calendar). It is also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.
❤ Here is his recipes from Margaret Virany's cookbook Eating At Church that she lovingly compiled from our church congregation.
Black History Month
❤ I grew up in Belize, Central America in the 1960s & 1970s. It was before they got independence and it was known as British Honduras.
At that time the population was predominantly Creole. I went to Roman Catholic school St. Catherines Academy where the classrooms were always a mixed pot of young people - creole, spanish and non creole/spanish.
I have fond memories of going on vacations with my friends and their parents. This was a different life experience for me, a shy child. They taught me trust. They taught me about different foods and ways they cooked them. They taught me to speak creole. They made me feel comfortable and happy.
I still remember walking down the streets hearing music pouring out of someone’s house and people would just stop to dance and sing there in the street. The music was made up from a variety of cultures: reggae, soul, steel drum, Garifuna and spanish love songs.
I also remember a house near where I lived that still had bars on the windows. It brought reality to my life and I learned of their ancestor's struggles (see explanation below).
Today, although the creole population has changed, the local dish is still rice and beans made with coconut milk and stewed chicken. This dish still holds a special spot in my heart. My mother created a cookbook for the Hospital Auxiliary much like Margaret Virany did for our church. The picture above is a worn, well used copy from the cookbook. At the bottom of the recipe is creole proverb and its translation.
Explanation of Belizean Creole (from Wikipedia):
Creoles are descendants of the Baymen slave owners, and slaves brought to Belize for the purpose of the logging industry. These slaves were ultimately of West and Central African descent (many also of Miskito ancestry from Nicaragua) and born Africans who had spent very brief periods in Jamaica and Bermuda. Bay Islanders and ethnic Jamaicans came in the late 19th century, further adding to these already varied peoples, creating this ethnic group.
There are some really good articles on the United Church website about Black History month.