It was a completely memorable night and one that matched my every hope and expectation for the occasion! It was well worth every bit of planning and preparation involved and thanks to the internet, most everything I needed was only a click away (Confucius say "Be careful what you wish for").
From the Chinese fans, to the chop sticks, to the decorations, to the take-out containers, to the sky lanterns that lit up the night sky, to the hats and to my apron, the internet was the place to go :)
Upon each guests arrival, everyone was supplied with a hat for the evening and each person donned their "coolie" in the spirit in which they were intended. At that point, the party began in earnest. The mood was completely festive and fun and the sake, plum wine and Tsingtao beer flowed freely!
The biggest and best surprise of the evening came when my mom and dad finally arrived...
A few days before the party, my mom had one request of me "Would you please keep your front drapes closed?" I thought it was an odd request but with me and my three crazy barking dogs, I thought it must have something to do with that. Boy was I wrong ~ sarong to be exact! HA!
Thanks to (guess what?) the internet...mom ordered their costumes and they completely took our party from fab to FABULOUS! What a wonderfully fun surprise for all! I still laugh when I think about it and especially when I see the pictures!
With the party well underway, we still had a very special surprise up our sleeves for our guests. To aid in our surprise, the weather was perfectly cold and calm. Even the moon had cooperated that evening and was full and bright! As everyone gathered around the kitchen table (aka Kudos Kitchen table), we sprang the news on our unsuspecting guests that we were all headed outside so we could launch some sky lanterns into the night sky.
Everyone got to choose their favorite color lantern and make a wish as they released their lit lantern up, up, up and away. The sight was breathtaking as 15 multicolored lanterns slowly rose and then set off on their journey into Northern sky.
As I understand it, many people had seen the sight, far off in the distance, but knew not what those eerie lights were all about. I'm sure we set many tongues a wagging about what they could have been, but only we knew for sure. They were wishes, wonderment and a memory in the making that I doubt any of us will ever forget.
Still in awe of that wonderful sight, we all headed back into the house for our Chinese feast. The menu was as follows:
Pot Stickers - Store bought
Egg Rolls - From our favorite local Chinese restaurant
Sticky Rice - Homemade
Chicken and Broccoli - Homemade
Almond cookies - Homemade (find the recipe here)
Fortune cookies - Homemade (post to follow shortly)
Black Pepper Sesame Seed Ice Cream - Homemade (whoops, forgot to take pictures)
With the excitement of the party and perhaps the buzz from the plum wine, I didn't take any decent photos of the food that night (so unlike me, right?). I did however take a few photos pf the food in preparation of the meal. Here are a few of the sticky rice in the making and of the Chinese take out boxes that contained our dessert for the evening (3 almond cookies and a fortune cookie for all) and also served double duty as our place cards for the dinner table.
Confucius say: "Good family make for happy times",