As someone who enjoys cooking, I like to cook for others and have people over at our apartment. When more people come, it makes more sense to have more dishes, which is not always practical to do when it’s just the two of us. Traditional Chinese meals always have multiple dishes at the table that are eaten family style, so having Chinese New Year style meals with 7-8 dishes is a comfort to me and a reminder of some of the greatest Cantonese meals I grew up with.
At tonight’s dinner, other than 75 percent of me, we didn’t have any other Chinese guests. No one else would really understand Chinese traditions around the Lunar New Year meal unless they grew up with Chinese friends and were invited to their homes. But that’s part of the fun with food: you get to introduce people to different cultures by feeding them. But the sad thing is that people of my generation don’t really do things like this anymore. They don’t really make the foods that they grew up with. They rely on restaurants and their older relatives who will eventually die to make these things for them. So when those relatives die, when those restaurant owners decide to close their shops, who is going to continue these amazing food traditions for future generations to enjoy and appreciate?