Happy Year of the Goat! If you were born in 1979 like me, chances are it’s your year, too. I’m hoping for a banner year for our family. So far, it’s been excellent, although a little cold (compared to South Carolina and Malaysia, at least).
Being cold also means that we’re having a pretty low-key Chinese New Year’s this year, but this weekend we’ll probably head out to A&J, our favorite Chinese breakfast haunt in Annandale (about 15 minutes from where we live).
I love Chinese breakfast. Back in college, my friends and I used to drive to a beat-down food court every other weekend for our Chinese breakfast kick. No, it’s not Wheaties. It’s better than that. It’s delicious soy milk soup with crispy fried crullers and scallions floating around inside. It’s flattened scrambled egg wrapped inside a pressed and rolled flour pancake. It’s sticky rice wrapped around pickles and shredded meat. I mean no offense to eggs and bacon or (heavens to Betsy) even grits, but eating Chinese breakfast is a very comforting ritual for me, evocative of happy mornings spent with my family in Taiwan.
Luckily, I’ve also gotten my kids on the bandwagon. Ge Ge loves dipping fried crullers into the soybean soup. I told him it’s like when grownups dip donuts into coffee. His response? “No, Mom, this is WAY better.”
Um, yeah. Let that be the face of endorsement for A & J, right?
Just in case you don’t have a convenient hole-in-the-wall Chinese breakfast joint (seriously, I need you to catch up, America, because this is a million-dollar franchise idea just waiting to happen), here’s a roundup of some of the things similar to the ones I love to use year-round, but especially during our Chinese New Year festivities. The training chopsticks and bento boxes are used like, every week around here. The kids love them.
Oh, who am I kidding? I love that panda bento, too.