Yuan Xiao — Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a period of celebration and anticipation of the new year. Unlike American holidays, which last just one day, it is a period of around 23 days. The Lantern Festival – aka Yuanxiao – is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar and marks the end of the Spring Festival. It is traditionally a more lively celebration, complete with foods and rituals that wish good fortune into the new year. For more information on this celebration, feel free to read the reference article.On Friday, March 2nd, CCGKC enjoyed our second Chinese New Year event. Fun was had by many as they kicked off the evening by putting their brains to the test, attempting to solve riddles in both Chinese and English. There were 13 in English and 13 in Chinese. More traditional new year snacks were available (see previous article) and some adventurous folks rolled up dumpling balls for the soup. One traditional treat, called tangyuan, involves a glutinous outer dumpling shell filled with a sweet black sesame filling. We discovered how tricky these are to make, as the dumpling texture can’t be too dry and the filling can’t be too warm.

Dinner was a delightful sight for deserted stomachs. There was a spread of Asian salad, Taro dumplings, Hakka style savory dumpling soup, pork mushroom rice, fried rice cakes, and fried Azuki rice cakes, prepared by Mrs. You and family. The food was delicious and enjoyed by all.

Post-dinner activities required precision and fine motor skills. Attendees had the opportunity to put their chopstick skills to the test by putting as many peanut halves into a cup in one minute. The most achieved was 36! They also had the chance to do a beanbag toss. Prize backpacks with talismans  were awarded to winners.

The evening concluded with a raffle, which has emerged the possibility of scandal* at Chinese Club events. It appears that one of our board members has rigged the raffles with magic, as she has won a raffle at every event over the past year. Or maybe she just really is that lucky, which will bode well for her in the coming year. Either way, awesome  member shirts were raffled, food was enjoyed, company was appreciated, and the new year is here!

*editor’s note: there is no scandal, said board member is really just that lucky 😉 Become a member today to lessen her chances of winning next time and up yours!

天寒難鎖新春意, 炉暖宜烹白玉丸
喜慶的日子總是過的飛快, 元宵節熱熱鬧闹又到了• 堪城華人協會於3月2日與親朋好友一同慶祝過年尾聲的元宵節又稱小過年, 下午5時中外朋友聚在Grace Fellowship  (10920 N Oak Traffic  way, Kansas City,  MO  64155 ) 共度輕鬆愉快的元宵節夜晚·
當天除了搭配铁观音和天霧茶的美味零食, 甜品及水果• 重頭戲的揉湯圓, 包元宵和猜燈謎更是眾人所期待的· 在婆婆媽媽大姐小妹的努力下, 熱氣騰騰的客家鹹湯圓、油飯、清蒸油葱稞、芋稞巧和酥炸紅豆年糕上桌了·
大快朵颐之後, 年轻朋友開始用筷子夾半粒花生比赛. 第一局30秒夾35半粒勝, 第二局30秒夾47半粒勝出·
猜燈謎由新會員Hannah 答對共13道英文燈謎獲得元宵大獎·
最後全员集合丟沙包, 十全十美大白鯊背包張大嘴咬著想啥有啥、 考试全過、 千吃不胖、有求必應、偶遇男神等幸運符• 只要沙包投進大白鯊嘴裡,背包和幸運符就可以帶回家·经過激烈的競賽後,十位最佳投手在歡呼和掌聲中诞生•
愉悦又熱鬧的夜晚近尾聲, 大家幫著清潔善後•並期待下一次的相聚·

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Taiwanese Breakfast For Dinner–A Spring Fundraiser

After the popularity of the Taiwanese Night Market styled fundraiser in the fall, the Chinese Club of Kansas City hosted another food-focused event.

In 2018,  CCGKC continues to pursue its original goals of increasing Chinese-American cultural understanding by focusing on opportunities to share the wide spectrum of Chinese Cultural Heritage with interested individuals. Just in time to eat alongside those in Taipei, the Taiwanese Breakfast reminded some of old favorites while introducing others to a new cuisine.

Over 100 people attended the event, held in the Grid in Overland Park. The event space included an area for kids to play games and phone booths to reconnect with family and friends overseas. Some of the most popular items were rice balls and ZhongZi. The soy milk (savory and sweet) baffled an delighted everyone.

To learn more about becoming a member of the club or about future events, visit our website (ccgkc.org), Fb page, (Chinese Club of Greater Kansas City) or send us an email at ccgkc.board@gmail.com

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Classical Afternoon with Tea

It was a cloudy, blustery November day–the kind that was perfect for tea and appreciating the arts. Light snacks and tea were aplenty and zither music floated about the room.

A few weeks ago, the Chinese Club hosted a ‘Classical Afternoon with Tea’ celebrating the four scholarly principles: music, Go, calligraphy, and art.

For music, a Zither was on display and free for the plucking.

There was a scroll-replica from the Nelson Atkins Museum with signs translating the poem and providing context for the work of art. With gloves, participants could even touch it!

Maria Sheen led a calligraphy table, offering guests an opportunity to try their hand at the ancient skill, offering instruction and examples.

Daniel Gentry, of the Kansas Go Association, with an assistant provided explanation and instruction on the classic game. As one interested in strategy games, though not very talented in the area, this is where I spent the majority of my time and learned quite a bit of history about the game. If you are interested in learning more about the game or playing it, the Kansas Go Association meets every Sunday and Thursday from 6-9pm at the Black Dog Coffeehouse. All are welcome to attend!

The afternoon was a delightful way to relax and learn, and we look forward to hosting more such events in the future!

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Knotting to See Here!

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, one of the rainiest of the summer, the Chinese Club kept away the gloom by spending the hours away learning Chinese Macrame and knots. In the session, we learned how to make a good luck knot and a dragonfly. Catherine led us using the pin method which is the official knotting form, while also explaining how it can be done without pins.

First up was the good luck knot! Catherine carefully led us step-by-step (and often re-step-by-step) in how to make this classic knot. Though it seemed like a mess of holes in a Styrofoam plate and endless loops, with patience and lots of help, something resembling a knot slowly emerged!

Next, the dragonfly! With this one, Catherine helped us learn how to read directions. Quickly, the room became quiet with great concentration. Soon after, laughter as mishaps occurred. Before we knew it, the time was up and everyone left with two completed works of Chinese macrame and knotting.

While the clouds were still dark, the workshop and its accompanying laughter brought sunshine to the afternoon.

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You know what would be adorable? A mochi-emoji.

After spending a couple hours learning how to make and tasting all the various fillings and flavors, I am now a mochi fan.

Let me take you through the event (but I won’t spill all the secrets, you’ll just have to attend the next one):

Step one: Combine all the basic mochi ingredients (sugar, water, glutinous rice flour, oil) till smooth then stick in the microwave. Want to guess for how long? Not one minute, not five minutes, but THIRTEEN minutes! (I know, I was shocked too. Not sure I’ve ever put anything in the microwave for that long)

While the microwave is doing its thing, it’s a good time to review all the fillings and flavors.

Mrs. You had them all nicely laid out (& labeled) for us, and gave us details of how to prepare or where to buy each one. While I’m sure there are other ingredients you can mesh with mochi, at the workshop we focused on these: red bean paste, peanut powder, white sesame powder, black sesame powder, soy bean powder, white bean with macha, and white bean with coffee. Are you salivating yet? You should be.

Ding! Ding! Believe it or not, the 13 minutes are up! Now it’s time to mix the mochi!

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The Yous taught us various techniques for mixing the dough. (Including this one–though we weren’t that intense) The one that I would probably use in the future was four chopsticks put together. Now, here’s the next crazy part. Any guesses how long it should be stirred/folded? I won’t keep you in suspense this time–60 turns. You can get a good arm workout while making mochi! While the 60 doesn’t have to be exact, it’s a good number to go by. Another tip that was shared is to slowly pull apart the chopsticks–there should be a thin film if stirred a proper amount.

Whew! Hard work is done, now on to step 2.5!

Prepare the pan! Another tip you might not just get anywhere: You need to put a thin layer of potato starch (corn starch can work too) on a pan to place the mochi. However, you want to cook it in the microwave for 1 minute first. Bet you didn’t know that!

That was pretty easy, now on to step 3!

First, dip those lovely, washed fingers of yours into the potato starch. This mixture is messy and we want to protect those hands of yours as much as possible.

Now, it’s time to make the mochi! If you don’t want any filling, you can just take little drops of the mixture and roll it in whatever flavor you want. It works best to get two metal spoons and stick them in a cup of water. Use one spoon to carve out the mixture, then the next spoon to drop it on the pan/in the flavoring.

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If you want the filling (which, let’s be real, you should), then you do the same as above and plop them on the pan. Then, get a small scoop of your filling and place it on top. Finally use those freshly powdered fingers of yours and stretch the mochi around the filling, like you would a dumpling. And voila! You’ve done it!

Now it’s time to eat up and enjoy!

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Now, that wasn’t too bad, was it? Join us for our next food adventure–June 17th at Grace Fellowship (off of N Oak Trafficway) and learn how to make Ba Wan! You can sign up here.