Special Gin Food
Cooked by 甄庭訓 ( 校長 ) "The Head Master" for the Gin Family Association, as part of the Chinese New Year celebration and tradition. We will attempt to capture the recipes and share with your soon. Have you got any Gin Family special recipes or such likes to share with us? Do drop us a line and let us know.
Lotus Root, stuffed with red beans, boiled to make a soup; the cooked lotus root is then sliced and then fried with thick sauce such as oyster sauce. This dish uses one major ingredient (fresh lotus roots), but end up as two dishes. This clearly demonstrates the ingenuity of the cook and frugality of the Siyi people.
Toisan Yellow Eel (台山黃鰻) is a much sought-after delicacy. Picture below is Yellow Eel cooked in Shanghai style.
In this page we capture some of the traditions, sayings, nursery rhymes and just plain fun things that our forebears would have enjoyed. For the younger generation who came across this page, we suggest you talk to your Elders, grandparents and other older relatives about living in China or making a living in a new land, but still retaining some traditions unique to the Gin Clan.
A nursery rhyme
For instance, 石海 Village was also known as 船頭石 and there was a nursery rhyme that went as follows: 船頭石,水浸腳,三個女人同穿屐. This, like most nursery rhymes, may not mean a whole lot of things, beyond that it sounds funny. Note though, the word "屐" is a Chinese wooden clog that was still in use in the 1960s in China and overseas such as Malaya, but now not generally seen or available in your average modern department stores. Such is the passing tradition and fashion.
A humorous rhyme about Yee (余)women
Roughly interpreted: "It's a silly man if you don't marry Yee woman. After all, a Yee woman is able to cut and sew. She walks gently and her voice is soft."
Implied and suggested in this silly but humorous rhyme is that Yee women are gentle and quite capable. It is said that great many Gin men in fact marry Yee women -- believe it or not!
About Match making:
In the old days, back in the villages where our forefathers came from, marriages were usually arranged. Match making was a profession, and match makers have this to say about their importance in society:
Interpreted: "If the sky is cloudless, it will not rain. If there are no match makers on earth, then there will be no marriages."
Ching Ming is a very important day when families visit the graves of their dearly departed, to tidy up the grave site and importantly, pay respect and remember the dead. "清明掃墓". The following is a photo montage showing the occasion in 2008, when members of the San Francisco Gin Sun Hall Family Association visited the cemeteries at Colma, just outside San Francisco.
The day started early in the morning when we gathered at the Association, ready for the day. A coach at Kearny Street just around the corner of Clay Street waited for us, young and old. We loaded the coach with fruits, cooked food including a roast pig, white boiled chickens, traditional Chinese cakes such as Bak Hong Koo 白糖糕, hard-boiled egg and oranges. Importantly we included Joss papers, Joss sticks, candles: 金銀紙, 香, 蠟燭.
At the cemetery, Chinese section, we headed towards the Gin Family plots, where family members took time to pay respect to their own departed family members and tidy the graves. The place was full of people, and there was an air of celebration -- to remember our dearly departed, and not a sad occasion.
As a team, our Association Officials and those present also paid respect to all friends and members of the Association at the Main Altar. Following this traditional ritual, we tucked into the tasty food.
The coach took us back to our Association at Clay Street, San Francisco, where attending family members received a traditional share of the roast pork, eggs, oranges.
This is a great tradition, and thanks to the Management of the Association, celebrated every year.
Enjoy the photos.
The Association's Ching Ming on April 4, 2010 visit went well considering the threat of rain throughout the morning. The bus took off from Kearny Street at 10:30am with about 22 on board. We arrived at the New Ning Yung Cemetery and went through the ritual and placed joss incenses on all of the Gin's cemeteries. With a light sprinkle of rain, we rushed to "Old" Ning Yung where the roasted pig was cut and we enjoyed lunch. Luckily we were protected from the falling rain by the large tree at the altar. Another year of memories of our forefathers.
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