Little A’s full moon celebration

by April@MyFoodTrail on October 5, 2010

in Celebrations

On the weekend, hubby’s family gathered at Mr S and Mrs C’s place for little A’s first month birthday celebration, also known as a full moon celebration. This is an ancient Chinese custom to signify the newborn baby’s attainment of a full month’s survival in good health. The one month celebration also coincides with the end of the mother’s confinement period, 30 days where the mother is required to stay indoors and rest to recover from the stress to the body from child birth. Confinement after pregnancy is not very common here in Australia, but a lot of new Chinese mothers, like Mrs C, still follow the custom.

Traditionally, the parents prepare red eggs and cakes to give to guests at the celebration. The colour red represents good luck and prosperity. Eggs symbolise happiness and renewal of life. The ang koo kueh, or red turtle cakes, signify longevity as turtles have long lives.

A's 1st Moon Party - Red eggs
The eggs which have been dyed red

We had a buffet feast of Malaysian food for lunch. Mr S and Mrs C got Straits Café in Doncaster to cater the food and went to pick it up from them just before lunch time.

A's 1st Moon Party - Food
The food waiting to be eaten

A traditional dish to have at a baby’s full moon celebration is pig trotters with ginger and vinegar. This is also one of the dishes a new mother is supposed to have during her confinement period. Both Little A’s grandmas prepared the pig trotters the night before so it was divinely soft by the time we ate it for lunch. It had also been sitting the sauce overnight so it tasted really good!

A's 1st Moon Party - Pig Trotters
Braised pig trotters with ginger & vinegar

Another traditional dish to have is the yellow glutinous rice (nasi kunyit). This is a Nonya custom, adopted from the Malays. The glutinous rice was a nice replacement to normal jasmine rice, but it was very heavy on the stomach.

A's 1st Moon Party - Yellow rice
Yellow glutinous rice (nasi kunyit)

The glutinous rice was to be eaten with either the beef rendang or chicken curry. The beef rendang was one of the best rendang I’ve had! The gravy was so tasty and the beef was very tender. It was good to see they used grated coconut in the rendang paste. I got to take some of this home and happily had it again for dinner that night!

A's 1st Moon Party - Beef rendang
Beef rendang

The sauce of the chicken curry was delicious, but the few pieces of chicken I got seemed to be drumstick meat, with all the chewy sinew still attached. Still a great tasting curry though.

A's 1st Moon Party - Curry chicken
Malaysian chicken curry

We also had mini loh bak, which is a five spice pork roll wrapped in beancurd sheets. It’s kind of like a Chinese sausage roll! It was served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. I had about 5 of these, they were so good!

A's 1st Moon Party - Loh bak
Loh bak (pork roll)

The last dish was a noodle called lam mee. It was yellow hokkien noodles, with chives, shredded egg, bean shoots, minced pork and bits of prawn. Mrs C said it’s supposed to be a noodle dish with a lot of gravy. The noodles were okay, but no second serve for me!

A's 1st Moon Party - Noodles
Lam mee noodles

For dessert, there was a platter of traditional Nonya desserts or kueh (cakes), including the ang koo kueh. I normally am more of a Western desserts person, but some of these kuehs were surprisingly good! Starting from the top, there is the ang koo kueh. The red outer is made from glutinous rice flour and the inside is a yellow mung bean filling. The second row is called kueh jongkong, a glutinous rice parcel wrapped with banana leaves. There were two types, one filled with coconut milk and gula Melaka (palm sugar) and another with a dried shrimp filling.

A's 1st Moon Party - Nonya kueh
Tray of nonya kuehs (cakes)

The third row is onde onde, a glutinous rice flour ball covered with desiccated coconut and filled with a palm sugar syrup. The fourth row is kueh talam, which is most commonly a white top and green bottom layer. This one had a black sticky rice bottom layer and a green top. The bottom row is pulat tai tai, which are blue glutinous rice cakes, served with kaya (egg jam). My favourite was the blue glutinous rice cake with the kaya. The kaya was fantastic.

I’m so disappointed I didn’t get any photos of little A! She was wiggling too much and I couldn’t get a good shot of her. You’ll just have to take my word that she is a beautiful little baby with a full head of light brown hair! So unusual for a Chinese baby!

I did manage to get a photo of my nephew though. He’s turning two this month (some of you may remember the 1st birthday cupcakes I made for him!) and he was playing with the empty wine box. Someone (ok, me!) thought it would be funny to put him inside the box!! He was standing up in it until he realised he could sit down and pretend it was a car. We couldn’t stop laughing, it was so cute!!!

A's 1st Moon Party - J in box
J in a box!

Happy one month birthday little A!

Over & Out, April xx


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie October 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

hehehe so cute!!

Looks like our feasts too! mmmm trotters!

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penny aka jeroxie October 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Damn CUTE!! And all the delicious food. YUM! Lucky boy.

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Hannah October 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Chinese sausage rolls! Teehee! (I don't know why I'm giggling. I just am.) Though mostly I want to run away with the dessert platter…

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mademoiselle délicieuse October 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I spot so many familiar Chinese new mother/newborn foods there. Gaaahhh, have yet to acquire a taste for the black vinegar with ginger although I don't mind pigs' trotters or the eggs!

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Conor @ Hold the Beef October 6, 2010 at 12:36 am

Those mini loh bak are my kind of sausage roll!! That is also my kind of dessert platter, but most dessert platters are my kind.

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Celeste @ Berrytravels October 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Oh I really like Straits Cafe. They do really good food. Yummmm.

I remember those red eggs. It's been awhile since I got any haha!

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Sarah October 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Cuuute!

I love pulut tai tai too, it's my fave kueh!

xox Sarah

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msihua October 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Adorable! I really wish I could have a big pot of "chu kuek cho" right now… slurpppp

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April @ My Food Trail October 7, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hi Shellie: I'm glad we don't have these feasts too often… there is too much overeating involved because there's so much food!

Hi Penny: I'm such a biased Aunty, my nephew is so cute!

Hi Hannah: Haha, that is such a Hannah thing to giggle at the mention of a Chinese sausage roll 😛

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse: It actually doesn't taste as bad as I was thinking… so long as you aren't forced to eat the actual chunks of ginger!

Hi Conor: I hear you sister!! 😛 Any kind of dessert platter is good!

Hi Celeste: I've only been once to Straits Cafe, will have to go again!

Hi Sarah: The kaya is the thing that hooks me, though the slighty chewy rice goes well with it too!

Hi msihua: Is "chu kuek cho" the pig trotters? If so, I could go some too!

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed October 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

What a gorgeous post. I loved learning about this custom! Still too afraid to try pigs trotters though. Maybe someday 🙂 the food looks fabulous! mmm glutinous rice. Loved seeing the desserts too – still getting a taste for these myself. Your nephew is super cute!
Heidi xo

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Adrian @ Food Rehab October 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Hello!! I love family parties. It's a chance to taste your favourite meals cooked when growing up.

Pass me some of those pig trotters 🙂

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Ellie October 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

Nice family gathering. Love this type of food party with lots of yumminess! Your nephew is CUTE!

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steph October 29, 2010 at 4:31 am

Cute! I particularly like the small delicacies 🙂 It reminds me of the rice puddings sold in our area when i was still a kid. It also was in different colors like purple and orange 🙂

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thanh7580 November 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

All the food looks great. If J's name is Jack, that would make him a Jack in the box right? 🙂

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April @ My Food Trail November 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

Hi Heidi: If you try to get the thought out of your head that they are pig's trotters/feet, they are really nice… very soft and fatty!

Hi Adrian: Yeah, family parties always seem to be a step back in time!

Hi Steph: The small desserts were good so you could try a lot of different ones… at least I did!

Hi Thanh: Haha, that was what I was going for! But his name's not Jack!

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Aloy Kok April 27, 2016 at 3:09 am

Home cooked food is always the best especially when celebrating memorable moments. I desire angkoo most and like the authentic nyonya ones. Should try out fooktseng.com/full-moon-packages/ the next time you are in Penang.

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Jen June 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm

This comment comes a bit too late but nevertheless I would like to share what I think.
I am happy that you guys still celebrate Baby Fullmoon the traditional way which is with Nasi Kunyit, Curry, Angkoo and Red Eggs. And you got the meaning right about health, longevity and happiness.
In Penang, we still carry on the tradition and infact we value the authentic way to celebrate Baby Fullmoon. This celebration is considered the most important milestone a baby has achieved and it is celebrated only once in his lifetime.
We help to arrange Baby Fullmoon gift pack for those who celebrate without elaborate partying. The package comes with Nasi Kunyit(Tumeric Glutineous Rice), Curry Chicken, Angkoo and Red Eggs. Fragrance Rice is also a popular choice instead of Nasi Kunyit.
You can get more information from http://www.fooktseng.com/full-moon-packages/

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