Here are the suggestions of geomancy expert Aldric Dalumpines to welcome the Year of the Rat.
“Indulge me to design your feng shui menu choices as a humble way of leveling up your health, wealth, prosperity and happiness,” Dalumpines says.
To prioritize good health and “to attract long life,” he recommends uncut noodle dish. Be it the popular pancit canton, bihon, sotanghon or misua, or the local neighborhood noodle fare—pancit Malabon, habhab, luglug, palabok or even Japanese ramen.
One may eat different types of noodles as long as they’re not cut in the two-week duration of Chinese New Year starting on the eve of Jan. 24.
During the lunar New Year, special emphasis is placed on the symbols represented by “lucky food.”
To beckon prosperity, one may serve whole fish, as this symbolizes a profitable year ahead.
Do not eat all of it, Dalumpines advises. Leave a little to ensure that the family will have good fortune, in excess for the rest of the year.
The fish brings “liquidity” or cash flow, no installments. The fish should be served with its lips pointed at the family breadwinner. It can be prepared steamed or fried.
Also may be served is shellfish.
Mussels and clams symbolize wealth; oysters, dried, bring prosperity to business.
Mussels can be prepared as you wish. Dalumpines suggests to serve clam soup. Oysters can be eaten raw, baked or steamed.
To beckon more business deals, serve crabs.
Abalone ushers excellent prosperity as do scallops and seaweed dishes. Serve local lato, he says.
Steamed dumplings, rice cakes, steamed cakes are symbols of rising prosperity. For balanced prosperity, one may serve five colored rice buns or puto in colors of the five Chinese elements—wood (green or brown), earth (light yellow or light brown), metal (white or gray), water (blue or black), and fire (dark yellow, orange, purple, pink).
To harness even more good fortune in the Metal Rat Year, the more white colored glutinous rice cakes or dumplings you eat, the better, according to the geomancy expert.
Love, peace, harmony
Next on the menu are dishes to attract love, peace and harmony.
Peking duck or roast duck may usher in a happy, prosperous and healthy new year. The “red” skin of the duck is a lucky color.
Dalumpines notes that duck also brings fidelity in love.
Harmony is symbolized by tikoy or round glutinous rice cakes.
Whole chicken, including its head, beak and feet, symbolizes family togetherness and unity, peace and harmony. Be it fried, cooked in soy, white chicken, or just brought from the nearest take-out counter, any chicken dish will do.
For happiness, says Dalumpines, serve shrimps or prawns, cooked any which way, “as the term for it in Chinese sounds like laughter or ha! ha! ha!”
For greater happiness, decorate the buffet table with white artificial or real butterfly Phalaenopsis orchids.
For good luck, serve beef dishes, as the ox is “the sign the rat is most compatible with.”
So think roast beef or roasted calf. You may also serve steak, caldereta, nilaga or stew made from beef or even carabeef.
Lechon baka is the utmost and strongest luck attraction in 2020. “Don’t miss out on this lucky food charm,” says Dalumpines.
He suggests that for dessert or snacks, especially for millennials to overcome the challenges of life this year, “Eat champoy.”
The traditional Chinese fruit snack comes in either champoy (black, sweet and moist) or kiamoy (the red preserved salty-sour type).
In either form, champoy, Dalumpines explains, “balances life, love and work.” While eating it, savor its flavor so that “it elicits the yin and the yang, and lets your chi reinvigorate yourself.”
With this menu, you are battle-ready for 2020, the Year of the White Metal Rat.
But Dalumpines said one should always express appreciation for one’s blessings. “There is food and food for the mind and the soul. Do not forget to say grace before and after meals, keeping in mind that you are in the holy presence of your God, whoever you conceive God to be.”
Bon appétit and Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Aldric Dalumpines, tel. 0999-3128168
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