Ching Ming (Chinese Tombsweeping Ceremony)

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Two weekends ago I went down to Flushing to spend the weekend with my family for Ching Ming, which is a Chinese Tombsweeping Ceremony. I don’t remember ever doing one before with my family, but I saw it on my Google Calendar for Chinese Holidays and asked my Dad if we could celebrate it. My dad talked with my aunts and uncle and settled for the first weekend in May when we’d all actually be able to do it together. Our take on it was simple and didn’t involve anything super elaborate. Just lots of food offerings (things the deceased enjoyed when they were with us) and paper offerings to burn.
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We burned this money with gold or silver on it. I remembered folding them into ingots at the funeral and asked my dad if we were supposed to fold them. “Oh, god no. We’ll be here all day.”

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And burned some hell money to Yeh-Yeh and Mah-Mah.

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Very official poking stick.
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My uncle went all out and bought a ton of stuff to burn to Yeh-Yeh. The paper offerings can get quite elaborate, like this paper roast pig.
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And this paper set of treats.

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We even burned a paper mansion.

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Treats go in the fire. Yeh-Yeh loved burning things. I remember we had a burn tub in the backyard of my childhood house in Washingtonville, and he loved coming up for a visit and burning things.

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Then it was time for lunch, so we went to Jin Cheng since they’re never that busy for lunch on Saturdays and they have a parking lot. Free tofu & beef soup to start. This was welcome for me since I’d had dental surgery the Thursday before we drove down and couldn’t do a ton of chewing. (Yeah, that was a really crappy week. Our beloved cat passed, I had dental surgery, and then a weekend of travel (thank goodness for Albany John, bc I couldn’t drive down).
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Chicken strips. Kind of like sweet and sour, but not gloppy.
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One of the perks of dental surgery was that I could beg off of rice without anyone going “Really??”. It was awesome.
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Squid, fish, and veggie pot.
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Fish, and shrimp and eggs. Oh man, the shrimp and eggs were right up my alley, both in terms of texture and flavor. There was sesame oil and a bit of white pepper in the eggs, and they were so tender and fluffy.

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Beef chow fun. A family favorite.

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Then Albany John and I went off for a walk to Sunrise Kitchen Supplies on Main Street. THEY WERE OPEN THIS TIME! YESSSS. When we went for Chinese New Year they were closed. I love this store. It’s small, but open to the public, and they have some great purchases and take credit cards for $15+. I wish we had something like this near us in Albany, but ah well.

Fun fact, this is also where Albany John got to put his Mandarin skills to use and tell off an annoying customer. She was yelling at the staff about everything under the sun and complaining about their service, etc. But for some reason she veered into “Why do you sell to foreigners?”  in her ranting and they said “We like the foreigners because they spend money,” to which Albany John retorted “Some foreigners speak Chinese!” which was the only thing that got this lady to be quiet and leave. The employees had a slight smirk on their faces and seemed pleased she stopped shouting, and her daughter looked extremely embarrassed. Meanwhile I had no idea what she was saying because my Mandarin is just that good.
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Any way, here are the AWESOME goodies we got for just shy of $80! A big proofing container for me in the back left. 3 different Hello Kitty ceramic food storage containers, tongs, a whisk, big spatula, big chopsticks (for grilling or stove-top cooking), wood chopsticks, tiki cups, a hot pot straining spoon, and a full size sheet tray.

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So many awesome goodies. If you click on the pictures you can see the crazy awesome prices.

After this we rested for a bit, and then I convinced my Dad, Dad’s Lady, and Uncle to try Ethiopian food (next post).

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