Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day greetings as we near Sunday's conjuction of these holidays, a delightful chance to celebrate love and renewal!
This bento reflects both holidays, with a smiling, confident tiger cub (the Tiger's zodiac motto is "I win!") crafted from pastry dough for the incoming Year of the Tiger, her path strewn with orange pepper tiger lilies. Also in the bento: happy heart-shaped rainbow chard, goat cheese, and ripe red strawberries for Valentine's Day:
Wikipedia's wonderfully informative entry on the Chinese New Year celebration traces its traditions, foods, and cosmology. The paper placemat at a very good nearby Vietnamese restaurant, Pho 2000 in Herndon, said this about Tiger folks:
On our post-blizzard outing to Pho 2000, we enjoyed a seafood hot pot: