Nature strongly influences Taking Stock Foods.

We believe that there are lessons to be learned from our natural surroundings and we pay attention. The seasons, especially, inform the types of foods that we crave, the flavors that we choose, and the gatherings that we host.

When it’s frozen white outside, and daytime is short, the moon naturally shifts to the front of our consciousness. Just in time!

The new moon in the first month of the lunar calendar ushers in the Chinese New Year.

Brighten your February by observing the new year with these activities, based roughly on the traditional celebrations and ceremonies marking this holiday.

• Tie up loose ends by resolving conflicts and putting things in order.

• Clean your home: sweep your floors and rid your house of evil spirits who may be hiding behind heavy or rarely moved pieces of furniture.

• Brighten your home with fresh flowers.

• Visit with friends and family.

While you’re at it, cook one of our all-time favorite recipes: Lion’s Heads Meatball Soup.
The name refers to the festive appearance of rice flecked meatballs which loosely resemble a regal mane. As a kid, my siblings and I sang my mom’s praises when she brought Lion’s Heads to the table. Join the party!

While researching this post, I read this article about the Lunar New Year posted by the Asia For Educators initiative through the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. It’s a quick read, and densely packed with great info.