Baloo's Bugle

January 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 6
February 2008 Theme

Theme: Chinese New Year
Webelos: Scholar & Engineer
Tiger Cub
Requirement 4


Traditional New Year Foods

Grand Teton Council

Probably more food is consumed during the New Year celebrations than any other time of the year. Vast amounts of traditional food is prepared for family and friends, as well as those close to us who have died.

On New Year's Day, the Chinese family will eat a vegetarian dish called jai. Although the various ingredients in jai are root vegetables or fibrous vegetables, many people attribute various superstitious aspects to them:

  Lotus seed - signify having many male offspring

  Ginkgo nut - represents silver ingots

  Black moss seaweed - is a homonym for exceeding in wealth

  Dried bean curd is another homonym for fulfillment of wealth and happiness

  Bamboo shoots - is a term which sounds like "wishing that everything would be well"

  Fresh bean curd or tofu is not included as it is white and unlucky for New Year as the color signifies death and misfortune.

Other foods include a whole fish, to represent togetherness and abundance, and a chicken for prosperity. The chicken must be presented with a head, tail and feet to symbolize completeness. Noodles should be uncut, as they represent long life.

In south China, the favorite and most typical dishes were nian gao, sweet steamed glutinous rice pudding and zong zi (glutinous rice wrapped up in reed leaves), another popular delicacy.

In the north, steamed-wheat bread (man tou) and small meat dumplings were the preferred food.

The tremendous amount of food prepared at this time was meant to symbolize abundance and wealth for the household.


How To Use Chopsticks

(for a right-handed person)

Utah National Parks Council

1.       Rest the upper half of one stick between your thumb and forefinger on your right hand.

2.       Hold the lower half of the stick firmly against your ring finger.

3.       Hold the second chopstick as you hold a pencil.

4.       To work the chopstick, keep the first stick stationary and move the second stick up and down to pick up your food.

Chinese New Year Cakes 

Sam Houston Area Council


1 cups flour

cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup water or milk

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2/3 cup sesame seeds

Cooking oil for deep fat frying


*  Combine first four dry ingredients.

*  Mix together the eggs, water or milk, and the cooking oil.

*  Stir into flour mixture.

*  Drop spoonfuls of batter into a bowl of sesame seeds.

*  Coat cakes on both sides.

*  Let stand 15 minutes.

*  Deep fry cakes until puffy and golden brown.  (Adult to do this!!)

*  Let cakes drain on paper towel.

*  Serve warm. Enjoy!

Egg Drop Soup 

Sam Houston Area Council


2 cans chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 well beaten egg

2 tablespoons sliced green onion


*  In a saucepan, stir chicken broth into cornstarch.

*  Cook until slightly thickened.

*  Pour in egg, stirring gently.

*  Remove from heat.

*  Garnish with green onion.

*  Enjoy!


Fortune Cookies I

Sam Houston Area Council

Fortune cookies are actually a Chinese American invention,
but are always fun.
Here is a recipe to make them.
You can make your own fortunes to put inside.

Adult help is required for frying!!


cup flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

tsp vanilla

1 egg white, beaten stiff

2 tbsp cooking oil

3 tbsp water


*  Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, and oil.

*  Fold in egg white.

*  Add vanilla and water.

*  In a small skillet (non-stick or lightly oiled), over medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of batter, spreading it out into a 3 circle.

*  Cook 4 minutes until lightly browned.

*  Turn with spatula and cook 1 more minute.

*  Remove from the pan (careful - it will be hot!)

*  place paper fortune strip in center of circle.

*  Fold in half over the edge of a glass

*  Then bend to form Fortune-cookie shape.

*  Hold until cool, or place in an egg carton to hold the shape until the cookies firm up.

Fortune Cookies II

Utah National Parks Council

Chinese Fortune Cookies are easy to make and especially fun during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Begin by asking each boy to write a fortune or saying on a small strip of typing paper and fold in half.

Ingredients: Assign two or three boys to measure the following ingredients:

8 egg whites

2 cups sugar

1 cup melted butter

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons water


*  Separate the egg whites and beat them until they form stiff peaks.

*  Blend in the sugar and butter.

*  Discard the yolks.

*  Add the flour, vanilla, salt and water to the mixture and mix until it is smooth.

*  Grease a cookie sheet and spoon the batter into 3 inch circle. Bake at 375 for about 3 minutes.

*  When the cookies are done, remove them with a pancake turner onto waxed paper.

*  Place a fortune in the center of each circle and fold the cookie in half.

*  Bend the cookies gently in the center, as shown. (If the cookies become difficult to bend, put them back in the oven for a minute or so.)

*  Boys will be delighted to select a cookie and read their special fortune written by a fellow Cub Scout. (Note: The recipe does not work well with microwave ovens.)

Stir Fry Vegetables

Utah National Parks Council

*  Bring an electric skillet or a Chinese wok and portable hot plate to the den.

*  Let the boys cut a variety of vegetables such as celery, bok coy, onions, bean sprouts and water chestnuts.

*  Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in the skillet and saute the vegetables. (Do not overcook.)

*  Serve this healthy food to you boys with soy sauce.

*  You may also like to prepare white rice in a rice cooker. Serve the vegetables over the rice. A yummy treat even non-vegetable eaters will enjoy!

Chinese Fried Rice

Utah National Parks Council

Fried rice is a family leftover dish in China.

Almost anything can be mixed with cold leftover rice and eggs. Either long grain rice (Chinese rice) or short grain rice (Japanese rice) may be used, though the fried rice with short grains will be sticker.


2 eggs, beaten

2 green onions, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup carrot, chopped

3-4 ham slices for sandwich, chopped

3-4 mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

3 cups cold cooked rice, grains mostly


1 Tbsp soy sauce

White pepper

Vegetable oil


*  Heat about 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok or fry pan.

*  Mix eggs, green onions and salt.

*  When the oil is hot, pour in the egg mixture.

*  Stir and cook, but don't overcook.

*  Set aside.

*  Heat about 1 tablespoon oil.

*  Stir-fry           carrot, ham, mushroom, corn and peas.

*  Add a pinch of pepper.

*  Add rice. When rice is heated, sprinkle with soy sauce.

*  Mix well and turn off heat.

*  Add the egg mixture. Stir well and serve.

Almond Cookies

Sam Houston Area Council


*  Get sugar cookies.

*  Slice or roll into balls and bake according to directions.

*  Place an almond on the top of each cookie.


*  Use any sugar cookie recipe,

*  Swap almond extract for the vanilla

*  Press a piece of almond into the top before you bake it.

Easy Make-At-Home Chinese Chicken

Utah National Parks Council

Yield: Makes 4 servings


3 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. water

3/4 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Nonstick cooking spray

2 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/4" slices

1 (12-ounce) package frozen broccoli

and cauliflower florets, thawed

2 tsp. canola oil

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces


*  For sauce, stir together orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, water, cornstarch and garlic powder; set aside.

*  Spray nonstick wok or large skillet with cooking spray.

*  Add carrots; stir-fry over high heat 1 minute.

*  Add broccoli and cauliflower; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

*  Remove vegetables from wok; set aside.

*  Add oil to wok.

*  Stir-fry chicken in hot oil 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through.

*  Push chicken up side of wok.

*  Add sauce; cook and stir until boiling.

*  Return vegetables to wok; cook and stir until heated through.

*  Serve over hot cooked rice.


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