Sweet Vinegar with Ginger, Knuckles and Eggs
In speaking with my daughter a few weeks back, we talk about some of the Chinese traditions surrounding the birth and how many are centered around the health and healing of the new mother. The month after the birth is considered a very important time for new mothers to rest and take care of themselves to regain their strength.
Today I tried a new dish, Sweet Vinegar with Ginger, Knuckles and Eggs, which is one of the traditions. It was prepared by my daughter-in-law's grandmother. While the baby’s parents are usually busy taking care of the baby, it is usually the grand parents taking care of the cooking of sweet vinegar. They started cooking the vinegar a month ahead of the baby’s birth. They kept cooking and cooking day after day to achieve the dark color. The longer the vinegar is cooked, the better it will be.
It is believed that this postnatal health food can compensate for the loss of calcium and other nutrients needed by the body after childbirth. This dish is also presented to friends and relatives to announce the addition of a newborn to the family. Traditionally deliveries of this treat it is done 12 days after the baby is born. We are a few days early... Grandmother said it was a good time to start, so the deliveries have begun and it has been a busy few days.
It was quite good, a very different taste than what we are used to, but I loved the vinegar and ginger combo. Needless to say we are thrilled to be here, experience the culture, and be part of this exciting time in our children's and new grandchild's life.
It is also considered to be auspicious, promoting good fortune and success.