My late grandfather told me that people during their time were very poor. They can only have chicken during Chinese New Year, if they can afford it and they look forward to each birthdays because then they will be given an hard-boiled egg (shells dyed red) all to themselves. And if they are lucky, there will be a bowl of Longevity Noodles (长寿面) aka Rice Wheat Noodles (面线) to go with it. They were not suppose to cut or bite the noodles to shorten it because the noodles symbolise longevity. You wouldn't have to shorten your life would you?
Nowadays, people no longer have that for birthday. Perhaps some may not even know the existence of this simple meal. They may not even want to have this for their birthday when they can afford any other food they like. But for me and my husband, it's like a tradition. We don't have rich, modernised (read: no cakes) parents. Both our mothers cooked us Longevity Noodles during our birthdays but of course there were chicken, eggs and stuff like that. We are not rich but not that poor either.
So, on my husband's birthday, I took over the role of cooking him this, wishing him health, happiness and of course, longevity.
For those who interested to have this for birthday for a change, it's really simple. Blanch noodles before cooking it in broth. Cooking it for 5 minutes is enough. Then just add in the ingredients you like or rather the birthday boy/girl likes. And that's it!
To me it's a simple yet meaningful birthday meal, especially if you are cooking it for your elders. Try this, they will appreciate it.
* the Chicken broth *