Monday, 23 January 2012

Chinese New Year: A guide to eating snacks :)

It's Chinese New Year!

For some families, it's all about having a reunion dinner. Actually, I wanted to write up on my reunion dinner or I should say reunion meals. You see my family doesn't just eat once. We eat over a series of days! I have a really BIG extended family :) Maybe that will I will showcase to you after CNY luh :)

For children, it's all about getting the hong baos or red packets. Well... that's when a BIG extended family comes in. But well... Don't think I keep all the money for myself. I usually pass all of them to my parents for safekeeping, least I spend it all on cakes.

For me and my family, it's all about the food! My mum and I are very particular on CNY snacks.
One thing you can infer about the both of us. My mum is very fussy when it comes to eating :) Obviously right? Like mother like son :)

We have a few criteria before we even buy a tub much less pop them in our mouths. It need not be expensive or from hotel and restaurants. I don't go for brands when it comes to eating. But it must be home made or I should say hand made. It means no heavy mass production by machines. The only machines used should be the oven and the mixer. Nothing else!  It's labor intensive but well, being a baker myself...
It's all worthwhile when someone tells you that they really love what you baked :)
This tub of pineapple tarts best explained what I just said. It's all hand made and home made I tell you!
From making the pineapple jam all the way to rolling each and everyone of them into ping pong ball sizes! It's no easy feat I tell you! How I know? Well, it's because I was part of the whole process of it :) I can't tell you the recipe because if I do, I might have to kill you! You see, it's a family little secret :)

But to be honest, of all the pineapple tarts I tried before, none can beat my aunt's rendition. I am not suppose to reveal this so keep this yourself alright? One of the main ingredient is milk powder. What brand... U go figure out yourself. This additional ingredient gives the pineapple balls a fragrant smell and taste to the buttery experience. The pineapple jam to flour mixture is just right. It's almost inseparable... 

Knowing that one tub wasn't enough for me and how much my aunt dotes on this sweet little nephew, she decided to give me another 2 more tubs just for me and someone else :)  Yes, I promised someone that I will give one tub to try. Who? Go figure out yourself. 
I don't really know how this malay kueh (pastry in malay) got it's place among THE MUST HAVE CNY snacks category but who cares? Another hand made snack from my aunt's colleague. For this particular rendition, my mum and I agreed that too much coconut milk was added. Giving the kueh a strong fragrant smell but more dry aftertaste. It's decent alright but the coconut milk content could have been reduced... 

You know I don't wanna fall sick now least I miss out on other CNY snacks!
Cornflakes are nothing special if you have to ask me. It's really easy to make and the ingredient are literally off your supermarket's shelves. At least that was what I thought till I had a discussion with a master baker. It may seem easy judging from the ingredients but effort to glaze each and ever single cornflakes with honey to hold them together is by all means no easy feat! It's back breaking I tell you! I could taste a strong cashew nut taste amidst the honey coated cornflakes... 
Everyone loves sweet stuffs, particularly peanuts! But then again... I am someone who goes for quality over quantity. There's lots of peanuts and the the taste is strong... but I suspect that a low quality peanut brand was used. Mmm, it just doesn't taste and smell from what I expect but well like all not so nice CNY snacks, if it's doesn't taste good, eat less or none of it!

There's too much for me to cover and some of them requires me to do home visits before I get to taste them... I shall write another post once I manage to get my hands on them!

In the mean time, GONG XI FA CAI :)

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