Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baking for Chinese New Year

I am contemplating if I should make and bake some cookies for Chinese New Year. The celebration is coming up soon, in a few weeks (see previous post). Whilst researching on Google, I came across this website which listed the typical cookies that Malaysian Chinese bake for the festive season. Ahh... so many fun memorable moments of making these with my Mom, aunties and cousin sisters (our cousin brothers were usually not interested or too young). I remember making the kueh kapit (love letters - see image), sitting around the open charcoal stoves with my grandma and burning my fingers whilst folding the hot 'letters' into triangles. The cookies that we make are not only for own consumption but also given away as gifts to family, relatives and friends when we go around visiting.

When we were younger, we always return to my maternal grandma's house in Bukit Mertajam to celebrate Chinese New Year (Note: Bukit Mertajam is a small town in the state of Penang, famous for the St. Anne's church). The first day of the Lunar New is always full of excitement, when my cousins and I will be woken up early by my 2nd aunt who will switched on the radio really loud with the 'tong tong chiang' (cymbals and drums) music to wake everyone, dress in our new outfits from head to toe and pay our respects to the family elders and collect our ang pow (or red packet). Then, we will help my maternal grandma with the prayer table to our ancestors. Once the important ritual is over, we feast.

In Australia, Chinese New Year is celebrated on a smaller scale. Many of these cookies are also readily available for purchase at the Asian grocery stores but nothing beats home-baked ones. Over here, my Mom will usually make the kueh bangkit, kueh bahulu and pineapple jam tarts. I usually make the peanut cookies...hmmmm.... maybe this year I will make some cookies to celebrate since it is a significant year for Ashleigh. Better 'hop' to it then...

4 comments:

  1. Have a great year ahead.Hope you get everything you want in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many of these Lunar new Year cookies are available in Aus captial cities but to me they are not the same. Somehow they taste different, especially those made in Macau, Vietnam and Indonesia. What has been enjoybale in my own growing up years has been the fun and festive spirit of making such delicacies togther.

    ReplyDelete
  3. happy CNY in advance!!!

    unfortunately, i won't be celebrating CNY at home....but i'll still try to make some pineapple tarts when i'm back.

    yours look fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. it was the journey of preparing CNY that's fun right? How i miss my younger days sitting at the back of my rented house, at the longkang area, see my neighbours baking :)

    ReplyDelete