Assorted Yummy Chinese New Year Cookies
Mandarin Oranges From China
Homemade Kuih Bakul / Nian Gao
Good evening, dear friends 😀
Usually, I like to finish my decluttering and cleaning so that I will have peace of mind that all is clean in my house and we are ready for the Chinese New Year (CNY). Then, I will go shopping for all the things that I need like new brooms, new mops (old ones are thrown away), new floormats, various foodstuff, drinks, and mandarin oranges.
However, this year things went a bit differently 🙄 when my husband decided to take a half day’s leave to run some CNY errands now instead of waiting to do them at the last minute like we always did.
The first thing was to go to the bank to change new money notes to be used in ang pows (auspicious red packets containing new money to symbolise new chi). Then we went shopping for the CNY cookies and since I have decided to only make the traditional Pineapple Tarts and “Kok Chai” (Peanut Puffs) this weekend, the rest of the cookies had to be bought.
I had also bought some Kuih Bakul or Nian Gao from an elderly lady who makes them in her home every for CNY. Kuih Bakul is made from glutinous rice flour and sugar and steamed for 10 hours, hence the dark rich colour. Nian Gao means “every year higher and higher”, sort of like our luck gets better and better, i.e. great prosperity. Usually, I would trimmed the banana leaves near the top of the Kuih Bakul before offering it to our deities and ancestors during CNY together with many varieties of fruits.
Must haves for the CNY are the traditional cookies like Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Flour Coconut Milk Cookies), Kuih Kapit (Love Letters), Pineapple Tarts, Peanut Cookies, Peanut Puffs/Kok Chai, Dragon Cookies and Kuih Rose. The rest are the usual cookies that we can buy all year round like chocolate chip almond cookies, chocolate cookies, and other types of Westernised butter cookies. I will show close ups of these cookies when we serve them to our guests during CNY. Meanwhile, they are displayed on my table, waiting for CNY to be opened (see photo above)! 😆
My husband also bought an assortment of drinks –
* 2 cartons (24 cans in each carton) of Anglia Shandy
* 7 cartons of Yeo Hiap Seng’s Sugar Cane Drink, Wintermelon Drink, Chrysanthemum Drink, Lychee Drink and Soya Bean Drink
* 1 Carton of 100 plus
* 1 Carton of 7-Up
Therefore, with the drinks and cookies, we are loaded with lots of sugary stuff during the CNY! 😆 Not to mention the feasting that will be going on for days. There is lots of food and drink to symbolise abundance during the new year.
Lastly, we bought 5 cartons of Mandarin Oranges as every year, we would give a box of them together with some cookies to our neighbours, and they would also give something similar back to us – so there is a lot of generosity going around in the giving and the receiving – good chi flow, I would say! 😉
Today, I am almost done with the kitchen decluttering and cleaning. Tomorrow, it will be my laundry room and prayer room to be cleaned, to be followed by the top floor where our bedrooms are but at least my children will be decluttering their own bedroom themselves this weekend. I only have to check on them to make sure that they are doing a good job of it. Curtains are being taken down to wash and after the curtains, then it will be the bedsheet sets. Then, the ceiling fans , air-conditioners and windows have to be cleaned. With the bathrooms washed, all the floors mopped and the car porch scrubbed, my house would be completely cleaned.
Then, the CNY decorations would be up but I will have to go shopping for them with my daughters on Thursday and on Friday, we will be shopping for clothes, shoes and handbags. Weekend is baking time and planning the menu for the big Reunion Dinner on the eve of CNY. Phew! I hope I meet my deadlines! 🙄 😆
I am see double now as I am typing this because I am so sleepy and tired….I’d better go to bed now….
Good night and sweet dreams! 😀