I am one year older today

Let’s take a break from talking Chrismassy. Too much of it very sien also. Tomorrow is the actual day Chinese nation celebrating Winter Solstice (冬至). Being a Chinese Christian, I still observed and celebrate Winter Solstice to preserved the tradition. Of course minus the pai-pai (pray) thing.

During my childhood days. We will gather around the table watching my mom kneed glutinous flour into paste. Next come the little palm with a pinch of flour paste in between, and roll them into a ball. In Mandarin, we called it Tang Yuen (湯 圓). Yuen means round. My mom used to nagged at us, “Make them round! Not oval!” And she will goes on telling us history of Winter Solstice.

Nothing much happening here. I have to call my mom for the tenth time today just to ask her about the history and stuff so that I can share with you here. There’s just too many to ask. Finally, I’ve got the recipe for glutinous rice ball. And I don’t think anyone would be interested to know how to cook them.

Nah! This is all what you want to see right?

Knotted pandan leaves, Rock sugar syrup, a slice of ginger and lots of glutinous rice balls

Being a Foochow, another way of enjoying the rice balls is by dipping/coating the rice balls with crushed peanut and some beans powder. I’ll save the picture for other time.

Did you notice there are some ping pong size balls while the rest are tiny balls. It’s the Chinese custom. Before you start rolling the balls, make 6 white and 6 red ping pong size balls. Put them on the centre of your plate surrounded by the small balls. Every big ball represent each calendar month. And the small balls represent…. err…. errr…. gotta call my mom for the eleventh time! Gah…

p/s: Oh, and you must wonder why the title of this entry is “I am one year older today”. Old folks during my time will chant this, “Come and eat tang yuen! Eat already you will be one year older, one year wiser!” Hence, you will see adult age 40 plus start running away cos they want to stay 14. Yeah, forever young huh. *ngek

Just some old tales. I think they are funny. No doubt, I’m passing that to my children 🙂 I hope you will too 😉

23 Hijackers »

  1. Cynthia said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    how to make tang yuan ah?
    what flour you use?

    The Queen says:  Go to your chinese provision shop.  Buy a packet of Glutinous Rice Flour.  Make sure it is not Rice Flour or Flour or whatever Flour.  Remember Glutinous Rice flour.  Malay called tepung pulut la.  This is how you make them.  Mix Glutinous rice flour with some water.  You agak-agak yourself.  Kneed the dough and place them in the fridge to stand (maybe around 1/2 hour or more).  My mom say, this way the rice ball will taste softer cos the water already sipped in to the flour.  Shape them and put in boiling water.  Balls that is floated to the top considered cooked.  Scoop cooked rice balls into your syrup which you must cook separately.  Leave rice balls soak in the syrup for at least one hour.  This way, your rice balls will taste sweet instead of bland. 🙂

  2. athena said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 10:13 am

    come i help HQ answer u

    first u grow rice..the pulut kind…then after u harvest…u mill the rice..get flour….:)

    The Queen says: Santa!!!!!!!!!! Athena is not a good girl!!!!!!!!!! Don’t give her any pressie!!!! tehehe…

  3. mumsgather said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 10:24 am

    Oh! I better run away then! Thanks for doing some homework to present us with this info. Faster faster go and call your mum lah. I wanna know what is the reason for the smaller balls. Pssst I didn’t even know its that time of the year again but now I do, thanks to you. 🙂

  4. Wuching said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 11:35 am

    i dun wanna hear that song! not listening, not listening!

  5. simple american said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 11:47 am

    Too late for my kids. 😉

    I don’t want to look lor. I wanna tastey taste. 🙂

  6. Vien said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

    If I didn’t read your post I wouldn’t know it’s already 冬至. This is the first I’ve seen tang yuen in ping pong size. I grew up just eating small pink and white coloured tang yuen.

    The Queen says:  My hockien mom taught me this.  Maybe the custom varied from different dialect. *shrug

  7. Bkworm said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

    Hi, came here from SA’s blog. I never tasted tang yuen until after i got married. my own mother doesn’t like eating tang yuen so we kids never ate it at all until much later in life. We still have a family dinner at home to celebrate Winter Solstice but no tang yuen. Now, I eat it at my in-laws instead. 🙂

    The Queen says:  This is what going to happen to my children if I don’t continue the customs which my mom taught us.

  8. velverse said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    huar… multi colour tong yuen.. looks just like m&m’s

  9. L B said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    Nice to know a few more things!! Happy Winter Solstice to you too! May you have many mnay more to come, and very fast ones too!!

  10. Dakota said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

    THAT’S IT JESSIE, IM SO PISSED OF AT YOU! WELL, NOT PISSED OF, BUT totallt totally jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ghostie said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

    thanks for reminding…

    totally forgottten about it…


  12. may said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    I missed the family dinner last year, and I’m missing it this year due to work… 🙁

  13. huisia said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

    Hakka likes to use the crushed peanut and red beans as a stuffing, so so yummy!

  14. pablopabla said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 6:14 pm

    Woohoo! Tomorrow we are gonna make and eat some balls! Sounds crude but great! Slurp!

  15. just me+ said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

    My mum used to make 2 types of tong yuen, the sweet colourful ones (smaller ) and the slightly bigger white ones which are boiled in savoury soup. My late dad loved the latter, me too.

  16. Lil said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

    gee… completely forgot about this celebration… i wonder if i can get my aunt to make tang yuan over the weekend then… hmmm…

  17. Che-Cheh said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 8:12 pm

    Ahh life is hetic for us. My mom just went out to buy ready made ‘tong yuen’ for tomorrow. LOL

    Btw, your special ‘tong yuen’ is really pretty. I’ve eaten white and red but never green, blue and orange!

  18. the Razzler said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

    Hmmm .. I ordered mine from my friendly neighbour .. hehe :). It’s so much easier & probably taste better, too!! … Happy Winter Festival to her Majesty, Queen & Family … Opps, I mean the now One Year Older Queen & Family … 🙂 🙂

  19. Bernard said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

    No tang yuan for me worr.. hurray! I’m still the same age!!

  20. Allan said,

    December 21, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

    Wah ping pong size hard to swallow ler hahah~

  21. mumsgather said,

    December 22, 2006 @ 10:26 am

    Happy Celebrating Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  22. sila said,

    January 5, 2007 @ 11:14 pm

    like buah melaka – we fill it with gula melaka then roll it around in grated coconut. mmmmm. now i want me some buah melaka…

  23. Hijack Queen » Happy Early Winter Solstice Day said,

    December 17, 2008 @ 10:47 am

    […] every year, I will need to refer back in my 2006 achieve for the old tales. I was taught by my Mom to make 3 white ping pong sized and 3 red ping pong sized […]

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