My Facebook updates these few days are crawling with feeds and photos of friends who are out and about with their CNY baking. The festive mood seems to have really kicked in with many friends busy with churning out CNY goodies from their kitchens, for “a thousand and one reasons” as I was joking with a friend, be it for friends and family to snack on and enjoy, to really get into the festive mood, to sell and earn some pocket money, to polish one’s pastry making skills and most importantly, because one simply feels like making! In other words, there really isn’t a need for a proper impedus that gets one going with all the CNY cooking and baking. Just follow your heart.
As with many, one of the absolute quintessential Chinese New Year “kueh” which we definitely must have on the table are the pineapple tarts. I bake it every year and this year, I’d decided to make the Peranakan pineapple tarts aka “kueh tair” which is slightly more elaborated than the standard ones we get outside. It is quite laborious but I’m glad I did it. Lots more room for improvement for sure and I thank my Peranakan friends who had taught me some of the “tricks to the trade” and also given me much support and encouragement along the way. So here is my first batch of “kueh tair” for 2016.
Chinese New Year is around the corner, just barely a month away and I’m sure many of you would have notice the “changes” occurring around, as the Christmas decor in the shopping malls in town undergone an almost overnight revamp or overhaul of some sort with the pine trees turning into cherry blossoms and mistletoes become red lanterns. It is also a time when homebakers and gourmands get really busy in the kitchen preparing all the Chinese New Year goodies and dishes for all the snacking and feasting to come during the festive season. One of the quintessential Chinese New Year snack which seems to be an absolute must for anyone and everyone is bak kwa, the Asian version of a meat jerky which is customarily made with pork but now we see versions of it made from chicken and beef as well. Very recently, I was very lucky to be given one set of the latest Samsung Smart Oven to play around with and the first thing that came to my mind was to make bak kwa with it!