Feb 16, 2011

love letters

No.. I am not talking about written expression of affection/love.. I am referring to those edible kind.. :) Love letters are a must-have during Chinese New Year.. and this year, my sister and I decided to make some ourselves.. :)

So here are some of the photos taken during the making..
eggs and sugar.. to be beaten until white! before adding glutinous flour..
The recipe used was passed down by my grandmother.. with no machine (aka mixer) to help, the "beating"is done using hand.. my hands to be exact.. a sign of aging: I can no longer accomplish this "beating" alone.. my sister had to help.. :x

preparing the "clips".. heated over charcoal fire.. 
We have more than 10 "clips".. half of them belong to my grandmother.. These "clips" had to be heated up first and then coated with some oil as part of the preparation. My dad built the fire while we were doing the "thrashing"..
pour some batter onto the heated clip.. and put back onto the fire..
Once the clips had been heated up properly, the batter is then poured onto the clip.. whatever that didn't stick onto the clip is poured out.. and the clip has to be flipped frequently so as to prevent it from being burnt on one side..
after being "roasted" for a few minute, peel out the thin paper-like love letters.
Once it has been properly cooked (opening the clip and peeking to make sure), it has to be quickly "scraped" off the clips and passed to the person standing by whom will fold the "letters" into a triangle..
quickly fold the love letter before it gets cold..
So essentially, these processes needed at least 2 person.. one to do the making (heating the clips, pouring the batter, managed the clips, peeling the cooked letters) and the other to do the folding.. I like to do the making compared to the folding..
perfect end product.. in different shades
The initial few rounds would produced either burnt/spoiled ones.. it would either get stuck onto the clips (meaning the batter is too thick thus needs more coconut milk to dilute it), not form a proper love letter (meaning the batter is too diluted thus needs more glutinous flour) or burnt (meaning the heat had to be controlled more diligently or the clips be turned more frequently)..
failed product.. :p

We spent more than 12 hours making love letters.. used up 40 eggs, coconut milk from 6 coconut, N kg of sugar and M kg of glutinous flour.. (sorry, my mum did the measurements so I had no idea how much sugar and flour was used..) We made enough to give to my sister's friends and some relatives.. :) :) :)

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