Celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY) in a foreign country is pretty boring. There isn't any CNY atmosphere here. The day goes on as usual. There isn't any red lanterns hanging around, and there aren't any loud cheesy CNY songs playing in the background when you enter the shops. The only CNY-related event is the "Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Chinese Sauces" in Tesco and Morrisons, or the "10 pound meal deal" for Chinese food in M&S. Well, at least, they have us in mind.
CNY away from home also means missing the ang pows. And it would also be extremely difficult (or impossible) to savour the usual delicious goodies one can get back home.
I miss my grandmother's reunion dinner dishes. She would make a big pot of "ham choi" or preserved vegetable duck soup. Her "lo-bak" is to die for. "Lo-bak" is basically fried bean curd skin roll filled with pork. Then, her acar is so good....hmmm.... Thinking about them ismaking me hungry!
The other lovely thing about CNY is the traditional biscuits that we only eat during this festive period. Kuih kapit, peanut biscuit, kuih bangkit, spicy prawn roll, ribbon biscuits, pineapple tarts....I could really some right now!
So....because I'm missing home, and dreaming of all those goodies, I decided to usher in the Water Dragon New Year, by baking the famous Dragon biscuit. My mum managed to persuade my aunt to share her recipe. Her Dragon biscuit is, by far, the best I've ever tasted! She does make them to sell, and undoubtedly, they sell like hotcakes! Therefore, her recipe is super top-secret.
This is my first time baking the Dragon biscuit, and I was really enthusiastic. Halfway through mixing the dough, I realised that it is not as easy as it seems. It involved quite abit of mixing action with just a wooden spatula. My arms were aching, and I decided to use my fingers instead.
In order to get the dough to resemble a dragon, I have to put the dough into a piping bag and squeeze it out with a star-shaped nozzle. This is where I failed miserably! My dough was not soft enough to go through the nozzle! I decided to add a wee bit more of my leftover beaten egg to it....My dough became wetter, but I was still unable to squeeze it! I was frustrated. In the end, I used my fingers to try to create the "dragons." I also used red colouring to dot the eyes. And the result is ..........ttaa-daahhh.....
They look more like worms/snakes!! :(
I also made some squares, which definitely looked much better and pleasant! LOL.
Well, on a more positive note, they tasted quite yummy, but not as good as my aunt's. I think I will try a cookie press to squeeze the dough out next time!
I am pretty knackered now, having spent the whole afternoon baking these. The thought of going back to work tomorrow makes me even more tired!
Anywho, here's wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!