Mid-autumn festival a.k.a Mooncake Festival: a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people, dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China’s Shang Dynasty. (Wikipedia, duh.)
The labour-intensity of mooncake-making has taken all the energy out of me. My 2 aunts and I must have made > 100 mooncakes today.
Mooncakes always bring back fond memories. Back in the day, my aunt used to sell mooncakes. I remember how the house would be transformed into a mooncake factory. Rows and rows of mooncakes were piled high on makeshift shelves. In the first few days of the mooncake making mayhem, the aroma would attract you. Soon, the attraction would turn into nostril-assault and finally, your sense of smell would be so over-stimulated that they no longer responded to anything mooncake-related. I can also remember the pain of accidentally driving staplers through my thumb while fastening plastic boxes due for delivery. Yeowch.
In case I’m making it sound like all work(/pain) and no play, I must set the record straight and tell you that the kids’ efforts were always rewarded with a generous meal after the festival. Having said that, the most tangible manifestation of the hard work was the new pieces of jewelery added to aunt’s collection annually. Yup, ‘nuff said.
Sweet & Sour Fish
Day 2 in Stavanger was spent making an arduous journey up Pulpit Rock. It was physically challenging but the view from the peak was priceless. I had a great time marveling at Creation’s beauty.
The first of our Chinese meals started with sweet and sour fish. I wish I knew the exact amount of ingredients used, but we all know that agar-agar (english translation: approximation) is the modus operandi in home cooking.
Tomato ketchup, a little dark vinegar, a little sugar, a little water, a lot of love…Yum. It was fun cooking with Mom and Aunty Jeannie despite us bickering about how the sauce should taste. That night, we made two batches of sauce. Aunty Jeannie and I like our sauce a little sweeter, Mom favours something more acidic. Since I was already given the task of frying the fish, I swiftly ejected myself from the
competition discussion. Mom’s prevailed. Sigh, women.
Today, I decided to make non-triangular wantons.