Books that I read

Monday, June 18, 2012

Making Zongzi or chang

Zongzi, or Chang, is a special food that Chinese eats during the Dragon Boat festival. It is made with sticky rice that usually wrapped in pyramid-shaped with reed or bamboo leaves. I love eating zongzi, especially it is only available during the Dragon Boat festival, which is only once a year. In the past, where my mom will buy the chang from the market and I will happily eat it as much as I like. Sometimes my aunt will give us some of her homemade chang too. However these few years back I don't get to eat chang as much as I like. Why? The price of chang has increased so much that I will only buy few to eat, and still the filling is so little, far from satisfactory as compared to homemade chang. Last year, I was very lucky to get some homemade chang from Mamarazzi. And this year? I'm actually very lucky that I get a chance to learn to make the chang myself! 

When I get to know Mamarazzi has her change-making marathon started, good thing it is before my new job started, and after I just completed my freelance job, talking about just the right timing for me! 

Mamarazzi helped me buy all the ingredients needed, including marinating the meat for me. She also cooked the meat and mushroom, and fried the soaked glutinous rice with spices. So what I just need to do is to wrap them into chang. 

First, I have to learn to fold the bamboo leaves into con shape. Then fill it with the rice and other ingredients. Let me tell you, it's not that easy to make the leaves into con shape. But once I get the hang of it, it's not that difficult too.

Then wrap it to become pyramid shape and tie it tightly. 

And then put into a pot or rice cooker and cook for 2 hours.

These are all I get after 3 hours standing there wrapping the chang! Mamarazzi said me not bad because none of them burst inside the pot. Consider very good at a first timer. Hehe this is because I have good sifu here who shows me step-by-step and tips on how to wrap the chang. :D 

Before going home, Mamarazzi 'poison' me into making kee chang at home. Just need to soak the glutinous rice and bamboo leaves? Really that easy? Mamarazzi definitely know how to tempt me. LOL! Could not resist the temptation, I made the kee chang last weekend. :)

I soaked the bamboo leaves and glutinous rice the night before. Before I want to make the kee chang, add 2 tablespoons of the alkaline water to the soaked rice. Mamarazzi taught me to add some pandan leave into the kee chang to enhance the flavor. I make the simplest one, plain kee chang without any fillings.

After standing there for 3 hours, and additional 2 hours cooking time for 2nd batch, these are what I get. This time I was not so lucky, as without the fillings, the kee chang is smaller in size. Seems like I did not tie them tight enough. Quite a few kee chang bursting inside the pot during cooking. I managed to save some but still I lost about 3 of them.

Kee chang drizzled with honey, requested by hb. :D

As this is my very first attempt on making chang, I did not give to any friends, but only to family members. With the first experience, I know what I can improve next year. Though it's time consuming, but it's cheaper to make it myself and not to mention, I get to choose the fillings that I want to put. And not to mention I have improve on the wrapping too! Ok so I should not complain why it's so expensive outside, talking about the long hours and those kungfu on wrapping the chang. Hope next year I get to make more and better version that I can give away some to friends. Learn to make chang is always an item on my wish list for many years. Thank you Mamarazzi for making my wish come true! And this year, I get to eat the chang as many as I like. :D

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One Year Later

One year ago, I quit working full time. Since then on and off I took some freelance job on bookkeeping for some side income. I was not intended to quit working at all but due to hb's super long hours in his new job, I could not really go back to IT line. My initial plan was working towards flexi hours in year 2013 when Lynn enters primary 1. So quit working before 2013 was something unplanned.

Few months back, I stumbled upon a chance on a full time employment. Well it's not something in my plan, but seeing the opportunity to learn I thought maybe I can give it a try. The pay is much lower as I'll be a junior staff there. But as compared to my current unemployed status, it's still some small income to us. Better than nothing. :)

After so many years, now I'm back to a junior staff. Hehe. Do I mind? Not at all as long as I'm given opportunity to learn. I has a very interesting first day at work. As all seniors were out for a training, left only one junior staff for my department. There's another new staff together with me who started on the same day. So three of us had a very relaxing day at work. :)

I met the others in the following Monday. Throughout my more than 10 years of working experience, this is my 3rd full time job. A totally new environment for me. I has the smallest work station as compared to previous 2 jobs. Without compartment too so no privacy at all. No compartment is fine, but i really wish to have a larger table! I have to work on many files and documents at the same time, with the small table i really have to keep whatever I'm not referring away. The office is of old building and with all the cabinets it's not too spacious. I really salute my other colleagues who can work with stacks of files and papers on their equally small table!

And after so many years of smart casual wearing jeans to work, now I have to wear back office wear. Time to dig out those long sleeves and skirts from my wardrobe! Those are my working attire before getting married. Glad that I still can fit most of them, both tops and bottoms. And no one happier than my gal who loves to see her mommy wearing skirt. :)

New job starts at earlier time too. With the terrible traffic condition nowadays in the morning, I have to wake up earlier and leave the house before hb too. My body still adjusting to the new time to wake up. Besides getting myself ready, I have to get ready the breakfast for hb and kids too, which I have been doing all this while. So far I still manage to bake something at night before going to bed for our breakfast the following day. And just a week ago a friend passed us a bread maker that is left at the corner of his kitchen. It's a great help to me. Now we can have fresh homemade bread in the morning. Bye bye Gardenia and Massimo. :)

The colleagues in my department are all very nice people. I'm glad about that. I just hope I can cope and pick up as much as I can while I still can manage. It's good to be back to work again. :)
BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin