Time really flies. It's the Chinese Dumpling Festival again. But the festive mood is not like what I used to experience when I was a child. During that time, we only get to eat 'bak zhang' when the festival is round the corner and my mum would start making them. As a child, my sister and I would watch my mum make them. Unlike now, you can eat 'bak zhang' any time and the festival has lost its touch and meaning.
I think as I grow older, I begin to appreciate those traditional Chinese festivals and the preparation that go with them. I happened to buy the Food & Travel magazine and in it is a Nonya dumpling recipe. I bought a The Best of Festive Cooking book by Mrs Leong Yee Su and there's a Salted dumpling recipe in it. I looked at the recipes and thought to myself, "I can do it." and thus I decided to try to relieve those memories by making my own 'bak zhang' using those recipes.It sure is a lot of work. First from soaking the rice and leaves overnight to preparing and cooking the ingredients and finally wrapping them up and cooking them. I got up early to prepare and cook and got my mum and sister to come over in the afternoon to join in the fun of wrapping 'bak zhang'. I'm happy that my mum can still remember how to wrap them as my sister and I could not wrap them very nicely. Even my daughter, Amanda, joined in. We had fun.