Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese love letters made the traditional way

I was snacking on some Chinese love letters while flipping through some old cookbooks in my collection and it was such a coincidence to come across this picture in the 1984 Female magazine receipe compilation. This was how old love letters were written, I mean made, over a hot charcoal stove in the backyard using a special mould while sitting on a stool. Burnt fingers were common as the cooked batter had to be rolled quickly before it hardened. Also made with its own traditional mould over a charcoal stove were little kueh buloh, sponge cakes that were soft and fragrant. Nowadays, these are made with electric moulds, less painstaking and convenient but charcoal does make a difference in terms of the taste. I just love the moulds of traditional cakes and treats and they form such an important part of our heritage. Such moulds include that for making ang koo kuehs, Chinese mooncakes, Kembang Goyang (rose shaped fritters), Peranakan apom Berkuah and more. A shopkeeper in Joo Chiat told me that traditional handmade moulds such as the stainless steel Roti Jala maker were getting harder to find as the people who made them were getting older. The beautiful thing about traditional moulds - it gets better with age after years of seasoning. An Indian friend of mine has a family modified Morokoo maker that makes the most wonderful Morookoo, thin and crispy. Isn't it great to start your own traditional family cooking heritage this way ? I 've heard of sisters who look forward to festive times to cook traditional kuehs as it is a special time for bonding. 

1 comment:

angeliris said...

Thought you might like this FB page that shares all the memories of the old Singapore