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Sunday, February 7, 2010
It is exactly a week away from Chinese New Year. The air is bustling with anticipation.The market place, is packed with housewives trying to stock up meat, seafood etc. As I walked past the fishmonger stall, eyeing at the offer of fresh shrimps, scallops and shark's fins, I thought of my mother. I imagine that she would probably have already bought kilos of shrimps last week, wrapped them up in newspaper before chucking them in the freezer. Every year, we would argue with her, reasoning hopelessly that there is really no need to jam pack the fridge with food for :
1. Markets are so commercialised now,they will resume business on the 2nd or 3rd day after Chinese New Year. In any case, the main supermarkets are all staying opened. In the past, shops and stalls would really stay closed for almost a week.
2. As life becomes affluent, Chinese New Year is no longer the rare occassion where we feast. If anything else, we are overfed already, the focus should be placed on quality not quantity.
3. We are very certain than half of those food frozen in the freezer will be forgotten and end up in the rubbish chute.
Sigh. I think most of us would have the same issues with our mothers but at times, as I look at my own fridge and freezer, I fear, real heart-gripping fear, that I may be just as guilty of the faults I have been picking in my own mother.
As a result of which, instead of going out to buy more ingredients for e.g. that particular interesting pineapple tart recipe or that peanut cookie, I have decided to make do with what I already have in my fridge. Ramaging through my freezer, I have uncovered some 6 blocks of French butter, 3 tubs of fruit purees and a few small tubs of lemon peel. Hence, instead of the usual traditional CNY treats, I decided to make a Lemony variation of the Almond cookie using an Almod Snow Ball cookie recipe from yet again Keiko Ishida's Okashi.
Made with the lemon peel and a pure lemon oil (also sitting in my fridge) the end result is a tangy and rather refreshing cookie - a rather nice balance, I feel to the butter rich cookie.
I have packed these into plastic containers and am glad that they look presentable enough to be given away as treats....
Recipe (adapted from Keiko Ishida's Okashi) :
Pastry Flour 150g
Unsalted Butter 120g
Icing Sugar 50g
Salt a pinch
Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp
Lemon oil 1/2 tsp
Ground almonds 40g
Corn flour 10g
Candied lemon peel 25g (minced)
1. Using a cake mixer fitted with paddle mixer, cream butter with icing sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lemon oil.
2. Add sifted flour,corn flour and ground almond to the creamed butter and blend well at slow speed.
3. Add candied lemon peel.
4. Chill batter in chiller for 20mins and preheat oven to 160C.
5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out batter into balls.
6. Bake for 20mins at 160C. Remove from oven and cool down.
7. For those who enjoy a sweeter finish, these can be roll coated with powder sugar.