I went back home again for this year’s Chinese New Year for about a week. It was too short, but it was better than nothing. The price of the airfare from Jakarta to highly Chinese-populated cities was skyrocketing, but I count myself as well prepared because I booked the flight a couple of months ago. On my departure day the Soekarno-Hatta airport was crowded, but I arrived there quite early, so I had plenty of time to spent on a queue. I even bought breakfast in the airport which I later regretted because the price was unreasonably expensive. Ah.. they finally got me this time.
When I reached my home in Singkawang, my mom was busy cooking. She and I were later making Shumai dumpling (焼売) which were made of a mix of fish, shrimp, and chicken meat. Unfortunately the electricity went off 😦 Yeah.. the electricity still goes off from time to time in my hometown. It may be because the electricity supply is not enough or something goes wrong with the power station. The electricity came back on in about an hour or so, but in the mean time we used our own generator for our home need. Since we were making the dumpling outside of the house, I was also attacked by hungry mosquitoes. They were crazy hungry, and my legs were filled with red bumps left by the pesky insects’ bites. My dad helped me getting rid of them using an electric racket. Catching insects was one of his specialties 🙂
The next day I made some ice cream using fresh whipped cream I bought from a supermarket in Jakarta. I was a little bit worried if the whipped cream turned out bad because it was not refrigerated at all times as written on the carton’s instruction. I made the first batch using pineapple, and it didn’t turn out well. Somehow the ice cream had bitter aftertaste. I tried the whipped cream first before making the second batch. It was alright, so I shook off my worry and proceed making the red bean ice cream. I was quite satisfied with how the second batch turned out. My only complain was that the amount was too little, but my mom’s tiny individual containers helped to ‘multiply’ the ice cream. For the last batch, I used matcha (green tea powder) following the recipe from Cooking with Dog Video on Youtube. The taste was good, but the ice cream was a bit too icy probably because I mixed in too much milk. I would love to try again and make a better version of my own. And if I do, I’ll post the recipe and hopefully with a step-by step procedure.
The new year was filled with a lot of fireworks and firecrackers, food and drinks, laughter and love from families and friends. This year my middle school group friends gathered after 11 years although it wasn’t for long. A couple of them already have family and kids, which I think to be in a totally different world from my own. Still when we were together, it didn’t feel that we’re different at all. We all are still young at heart.
This time in Singkawang City, a miniature of the Great Wall was built and open for people during the Chinese New Year until the 15th day, I heard. Nothing like the real thing, of course, but I think it’s quite an achievement. The structure was made of wood, covered by sheets of printed stone layers. I met some of my dad’s friends when we were walking on the miniature, and they joked about conquering the Great Wall didn’t even take an hour. Besides the Great Wall miniature, there was a building filled with lanterns and a long dragon prepared for the 15th day. It makes me ponder about what people will do for next year. It’s going to be something to look forward to for next year.