Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tang Yuan 汤圆 significant and receipe for sharing

Hi Hi,
this tang yuan 汤圆 receipe is for sharing with you and your family...

Wat's tat??
Tang yuan 汤圆 are round balls made from glutinous rice flour mixed with a small amount of water. It is then cooked and served in boiling water or sweet soup. Sometimes they have different feelings inside such as black sesame paste, lotus seed paste, red bean paste, chopped peanuts and sugar...

Tangyuan that has been filled with sweet or savory fillings are collectively known as yuan xiao (元宵; pinyin: yuán xiāo). or is locally known as "Ya Mu Ling".

How to cook??
There are different ways of cooking, in Guangdong and Taiwan, a sweeten soup is used; it can be either a soup made of sweetened red beans (Hongdou), or ginger and rock sugar.

when do we eat 汤圆?
It is commonly associated with the Chinese New Year, Latern Festival and Dong Zhi. But of cos, if you like, you can always eat Tang Yuan all year round (ready-made tang yuan are available at all major supermarkets)

Wat's Dong Zhi??
Dong Zhi is the thanksgiving of the Chinese calendar. "Dong Zhi" literally means "arrival of winter". Coinciding with the winter solstice, it is an occasion for the family to get together to celebrate the good year they have had. It occurs 6 weeks before Chinese New Year and would normally fall between 21st Dec and 23rd Dec. And Tang Yuan is indispensible during this festival.

The origin of Dong Zhi...
Winter solstice signifies the beginning of winter. The sun is at the Tropic of Capricorn and this results in the longest night of the year for those living in the northern hemisphere. The festival began as a farmer's festival to celebrate year-end harvest.

The significant 汤圆:
"Yuan" (literally meaning "round") signifies "yuan man" (complete) and Tang Yuan means "tuan yuan" (family reunion). Eating Tang Yuan is symbolic of family unity and family prosperity. For good luck, families prefer to have some pink tang yuan to mix with the white ones.

okay, after so much here comes the receipe... (makes about 500+ small rice balls) this is quick and easy method of cooking @ SILRA or for many many people

2 packets of Glutinous Rice flour (can consider Erawan Brand= 3 Xiang Pie=3 Elephant Brand)
-> 1 for white and 1 for pink
Red coloring (in powder form)

Filling: (ur choice, we use red bean)
Ready Made red bean paste (can be bought at baking shop)
Small amount of cooking oil / groundnut oil (for handling the paste)

Dried Tangerine Peel (optional, this brings out a slight bitter taste) or
Ye Tang (optional, this will create the soup with coconut smell)
Ginger (Clean and mashed, no need to remove skin thus need to ensure it is wash clean)
Pandan leaves (clean and knot to knot)
Black Sugar
Rock Sugar or white sugar (for sweetness - thus ur preference)
Water (2 pots - 1 for soup and 1 for cooking tang yuan)
1 pot of Cold water

1) Dough: Mix flour with water to form into firm but not sticky dough. Leave it cover with damp towel for half hour.
2) Mix the red coloring powder with small amount of water. Repeat Step 1 and pour in the red color mixture with water. Continue to mix till the color of dough is even (by now it will turn into pink color). Let it stand for half hour.
3) in the meantime, oiled your hands with oil to handle the red bean paste (to prevent paste from sticking your hands). Pinch / cut the paste into small pieces to roll into balls shape. (optional to shape into balls)
4) After the dough is rest for half hour, you may:-
a) pinch from there and roll into balls or
b) divide into 4 portions, each roll into long shape and divide into smaller pieces to form into balls shape
5) to add the filling, from either 4(a) or 4(b), flat the small portion of dough and add the pre-cut red bean paste. Cover the red-bean paste and roll into ball shape. Place it onto a floured plate.
6) Soup base: Add all soup base ingredients except sugar. Bring to a boil. (By this time, you will be able to smell the ginger and tangerine peel smell) Then add sugar to your tasting.
7) Bring a pot of water to boil, add the tang yuan. Also, place a pot of cold water next to you. The tang yuan will float when it is cooked. Remove the tang yuan with strainer and quickly place it into the cold water. This process is to stop the cooking of tangyuan.
8) Now you may place the cooked tang yuan (in even no.) into serving bowls and add soup to serve. (if you are cooking at home, you can put the cooked tang yuan into soup (for more flavor) and remove from fire quickly when boil if not the tangyuan will "break")
Sit back and enjoy your tang yuan.

Note: the above is the quick and easy method of homemade tangyuan..for my home cooking, we will normally prepare and cook the plain tang yuan the night before dong zhi. After cooking, we will "marinate" the plain tang yuan with lots of sugar and place in the fridge. This is done to make the tang yuan sweeter (thus it will not be so plain to eat, you may wish to separate out if any of your family member is diabetic).
When comes the next day morning, we will cook the soup (with no sugar or less) and add the sweeten tang yuan inside. Dish out and serve together with chopped peanuts & sugar (this is to coat the outside layer of plain tangyuan; oso to "cheat children to eat")

SILRA Homemade Tang Yuan

well well yesterday was quite a busy day for the residents of SILRA home. They had buffet for lunch sponsored by a corporate and buffet dinner by a christian grp.

leftover from lunch buffet and christmas carolling in the evening..

oso yesterday we were making "tang yuan" (red bean filling) in ginger soup. Always feel the enjoyment of doing things together in grp cos we will talk, laugh and crack sometimes stupid or cold jokes. This feeling is fun and is also the time where we find out how each of us is getting on..any HAPPENING things..maybe in short "gossip" muahaha

Tang Yuan - Work in progress and the finish product - ready for serving

For those interested to try your hands on "tang yuan", pls refer to the receipe posting...

Yesterday we oso have old friends like Poh Lern and Chella together with her 2 friends joining us yesterday..chella, pls take care okie.. :) oso somehow we found a Santarina @ SILRA thou not in her usual outfit..

Now you c her.. Now you dun...

Since u're reading the post rite now, pls note the following:-

1) Collection of spare red packets.. (no money inside) as we intend to make laterns together with elderly on 6 jan 2007.

2) if you have any idea on making the latern pls share with us.

3) Our Chinese New Year celebration is on 10 Feb 2007.

cheers as we usher into the new year..

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Volunteer Orientation @ NVPC

Its been almost 2 weeks to our recruitment @ NVPC. Let's have a recap on that nite...before tat let's hav a round of applause for the whole group who turned up after work to lend their support to the recruitment com for this event.

The following are some feedbacks received via NVPC when asked upon the participants about "Which part of the Volunteer Orientation Program did you enjoy the most? Why?"

--SILRA presentation and the tribute to volunteers--
--The presentation by SILRA. Informal and entertaining--
--The SILRA presentation and the overview as they weren't boring and were quite informative--
--Presentation by SILRA. It was nice seeing the smiles and the elderly faces through the things that the volunteers do--

Of cos we felt honoured and thanks for all your comments, we will keep up spreading the good work.....

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Once More

Well well...we are heading towards the end of Saturday once more..sigh why does ticking of clock doesn't stop like battery?? or is it ours is the "En*******" brand?? Hee..think its the time of year where we start to do our yearly reflections & reviews while setting new directions for the NEW YEAR.. so hav you start working out yours?? Well tomorrow, our committee will be mtg @ LY's place for planning out 2007's events and directions 2set our sails to..of cos will be chaired by our De Long.

talk abt 2day's service, we saw some familiar & new faces @ SILRA so happi..and YB gave us refresher course for Theraband exercise..One of the uncle is discharged and is back to SILRA..HURRAY!!!

our service went as per normal like most of the time. *sob* *sob* jus that today not many elderly wan to go out for walk think cos the sky look pretty gloomy. However we still managed to "charm" 5 elderly out. Guess wat we saw when step out of SILRA??

there is a stray kitten gently "meowing" to us when suddenly not sure its a he/she found a LIVE lizard and bite its tail then body with the "killer look" in the face staring back at us...yucks!! 1 of the volunteers almost vomitted..guess that's life out there..okie forget it let's look forward..

next week (16 Dec) is our last festival celebration - Dong Zhi (Winter Solace). time to make rice dumpling ("Sor Yi")..hmmm think the safest color to wear is either white or pink, think harder and you'll know y..muahaha!!! We will kick off at 11.30am @ SILRA and start serving at abt 2pm.

This year we will be having red bean paste filling (in white color) and plain (in pink) in ginger soup..come and have soup with us there...we will save some for you!!

ps: There will be other volunteer groups having christmas carolling in the morning and evening time next Saturday. So do join in the fun..

Friday, December 08, 2006

So Fast....

whao one week have jus whizz past and its Saturday in less than an hour...well think we can really say time flies.

and guess wat happen in 64 yrs ago? This day Singapore was bombed for the first time..

well tat's history we all know and we will need to move on....SO....tomorrow there will be some more new friends joining us @SILRA and we are arranging to meet at Ang Mo Kio MRT at 2pm.

This week we heard that there are 3 elderly hospitalised hope they will recover soon and join us back at SILRA =)

Sunday, December 03, 2006


hmmm yesterday was bright & sunny @ buangkok green..and we managed to make new friends with Chan and Veronica..They were on time (and yes some of us still on way there)

We brought them around the home and with a cup of "Anlene" milk, Veronica chatted with Uncle Ah Lim and Ah Cheok. On the other hand, Chan is engaged in a battle of wits with Uncle Ah Bar and tis brought in crowds to watch them battle in chinese chess..

Yesterday quite a no. of volunteers "kai jin kou", a rare sight... keep up the good voices... Oh we heard abt the visit by Dino and Faith on Fri...they were telling us the babies look so cute..and they keep on and on and on..

Oso our hope came true, we managed to bring some elderly for a short walk, exercise and singing jus a stone's throwaway from SILRA home before we head back and go to Tan Tock Seng for hospital visit...

e dinosaur 4amily - first outing

December 01, 2006

Its been more than a year since Dino & Faith last visited SILRA. Oh, they brought along their new additions in the Yeo family; Gracia and Chloe (going 2 months old in another few days). Yes, TWINS!! (c pic, its not mirror reflection hor!) of cos with the help of Irene and rented car, from cityspeed...its their (Gracia & Chloe) first step out of sembawang estate (besides @ clinics for injection)....

Heard that the nite before one of the baby very cranky and refused to sleep in the middle of the nite. ..

Anw all are surprised and happi to see the family of 4 (& irene) and the 3 adults are glad that elderly still remember them!! After chatting for a while and posing for pictures, they left for their next destination...

An extract from Dino's blog for sharing:
"At the clinic, we got a few attention. Even on the way to and from the clinic. Most frequent heard "Eh? Twins huh?" But that's nothing compare to the feeling of being a parent now. I used to see young couples carrying their baby and thinking, wow, wat a fortunate parents. And now, it's my turn. U know? The kind of feeling like, I'm a father now. I'm a daddy now. And I have to act tough to look like one too. And the funny thing is u feel great when shopping for drypers and milk powder. As if u r buying a pair of $200 Levi's jeans or the latest iPod model. Haha..."

Our heartfelt CONGRATS to Dino & Faith being the proud parents of Gracia & Chloe...=)

All photos with courtesy from dino&faith

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Today is the BIG day!!


today we are hoping to meet new friends who had attend Thurs recruitment @ NVPC.... We are meeting them @

Venue: Ang Mo Kio MRT Station Control
Time: 2.00pm

Today we will be having the honor of Vernon to teach and/or refresh us with "Wheelchair Handling" oso a bit of ice breaker from Zhen Ming as well...

Hopefully with today turnout, we can bring some elderly out for a short walk aroung the area. We havn't done this act for almost going 2 months... and we are being asked by our elderly..

Ah...kinda of embarrassing..hee to be asked...but guess they understand our situation too..cos this period is HOLIDAY thus not many of our volunteers are here..but "spiritually" guess they are with us..haha...

Tune in later for more updates on Today's event and a special highlight specially for U.