Jillian R.
I made these more than two weeks ago, but due to procrastination, I never got around to writing this entry. Now, 2013 had rolled in and I just couldn't put it off any longer.

When I was a little girl, my family lived with my grandmother. Every year, before the Chinese Lantern Festival, my grandmother, mother, aunts, and us kids (my cousins and I) would get together in our big dining room and rolled tang yuan; which are glutinous rice balls. Because I could not make balls which were round, my mother made me leave the ones I made on one side of the tray so that she could "fix" mine later. I have fond memories of making tang yuan, because it was the time of the year when my father would take me to the lantern shop and I got to pick a new lantern. I suppose in a cooler climate, these lanterns could be reused the following year but in hot and humid South East Asia, the glass paper becomes out of shape quickly and we would have a really odd looking lantern after a few weeks. 

While some of the other kids in the family (my siblings included) used to get paper or battery-operated plastic (scoff!) ones, I always got proper wire-glass paper ones - because I was the eldest kid, so I guess, I knew not to drip candle wax on my hands...

(Glass Lantern. Picture Source: Flickr)

Anyway, every year, my mother still makes a small batch of tang yuan, but ever since moving out from my parents' house (4 years now), I haven't had any.

This year, I decided to be brave and make my own. After all, I think I am able to make round balls now...being 27 and all.

My rice balls ALL turned out shaped like footballs (the American kind!), and I had to press them slightly so make them round. I guess some things never change.

The balls were then boiled. When they floated, they were ready!

Tang yuan is usually served in a sweet syrup, but I thought I would try them with a little soy milk.

I eventually ran out of soy milk so I served it the traditional way. Not a bad first try I would say. Maybe next year I'll make some filled tang yuan. We'll see! 

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