Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kuih Kapit (Love Letters) - Tribute to Penangites

Every year for the last 19 years I got to eat (in Penang) and 'ta pau' home to KL my favourite Chinese New Year cookie thanks to my god-sis-in-law. No reward for guessing what it is.

Crispy, paper thin and with the irresistible fragrance from a combo of eggs, santan (coconut milk), flour and sugar. It is easily everyone's favourite comes Chinese New Year. Very simple recipe. Cheap ingredients but the labour and skill factor applied are rather intensive. And because of these it is not easily duplicated by automation. Come CNY cottage industries will be operating in full-force a month and a half in advance fulfilling the pent-up demands of a year of deprivation.Popping each KK into the mouth is an easy and a no need to think exercise. It melts into a thousand bits, releasing the fragrance from the sum total of the ingredients formed in the fire of the grill.

We are enjoying the fruits of somebody's labour. Come heat, backache, neck ache, call of nature all these have to take a backseat to the charcoal grill and the cannot be stopped assembly line.
Exquisite KK is handmade piece by excruciating piece. This work is not for everyone. If you one can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. It's hot. I was struggling with the stifling heat.

But for the hardworking children, aunties and grandmas the sweat and hard work put in must be worth the returns. Each pop costs at least 15sen. Peanuts to some of us but for the hardworking souls behind the grill it is good money for the festivities ahead and some money to set aside for the rainy day. Now that's even-steven.

But for me its free all of the 19 years. For adding to my 'culinary' experience, I have one more reason to love my extended family in Penang.
The Assembly Line - One can handle 10 metal KK moulds. At the other end another to fold and store in the can.
Looks easy but it is rather difficult to handle the calipers! Only those with deft fingers please!The Folding and Packaging.A light press on the KK with the metal lid of can and another 10 seconds or so for the heat to dissipate before it goes inot the Milo can.

4 comments:

MODERN ROBINSON CRUSOE said...

yeah world windows...KK's definately a must-have for CNY not just penangites but for all chinese.....:D

worldwindows said...

Yes, the unforgettable smell of KK reels in all: hook, line and sinker! Thanks for dropping by.

New Kid on the Blog said...

nowadays it's not easy to find good kuih kapit ... and more over it's kinda expensive

worldwindows said...

Yes, its expensive as it is mostly handmade as machine made ones not really making the grade!