The hope for better days… 

It’s Christmas, 2021 today and for all it’s worth, a very Blessed and Happy Christmas…

…from us…

…here in Sibu to all of you wherever you may be. Joy to the world!

It hasn’t been a very good year, has it? Just like last year, we joined the church service online – we are still #stayingsafe #stayingwell and #stayinghome, nothing much else that we can do other than to hope and pray for better days ahead.

I did not send any Christmas cards this year. Last year, I had some stamps in the house so I was able to send a few to the older ones in my family. I did not have to enter the small and crowded post office – I could just drop them into the post box outside. I can’t do that this year as I do not have any more stamps even though I still have a lot of Christmas cards, the ones that I bought and also those from the Mouth & Foot Artists. Hopefully, by this time next year, I can get back to my routine of sending a card to all and sundry – I must say that I did derive a lot of pleasure from doing that.

I received this Santa door sign via courier service from my cousin in KL and earlier this week, this lovely Christmas card…

…came in the mail from another cousin of mine in Kuching…

…thank you so much to her for keeping me and my family in her thoughts.

And just when I thought I shall not be getting anymore this year, another beautiful Christmas card came in yesterday, the one in the first photograph above, just in time for the joyous occasion. Thank you so much to all of you too, Uncle Paul, Auntie Irene and cousins Sabrina, Imelda and Jude in Kuching. At a time like this, it sure means a lot to know that there are people some place somewhere who are thinking of us and wishing us well.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the 21st of December, it was the Dongzhi or Winter Solstice Festival and everyone enjoyed eating the tang yuan (汤圆), the glutinous rice balls, that is.

I guess most people were having those colourful ones served in sweet syrup…

…and this year, I managed to get hold of a tub at our neighbourhood fruits and vegetables sundry shop in the next lane from my house…

…at only RM3.00 each. I never used to like these as they were always so chewy, so rubbery that they were very difficult to chew and to swallow, so much so that I felt like choking when eating the balls. However, these were really very nice – whoever made them did a really good job. I had no problem eating them plus the syrup had this lovely pandan (screwpine leaves) fragrance and was not really sweet.

At the same time, I also bought these…

…from the shop -the special flour mix and the crushed peanut.

I rolled the flour mix into balls…

…and dropped them into hot boiling water to cook. It is very easy actually – once, you see the balls floating up to the top, you would know they are ready.

I mixed the crushed peanut with a bit of low GI sugar in a bowl and once the balls were cooked, I fished them out of the water and drained them well before dropping them into the bowl…

…and coating them well with the peanut and the sugar.

All these years, somebody else would do the cooking, my late mum a long time ago and later, my missus or somebody would buy some from the wet market – I just ate. Of course I was mighty pleased with myself. I sure did a very good job…

…and everybody enjoyed the tang yuan that I made.

They say these peanut-coated ones are the Foochow version and I must say it is slowly gaining popularity – more and more people are saying that they prefer them like this. There is also the savoury Hakka version but looking at the photos, I am not sure whether I will like them that way, the plain chewy/rubbery balls and other ingredients in some clear soup. Well, if you have tried it before and you like it, do let us know in your comment below, thanks.

Well, New Year’s Day is just a week away. Fingers crossed, our prayers will be answered and our hope for better days ahead will come true! Let us pray!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

9 thoughts on “The hope for better days… ”

  1. This year I am having 2 version of tang yuan, Hakka and Foochow version and I must say that both are equally good. I am married to a Hakka and come this Dong Zhi every year my late MIL will cook this savoury version for the family. I learn from her and from then on it has been our family affair to have savoury version of tang yuan during Dong Zhi. The soup base is actually like kway teow tng, just that instead of putting kway teow you put tang yuan. I remember the first time I had it, I felt that if is not to my liking but as time goes on, I think I have acquire the taste and like it. Foochow version is what I call muah chee.. 😊😊.
    Lastly, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022 to you and your family. Let us pray for better days ahead. God Bless.

    Thank you and the same to you and yours. Yes, let’s pray hard that things will change for the better. It has been way too long!
    I did google to have a look at the savoury Hakka tang yuan and I thought I would love the soup – with all the ingredients, it looked like it would go well with noodles though I was not sure about having tang yuan in it.
    I do feel that tang yuan or muah chee or mochi are more or less the same thing – same glutinous rice flour used to make the chewy sticky balls like onde onde/kuih Melaka too. Some have filling inside and it is the same with tang yuan – I tried putting peanut butter in mine but it did not seem all that easy to do so I abandoned the idea in the end.

  2. Such colourful tang yuan. Never seen people selling this over here. Usually pink and white.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family. Hope new year is better and we are able to get through this well.

    Thanks, and yes, let us pray that things will be better soon, been too long!!! My cousin in Kuching bought a tub, RM4.50 and not so much, she said. Dunno how many colours.

  3. Wishing you and all at home a Merry and Blessed Christmas! I would prefer your dry style tang yuan rather than the usual one with syrup. If I am not careful, I could finish the whole container. LOL!

    Thank you! Me too, especially before but not anymore these days since I must watch my sugar intake. Sobsss!!!

  4. I hope you and your family had a good Christmas.
    Today, we are having turkey, gammon, Brussels sprouts, etc.

    Oh your dang yuang dumplings are so colourful than ours.
    We only have white and red ones.
    But I actually prefer ready made ones with black sesame filling inside.

    1. Thank you and a Blessed and Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones too!
      Yes, they sell those tang yuan with tau sar or whatever black filling at a nearby shop here. A cousin in Kuching bought those, said they were nice. Maybe I’d just buy those next year.
      I’d love turkey and gammon for Christmas but too much for just the three of us so we settled for something else instead.
      Turkey is available here, gammon ham, maybe once in a blue moon – nobody buying, I guess. No problem getting it in Kuching.

  5. Hope you had a lovely day. I wanted to go home to see my mum but the tickets are so expensive as well as all of the extras. With the rules changing so quickly I thought it better to wait than to risk it.

    Yes, better wait a while. It is all right if you are stuck at home with your mum, not on holiday somewhere!
    My cousin residing in Perth went on a cruise with her hubby before the outbreak in early 2020 and was stuck in Japan, so many cases on board and after what seemed like forever, they managed to get out of the ship and flew to Darwin and went home after being quarantined for sometime there. I don’t think she will ever want to go on a cruise ever again for the rest of her life.

  6. Somehow I missed this one! Happy Holidays. Yes…it’s been a another tough year. Fingers crossed 2022 will be a better one. I just LOVE the photos in that 2nd pic. How lovely!

    Let us pray! It’s New Year’s Eve here today – we’re a day ahead because of the International Date Line.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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