since today was the chinese yuanxiao (lantern) festival, i made jiuniang for lunch with glutinous rice balls (tangyuan). i gave away all my old jars of homemade jiuniang, but i had a jar of unopened jiuniang i bought from the asian supermarket many years ago. after i opened the jar and gave it a taste test, it wasn't sweet at all, more alcoholic and slightly bitter. luckily there was still some fermented glutinous rice flavor, so i figured i could just add sugar to it.

next came time to make the glutinous rice balls. i found a recipe online that cooked a small piece of glutinous rice then added it to the dough to make it more pliable (since glutinous rice dough has a tendency to crack and split). i followed the recipe, reducing the portions by half: 150g of glutinous rice flour, 115g of water. unfortunately the dough was too dry and no matter what i made i couldn't make a dough, making a mess while i was at it. i decided to boil a small piece of dough (15g) then add it to the rest of the dough but it still wouldn't combined, until i kept on adding water, and finally had my dough.

originally i was going to make half plain and half pink rice balls, but decided to make purple ube flavored rice balls instead, with the ube flavor maureen sent me a few months ago. i added two drops. the smell of ube was strong as my hands were stained purple from the ube flavoring. i then rolled the dough into strips then cut them into nuggets before rolling two balls at a time in the palm of my hands.

i cooked an egg first, then added 4 large tablespoons of store bought jiuniang, followed by some rice balls, half a teaspoon of osmanthus syrup, and 2 teaspoon of sugar. the osmanthus syrup was old, and when i tasted it, i couldn't taste the osmanthus at all, plus it was salty, not at all sugary, but it was too late as i'd already added it to the jiuniang.

i finally ate by 2:15pm, took 1-1/2 hours from beginning to end to make this bowl of yuanxiao special ube jiuniang. as for the ube rice balls, there was no taste of ube, just the color. the jiuniang was okay, the best part were the rice balls, which had a hint of sweetness from the glutinous rice. i froze the rest of the leftover rice balls.

this afternoon i did some research on how my parents can apply for another pandemic-related small business grant. i also did some research on how to convert the cafe website to something more responsive using w3.css.

for dinner i heated up some leftover chinese dumplings i had in the freezer. went i went to take out the trash, i saw the full yuanxiao moon in the sky from the alleyway.