I always wonder why people go to so much effort buying new year goodies. We buy a little but the experience over the years was that our visitors tend not to bring just oranges but extra goodies as well. Not to mention gifts from neighbours and friends. We received two (2) kueh lapis, one big bag of bak kwa, assorted containers of kueh kueh.... on top of 2 boxes of oranges. Whilst it is nice to have surplus at new year the weight gain is a serious potential problem.
But the other question I have is why is it so necessary to expend precious hours standing in queue to get the bak kwa from Lim Chee Guan? I meant to go to the shop (can't rem the name) on East Coast Road, near my house (which is pretty good and I don't have to queue at all) but my aunt gave us a large packet ... so zero effort on my part. If I want Lim Chee Guan bak kwa, I go during the rest of the year when the queues are minimal.
Then there are the pineapple tarts. I was wondering whether to insert a pineapple tart recipe (from my Eurasian aunt) but the reality is that on East Coast Road there are pineapple tarts being sold at every other stall so it is probably better to just list the best sources of these delectable tarts. This year, I picked mine up at Glory on East Coast Road 2 days before CNY. Actually I forgot to buy them from Katong Antique Shop the previous week (that's when you want the quality of a homemade-by-little-old-nonya tart). Then I went to St Francis (again on East Coast Road) but they were out (for those who do not know, St Francis is not a shop run by the Catholic church. Malacca, together with Singapore and Penang, formed the Straits Settlements where the bigger peranakan communities developed. St Francis Xavier brought Catholicism to Southeast Asia, and is particularly associated with Malacca where his body rested for some time. Thus the name of the shop reflects the close association of Malacca with the Peranakan community). But I've no regrets - Glory makes a pretty mean pineapple tart despite being mass produced. The excuse I have for late purchase is that I need to buy my pineapple tarts as late as possible or else there may not be enough to serve visitors <'o'> I got my nonya agar from Glory as well since I was buying my tarts there. I ended up completely forgetting to serve it to visitors .... whoops. Guess I'll have to eat it all.