Sunday, May 01, 2011

Pie tee and love letter makers, and assorted cooking equipment

What a fun time we had shopping in Malacca!  Our first stop (as always) was at the antique jewellery shop where we bought a couple of pieces.  But I'm saving the pictures for a future post so I'm not putting them here.

I also managed to get myself a pair of dancing shoes, custom made, at Ah Lan's on Heeren Street.  We visited Ah Lan's last year and then it was just a simple shop which sold shoes.  Now it has expanded its range to include some clothes as well.  This time, I decided to get a pair of dancing shoes made.  I am not exactly a ballroom dancer but I do need a nice pair of evening shoes and these fit the bill nicely.  Ordered on Friday, picked them up on Sunday.  Of course, we trawled the kasut manek shops to see what was current.  But since we make our own (or in my case, in the process of doing so) we did not buy any.

But the find of this trip had to be the cooking equipment shops in Kampong Jawa.  Now, the thing about nonya cooking is that it can require some special equipment.  For example, to make chendol you need a tray perforated  with holes so that you can push the gel through to form the jelly "worms".  Pie tee, on the other hand, requires a pie tee mould which is dipped into the batter and then into the hot oil.  Some of the kueh-kueh also have their own moulds (bangkit, bangkus etc).  Not all of this is easily found in Singapore and so  we thought we would take the opportunity to get this equipment in Malacca.

First stop: the concierge desk at our hotel.  That's when we found out that we were probably not the only ones looking for such things. They directed us quickly to Kampong Jawa and got us a taxi to take us there.  We wandered around and found a few shops with all the stuff we were looking for - and more!  Chendol trays, pie tee moulds, also love letter makers and jelly and apom moulds (featured in the photo on the left).

I must say that this was the first time I've ever seen some of these unusual pieces of cooking equipment, such as the love letter maker (see photo on the left) which are essentially tongs with a pair of disks at the end which have the pattern engraved on them.  I can't believe the amount of effort it takes - to pour the batter over the disks, holding them shut above a charcoal fire, opening up the disk and removing and rolling the love letters up into a roll.  It would not have been the job of just one person, but of a number of people dividing the work between them.  I can't see myself doing it, except that I once said that about pineapple tarts and now I turn up the nose at anything not home made!

Anyway, for the record, I didn't buy all these pieces. My friend did as she felt that some of these may not be available in future and it would be better to get them when she can.  I just got the pie tee maker and the chendol tray.  So maybe, there will be a future post on how I made use of them....

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