Eating sweetened tangyuan or onde-onde (in Bahasa Indonesia) during Chinese Winter Solstice Festival may become a yearly occurrence now. Before my parents moved close to me, I didn’t always remember to make onde-onde in the month of December; or sometimes I was too lazy to make some. But now, my mom is my motivation to make this something to look forward to every year. Celebrating one, if not all, traditional Chinese holidays means we are keeping our cultural heritage alives in the family.
My mom usually make sweet, syrupy broth from sugar, water, lots of ginger, and kaffir lime leaves. In some of the onde-onde, she’d put ground peanuts mixed in with sugar to form some kind of paste. Last night I helped her roll those balls, small and large; red, green, brown, and white, for us to eat today; my hands were sticky from the glutinous flour but I enjoyed it.
We all ate too much of the onde-onde but we didn’t mind it at all since we tried to eat them only once a year; though my mom sometimes break the tradition by making it again during winter time. When eaten hot, these onde-onde are so good; chewy, sweet, and a warming sustenance. Only my son who doesn’t quite like the texture of the onde-onde; nevertheless he loves the syrupy broth. I just hope he’ll still remember this moment when he’s grown up.