Friday, April 8, 2011

Keep cool the sweet way

                                        Picture taken from Women's Weekly, May 2009 Edition

The hot weather is here…!!!

Everyday around noon, the thought of getting into my sauna car that’s been out in the sun, is enough to make me think three to four times about driving out just to grab lunch. That’s because most likely before I’m able to start driving the car, I would have melted onto the floor mat.

So..., uuh.. have you ever seen anyone carry an umbrella from the house to the car just outside the gate? Or from the car to the coffee shop/restaurant, that is like 10 steps away. Well, I do that. Or if it’s much further than 10 steps, then you will see me scooting & darting from tree to tree or from shade to another shade.

We are now undergoing transition in the weather and temperature again. The rain seems to be fizzling off slowly but surely. And the heat will only get worse as we proceed further into 2011. Actually, I do not know anymore whether it's supposed to be hot or rainy weather now.

Anyway, when the weather turns hot and dry, nothing beats a sweet “cooling” drink (the Chinese prefers to call it cooling tea) to keep the heat at bay and to sweeten up the grumpy mood.. :-D

In most Chinese households, barley drink is normally served to cool heated bodies when the temperature rises. The idea is to maintain a correct balance of yin (cool) and yang (hot), and achieve a healthy equilibrium within the body.

In our modern busy life, we somehow seemed to have forgotten about those home brewed sweet cooling drinks that our moms used to make, and in its place, we now opt for everything instant. Like the “wong lo kat”or “air cap badak” (rhino something something in a bottle) sold by herbal shops/pharmacy or roadside vans, by those restaurants, which are pre-packed and mass produced. Even barley drink now comes in instant form, ie. in the form of powder, no longer boiled over the stove.

Perhaps it is time we slow down a bit and take some time to boil them ourselves. I am sure it will taste 1,000 times better.

Most cooling drinks need some hours of brewing/boiling and are sweetened with rock sugar or sugared winter melon strips to make them tastier. The rich brew would then be served either warm or cold. I just love them..!!!

Here are some of the more popular cooling sweet tea :

4) Buddha’s fruit (Luo han quo)

6) White fungus – double boiled pear, white fungus and red dates

So, stay cool and stay sweet!


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