Air temperature drops gradually after the beginning of winter. In the Kaixin New Year Cake Workshop, Dabadun, Songjiadian Village, the fragrance of glutinous rice filled the air. The aroma of New Year cake in the chilly breeze is a smell peculiar to winter.
It remained dark outside at 4 o’clock in the morning. The shopkeeper Song Guosong and his wife Luo Kaimei already began to work on cake production. As smoke rose from the chimney, New Year cake made from new rice was “spit” out from the machine slowly. After being wetted in water, the cake was spread in the sun, shining with light. The nameplate on the gate of the New Year Cake Workshop, saying “Folk Talent”, is already old, but it has witnessed Song Guosong’s craftsmanship.
The oven-fresh cake flower is he embryonic form of rice cake, and it is very hot, but quite soft and chewy. After being pressed into strips and drained, it is placed on a bamboo shelf. Beside white original-flavor rice, there is also golden corn cake, which is as fragrant as both glutinous rice and coarse grains.
Speaking of rice making, Song Guosong says that it is really hard because even a very ordinary water-milled rice cake must be produced in about processes. After being washed, rice is soaked in water for a night. After water is drained, rice is ground. After sieving, the rice powder is put in a pot and steamed. Then, the cake flower must be placed in the machine immediately, and finally water is drained from cake. “Water-milled rice powder is very fine. Moreover, the last step is to drain water. Otherwise, the cake will not taste good,” said Luo Kaimei.
From Keqiao Daily dated 12/20/2021