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Baby Food Bites, Issue #009 is here! -- The Shortest Month
February 01, 2016
Messy Issues, Bite-Sized Solutions
A free monthly resource of tips for making baby food, inspirational recipes and anything else related to babies or children!
Issue #009, 1st February 2016
"The jewel of the sky is the sun, the jewel of the house is the child."
In this issue:
1) The Shortest Month
The Shortest Month
Have you ever wondered why February is the shortest month of the year? Apparently, during the time of the Romans, January and February were the last two months to be added to the calendar, with February being the last month of the year. Every few years, February would be truncated to 23 or 24 days, and an intercalary month would be inserted immediately afterwards to realign the year with the seasons.
The subsequent Julian calendar abolished the intercalary month and repositioned February as the second month of the year. But it retained its shorter, 28-day length, in order to harmonise the lunar calendar with the seasons and solar calendar, with an extra day (Leap Day) inserted every four years, including this year, 2016. This is why we often see the Lunar New Year, commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, celebrated in late January or February.
As it happens, the Lunar New Year will be celebrated on 8th February 2016, when it will be the Year of the Monkey, according to Chinese custom. People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality. Whether or not you choose to believe this, may all the little monkeys to be born have a wonderful birthday and a healthy and blessed year ahead.
Making Baby Food Tips
Recipe: Baked Nian Gao with Red Bean Paste
As Chinese New Year falls on the 8th of February this year, here is a typical dish you can try. Nian gao, or sticky rice cake, is traditionally eaten during the new year festivities. While it can take on many variations – sweet or savoury – the recipe below is quite a popular one, as who can really resist something sweet and baked. ☺
This recipe yields approximately 35 bite-sized portions.
Preheat oven to 180C / 160C Fan. Lightly grease an oblong 9x13in (22x23cm) baking pan, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the red bean paste. Mix well until thoroughly incorporated.
Pour half of the mixture into the greased baking pan. Drop spoonfuls of red bean paste evenly all over. I like to first flatten the red bean paste with my fingers before layering it onto the mixture, which makes it easier to cover it fully.
Pour the remaining mixture over the red bean paste, and smooth it evenly across.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes until golden brown on top.
Remove, and cool sufficiently before cutting into small pieces and serving.
Now time to get back to the little ones! Thanks for stopping by.
See you soon,
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