A Mooncake is Born

Driiiiing. The oven bell rang. Time to take out a batch of traditional mooncakes baked for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Cook Chan slurped the last of his breakfast noodles. Put on his tall baker's hat.

mc-chapter-01Swish SWISH, his wife's old rattan brush. Chan Tai was sweeping the bakery floor next door. "You and your Traditionals," she grumbled.

Cook Chan opened the oven door to pastries puffed warm and sweet. "We'd eat them in the park, my mother, my father, my sister and me. Gazing at a bright white moon."

Click CLICK. Chan Tai appeared through the bamboo bead curtain. "At least my Shanghai Pinks sell!" she said.

"Money again," said Cook Chan. He placed the baking tray on the hob then went out to fetch the day's delivery of flour, sugar and eggs.

The Traditionals introduced themselves to each other.

"I'm sweet and salty with a double duck egg heart," said Moony.

"My insides are lucky red," said Red Bean, filled with thick bean paste.

"I'm nutty as a fruitcake," said five-type Nutty, filled full of jokes.

"And I'm salty and oily as the South China Sea," said Suzhou Ham.

Close by, Chan Tai opened the fridge, and a gaggle of her Shanghai Pinks cried, "Me! Me!"

Chan Tai piled them into plastic containers then clicked through the bamboo curtain to restock the top shelf of the bakery window.

Pecan Pie had hung on the bakery wall for as long as anyone could remember. "You're all mooncakes, round and shiny as the moon," he called.

The moon? What was that? Moony tipped his body to catch his reflection in the baking tray.

"They're coming back!" called Pecan Pie.

In the kitchen, Cook Chan lovingly eased the Traditionals out of their moulds while Chan Tai sifted flour and cracked eggs.



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