Thursday, October 30, 2008

What we did last weekend

The last round of open houses are finally over and done with.
Saturday was my Along's open house. By unwritten and unspoken agreement, my sisters and I back each other up during our respective house functions. The host gets to entertain her guests, and the other sisters make sure that the buffet table is always replenished. That way the host doesn't have to worry if her gulais and lemang and nasi impit and satay and mee kari are running low. She knows my Angah, SIL and I will be going around from kitchen to table to make sure everything is topped up. Along just mingles with her guests. My Bro-in-law, whom we call Bang Rong, also had his siblings and they helped out too. Mid way through the afternoon, we ran out of fried chicken. Luckily our chicken man from the market was still at his store and he quickly hopped on his motor and delivered what was left of his stock for the day (it was already 1pm by then). Chickenman saved the day! The rest of the day was a blur of more guests and more replenishing. We left her place after maghrib just as the last couple were about to eat. By then her kitchen was already clear and all that was required was to clean the stuff on the dining table.
On Sunday, we went to my aunt and our surau's Imam's. Later that night, amazing A went over to my sister's house to pick up precious Chik (who had followed his cousins to their house after my Aunt's place) and to watch the Liverpool-Chelsea game. He came back a happy man with Liverpool beatng Chelsea!
On Monday we hosted some of precious Girl's friends. And later in the afternoon, we had a few good friends of ours come over for tea. I cooked lodeh, nasi impit, mee kungfu, mee tulang and baked cupcakes. We had some lemang and chicken rendang from my Along's place. And my angah came with her family bearing divine chocolate chip croissant (instead of regular bread) pudding! By the time everyone left it was nearly maghrib and we were all exhausted but very happy.
Now to head back to the gym to burn all that raya food....

ps: oh no! it's not over! We've been invited to a "majlis hari raya" this sunday! Where got syawal lagi.. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This past month....

Where do i begin....
It's been almost a month since I wrote anything and what a month it has been. So where do i begin. At the beginning is a good place as any i suppose, so here goes..
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri was fun and hectic. It started for us on the malam raya where after the last buka at precious 4's Uwan and Atok's house, we had the takbir group come by. This year saw a few new faces and a crowd of about 45 men and boys, larger than what we've had for a number of years, alhamdulilah. Since Uwan was still not well, for the first time, the task of preparing the takbir meal was put on the girls' shoulders. We served mee kungfu (cooked by me!) and the usual rendang, lemang, nasi impit and kuah kacang. Then all the boy cucus followed their Atok and dads takbir, which ended at 11pm. First day Raya was spent first at Uwan and Atok's, then at Tok Ma and Tok Pa's, then back at Uwan and Atok's and finally ended the night at Tok Ma and Tok Pa's. We stayed till past 10pm, after we all talked to A's sister and nephew, who are spending raya in Wales, via skype. Ahhh, the wonders of technology.
The rest of raya week was spent visiting relatives. This year we didn't go back to kampung in N9 since Uwan couldn't take the journey. In fact we had to check her into a hotel for 3 days to let her rest and keep her from having to entertain people who wanted to visit. Alhamdulilah, this week, she's finally feeling a bit better and more mobile.
Then came PMR.
Precious girls's PMR exams began a week after school reopened. She opted not to go visiting much during raya and only followed us when we went to our parents' siblings homes ie sedara terdekat. The rest of the time, she was ensconced in her room. The exams were "not bad" according to her. Mama can just contribute numerous and countless doas. InsyaAllah all will be well. On the last day of her exam, which finished at 9.30am, we took her out for breakfast at her favourite kopitiam. Two of her aunties and some of her cousins tagged along. Then we went to her favourite store - BORDERS! She bought 3 books to add to her stack of books waiting to be read after PMR and after lunch we had a girlie movie date watching Mamma Mia with another aunt and her girl cousins. Nowadays, she's catching up on her reading and her online mangga series!
In between, we had our share of the flu and coughs. Precious J had a bad time with severe tonsillitis which required 2 doses of antibiotics. Unfortunately he developed an allergy reaction to the first dose of penicillin and was covered in a rash! The doctor switched his medication and alhamdulillah he's doing great now.
I've been busy for the past 2 weeks with the primary school magazine. Some of us volunteered to help the school publish the yearbook (this is the 2nd year of publication) and have been going to school to organise the photo shoots. Then worked on the proof reading. It looks really nice. The moms who are graphic designers working on the layout really did a great job. Not your run-of-the-mill school magazine. Next week we'll be setting up the booth in school to collect the orders.
This week is the boys' final exams. Come friday we'll be about done with exams this year, save for if precious Abang gets selected for boarding school. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
This weekend is again filled with more visiting. Precious Girl wants to invite some friends over, so mama is figuring out the menu. And Precious Abang and Chik want to tumpang sekaki. So more kids! Time to go to the supermarket. Be back soon...

Monday, September 29, 2008

The end of Ramadhan and the start of syawal is near

How fast time flies. Ramadhan is almost at it's end and the raya mood is all around. Whilst I look forward to the raya celebration and the catching up with relatives and old friends, I'm always a little sad for Ramadhan to end. It's such a special month and it'll be another year before we meet again, insyaAllah.

The raya perparations are in full swing. Balik kampung for us is here in Petaling Jaya. Both my parents and my in-laws are here. In fact they live less than a km from each other, straight road, with one set of traffic lights in between. First day raya is an up-down-up-down day for us as we shuttle between the two homes!

This year, preparations at my parents (Uwan & Atok to the precious 4) are a little subduded. Uwan hurt her back a few days ago and can hardly move for the pain. Have taken her to the doctors and rest is the main remedy. So we've told her that she can only be mandor. Have been going to the pasar for her these past two days. Tomorrow, together with the precious 4 and Kak P, our helper, we'll be going to vacumm and lap tigkap the whole house for them. I think Atok might even get the precious boys to help him paint the pagar.

Baju raya all washed and ironed waiting to be worn come 1st Syawal. Had to get new baju melayu for the precious boys this year as they've outgrown last years', especially Abang, who's now only 2 sizes smaller than his Papa. Went to Wisma Yakin to get them. Same shop we've been going to for the past 10 years, if not more. InsyaAllah, we'll all be in blue. Precious Girl and her mama's baju was ready a month before Ramadhan. A ploy to get the tailor to finish the baju without rushing and also to spread the ringgit outfllow ;-)

After Raya, it'll be PMR, so precious Girl is not celebrating just yet ;-). But come malam Raya, we'll all be at Uwan & Atok's for the annual neighbourhood takbir rounds and a spot of bunga api. Ahh... definitely something to look forward to each year.

I'd like to say "take care" to those who are gracious enough to come to this blog, and have a happy holiday.

To my Muslim friends in blogland, Selamat menyambut Aidil Fitri. Pohon maaf zahir dan batin.

image from :

Monday, September 15, 2008

15 Ramadhan

In our household, we celebrate two birthdays...(bestnye, someone said), date based on the gregorian calender and the islamic calender. Today, 15 Ramadhan is Abang's hijriah birth date. He turns 13 today. Quite the young man and every bit the "Abang".

Abang was born with much fan fare. Girl was so excited to get a little brother. When my waters broke just as A was having his break fast, Girl quickly ran upstairs and got a pillow for me. She put it on the floor and told me to lie down. "Baby nak keluar Mama, cepatlah baring!" This from a 3 year old girl! Must be those pictures in the Mirriam Stoppard books. We waited for Tok Ma to come pick Girl and Kak P (who was our helper at that time, and still is now, albeit after 2 breaks home for her - another story for another day) and A and I left for the hospital. Abang arrived after only about 1 hour of hard labour (!!), a relatively easy delivery at 1:08am. He is cucu #6 on my side (making up an even 3 boys and 3 girls) and cucu #8 on A's side (and only the 2nd boy cucu after 6 years of girls). Girl was having chicken pox at the time so we didn't stay in the hospital too long. He's also the first baby to come home to our own house as Girl was born when we were still living in my parents house.

Today, Abang is slightly taller than mama (although this isn't too difficult a task as Mama is vertically challanged) and is fast catching up to his papa. He just completed his UPSR and is looking forward to going to boarding school next year [ :-( ]. Mama prays that Allah guides him down the best path for him.

Abang is into sports. He plays soccer for his school, touch rugby for school and district, is a Pum in taekwando (pre black belt as you have to be 16 to be a black belt) and was the olahragawan for this year's sports day with 5 golds and 1 silver. Alhamdulillah. He supports the Manchester United football team and frequently gets into arguments with mama and papa who are die hard Liverpool fans.. hee hee hee.

He's a good boy and mama is proud of him and is humbled by the responsibility of raising this precious young man. May Allah keep him in His blessings always, and may his Iman always be strong, his heart pure, his mind sharp, his life long and fruitful and may he always be among the solehin. Amin.

Happy birthday precious Abang.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Abang starts his UPSR exams tommorrow.

InsyaAllah all will be well. Mama prays that Allah will terangkan hati, tajamkan fikiran, tenangkan perasaan so that Abang can achieve the very best. Amin.

Good luck to all the UPSR candidates out there... and to their mamas too.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Apam Ice Cream

As long as I can remember, I've liked this version of the apam family. The one that is not so airy, is colourful and is made with ice cream soda (as my Mak would tell us) hence the name with which we referred it to. My mak used to make it, and sometimes one of her "mak angkat"s would make it for us too. (One, whom we called Tok, was from Johor and was a great cook. I still remember her "roti kukus pintal colour colour")

For the past 3 or 4 years, my sis-in-law (SIL) and I would drive to the pasar ramadhan in USJ to look for the stall that sells this apam. They only sell it during ramadhan and it was one of the nicest versions we've had. (I know of a stall in Kelana Jaya that sells it all year round but their version is too sweet for me) We'd walk up and down all the stalls looking for this particular stall and once found, the excitement is quite something else! We'd usually walk away with a few bags of 10 pieces, to be sent to the other siblings' homes yang also suka tapi tak rajin nak gi cari. Once a year we'll satisfy our apam ice cream craving.

But this year is a different story. Thanks to a good friend, Z, I got a recipe that works! And after some trials and error (I'll explain this in a while) the result is now one that I'm happy with. I made this batch for buka puasa on the first day of ramadhan, and since we had our iftar at my parents home, all the siblings and mak and ayah pun dapat merasa sama without having to send to the individual houses. The verdict : nicer that the bought ones! Yay!

Here's the recipe if ever any of my precious 4 want to try it (and to anyone else that stumbles upon this blog)

3 cups of plain flour
1 cup of caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon of Quick 75 (you can get this at the baking section of most supermarkets)
1 teaspoon of rose essence
1 cup ice cream soda
colouring (I use green and red)

Put the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl ready to mix. Then last of all put in the ice cream soda. This is important. If you put in the ice cream soda in between the other ingredients, for some reason the batter with be like putty ie. likat sampai tak boleh nak pukul. I killed my food processor doing this as the motor overheated from trying to beat the stuff. So remember to put the ice cream soda last then beat (in my case, with a hand mixer since old trusty processor is still dead) until it forms a smooth paste. Divide the batter into three and colour two of the bowls. (I like my apam pastel in colour so I don't put too much of the colouring) Then fill in your cups (I used small cupcake cups) up to 2/3 full with the three colours and place them in the steamer. (I put my cups in the tray first so that it'll keep the shape). Steam for 10 minutes and wallah! you get apam ice cream!

It's easy to make. This batch gave me 60 small apams, so the neighbours got some, my mom in law got some and the rest was finished off by my family. I think my mak alone ate 5!

That made me really happy!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadhan Al Mubarak

Alhamdulillah! Another Ramadhan has arrived and insyaallah, we are able to rejoice in the blessings of this glorious month.

May we be included among the people who are granted Lailatul Qadr', Amin.

Have a blessed Ramadhan