Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Raya

Raya this year was a surprising bliss...Had so much to eat, so much to drink, made a few new friends, and had lotsa fun throughout the first week of the month of forgiveness and joy to us all...We tried starting out early this time, vowed to ourselves that this year would see us starting the day with the Raya prayers in the mosque...Usually we end up praying at home, as we also did this year...Too much to do in the morning...

I remember the days when Ayah was around, when he would set out really early in the morning, and brought home fresh lemang he bought on the way back home from the mosque...He'd then wake up his spoilt queen and princesses, to a beautifully layed out breakfast, comprising of my Mom's delish rendang we cooked the night earlier, heated up kuah kacang, and of course the lemang...After breakfast, we would then dress up for the day (in our baju raya, kasut raya, selendang raya and handbag raya of course), while he would be sitting at the dining, preparing the flowers for our visit to Mak's grandparents' and mom's burial chambers, our ritual first visit every year...Its always the same each year...After we've paid our solemn visit to the elders, our first chomping attack would be at Wan Chik's house...Next is Wan Long's, Wan Mah's and lastly Tok Joyah's...At night, we'd be busy preparing for the next day, for our annual Open House...

All the same till today, except that we have replaced Ayah's tasks (minus the prayers :p)...Raya this year was great, considering that a major tooth ache had attacked during the eve, and had taken away a bit of my raya mood...Thank God on the actual day itself, all was well...Too well in fact, that eating this year took on the next level of humanity...5 houses during the first day, and whole lot of gorging during our own Open House and a few more occasions during the week...My fave as always would be ketupat, with a dash of kuah kacang and lotsa rendang...Mak's Pakistani Beriani was excellent as always...We also tried out Nona's Ketupat Palas (instant ketupat palas), and I should say that it is not bad at all, but with a little recommendation though...Cook it with 1/3 lesser water than the label shows...Makes a whole lot of difference...

My idea of my fav baju raya for this year goes well with the season's 'in' colour, as Miss Nelly puts it (black, grey or red, rite?)...Its a traditional Hot Red Thai silk baju kurung (silk bought at its origin, Bangkok, during a trip with my girlfriends last year), accesorised with large beaded brown necklace I bought at the Mont Kiara Bazaar (bloody cheap and gorgeous) and bronze slippers from Vincci...Not bad aye...The other baju kurungs (another 2) are both ready-mades...One is pink (!!!), another yellow...

This year, sis and I are planning for an Open House for friends only, somewhere in the middle of the month...Still in planning of what to serve, but so far, Beriani is in the list...Wonder how the turnup will be like...This would be my second time hosting such event, last year being the first...Last year's Nasi Lemak and Roast Chicken was a success...Turnup was just OK, but the ones that actually made it were happy with the food...Cooks are happiest when their guests devour to the last drop...This year, my guests consist of my bestfriends (of UTP and St. Mary) and selected few from office ...My dream is to invite so many more people to come, but that notion has to wait till I get a house of my own though...

Though everything seems nice and rosy, I know that I really miss the people and times that has always made my Raya more meaningful with their presence...

I miss Ayah...
I miss Tok...
I miss Nik...
I miss Norleen...
I miss the Kak Dudi I grew up with and playing dorky with her like we used to...
I miss the simple times I had with my friends during the puasa months in UTP...
I miss my first time Raya hopping through Melaka, Port Dickson and Johor with Norleen and the guys from UTP...
I miss getting Ang Pow from everyone...

I'm blabbering...Ciao

reminder to self: 1. get Mak's recipe for the Beriani! 2.invite my friends to my open house

Monday, October 09, 2006

Recipe 3: Easy and Tasty Begedil (Potato and Meat Patties)

It depends on how many you need, but this recipe makes about 20 pieces of 2" begedil. Happy indulging!

Ingredients:
A (to mix)
1/2 kg potatoes
200g minced beef
2 large onions (chopped)
a handful of chopped celery leaves (daun sup)
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper to taste

B (for coating)
2 eggs (beaten and salt added to taste)
1 bowl of flour

Method:
1. Boil potatoes until very tender to mash. Peel and mash in a large bowl.

2. Mix well with all the other A ingredients. Form mixture into 2" patties and coat with flour.
3. Heat a deep frying wok with cooking oil.
4. Coat patties with eggs and fry on slow fire till lightly browned.

Tips:
1. Eat it while it's hot! I was fasting the other day when I made this, so just reheat in the microwave for that extra umph!

Yummy with: Steaming hot rice. Also can be taken with bread and mayo (like my sis did), just like a burger.

Weekend Blizzard

Last weekend must have been one of the fastest finishing weekends of my life! I'm still in my Sunday mode. My physique may be in the office (no choice) but my soul is definitely at home, on my bed, under the comfy covers. *sigh*

Anyway, the weekend started pretty bad. Had a take-away from the office cafeteria (as always) comprising of a few kuihs, and 4 lame and pathetic begedil (potato and meat patties), just additions to what Mak has cooked at home. Why lame? Because it is supposed to have both potatoes and meat, but I could only find potatoes and some overcooked fried onions in them. Yuck! I vowed there and then that I' be making the begedil on Sunday, and yup I did. The cooking was a flash, and I'm proud to share it.

Saturday, I woke up with a start, coz we had a knock on the door, telling us that a close neighbor had passed away.Innalillah Wainnailaihirrajiun...We dressed and got there just in time to recite Yasin, and burial was done thereafter. Miss Ayah. We said our goodbyes to the family, and headed straight to Carrefour for my begedil ingredients and some baby girfts for a cousin's new baby (Abang Is's and Kak Nana's baby girl). Iftar was all the way in PJ's Syed Restaurant. Had their famous Nasi Beriani Bukhara. Nice...


Sunday, woke up happily late, and shot off with my sistas to Zhulian (purchase my first customers orders) and the Bazaar at Plaza Mont Kiara. The Bazaar was fantastic. I got what I needed - beaded necklace for my oh-so-plain baju kurung raya, and a Tiffany bracelet (the tipu version, of course) for my lil sis. Lawa...Rushed home afterwards to start on my begedil, and at 6, we shot off again, this time to my sis's place for Iftar. Nasi Ayam. My fav. Went really well with my begedil too. So all in all, the weekend was great, but too short. Tomoro's another great day! Its aaa holiday...!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hobbies Wobblies

Just last week, I had a friendly tongue slash with a few friends in the office on the topic of hobbies. I always thought that hobbies would be anything, as long as you do it in your spare time. Up until then, I've always considered reading, cooking and travelling as my idea of hobbies. This is what I came up with while checking out the Wikipedia.

"Hobbies are practised for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include collecting, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge, and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim. What are hobbies for some people are professions for others: a game tester may enjoy cooking as a hobby, while a professional chef might enjoy playing (and helping to debug) computer games. Generally speaking, the person who does something for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional. An important determinant of what is considered a hobby, as distinct from a profession (beyond the lack of remuneration), is probably how easy it is to make a living at the activity. Almost no one can make a living at cigarette card or stamp collecting, but many people find it enjoyable; so it is commonly regarded as a hobby."

That proves that cooking and travelling may be a hobby, but I felt challenged yet again, so I'm thinking really hard about what I can pick up at this age and time, so as to not fall into the circle of people with 'meaningless lives'. The challenge to my lame idea of hobbies were things like guitar, scuba, golf etc. I had once known a person who thinks that watching TV is a hobby, and I seriously was against that as one, and yet even I don't have a solid hobby of my own. LOSER!

reminder to self: start something by this week!

Read...Read...Read...

I've recently started back my reading momentum that I've dumped a few months back, thanks to dear Nique who had lent me her books while packing for UK a month back. I finished both books; Everyone Worth Knowing and Pride, Prejudice and Jasmine Field within a few weeks. And now I'm addicted to chic-flicks (is that how you spell it?). I've always admired Sex and The City the series, and have always awed at all these feminist-like fables that I see in each of its characters. Carrie being my fav. In both the books, you could find the familiar humor, setting and style of writing. I love the books so much that I bought my own book (which I have not done for quite a while) by the same author of the former, called The Devil Wears Prada. Its movie version is now in cinema. Jom Bardaques!!!Let's make it on a weekend so that we can watch movie during the day, and berbuka together afterwards. 14th October as suggested by Nellie is a OK for me!

Food Place of the Week 1

I had a really good weekend, and had an even better ending to it, thanks to a dear friend whom I accidentally met last night. Its been about 2 years since I met Wahidah and hubby, Naler. They looked just as how I left them, but Wahidah managed to gain a few inches on the waist, happily carrying a baby, due by the end of the month. She really looks good, radiant in fact. Hope for the best for them both, and may they be blessed with a beautiful baby girl or boy. I'm sure...

Saturday was total relaxation day. Woke up really late, dressed up really slowly, and headed straight to Ikea. We received their catalogue a few weeks back, on their 2006-2007 items, plus a Ramadhan promotion on food. I must say that it is definitely too good a deal for my money. The buffet is running at just RM15.90+ and the food was really good. For the main course, there was Nasi Minyak, Nasi Putih, Meehoon Goreng (mind you, with fresh prawns), Rendang Tok, Terubuk Bakar, Beef Stew, Ayam Kalio and Pucuk Paku Masak Lemak. And of course there was the side dishes. They have all the appetisers of Malaysia, including Tempoyak, Budu, Cencalok, Sambal Mangga, Sambal Belacan, Air Asam, Ikan Masin, Telor masin, a few types of Kerabu, Keropok and the list goes on and on...For dessert, my fav was the Apple and Almond Flan, Carrot Cake, lotsa Jell-o with cream, some Malay kuih and fruits. Drinks range from Teh Tarik, Fruit Juices, Chocolate Milk, Soybean Milk and Water. Isn't that yummy? They change their food daily, but the same level could be expected each time. The food counters open at 6.30pm to 8.30pm, but the line for payment starts at about 6pm, so we were lucky that we arrived early. A really comfy surau is also of great convenience, since it is just next to the food court area. I'd give this place 4 stars for its facilities and the food.

Sunday saw me shopping, shopping, shopping...And I also had time to create a chicken dish that have yet to be named. Lets see...