Wednesday, September 30, 2009


On the news today :-

"Port Dickson diisytihar Bandar Tentera Darat..."

Oh puh-lease...!!! How much more obvious can you get?

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Tahun ni banyak sungguh kuih raya, tapi aku kurang teruja nak makan sangat. Sebab, berbeza dengan tahun-tahun lepas, tahun ni semuanya 'kuih tunjuk'. Both the gas oven and the electric oven went bust, and no one bothered to send for repairs. Too bad lah.

Ever since I can remember, we've always made our own Raya cookies. Mom used to enlist me & sis to help 'terap' (using a cookie cutter) the cookie dough, and to put the 'mekap' - sapu telur, letak ceri, letak badam, tabur cornflakes etc - depending on the cookie recipe lah. When I was in college, mom 'retired'. So me & sis bercekang mata baking cookies after terawih sampai pukul 2-3 pagi.

We would try out new recipes, but we always have several biskut wajib di rumah ni - peanut cookies, dates roll, tea biscuit, semolina biscuit, and mom's special pineapple jam tart. Ada jugak buat kuih yang traditional, like samperit, buah redan, kuih gunting, kuih goyang, kacang tojen, bahulu, masa arwah nenek was still around.

Peanut cookies - easy peasy. Ground peanuts, sugar, flour and some peanut oil to bind all the ingredients. I suppose that's how the name 'Biskut Mazola' came around, tumpang nama oil tu.

Dates Roll is more complicated. Ada custard powder and powdered milk in the dough, which is rolled out, cut into strips and wrapped around slivers of dates, Then sapu telur and tabur crushed cornflakes on top. Yang leceh, the dough is so lembik and expands after baking, so kena buat kecik-kecik sebesar jari kelingking. Berchenta nak abih satu adunan pun.

I have no idea where Tea Biscuit got it's name, perhaps it was served for tea in it's country of origin? Mom got the recipe from her kakak ipar masa awal kahwin dulu, who got it from some mat saleh friend of hers. I really love this cookie. It's got cornflour and powdered milk in it, so it's quite garing and lemak, especially with a topping of finely ground almonds, yummy!

Semolina Biscuit is another easy peasy one, it's the first biscuit mom let me make by myself masa sekolah rendah lagi. Just the basic ingredients of butter, flour, sugar plus a dose of semolina. I love the crispy and grainy texture of this biscuit!

And then, the all-time favourite Pineapple Jam Tart. Mom has collected several tart recipes over the years, a different one for open-faced tart, lace tart, tart bentuk nenas, tart gulung. This one is really a favourite among our guests, satu adunan (about 100 pieces) is usually finished by second Raya.

We make our pineapple jam from scratch. Usually 3 or 4 pineapples are grated, mixed with sugar and cooked over a slow fire until the jam thickens. The aroma of the cooking jam wafting... mmm... menggoda betul time-time puasa tau. But I hated the process, lenguh tangan kacau jem, lama weh!

These days mostly orang buat tart gulung, where the dough is pushed trough a cookie press to form a strip, and rolled around some jam. It's easier to make and store. Ataupun tart bentuk nenas, where the jam is put in the middle of the dough, and the dough is snipped all over with the ends of a scissors to resemble pineapple skin. But personally, I like the open-faced ones. It used to be my job to drop a blob of jam into the depressed centre of the tart dough, and then to lay thin strips of dough criss-cross over the jam, so that it doesn't get messy when stored in stacks later on.

Alahai, too bad tahun ni aku takde buat kuih raya, tak dapat upload gambar...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Eidulfitri has not always been 'deeply meaningful' for me, with all due respects.

See, the traditional practice is to get up early, dress up, go to special Eid solat at the mosque, come home to a hearty breakfast. Then the customs of salam-salam "mohon ampun dan maaf, mohon halalkan etc etc", usually beginning with the wife (tearfully? usually) asking forgiveness from the man of the house, followed by her children (tearfully? sometimes) asking forgiveness from their father & mother, then younger siblings (tearfully? takdo yo) asking forgiveness from older siblings etc etc. And then kids get packets of duit raya, yay!

Well, my mom doesn't make that ritual a habit. I recall her doing that a few times when I was little, but that was a long time ago. So by now it's kinda awkward for all the rest of us to start doing it, kepimpinan melalui teladan y'all. Nuff said. The only ritual that I do every Eid is (together with my aunts & cousins) to always visit my grandparents at their final resting place, sedekah bacaan yassin & tidy the place up.

This year was nothing different. Pagi siapkan makanan sementara the guys pegi solat sunat, guests arrive, makan, pegi kubur, balik cuci pinggan sampai nak pengsan as more guests arrive, eat and happily pile up the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

Finally after maghrib, I met up with 2 old friends - figuratively and factually old, haha! These guys I've known for more than 15 years and being KLites, memang usually come to my house on first day Raya. But this year I was so not in the mood for festivities, that I suggested we met elsewhere. So that's how I came to spending my malam first Raya at an Old Town White Coffee outlet, drinking hazelnut white coffee and munching on roti bakar, talking crap and catching up with the latest... well, crap. Haha!

And just like that, my so-not-deeply-meaningful first day Raya, was gone.

Second day Raya morning - reheat the previous day's cooking, and wait for the next batch of guests... and the tsunami of dirty dishes that follows *sigh*.

I miss those days when he's sitting in a chair and I sit at his feet, I kiss his hands and asks for his forgiveness, and he strokes my hair and says to please forgive his mistakes too. To do all this dengan ikhlas, is so deeply touching, that you can feel old bad feelings just melt away, and you become the happy family again, heart full of love and and forgiveness. Now, Those were really meaningful Eids that I've ever had...

So if you are not really into all those salam-salam custom, it would be nice to start now with your own spouse and kids. Spend time reconnecting with relatives, instead of going shopping at One Utama or sitting & talking crap for a few hours in an Old Town White Coffee outlet on first Raya Aidilfitri.


Man, I can't believe it's been almost 3 months since the last update! Ni semua gara-gara Fesbuk!

Dari dulu lagi friends dok ajak masuk friendster, then facebook, but I wasn't too interested in so-called socializing online lah. Then my college alumni started calling around, talking about an upcoming reunion event, and "details available through facebook". And I started reconnecting with old-old frens, farmville-ing, doing quizzes etc. Hanyut blog aku.... hehe :-)

But somehow, I miss blogging, writing mostly mundane and inane stuff, but writing nonetheless. I hope to be able to set aside some time everyday to blog, even if no one else reads it.

Go girl!