Monday, March 16, 2009

My weekend again

My good friend Yasmin enlisted our help to support a move by her daughter’s kindie to collect money for charity. The kindie organized a sale carnival (or something like that), setting up booths for a small fee, which will be donated.

Yasmin, Melia and myself decided to take two stalls. One, predictably to sell food (what else ?) and the other one, a brainchild of Amelia, a games’ booth. For a small fee, children would have the opportunity to play 3 games.

Luckily I still have the Pin The Tail On The Donkey kit from Arif’s last birthday. I also confirmed that I have a dart set. Amelia said she will bring Amir’s Make And Break.

Friday, posters were printed and lists for groceries were made. But all of us working mum’s were busy. Min said she could only nip to Tesco’s after work. I went to Giant earlier to start the shopping but only came home with tomatoes and sausages. Giant was out of minced beef and I have forgotten the pasta. And the sticks for the sausages.

Went home in search for a chocolate pudding recipe. I promised Min that I would come out with desserts too. Couldn’t find it. In truth, I have lost a quite significant amount of much treasured recipe books and talking bout it still hurts. Not finding a recipe while I need it most hurts even more.

Min came to my house at 10 pm. “Semua nak buat tapi masanya tak dak…” She complained. He he… so true, Min but we try our best, kan ? You get A for effort, Min…

I started the Bolognese immediately. Done by 11.30, woke up my partner who was sprawled on the sofa waiting for me and slept as soon as my head touched the pillows. Woke up early morning to find errrmm… I couldn’t find the darts !! Macamana ni ?

Put my biggest pot on the stove for the pasta and heated up the sauce. Grabbed Zingo to replace the darts and gave the whole lot to Min and Farid. Unfortunately my big pot could only fit 1 ½ packets of spaghetti. Could squeeze in more, but pasta has to be cooked in loads of boiling water so no deal.

Neti helped me to stick the err…. satay sticks in the sausages, wrapped them up nicely and we sped on to Pusat Islam. We were already 30 minutes late. The table looked so empty with just 2 items and a quick look at other tables confirmed my worry.

Went to check on Amelia. She and Atirah were still setting up the table and everything looked okay. Managed to persuade a girl to try the games but after she left and I started walking to Min’s I wondered if she actually paid. He he…

Noticed that apart from a booth selling blended coffee and mineral water, there were no other beverages on offer. Discussed with Min and so after I sent my kiddies to piano class, nipped to Giant and bought air kotak. Since Shah Alam Mall is just across the street to the Pusat Islam, I walked the distance. Dropped the air kotak twice. Ha ha…

Met with a harried and tensed Yasmin. Not enough supply !! Demand too high. I walked back to Shah Alam Mall quickly. Yasmin called en-route. Apparently Farid saw me walking and Min was horrified. After explaining the situation she calmed down. Deposited my kids to their art class and raced home. Cooked another 1 ½ packs of spaghetti and cleared the kitchen. Received an sms from Yasmin saying all the pastas were gone and people actually placed orders !! That was when I despaired why I didn’t have bigger pots.

Raced back to Pusat Islam and the food was gone under 45 minutes.

Went to check on Amelia and Atirah and what a sight to behold !! They were swarmed with kids !! I had to help out some !! Amelia said she wasn’t sure all the participants made payments but she accepted them none-the-less. It was excellent. Some parents left their children with her to shop and she had to console a wailing little girl because she wanted to play again !!

At the end I was glad because both of our booths were a success. This was our first time so it was a bit disorganized but we aim to do better next year with careful planning !!

Yeah !!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I remember when

Lately when we were stumped for what to eat, Babah and I would settle for a simple fare of fried egg sandwiches. We started this faze about 3 months ago, after not having it at all for a good few years. Seriously I don’t remember eating it altogether during my adult years ! Hmmm…..

Therefore I was rather surprised how comforting the first bite was to me. It made me feel safe.

I suppose it is because my family is also rather fond of this dish. Usually a favourite if Mummy was too tired too cook. My mother would fry huge amounts of eggs, one after another. Her eggs are always perfect. Soft yolk, bubbly whites with browned edges. I though fry a flat one because I use a frying pan instead of a wok. I’d better invest in a small one soon, just like my mom’s.

Anyway, this food always reminded me of an incident years ago, when I was still safe in family’s fold. The story happened when the whole family was sick except for me, putting the burden of feeding the sheer number of them on my shoulders. The order of the day was of course the mouth-watering sarnie.

I toasted the bread, fried the eggs, cut the cucumbers and pour either tomato or chillie sauce on them, depending on personal preference of course.

I went back and forth between the kitchen and our family room upstairs, delivering the food and beverages and what nots. When everybody was settled, I came down to make my own sarnie, with the very last egg.

Started the stove, got the egg ready in my hand while waiting for the oil to heat up. However when I cracked the egg, the most horrible pong escaped and instead of a sunny yellow and white egg, out slid a black and brown mucus.

I got a bad one. Telur busuk.

The waterworks came. I sniffed and heaved while I threw it away, washing the wok and finally throwing the garbage out because the smell was too suffocating. I was hungry, tired beyond belief. My disappointment was too gargantuan because I wanted every egg that was cracked, fried and turned into a sandwich. I was salivating after every sarnie that I gave to each and everyone of my family. I was imagining sinking my teeth into it and when my turn finally came, to get it taken away from me so forcefully and unexpectedly was cruel.

And the rotten smell didn’t help either. I wept harder when I saw the already toasted bread, the cut cucumbers and the chillie sauce still on the table, waiting for the anticipated egg.

But to whom shall I spend my anger too ?

I went upstairs desolately. My dad asked about my sandwich. When I told him, he tried to give me his but I refused. I lied and told him I ate Maggie Mee instead. I went without any food that day.

Funny yeah ? Merajuk dengan telur ?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Part 3 - Monday


Monday was painful. I woke up with a sore throat and tender waist. Gelek lebih sangat probably. Ha ha ! Babah lectured that I should have been more careful. Felt a bit dizzy and all around uncomfortable.

Luckily Cik Ta bought us nasi goreng from Tony’s (I will tell you bout Tony later) the night before (Mamu Il and Cik Yin ada hati ajak kita org keluar for dinner after the karaoke. We were ready for bed by then, too tired from the day’s toil) so we heated that up and lazed around for awhile.

Mid morning I asked Babah if he fancied buying more plants for the garden but we went until Bukit Jelutong only because the rain was horrific. Stopped by Shah Alam Mall and sedar-sedar dah pukul 11. Babah almost wept because half the day was already gone.

Went home and got ready for Maulidur Muhammad B Sheik Mazrul yang pertama. One of the first ones to arrive so had a very relaxed meal while talking to the birthday boy’s grandma and mum. Then slowly guests trickled in so had a very nice chat with everybody.

Had a lovely piece of orange cake and tried the hosts' massage chair. It was good at first but after bout 10 minutes it was rather painful so I stopped halfway… he he. Went home at about 4 and at 6 after the clouds stopped it’s drizzling of rain, tackled the jogging track near the courthouse with my family.

My kids were horrified. As we entered the bushy grows, Adik claimed that we were already lost. Abang whimpered if there were any dangerous things lurking behind the trees. Baru nak masuk tu…. Said the person who shared the same feelings not 2 days ago…. He he…. Berlagak…

Alas, we only managed to go ¾ of the way because the sky opened up again.

I started dinner when we got home as it was already near 7 o’clock. Took out the required flours to start on puri. Enlisted the kids to help while I deal with the curry. Even though had delicious roti jala and kari daging at Kamalia’s house but since I had already planned the dinner, I just had to go on. Two curries in 1 day. Call the doctor !!!

The kids had fun and I had help, so it was a win-win situation for everybody involved.

And we ate, and cleared up the mess. I bathed after dinner and felt so nice and comfy after washing the grimes of the day off me. I put my tired feet up, opened up my Harry Potter and enjoyed the remaining of my holiday. It was tiring true, but it was a happy one.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Part 2 - Sunday


Sunday was an early one, too. Went to Pasar Tani and again in my head I planned a very easy one, strolling lazily, looking at stuffs without actually buying any, eating keropok lekor and kuih peneram, sipping air tebu, licking ice-cream potong… well you get my drift.

But Babah spoilt it by going around in record time, asking me over and over again what I wanted to buy and it was over in half an hour. He then went to work and I tried my hand at making chocolate pie or pastry. Mum and Marlin came to install a very cheap water filter (very good, the water has no chlorine what-so-ever and so easy to install. Very cheap too at RM 600) and they tried my pie. Mummy repaired my chocolate filling so it turned out very yummy indeed.

Babah came home and we got ready to go to Amelia’s house for sort of bertandang for the newly-weds, Shazmi and Nadia. The food was really good. Kari kepala ikan and my favourite black pepper beef. The bendi in the kari was soooo huge, puas hati… Ha ha ! Then we rushed to pick up Marlin and Mail for karaoke in Sunway Pyramid.

It was soooo much fun. We had oodles and oodles of good time, partying like mad. There were only the 3 of us really (Babah and Abang was more subdued. Adik was crazy like us but she got tired in the end), dancing and singing to Britney Spears’ song especially.

“Tak yah pegi disco macam ni….” Marlin announced. I can’t agree more. It was really cheap because for RM 25 each (for 5 people) we get to be there for 3 and a half hours, were given 5 plates of nibbles and 2 drinks each and 5 plates of food. Even though we are in Malaysia, Halal food is still an issue so we ordered fish and chips, fish nuggets and breaded prawns.

Abang and Adik were very enthusiastic at first, conquering 2 of the 4 mikes we were given. They sang every song, enjoying them selves immensely. Being kids though, they whined for home when the novelty wore off. Abang pleaded exhaustion so Mummy and Babah asked him to lie down on the huge sofa.

It was awesome. Can’t imagine if I go with my entire siblings (that includes my siblings-in-law).

The kids had sausages and chicken soup for dinner and Mummy and Babah had fried egg sandwiches. Sleep came so easy.

To be continued.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My busy weekend - Saturday

Oh man… The weekend was busy !! I hardly ever rested and therefore today I am yawning at my desk.

Where to start ? Why, with Saturday of course…


I had to keep my help this particular Saturday because Babah was working the whole day and I have my Escapers gathering so I needed her to mind the kids. Drove to Cili Merah, then piano class but skipped the art class for today because Abang had a birthday invitation to fulfill. Bought the pressies at the book store next to Yamaha school and wrapped the goodies while waiting for my babies. Neti laughed when she saw me took out the tape and scissors from my bag. A mummy has to be ready !

Sent my kids and Neti to 6/2B for Hazim and Haziq’s party.

Went home and mom called me to follow her to see this professor, who could read the state of our eyes for health diagnosis. Waited and waited at the good professor’s office at Worlwide (it was okay as I had all my siblings and my nieces with me as well) but left at 12.45 to pick the kiddies up as the party ended at 1 pm. Went back to Worldwide for my turn. After taking a picture of my eye, studying it for a bit, the professor shook his head. Hmm……

Anyway, left his office immediately afterwards with Esya and Anna in tow because Kamalia was to pick me up at 2.30. Raced home with my mind racing bout what the professor said. Stopped by Baker’s Cottage first to buy snack for my 4 children and the help, resumed my journey home, took 2 steps at a time to my room and got ready in record time, conforming to the theme, blue jeans and white top.

Kamalia came with Jubei and off we went to Subang Parade to meet our high school partners in crime, the Escapers. Went to Secret Recipe to Azlin’s annoyance because she said Setiawan pun ada Secret Recipe !! He heh… sorry, aaa.. Lin.

Lin came with Jaja and Chris. All around tight hugs were exchanged. Chris who managed to keep her svelte figure commented on our weight. We only just… just, mind you, managed to stop Jaja from buying shoes to fling at her. Then Nani came with oddly enough, a shopping bag which contained an almost identical baju she was wearing, She must have really, really like that particular design.

We ordered food aplenty. I ordered Curried Cornish which made the waitress blinked rapidly as it turned out to be called Spicy Cornish and not curried. It was not properly heated so I abandoned it, looking at Lin eating her normal Cornish pie. There were plates and plates of cakes and cheesy fries and potato crackers. Nani was reluctant to share her brownie ala mode and Nani again revealing stuffs that made us dizzy. Chris moaned about the No Smoking sign and showed us her tattoos.

Then Cheet showed up, looking like she didn’t age one bit and finally Shazleen turned up with her kiddies. We exchanged stories about our kids, fought on who got the worse job and debated on breast feeding. We laughed, and joked, and confided and reminisced and were so glad that we made this effort to be there.

Every little thing made us laugh, and I had to extend our apology to Chris, the most happening person at the table. “We hardly ever go out and have fun like this, Chris… so forgive us…” Chris loves us, so she didn’t mind our giggly selves.

Thank you ladies for wanting to be there, for still wanting to be friends. A special thank you to Azlin because her journey to this gathering was a long one indeed. Our thoughts were for Cho and Azlinda who can't be there.

We left the gathering at 5.30 as I have another engagement to fill. As Kamalia turned the corner to my house, we saw Amelia’s car whizzed by. Hurry !! That was my 6 pm appointment !! Amelia and Noreen waited in the car while I changed to a more appropriate attire, chatting with Kamalia and Jubei. When I came out again, this time in my trainers, t-shirt and track bottom, Jubei gave a loud laugh.

Went inside Amelia’s car and off we went to the very hilly track next to the court house. I was scared because I went there once and only for a mere minute before I made Babah turned back. I stopped to read a sign near the entrance you see, the normal sign about the dos and don’ts of a public park when I saw another sign warning us of monkeys and snakes. I would have been okay I suppose if they had used a regular picture of a snake in a coil but since they made the effort to use a picture of a cobra… well, that was that.

So I was nervous and cleverly walked in the middle, between my two friends. Then somehow I wasn’t anymore and so walked ahead, staying the middle of the track. Despite my trepidation, it was beautiful and peaceful and somehow fresh, a pocket of very clean air in the middle of the city. Lovely. The track was very challenging, too and I was glad I came. I was panting even though we only did 1 round.

Amelia sent me home and the kids swarmed me, pleading hunger. I was sooo tired but a mother I am so after bathing and sending Neti to her aunt’s, took the kiddies for a meal. No way is Mummy cooking tonight. Endured a very noisy, messy but happy dinner. Sent Esya and Anna home and I climbed the bed gratefully. My head cleared out of any stressful thoughts, just like what the professor ordered….

Tomorrow is another long day, Mummy !!

To be continued…

Friday, March 06, 2009

Oh Mummy....

I am soooooo terrible.

Yesterday my brother Mail finally came home for good. He was expected to arrive at 7 am and therefore before I went to work, I swung by Mum’s house to see him.

I was fasting, my second day actually. I sahur at 11.30 pm (while I watched Ghost Hunter…. Seram gila, tukar channel halfway… he he) with kari ikan made by my mom, timun and kuah kacang. Heaven.

So what has that got to do with my brother or my terrible-ness ? Well… if you are at your mom’s house, where you grew up eating her food, and you know there will always be food somewhere…. Well the inevitable happened.

In my defence, it was morning and I was… well…. I wasn’t even hungry.

Okay, my legs was on automatic, it just took me to the dining table… as you know that was what they usually do when the entered the house. I announced that if there were food, I was going to break my fast. I of course was joking… I didn’t mean that. Marlin however shouted, “You’d better not, A…. Nanti ko mesti bukak puasa punya…”

It was too late. And I was in euphoric mood. You know my brother being home (not a convincing argument at all), and out of habit I lifted the tudung saji and lo and behold, there were rows and rows and rows of beefy French toast. They shone and were mesmerizing that I stared and stared and stared.

I didn’t think, I grabbed one, break a small piece, dipped it in the kuah cuka and put it in my mouth. Then I chewed, closed my eyes in ecstasy and swallowed. Then I took another bite. Mail came to join me and we both ate like there was no tomorrow. “I don’t believe aku bukak puasa…” I muttered over and over again.

Mail who had been living on a diet of Indian food could not answer.

Marlin was right, I shouldn’t have ventured into the dining room.

Ya Allah, I couldn’t believe I wasted my sahur !! Forgive me….

So today, I am fasting and didn’t go anywhere near my mom’s.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Scarlet lips

I went to pasar malam on Tuesday and bumped into my cousin Jimmy whose wife, Kak Lin was buying fish.

I was fasting that day and therefore as usual when my Mum found out (I deliberately told her he heh), she cooked delicious food for my buka. Therefore when I saw abang Jimmy I graciously furnished him with the inside information that I had.

“Pergi rumah Mummy !” I said, “Ada rendang and kari ikan… dah siap…. Pergi makan….” His eyes bulged at the though of food that he knows Mum would serve in record time. He could be experiencing gastronomical delight in mere minutes.

But how did he re-pay me ?

By telling me I need to wear lispstick.

It didn’t help either when I got home, as I was putting the groceries away, Abang who came to hug me suddenly said, “Mummy, are you sick ?” His face contorted with worry.

“No, I am not….”

He forehead creased, giving me a once over.

“Well… you looked sick….” He said, grabbed a keropok leko and resumed his telly watching.

Cess ! So for two days now I went to work with coloured lips and earned surprised looks from my colleagues.

Aku malas aaa pakai lipstick !!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Adik, please don’t read this entry. Move to the next one….

Today don’t know why I was reminded of an incident that happened years ago while I was still in school (it makes you feel old doesn’t it, being in school yeaaaarsss ago ?)

Anyway it was the days of the Bosnian war. Maybe the concert to support war victims trend was started then because a concert for the Bosnian war was organized. I don’t remember whether it was to collect money or just raise awareness but a concert was organized and we took that excuse to show support for the Bosnians, by partying…. Hmmm…. Seriously I don’t remember what the concert was for.

I am sure all Malay girls my age share my predicament. We aren’t allowed to be out of the house after Maghrib, apatah lagi nak pegi nengok concert malam-malam. I begged and begged my parents for the opportunity to go and after quizzing details of the people that is making up the party and what nots, my parents finally relented.

Bahagianya hidup. It is not easy for me to gain permission to be out after hours !! Isa came to pick me up and in the car was Babah, of course and sadly, that is all I remember. Maybe Shazmi went. Or maybe Anu too.

Anyway the concert was at Stadium Negara. The field was decorated with mock Christian and Muslim headstones, depicting victims from both sides. Wars are sad affairs yeah and I was saddened by the fates of the victims who were still being slaughtered at that time.

Moving on, I can’t remember the concert very much and the memory I want to tell is not about the concert, but afterwards when the show was over, after we had late night dinner in Bangsar and Isa finally dropping me off at 2 am. What a coup indeed for me.

I was very nervous of course especially when I caught a glimpse of my father pacing the living room. I knew I had to release the weapon that I have since I was born, the ability to twist my father around my finger. I knew his weakness and I have to use it.

At the sound of my footsteps, Ayah threw open the door but before he could say anything I said, “Wow ! I had the best night ever !! It was fun, Ayah !” I then quickly hugged him and said, “Thank you for letting me go…” kissing him soundly on the cheek.

Then I offered to make him toasts. Over toasts I regaled him stories on the going ons at the concert and he was so glad that I had a good time, he forgot to be angry.

My arse was saved.

PS : This reminded me of another night that I was allowed to go out. I don’t know how (I am very sure via lying through my teeth) I managed to go to Subang Parade with Babah at night. Our friend Shah was working at Toys R’ Us and we decided to visit him. He was stocking shelves at that time and at the sight of me, he looked at Babah and asked, “Macamana boleh terlepas ni ?” while jerking his head at my direction. Cess…