Tuesday 31 March 2009

What I Got From Ampang Park!

Hmm, managed to make a quick dash to Ampang Park during lunch today...in a taxi...am so the very malas to drive these days.....I went to "Haby and Wools", to get, guess what,..... ribbons, borders, bias and thread.....think my nesting instinct has kicked in.....I'm in the mood of sewing pulak, while the cooking and baking goes on and on!!

Last weekend I got some plain white Indian cotton that I'll make swaddle blankets for the new Muhammad. I also took out from my treasure chest of cotton materials which originates from all over the world, this cartoon flannelette's material which I got from Aussie many years ago....all these I will sew with the ribbons (also got Offray ribbons just now, yeay!), borders and bias. In the mean time, I just realise that my sewing machine is with my friend's shop...Cottage Patch for service, since....one year ago, ha ha!
DH thinks the reason we haven't stopped the production house is because he hasn't bought my an armchair that I wish I had from the time we had Khadijah! Ha, ha I haven't got an electric steam steriliser (been contemplating of getting this one from Khadijah's time, expensive ma, here!) and a baby carrier! Reasons, reasons, what other reasons can you give to have another one....no , no am not going to have another one, thank you Allah and cukup for what we have:)
P/s: I'll post pictures of the finished swaddle blankets later!

Monday 30 March 2009

Pink and Lilac, My Favourite Colours!

On Saturday night, just before I swithed off for my snoozeland, I opened an envelope, not realising that it had a stamp from Norway on it...thought it was some spa invitation that I usually gets or some book fair or coupons that I usullay receive from MPH...rupanya it was a black and white picture postcard which had images of Naz's three children and some wise words from her.....hmm the memories of St Nicks' days and friends that I took for granted, instantly made a comeback....Naz, awatlah hang duduk jauh sangat.....I dok pikiarq pasai kawan kawan and the days in St Nicks...sampai I terlenalah!!!

My life is so rich with friendhip and friends, far and near! On Saturday afternoon also I received a text message from Anedra asking me about "almond meal"...I nak gelak besarq sebab "saya hanya budak baru belajarq baking", so I googled for her to find out and find substitute if any, like I usually do! Anedra, dah bake ka the cake tu?!!

On Sunday, I iced the above cuppies for my colleague Norli, she gave me the freedom to choose the colours, so naturally I chose pink, lilac and cream in swirls, my favourite. She also ordered profiteroles...think the shapes of the profiteroles are more uniformed now, thank you Saf for teaching me to make this divinely delicious dessert and thank you Norli for the orders!

Dr Amin Tai, Alfatihah...

We received shocking news on Saturday afternoon, that arwah Dr Amin Tai Abdullah and Dr Haliza were both dead. Their badly decompossed bodies were found in a ravine in Bukit Tabuh, a climbing and hikers' spot just around my neighbourhood. Apparently they left APSH on Wednesday morning and never returned. I know from my husband that Dr Amin is an avid climber and he was going to conquer some peaks in Kilimajaro in April. That mission was supposed to include hubby's othopaedic surgeon (hubby tore his ligament and did ACL last August) and another surgeon in APSH...

We do not know Dr Amin personally, however, he once sutured Umar's broken upper lip (about two years ago) after he dived into a chair, and he examined Khadijah for some post operative hernia before. In fact, we intended to to bring Ibraheem for sunat by Dr Amin this December holidays...which now will not materialise, but I know that Dr Amin is one of the finest paediatric surgeon in Klang Valley!

For Dr Amin, I sedekahkan Alfatihah, semoga rohnya ditempatkan bersama-sama orang yang beriman...

Thursday 26 March 2009

Third Time Lucky...I Pray For You!

This is a view of Masjid Besar Shah Alam, as I was walking towards the Dewan Nikah (no bukan dewan yang nak nikah...ha ha , but dewan yang digunakan untuk menikah...lawak selingan sikit!!) where bil (hubby's younger and only brother) was taking his akad nikah (solemnisation vows) for the third time...that's why I quoted as 3rd time lucky, god willling!! And all the drama about the other two marriages, moi is supposed to keep mum...only to assist whenever asked!

He was getting married with a young girl, who chose to embrace Islam and dengan kuasa tuhan...she met my bil, who happens to be her neighbour, only to live in the below apartment!! Jodoh pertemuan and hidup mati all di tangan tuhan...

The akad nikah was done at the mosque...later we adjourned to Concorde for lunch...the guests were only immediate relatives and very very close friends, it was a very simple do, even the bride's baju was very simple...but I can say they spent quite a bomb! I didnt need my reading glasses to see my new sil's solitaire glitter from a far, ha ha...maybe hubby will get me one after all this coming to number six baby and close to 16 years of marriage, ha ha.....
Here's a picture of the happy bride...they went off to Bali for their honeymoon, when we were stuffing ourselves at Concorde!
Hmmm, teghingat zaman moi and hubby....dulu!!
Moi and the radiant bride...aint I clever in hiding my 23 weeks gestation tummy, ha ha!
The door gift cupcakes that I made for the newly weds...vanilla cupcakes in pvc boxes with off white and silver trimmings...
I think my swirls are getting better, don't you think....the server that I put the cakes on below were hubby's arwah's toak ayah's....they are Johnson Bros china....

What We Did In Ayer Baloi, Pontian...

The kids have been nagging us to go back to Pontian..... Ayer Baloi, is the name of the kampung, to be exact. Since it was the weekend before school reopens from March school break, I decided to take the Fiday afternoon off and balik Ayer Baloi. The house is my hubby's arwah atok ayah's rumah pusaka, which had been restored recently by hubby and bil...well, need you you ask what were our main agendas there? ....coming from me Kitchen Guardian, it had to revolve around food!

Yes, am preggers, but my hubby has been having all this kempunan and dreams of having this and that food...and one of them was to have this delicious Sweet Sour Crab, and he wants it not from my kitchen, but from this Ah Li shop (yes, they are halal!), one of the first shops to sell such dish in Kukup.

Kukup is a small town with a jetty that you can ride a boat on to get to Pulau Kerimun (which is part of Kepulauan Indonesia). Abah, my fil still have relatives in Pulau Kerimun, and he visits them whenever there is khenduri khendara...I takut nak pi, wonder if they have proper sanitation...toilets and such are my priorities when I travel, ha ha!! She has forgotten her roots of poo poo @ jamban outside Tok Yam'shouse back in Kupang, when she was small, pakai torch light malam malam buta....imagine what studying abroad and modernisationa has done to Kitchen Guardian...nah! I still remember my roots!!

So, on Sunday last weekend, we went to Kukup searching for Ah Li's shop, ada but with face-lift. We had the Sweet Souir Crab (recipe below) (dua ekor ketam),
Beehon Goreng Basah, ala cantonese mee (for one person),
Char Kueh Teow (for two person),
Mantao (it's like pau without the inti and deep fried, ordered 10 of them and 8 finished by Umar, had to order 5 more!),
Udang Goreng Nestum (medium and sedap sangat sangat!!),
and Crispy Fried Baby Sotong....mmmhhh sedap tak terkata! All plus drinks and keropok udang, the bill came to RM119.00...murahnya!! Here's how I make Sweet Sour Crab at home....

Sweet Sour Ketam, Yani's Style!

4 ekor ketam, medium size, cleaned
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 in ginger, chopped finely
1 large onion
corriander leaves, fresh tomatoes (also pineapple cubes..if you wish!)
1 senduk tomato sauce
1 senduk chilly sauce
2 large eggs, beat lightly

Tumis garlic and ginger until fragrant and light brown, add in the tomato and chilly sauce..if you like it more spicy you can add some chilly boh, fry until pecah minyak. Add in the ketam, simmer until ketam is cooked, I usually add some water to thin the gravy. Once cooked, remove the ketam from the gravy, place it in serving dish.

Add in the eggs into the gravy, simmer over low fire, do not stir...you want the eggs to set and cook...last add the corriander leaves and fresh tomatoes and pineapple, garam secukup rasa. Pour the gravy over the ketam and serve with white rice or ratah with roti. Acording to hubby those days it was served with roti benggali, now depa dah upgrade with mantao!

That petang, we had visitors...Uncle Sabri and Auntie Yam, mil's and fil's best friends...Uncle Sabri came with his lintah-lintah for treatment! We managed to persuade Khadijah who has been sniffing and sok sek from her sinus problem and Ibraheem who's been in and out of hospital due to her athma to have a few lintah on them. I told Uncle Sabri, when I was young I always attract lintah and pacat whenever I played around in my "seluarq katok" (I used to be a tomboy, you see...) going in and out of the bendang in my kampung...he said...sebab tulah orang kedah semua sihat, all the toxic have been sucked out by those slimmy creatures...

After the "treatment" session, which took more than 2 hours for both Khadijah and Ibraheem, they definitely looked and felt better! While the treatment was going, I was busy preparing dinner and barbeque for other guests...somehow we are like sugar...we always attract the ants, no matter where we were, ha ha! And we loved it!

Khadijah and her lintahs...
Ibraheem and his lintahs...
Uncle Sabri's tobbaco!
Hajar....lepaking at the main door, whilst her brothers main basikal and menghabiskan duit mak bapak beli jajan (tit bits) at kedai Ah Ping that was about 50 metres away...

Moi...struggling with her editing work to meet dateline...since no baking were done last weekend....what a bliss...can we live in Ayer Baloi? Asked hubby!!

Friday 20 March 2009

Penawar Rindu...Rafeah Buang

Am taking the afternoon off as kids bising nak balik Ayer Baloi, Pontian, to play with their new found friends in kampung...it'll be refresher for me too....this weekend tak dak orders, but I made 100 cuppies on Tuesday night this week...it has been a quiet week in the office as many people are on leave due to school break...but next week and the weeks to come will be packed for me in the office and my kitchen. Am going to put up a new blog for the orders and am enrolling in a few classes, yesterday I got new colours from Wilton from Cake Connection and found the pvc box that I have been looking for...yeehah...will post the pics of the cuppies that I will be making for BIL as wedding favours for his akad nikah function on 25.3.2009!

In the mean time, I berseru to all my friends, jauh dan dekat...marilah balik dan kita see each other dan berborak (my forte) sambil menikmati juadah-juadah I...so I present you with Penawar Rindu from arwah Datin Rafeah Buang, my all time favourite singer....have a peaceful weekend...

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Life Is About Challenges...Welcome Those Challenges (Part 2)

Was reading the comments from dear old school friends school and friends that I made through this blog world....and I realise that I have to update this post...I think I come to a point in life where money is not so much an issue any more (no...I haven't got that heaps of money, hidden underneath my bantal or stashed in local banks...), am happy the way I am, even though once in a while mata tu dok brouse jugak the LV's and Loubutin and Zanotti online (like I'll wear them lah!)...but there is so much more to life than all this material being!!

At my age that is coming closer by the day to sunset (tapi hati rasa macam 17, kira ok lah)...I have to deal with more "real" issues...looking at my nephew and niece yang mak bapak bercerai berai, them left terkontang-kanting to deal with their own life because their parents have their own so-called mega issues to deal with, my BIL is ging to nikah for the third time next week, my SIL yang sakit abdominal TB (yeap, the CA125 turned out to be negative somehow), but she doen't have a child of her own...she onced jokingly said to me...let it be my turn to beranak this year...my younger sister who hasn't got any financial challenges at all, but forever complaining about the politics in her office (woi! amongst doctors also got this ah!?), my colleague in the office who has been trying very hard to conceive...of course moi's Yusof yang tersangatlah liat nak belajar, moi's books yang berterabur in the family living upstairs, moi's car yang tak berservice for the past 6 months...etc...

And of course, what we went through in 1999....that time hubby's firm was on top of the world, there were no problems whatsoever with his practice...so tuhan tu maha kaya.....he gave us this ujian...... yeap, Kauthar had a heart like it had been shot many times, with a few valves not closing and the muscle of the left chamber of her heart thickened, and also a right lung that had collapsed (hypoplastic)...the first day Kauthar in the NICU, the doctors refused to tell me what was wrong with her...I knew about her condition 2 days later...I just told the doctors that I knew that something was wrong, so they could explain to me in plain language, which they did...when I asked her chances of survival, they kept mum. I am one person, come what may, I had to know the truth, good or bad, as I had to prepare myself....

The second day, the nurse forced me to express my milk, I said mana boleh, my baby couldn't even suckle....her oxygen will plunge drastically...I was asked to use the hospital grade pump, which to my surprise was very very good....at the end of the whole ordeal I managed to express close to 45 bottles for Kauthar, one lesson learnt...you can breastfeed your baby if you really want!! (so, Ibraheem and Umar were all on my milk!).

On the third day, I was asked to discharge myself from the hospital...so I had to travel daily climb up and down the stairs of my apartment (then we were living in an apartment), fourth floor for my visits to the hospital. Of course my mom and MIL marah, but I thought I never knew how much time left for me to spend with Kauthar, and the least that I could do was to give her my milk...and spend the day time sitting next to her in the NICU...I imagined the NICU like a dark and gloomy cave (yes, it was dark and gloomy), very quiet and one can only hear the beeping of the monitor which were all connected to the nurses' island at the entrance, and there were somewhat like a 3 stage level/depth/layer of the NICU, The closest to the entrance were where the babies recuperating and awaiting time to be discharged placed, the middle part were where the babies who are in incubators and the 3rd layer, where Kauthar was placed, a very cold place, the only lights were from her "cradle" with complete monitors and warmer. Next to her was this baby boy (now aruah) who came out at 24 weeks gestation, covered in a cling film, a baby belonging to childless couple after 16 years....and they were poor! I sedekah diapers to aruah, that all I could contribute...

My routine were to come in (only parents were allowed in NICU), wash my hands and express milk, baca surah Al-Waqiah, dozed off, express milk, have lunch with the other moms who bothered to visit their child there, exchange stories, continue baca surah Al-Waqiah, so on and so forth until hubby fetches me in the evening.....somehow I tak bentan pulak...alhamdulillah...so my belive o all those pantang larang orang bersalin, goes down the drain...I think as long as you take good care of yourself and take good food, you'll be fine..think all those meroyan is your state of mind, you have to get hold of yourself and grapple with wahtever that you are facing with with strength!
One week passed, Kauthar had "an attack", her hypoplastic lung gave way to her weak heart....and the 70% oxygen didn't help! Kauthar had to be intubated, put to a coma/sleep state so that she doesn't resist and pull out those tubes that were going through her, she was not taking my milk anymore, she couldn't, and she was fed with nutritient through iv...but I kept pumping my milk....She was also wheeled to a room, deeper in the NICU, seclusion, and there were only 3 babies at that time in that room...all were critical but stable...only one survived at the end...So, now that Kauthar is asleep, no more Kauthar who would gaze at me as if asking for help, no more cries.....all I could think of that time was to pray to Him...if she was going, take her fast, if she was going to heal, to do it quickly....her medication that went through her tiny veins wer like flat SanPeng...they came in tubes in a stack, how many ml over how many minutes...

To me, my life spent in the NICU was a re-orientation of my past life...there were so many heart ache there, nope not the condition of the babies, but of the parents.....there were babies who were purposely left there as their parents couldn't afford to pay the bill or simply didn't have the means to raise those babies......sebab tulah I tak paham why orang buang nak!!???? Mine...I wish I could swap me with Kauthar...

On the third week, one specialist doctor who was taking care of Kauthar asked if we wanted to shut down, I almost screamed at him....but no, I told him, it's not your job, it's kerja tuhan....I remember one Wednesday, Prof Boo (a brilliant specialist and head of NICU there) asked me to bring Khadijah and Yusof to see their little sister, an exception for us....we took the elder siblings to see their ailing baby sister.....2 days before Kauthar passed away, she actually opened her eyes...by then she already had bed sores on her back and the only means of food and medication to enter her body was through her pusat (belly-button), all the veins were bunked....too much for her! I thought she was going to recover!

It was 7 am on Thursday 09091999, the phone in my room rang, I knew something was not right, I could just felt it ...the lady voice on the other end said ..Kak, please come to NICU now, Kauthar isn't so good....I reached her bed...the doctors were resuscitating her, her chest was already blue with thumb marks...I told the doctors to stop and let her go, the monitor was already showing a flat line.......innalillah, dari Allah dia datang, kepada Allah dia kembali...I felt like a burden lifted from me........actually the night before I saw a glimps of her in the sky, was not sure whether I was dreaming or whether it was real..

That night I dreamt of her playing happily with other children in a garden...and am happy and redha...We went to see her doctors the day after her funeral, to thank them and pay the hospital bill. It ws only then that they told us that babise like Kauthar hardly surpass one week, the fact that she was a fighter and made the second week, they were euphoric, but then had she lived, the congenital effect of the thickened muscle of the heart was not treatable, no medication or no surgical intervention would help her...

When I look back, what we went through with Kauthar was just a path we had to go through for us to learn all the other lesson and hardship of other people that's usually more grave and severe from your own! And Allah memberi rezeki dari berbagai sumber and menduga dengan berbagai-bagai cara......

Tuesday 17 March 2009

It's A Small Small World After All.......

Amidst my very busy schedule last week, I had 2 surprises....in the middle of the week, whilst blog-hopping and amending documents (multitasking ma!), Kak Teh of Kak Teh Choc A Blog insisted that I drop a line to her...why ah?
She wanted to order some profiteroles for a birthday bash that included her's, even though she would be celebrating miles away... being a very very amateur, I tried to shy away by saying this and that, but yes, 100 profiteroles...I delivered on Saturday!! Coincidentally, Kak Teh's niece Anedra is also neighbours of the zoo like moi......and lagi coincidentally, Anedra's son and my sons go to the same school and take the same bus home...mak datuk.....when I spoke to Anedra, where the party was to be held....I nak topple from my chair, coz we bumped into each other the weekend before at our sons' sport's day...keciknya dunia, Kak Teh jauh beribu batu, made the order, and me and Anedra live sepelaung away........and all met through this blog world!!!

I told Anedra to wear shades when eating the sweeties, I have yet to perfect the shape and size, but I think one can indulge in the taste...and I also tried a chocolate ganache to dip the profiteroles into. The result was like in the picture here......tak pa Kak Teh when you are back in KL next, I'll make some for you...thanks Kak Teh for the orders!

I also had another "kerusi nak terbalik" session in the office when I received a call from a fellow blogger adik, who had moved miles away from Norway to Sg Petani...Lyana....ya Allah, she is so hilarious, I think ornag utara memang like that gelak and giggle 70%, cakap 30%...we call it kelolo......think spoke to her for a good close to 1 hr 45 mins kot...I must visit her when I next go back to Baling or Aloq Starq....what would my world be without all these people to add sugar and spice in my boring office hours......thanks Lyn for the orders!

I also attached a picture of the cuppies I made for Lyn, for her cousin's wedding...pembawakan or not pembawakan, I think I have found my calling...am going to bake...no, it's not going to be Kitchen Guardian Cafe' as yet, but I will be taking orders seriously...I have an inquiry for 500 cuppies for a wedding in November with fondant icing....am doing the costing now and am learning how to make sugar flowers/fondant icing next weekend!! By the way, I also made 300 cuppies for Irma Fatima's do on Friday, had to take half of Thursday off, I nak tolak the order, but they insisted....rezeki!

So far, I have been getting orders for cuppies and profiteroles almost every weekend, am attempting chocolate, banana, peanut butter, carrot cake varieties and perfect my victoria sandwich cake and mini cheesecakes for future orders...pray for my success...and vetting and amending documents will only be a part-time thingy when I join my hubby in his practice...inshaallah!!

Monday 16 March 2009

The Weekend That Was....err Part 2 and Overdued!!

First of all sorry for this delay and this format, am still very amateur when it comes to formats on this blog thingy...like I always said, buat IT, computer contracts bolehlah...but am not techno savvy at all...anyway...

Here is the recipe on how to make Chocolate Cherry Trifle, that DH forced me to make to curb his mengidamness...I substituted cherries with strawberries, blackberries and rasberries as I couldn't find them @ Cold Storage that day of purchase...recipe is from Nigella's......

Chocolate Cherry Trifle

11/3 cup milk
11/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 oz bittersweet choc - melted, use immediately after
chocolate cake- I bought, to safe time from baking
morello cherries- kalau tak ada, I used all the summer fruits above
black cherry conserve-I used St Dalfour's
cherry juice

Very easy....
1. Best if you prepare the custard first as you need to chill it before puring it over the cakes, fruits layer.
2. For chocolate custard....mix eggs yolks, sugar and cocoa powder, making sure there are no lumps. Heat the milk until it starts to boil, add 1/3 of the milk into the yolk, sugar and cocoa powder mixture, and pour back the mixture into the pot, add the heavy cream. Continuously stir using a whisk over low fire, until small bubbles appear. Cook for another 2 minutes, pour into another container, let cool a bit and cover with cling film...chill for 6 hours, or best overnight. Once chilled, fold in melted bittersweet chocolate.
3. Cut the chocolate cake and sandwich with black cherry conserve, layer at the base of bowl, and pour cherry juice, just enough to cover the cake.
4. Arrange cherries or summer fruits on the cake.
5. Pour the chocolate custard over the fruit and cake layer, leave to chill for 2 hours.
6. When ready to serve, pour whipped cream and shaved chocolate and indulge and start counting calories, I won't....

Ida, here's how to marinade chicken for roast chicken that I was telling you about....learnt this from Safura, but I improvised by not tying the chicken, instead I made a slit at the thigh, and shove the other foot into the left thigh, to keep the feet together and tak terkangkang!!

Roast Chicken
1 medium sized chicken- clean, buang all the fat and excess kulit, dry it using a muslin cloth.
For the marinade, I usually use rosemary, mustard, honey, olive oil (butter will make it more lemak!), salt.
I usually stuff it with a granny smith, it makes the chicken very juicy and succulent. Safura uses an onion. You can also stuff carrots and tomatoes into the chicken.
I usually roast sliced russet potatoes alongside, Safura usually makes mashed potatoes.
I just use the juice that came from the roasted chicken as gravy, Safura usually makes a separate gravy. But we never use OXO cubes!

As you can see, I slide two fingers underneath the skin (try not to break the skin), and stuff the marinade under the chicken skin, after that I put the chicken feet together and pour the rest of the marinade all over the chicken. Because my children couldn't wait for it to be ready, I rarely prepared the chicken and set aside, it's usually a case of marinade and bakar straight...bakar at 180-200 degrees Celcius, turning the chicken every 20 minutes...

For mashed potatoes, kupas russet potatoes, 5 or 6 medium ones, cube them and boil in just enough water to cover the potatoes in a pot. Once all the water dah dried up, stir the cooked potatoes on slow fire to remove any excess water. Mash it, sprinkle salt to taste, add herbs to your liking, add double cream, just nice to smooth it. Go ahead, give it a try and ngap, ngap, ngap....

Tuesday 10 March 2009

The Weekend That Was...

I had a really roller-coaster ride the past few weeks...what I thought was a hobby has become chaos (I loved it though), when friends started putting orders for my vanilla cupcakes and cream puffs/profiteroles, with work piling in the office, I had been missing from my blog sphere world......enough said, I am going to update my blog this week, not today though coz I have photos from last weekend, recipes and all that I haven't manage to download...

I also have to tell you people that not only that I live opposite the zoo, my abode is also fast becoming a natural habitat for stray foxes, that my children thought were tikus.....I think I have one whole family of them lepaking at Superwomanwannabe's abandoned house and feeding on our leftovers, ha! ha...We have yearly snakes' odyssey slithering from my kitchen through my hall and to exit through the front garden, toads as big as casserole bowls, orange, green flying frogs, also a slowloris ended up in my master bedroom a few years back...what a nature that we live in.....

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Tunggu Sekejap...

Felt guilty that I missed Kak Teh's radio show again...hmm this going to be mom of six thinks that she's supermom...but with Hajar down with cold cough fever and Ib recovering form athma...I dozed off while putting Hajar to sleep on Sunday, hence, missed Kak Teh's show.

This week is another marathon week, so will not be able to udate earlier post Part 2, only managed to listen to Kak Teh's show on line last night, and of course the song that I requested kept playing last night...Tunggu Sekejap...am not one who can sing (Negaraku pun tune and rhythm tak lepas!!) and also not one who's updated with recent happenings with songs, artists, only check Celebrity Baby Blog daily, hi hi....but certain songs I remember like this one...here goes..Tunggu Sekejap....

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