Monday, September 29, 2008


Kami di Dubai beraya pada 30.9.08 bersamaan Selasa.

8.05 malam - baru dapat tau esok raya!

8.20 malam - dlam keadaan terkejut, baru terhegeh-hegeh pegi pasar beli daging dan ayam dll.

10.30 malam - sampai rumah terus masak

At the moment, kuah soto tengah berjerang atas dapur dan baru lepas menggentel begedil.

Nak tido dulu, esok 5.30 nak sambung. Dubai sembahyang raya 6.30 pagi.

Akan di updatekan kemudian...

My Only and 'Most Expensive' Raya Card This Year...

Last Thursday (25.9.08) was the last day of schooling for school kids in Dubai before having their 9-day Eid Mubarak break. Along came back from school today and took out a white envelope written 'To: My Mother ' . She handed the envelope to me with a smiling and proud face. I wonder what was inside and I opened it in no time. This was the content of the envelope... was so beautiful! I was so impressed the moment I saw this colourful beautifully created card.

Mana Ayah punya kad raya?

Takda. Teacher kata buat untuk mother dulu. Along buat dalam Art class tadi.

Nanti Ayah merajuk nanti...(luckily Ayah was not around. He was in Lahore that time).

Tak...Teacher kata untuk father buat kemudian.

Actually this wasn't the first time she created a card for me. The last time she made one was during Mother's Day in May...

That time her father was also not around as he was off to Teheran for a month biztrip. Just imagine how I felt...the father wasn't around but it was not the reason for the kids to forget Mother's Day celebration. They did not need to be reminded to make their mother happy. When Along and Ain handed this pink card written 'TO: OUR MOTHER (Nor Azilah)The beautiful mum!' and a cute gift to me, I was so very touched! More than words could describe...

Thank you Sayang, you've made my day...

p/s - Yes, this is the only raya card I received this year, 1429H. However, with the advancement of technology, I've received several raya e-cards and insyaAllah will be receiving lots more raya sms-es by this Wednesday...Thank you (in advance) family and friends out there for the raya e-cards and raya sms-es sent. It makes my day, albeit the sentimental value just couldn't be compared to the snail mail raya cards. With the advancement of technology, I shouldn't feel disheartened...!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

28th Day of Iftar...without hubby

Hubby was off to Teheran this morning right after sahur. He's been at home with us this whole week. Today, he's got to attend his monthly meeting in Teheran and will be back tonight. With hubby not around, a simple meal for iftar would suffice for me and the kids..

I cooked 'nasi goreng bodoh' as a friend of mine would call it to refer to a very simple (but still delicious) fried rice with less perencah inside. Then fried some keropok ikan as Apit insisted to have it. Not that bad an idea since keropok ikan can go well with the fried rice. As I had some sweet potato left in the kitchen, I made cek mek molek. Along loves eating it and last but not least, I made the colourful bubur biji nangka. Hmm...Alhamdulillah simple but I'm still full the moment I'm writing this.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

27th Day of Iftar

As we are approaching the end of Ramadhan, the more we feel like having just a simple iftar. Our menu for today is hubby's signature dish, spaghetti. Our kids all love it. Frankly speaking, I cannot cook spaghetti as good as hubby. Hubby's spaghetti has always been 'menu wajib' for our open house, apart from my Puding Jagung Koktail Berkuah and Kek Batik Marie, and also the must-eat menu among his friends who come. Besides spaghetti, I made cucur udang and ox tail soup to add to our simple iftar. Then Along asked for kuih gelang @ keria, since we had sweet potato in the kitchen, so there goes kuih gelang.

To tell the truth, actually I've never made kuih gelang before. However, my parents used to sell kuih-muih when I was small and the kuih-making sight is nothing new to me. I guess that explains why I seem to know how to make certain kuih when I myself have never kept the recipe. When we were small, we also never missed having evening tea and there must've been some kuih made for us either by my mother, my eldest sis or even my father. I'm proud to tell that my father is also good at making kuih. In fact, I learned how to make gula sira for kuih keria from my father. My father used to tell "...tunggu sampai gula tu 'kanting', baru masukkan kuih". Until now, I've never bothered to look up the meaning of the word 'kanting' from Kamus Dewan, but what I know that's the word my father used to use when describing gula sira for kuih gelang.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Eid ul Fitr

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes We Just Don't Feel Like Eating Rice for Iftar and Sahur

I did not know why suddenly I felt like I wasn't in the mood to cook. I sms to hubby asking "Yang, any idea for iftar?'. Hubby too had no idea of what to eat for iftar. "Order je la." Ha ha...that's exactly what I wanted to hear. So, for iftar today, we had fried chicken and apple pie ordered from Southern Fried Chicken (SFC), the Dubai version of KFC.

Ain had fish n chips, Apit with his favourite fries (he could have all by himself) and Along with her favourite pizza cheese.

The day before, we also had something else other than rice for iftar. Hubby and the kids love eating burger, so Chef Haza took over the kitchen that Tuesday preparing for the whole family.

On Saturday (20.9.08), we had pizza for sahur. We bought the ready made dough at Carrefour MOE on Friday after coming back from Ramadhan bazaar. It was a plain dough with only tomato sauce spread on it. We garnished it with more tomatoes, onion and sprinkled more cheese and there it was...the super supreme pizza for sahur.

Sprinkling more mozarella cheese...

The smell of the baked pizza could make the kids' eyes wide open for sahur . An unusual sight to be seen during sahur time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Iftar...Some Life Experiences...

We went to Maxim supermarket last Saturday to buy some groceries. Strolling in the evening to the 1 km away supermarket might be challenging enough for the fasting Ain. But jalan-jalan punya pasal, she was just excited. Furthermore, it's the end of September which means the heat isn't as maddening as when it was in July or August. So there we went from our green and yellow striped apartment building.

There were some interesting life experiences that we managed to capture on the way to Maxim. As we passed by the mosque, we saw a few people (could be the AJK Masjid or volunteers) busy spreading plastic mat in the open area in front of the main entrance to the mosque. Some were seen putting boxes of orange drink, mineral water, dates and bananas on the mat, while some others were seen carrying more dates and more boxes of drinks. This sight really attracted Along, Ain and Apit as they'd never seen this in Malaysia. Ain, as seen in on of the pics with her favourite yellow winnie the pooh bag, looking on curiously. What are they doing and who's going to eat and drink all these. Along, Ain and Apit kept asking. I did not know, probably the poor or any musafir or just anybody but obviously they were preparing for iftar. I wonder if on the way back we could drop by and have iftar here if we happened to pass by this area in time of Maghrib azan...he he. Well, let's see...

When we arrived here at around 6.10 pm on the way back, this was what we saw. The place was already packed with people, all men. It seemed that no rezeki for us to even sniff the food there...he he. Looking at their faces, we could tell that they were the more unfortunate people than us and they deserved that free iftar, not us.

Iftar was at 6.21 pm and we had a few more minutes before we could reach home and have iftar on our own. Upon arriving, sempat panaskan roti Arab on the frying pan with butter and the smell was so mengancam. This Arab bread is my kids' newly found favourite bread. So,that evening we had simple but delicious iftar with roti Arab cicah kari daging campur dhal and bubur lambuk that I cooked the day before. (My mom said jangan membazir...). Kenyang Alhamdulillah.

Later that night, I baked Dates and Raisin Bread Pudding sebab dah tak sabar nak makan puding ni. This is the newly learned recipe that I got from a friend in Sungai Kurus. Amacam...jadi tak puding roti I Teacher? Out of 5, agak-agak berapa markah Teacher nak bagi? Alhamdulillah, hubby and the kids gave the thumbs up...sodaaapp he he he.

We are really, really grateful even though we had simple iftar with no rice (because we chose not to have), it could be so lavish as compared to the iftar that this group of labour workers had when we saw them on the way back from Maxim.

I just couldn't imagine these Pakistani workers, who had to work from morning to evening under the scorching hot sun of Dubai, just had watermelon for iftar to cover up the energy they had lost during the daylight. It was really a very touching experience that I've seen. If only we were having some decent food at hands that time, we'd surely give it all to them. Unfortunately, what we had in hands were flour, uncooked roti paratha and fresh vegetables. The curious Apit and Ain asked...kenapa orang tu makan tembikai je, kenapa dia tak beli makanan lain, kenyang ke orang tu makan tembikai, orang tu takda duit ke nak beli...

Hubby and I made it a point to show Along, Ain and Apit how very fortunate they are for always having enough food unlike the 'uncles' that they saw before their eyes. So, stop grumbling if Ibu prepares food that does not fulfill their likings. The kids were in total silence as if they could understand the situation. Hopefully they do and learn something.

Monday, September 22, 2008

22.9.08 (Mon) - Iftar With Friends

Today we break fast with a few friends at our abode. Two of them are going back to Malaysia to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with their beloved family. Since they may not be attending our open house this coming raya (if we were to hold one), so we invited them to our house for iftar. I wanted to invite more friends but unfortunately the limited space of the abode couldn't accomodate too many at a time. InsyaAllah, there will always be a next time.

After breaking fast with drink, dates and some kuih, the husbands had Maghrib prayer together at the living hall while the wives performed the prayer in the room.

We continued with more heavy food after solat. Alhamdulillah our dining table was full with yummilicious food that night, some brought by friends. Jeda brought Ayam Masak Kicap, Tini with her special mutton curry, Shiela brought with her kuih sagu biji and Riri baked her delicious kuih bakar pisang. Those added to the list of my own cooking - fried vegetables, sambal goreng ikan bilis with potato and tempe, fried chicken for the kids, fried meehoon and my mom's mouth-watering pajeri nenas. Also not to forget my signature dish, Puding Jagung Koktail Berkuah and Kek Batik Marie plus the newly learned recipe Dates and Raisin Bread Pudding. We ate and talked, ate and talked till one of the hubbies had to remind ber babbly wife that it was time to go back...hi hi hi. This was her answer, "Ala...tak nak lah." So cute! ha ha ha. It was really fun chit-chatting that we didn't realize time flew. Furthermore, this was the first time we could really have a long chat with each other for all this while we've been communicating most of the time through our 'cyber world'.

While mommies and daddies were chit-chatting, the kids also had their own activity. Apit was so happy because all this while he's been seeing a lot of girl friends. This time he could play his bicycle and gun with his new power rangers friend, Andri. His sisters were playing in the bedroom with Nana, Iman and Ieam.

"See...our mommies and daddies were busy talking, talking and talking...," complained the two cutey Debots - Aryan and Dina.

Well...what else to do before departing...all the mama vogue posing la. From left: Riri, Tini, Jeda, Shiela and yours truly. How 'cyber world' can bring us close together...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kuih Raya Dah Siap Dah...!

Last Wednesday, we received this box from Malaysia through a friend who came back to Malaysia for a biztrip. Upon hearing Uncle A nak hantar ke rumah, Along, Ain dan Apit dah terus berlari buka pintu, Ain siap pegi ke lif nak tunggu kotak dari Uncle tu. As usual, bila kotak dah sampai, bebudak ni lah yang paling excited, tak sabar nak tengok apa kat dalam...

Haa...yang ni mula-mula diorang terkam sebab dah tau Mak Ngah diorang kat Melaka tu nak kirim buku cerita dan majalah untuk Along, Ain, Apit dan Ibu. Ayah punya je takda...sebab Ayah tak main baca majalah bahasa Melayu, Ayah baca MU magazine jer...Terima kasih Mak Ngah!

Another 10 more days to go!!! Kuih raya dah siap dah...semua kuih-muih tradisional lagi. Terima kasih Atuk dan Nenek kat Port Dickson, Atuk dan Wan kat Kota, Rembau dan Mak Long di Lukut, Port Dickson kerana sudi mengirimkan kuih-muih raya tradisional ni untuk anak cucu dan anak saudara di sini.

Atuk dan Nenek kirimkan Along, Ain dan Apit serta Ibu Ayah kuih sepit ni. Kekadang orang panggil kuih gulung atau kuih kapit (especially yang bentuk kon leper tu) or sometimes called 'love letters'. Atuk Nenek tau Along, Ain dan Apit suka kuih ni...very crispy.

Atuk Nenek macam tau-tau je kuih lidah jin ni favourite Along. Terima kasih Atuk Nenek! Kalau pergi rumah Nenek Chik kat Kuala Sg Baru, Melaka tu, Along mesti nak makan kuih ni banyak-banyak. Nenek Chik tak pernah miss buat kuih ni.

Kuih buah rotan aka buah redan ni pun Nenek Chik selalu buat. Ingat lagi masa kecil-kecil dulu, mak dan Along selalu gak buat kuih ni pakai tepung pulut (err ke tepung beras...?) serta santan dan gula. Masa tu sekolah rendah, I pun seronok tolong menggentel kuih ni. Bukan susah pun, gentel bulat-bulat, gelekkan dengan bijan dan goreng. Rangup dan sedap. Yang keras je tak sedap.

Haa...yang ni pula favourite Ain...kuih baulu. Apit kata kuih 'ballu'...he he he cute jer. Masa call Atuk semalam, Ain kata kat Atuk "Terima kasih Atuk bagi kuih baulu...Ain suka kuih baulu." "Laa..ya ke? Kalau Atuk tau Atuk hantar baulu banyak-banyak lagi."

Yang ni pula kuih gunting. Nenek Chik bebudak ni kat Kuala Sg Baru tu tiap-tiap tahun buat. Nenek Chik tau kitorang semua suka kuih gunting dia...cukup dengan rasa udang kering dan rempah-rempahnya serta rangup dan tak keras. Kekadang I buat muka seposen siap minta tapau lagi! Bukan tak boleh beli kat tempat lain tapi yang Nenek Chik diorang ni buat menepati citarasa.

Kuih gunting ni kalau nak buat pun bukan susah sangat. Tak payah nak terap-terap, main gunting jer. Selain daripada dah banyak kemudahan 'tunjuk-menunjuk' kuih raya kat luar sana sekarang ni, kitorang dah lama tak buat kuih ni sebab ada nostalgia pahitnya yang tersendiri...! Masa kitorang adik-beradik kecil-kecil dulu, Along pernah buat kuih gunting ni. Sedap memang sedap tapi sampai bergaduh-gaduh nak buat kuih gunting. Sebabnya...mula-mula tu semua excited nak tolong menggunting tepung kuih gunting ni tapi bila dah lama duduk menggunting penat. Dah la puasa. So, masing-masing tinggal la. Tinggallah orang yang sama aje duduk menggunting. Mana orang tu tak mengamuk, sakit pinggang duduk menggunting sorang-sorang! Bila orang tu mengungkit, tu yang bergaduh-gaduh tu...ha ha ha!! Sejak kejadian itu rasanya kitorang tak pernah buat kuih gunting lagi. Tak boleh ingat nostalgia masa kecil-kecil ni. Begitulah cerita kuih gunting...

Ni la semua kuih raya tradisional yang Atuk Nenek Along, Ain dan Apit kirim dan biskut kelapa tu Mak Long kirim.

Atuk dan Wan pula kirim gula Melaka ori punya yang balut dengan daun nipah tu siap dengan tepung pulut. Wan tau Along, Ain dan Apit suka makan kuih kelopung @ buah melaka @ ondeh-ondeh. Nanti Ibu buatkan ya. Wan pun kirim tepung cucur Adabi perisa coklat dan strawberi. Ini pun favourite bebudak tiga orang ni...dah lama diorang tak makan. So, berbuka puasa esok tu Ibu gorengkan untuk Along, Ain dan Apit cucur Adabi tu. Terima kasih Wan, Along, Ain dan Apit cakap.

So, everyone out there...we're in raya mood now!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

16.9.08 (Tue) - A Kitten On A Tree...


While watching tv, Along told me that Ain cried in school. I asked why. Along said Ain was stuck on the slide at the playground in front of her class and didn't know how to get down. That happened this morning when the kids just arrived in school. While waiting for class to start, she played at the playground.

Suddenly, Along saw Ain crying on the slide. Once reaching up, she only realised that the slide was too high and she was too scared to slide down. Along asked Ain to come down but she said no. Her sis went to find Ain's teacher, Ms Claire, and informed her that Ain was stuck up on the slide and didn't know how to get down.

Since Ms Claire was wearing a long skirt that day, she couldn't climb up and helped Ain. It was another Grade 1 teacher, Ms Eimear, who was wearing pants had to climb up and got Ain down. Her teacher told her that the slide was actually meant for Grade 4 - 6 students and not Grade 1.

I couldn't help laughing when Along relating the incident to me. I was imagining a kitten climbing up on a tree and didn't know how to get down...har har har!!

p/s - Nasib baik Teacher tak tarik balik the stars given the day before...hi hi hi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

15.9.08 (Monday) - You Deserve It...

1) As usual, everytime the kids come home from school, they must relate to me what happens in school. Along told me about her French and Computer classes. Ain, smiling to show her happy face, told me she has been appointed as 'a helper'. When I asked her what that means, is it a class monitor? She said no. 'A helper' is someone in the class who has been rewarded 5 . The stars are given to those who are obedient in class, do not make noise, finish all the work teacher gives and can give the most correct answers for all the exercises given. 'A helper' is also given a privilege to assist other classmates if they have problems doing the exercises given.

So today, her Canadian teacher, Miss Claire, has rewarded her with the 5 . Her glowing face showed that she was so much flattered that she was the second (after a German boy) in the class of 25 students who has been given the stars. To us adults, it's probably just the stars, but to a seven-year-old girl, it is really something to boost up her motivation to go to school and learn. Right away, I gave her the hugs and a kiss and told her to inform her father when he comes back from Tehran tonight.

2) Today my sis-in-law's blog is featured in the NST on the Tech&U section. Read it here. She's been blogging since 2006 and she writes on life, family, career and most of all running. She was once overweight some time in 2003. You can check here to find out how running can make her as slim and young-looking as ever, and at the same time an optimistic person. She enjoys writing and she just has the flair of language.

p/s - We all kat negara pasir berdengung ni tumpang berbangga dari jauh.

14.9.08 ( Sun) - Yeay yeay...Wan Hantar Baju Raya

I received this parcel this morning.

As I could expect the content, I'd just wait for Along and Ain to come back from school to open it as the parcel was meant for the kids.

As expected Along and Ain were so excited to open the parcel. They just couldn't wait to see what was inside...

Whoa...baju kurung and baju Melayu, two pieces each. Each of them has a pair of green baju kurung and baju Melayu. The other pair is blue for Along (wahh..Wan tau favourite colour Along), red for Ain and pink for Apit (as he told Wan earlier he wanted pink...he he he).

As expected the most excited is Apit. Dia terus nak pakai! hi hi hi..

"aaakk...aaakk", Apit made a crow's sound while flapping her hands like a bird...he he.

Children are always the most excited to celebrate Hari Raya. My children as usual are very excited. Since this year will be our first raya abroad (not for my hubby), I wonder if their level of excitement will be the same. What if my kids especially Apit will beg us to go back and see their Atuk and Wan in Rembau or Atuk and Nenek in Port Dickson...

p/s - "Terima kasih Atuk dan Wan!," Along, Ain and Apit said.

Since I didn't bring any green baju kurung, it seems like I have to find one just to match with the kids' baju raya, hubby already has a green baju Melayu.