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Monday, October 29, 2007

Cherry Cake


The cherries from my Semperit endeavour this Raya are still in abundance and I don't think I will be making anymore Semperits for a couple of months to come, well maybe for Raya Haji, and I hate for it to mould and turn hard in my refrigerator. I browsed through for a cherry cake on the internet and found this recipe which looked simple enough to make. I altered it a bit here and there, since I don't have some of the ingredients at hand but the outcome turned out to be impressive in taste as well as in presentation.


Cherry Cake
Source: Delia
Ingredients
225 gm butter at room temperature
200 gm caster sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225 gm plain flour
1/2teaspoon baking powder
250 gm glacé cherries, quartered
110 g almonds nibs
a few drops vanilla essence
1 tablespoon milk


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
You will also need a round cake tin, 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and 4 inches (10 cm) deep. Line the base and sides of the tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then grease the paper.


Cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. Now gradually beat in the whisked egg a little at a time. Then sift the flour and baking powder together, and carefully fold this into the creamed mixture using a metal spoon. Toss the quartered cherries in together with the ground almonds, and carefully fold these into the cake, adding one or two drops of almond essence and the milk. Now spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin, level off the top with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, cover with foil and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk away from the side of the tin and the centre is springy to touch. Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tin.

I iced the cake with whip cream and garnish it with more cherries on top.

The Wise Owl

Farin challenged me yet again! She emailed me a picture of an owl cake and requested of an exact duplication of that cake. I frowned upon looking at the picture and instantly declined her order, and that was moons ago. Last week she again emailed me the same picture with this attached note:

hi kakyang!
Selamat Hari Raya!
remember the owl kek (pic attached) yg kakyang rasa u cannot do it tu
kan?
we want you to try to do it hehe...
sbb my anak sedara taknak kek lain... and his bday is next monday.. 29
october..
you can make the owl baring, if it makes a difference lah..
please let me know..


So Farin, I guess your persistence paid off! Your owl cake is standing quietly in my fridge now just waiting for you to come and collect it later.



This cake was inspired by Lore C. of Venice FL USA

The Wise Owl

The wise old owl
Sat in an oak.
The more he saw,
The less he spoke.
The less he spoke,
The more he heard.
Why can't we be like
That wise old bird?

Owl

The diet of the owl is not
For delicate digestions.
He goes out on a limb to hoot
Unanswerable questions

And just because he winks like men
Who utter sage advice,
We think him full of wisdom when
He's only full of mice.
by X.J. Kennedy

For more poems like these please visit Readinglady.com

Meet Pie

I woke up to another beautiful day today, looking forward to a family gathering at my cousin's house. She just moved into a brand new bungalow house somewhere in Kuang, * my husband couldn't help saying"...kuang, kuang kuang!" every time we had to refer to her address to a point of annoyance* and I was designated to do a meat pie. A meat pie? Everyone else has always asked me to bake cakes or pastries or cookies, but meat pie? I was perplexed to the point of being amused at her request but the more I thought about it the better I understood the significance of the meat pie ordered that day.

My cousin and her whole family have been ordering birthday cakes from me throughout the year for almost all their birthdays *sweet of them kan?* And I presumed they are tired of eating my cakes, which is only natural, coz I am tired of my cakes too. Hence the order of a savoury item for her open house. But on another light, a meat pie consists some sort of unification of meat, potatoes, onions, and flour which clearly represent the state of being a family. Regardless of the different ingredients inserted inside a dish they will all be consolidated in our bellies just like a family should. Yes that's it, that"s the reason why Kak Lin ordered a meat pie, coz she had thought about the representations, the symbolism and the personifications of what that dish would mean to this whole gathering. Ha ha ha,*faints* I think I would place my bet on the former more than on the latter. Or perhaps she was just craving for something different. Haih, me and my 1 am thoughts.
Anyway, this is the recipe to the meat pie, just in case you are wondering about the symbolism, the representations and the personifications of the ingredients!*giggles*



Meat Pie

For Base

3 cups of flour,
180gm of butter,
half teaspoon of salt.
1/3 cup of cold water,
Rub in the cold butter in the flour till it turns crumbly. Mix bit by bit with cold water till dough is formed. Chill for 15 minutes.
Roll out and press onto your baking dish.

For Filling

1kg minced meat,
1 cup of all purpose flour,
1 teaspoon of salt,
1 teaspoon of sugar,
1 teaspoon of black pepper,
Mix everything together.

Saute a fistful of diced onions and a cupful of diced capsicums till fragrant. Add 2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoon of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoon of oyster sauce and 2 teaspoon of black pepper. Then add the 1 kg minced meat and cook till brown. Leave to cool.

For Topping

5 ,bigger than your fist, potatoes, peeled and cut and boiled.
Mash well with 2 Tablespoon of butter, 2 Tablespoon of cream cheese and half cup of milk. Salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, press the dough on the base of your baking dish and bake for ten minutes. Take out the pressed pastry from the oven and scoop the cooked meat onto the base and lastly cover the surface with the mashed potatoes. Bake till top is golden brown.

Serve warm with your favourite mushroom or black pepper sauce and of course that "you know all of us would pound on a few kilos after dishing this" smile...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Someone's Getting Married!




Congratulations!

Safrina Zainal Abidin & Mohd. Tanwin Mohd. Khushairi

A Change In Perception

Whenever you are confronted with people who dump their rubbish on you, give this story a thought, you might come out as a better person everytime it happens.

And my other half would probably say..." yeah right!"

Beware of Garbage Trucks
by David J. Pollay
How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood?
Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day?
Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels.
However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly he/she can get back her focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab.
Here's what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station.
We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started
yelling bad words at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly.
So, I said, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger,
and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it.
And if you let them, they'll dump it on you.
When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally.

You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.
You'll be happy you did.
So this was it: The 'Law of the Garbage Truck.'
I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me?
And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets?
It was that day I said, 'I'm not going to do it anymore.'
I began to see garbage trucks.
I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off.
And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field.
He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled.
He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.
Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.
Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.
Teachers and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.
What about you?
What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

You'll be happier Here's my bet.
So.. Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe that everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance , TAKE IT!
If it changes your life , LET IT!
Nobody said it would be easy...
They just promised it would be worth it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cake of The Day

Gathered my act together and gave my aptness another shot!

Here's presenting...

Sponge Bob Square Pants.



Happy 8th Birthday Nusra!


Thanks for the order Farhah.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Much Ado About Decorating

There are times when things don't coordinate well with me. Most of the time actually. It's like when you have a bad hair day, no matter how much you comb or hair dry or gel up your hair, when things don't feel like working, your hair will just refuse to set the way you want it to. I've never had a bad hair day, since I could just bun it up and hide it under my scarf, but I've had countless of bad cake days and today was another one of them.

Things would always go wrong whenever I tried to be generous with the ingredients, the cream or the deco. It's always, "...a lil bit more of this and lil bit more of that wouldn't hurt. But in the end the outcome would be horrendous, too much for the eyes to take. And when that happened, it would be a lil bit too late to do anything about it, unless you had a great amount of time to redo. I'm always short of time for a makeover, so with a bad twitch in my eye, I would have to just surrender the finished cake and wished on my lucky stars, moon, meteors, planets, milky way and the entire solar system for the customer to approve it. Harlina if you are reading this, I would like to apologize if I didn't make a good first impression on you. It would be good enough for me if Alia could identify the character on the cake. Thanks so much for the orders.

Here's to a Delightful Little Girl Alia
Happy 4th Birthday!

Alive and Baking!

A facebook friend of mine Dr. Mazlan mentioned that he had read something about me from the net. It seems someone out there has been looking for me and I am not exactly sure who would that person be. I am currently on a missing person's list. This is what was written on CNN.com

Weiss, Eidel
I am looking for information on Eidel Weiss and her family. Her husband is Azam and a daughter named Iman and a baby boy.


Apparently this search came about after the December's Tsunami which wiped out more than a hundred thousand of lives in a blink of an eye. I can't help but to wonder who this concerned person is. And to know that someone is actually looking for you and took the time to write out this search on CNN is simply overwhelming.


To that someone, here's to say that I am alright, alhamdulillah still breathing, savouring life and its daily stumbles, smelling the bunga lallang on my lawn and driving a platypus around. Thanks for your warm thoughts, don't worry, I am alive and baking!



That's me!

Note: To many of my Internet friends I am also known as eidel weiss (long story.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Neverland

I met a very good friend of mine today, after 11 years. The last time I talked to him was probably on my wedding day way back in 1996. He was lean and tall with hair that you could easily lose your keys in. That was the pictorial image I constantly fall back on whenever I am reminded of him and whenever he calls or leaves me silly Raya messages. It's funny when the embedded image of your old friend doesn't seem to age accordingly. People stayed as young as you last saw them.

When I went to pay this friend a visit, I brought along this same familiar image of him being tall and lanky. I couldn't make myself imagine him in other ways. Perhaps because I thought I had stayed the same, the exact looking friend he last saw 11 years ago. And so, we entered his house and I couldn't spot him anywhere, until I asked one of the guests "...where's Amir?" He exclaimed with that confused look on his face, "...tu dia." He was right in front of me. It didn't register in my head that it was him, and he didn't recognize me either with my new tudung appearance. I called out to him and the first thing he said was "...what happened to you? You have shrunk!" He didn't seem to be as tall and as lanky and if you were to lose your keys in his hair, you would be clinically certified as blind. I'm not making fun of this guy *though he makes fun of me all the time calling me names like tikus and all* but it struck me that day of this weird feeling I was having. It just appeared to me that everyone I know has all grown up and changed in one way or another. And it feels like I am stuck in Neverland with Peter Pan. But I'm not complaining though. Unlike my friend Enida, I'm still learning how to fly, but to do that I need my happy thoughts. Insyallah soon, if I work hard, I will soar high with loads and loads of happy thoughts to spare and share.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Will You Curry Mee?


The must have dish and also the most requested one during Hari Raya at my mum's place would definitely be Curry Mee. Apart from the rendang kerang, lemang, nasi impit and all the works, curry mee would never escape our old dining table. Relatives and friends swarm our house to sample the curry mee which has become synonymous to my mum and it has somehow grown on me as well. I have too taken the role of preparing this bowl licking dish whenever I invite relatives and friends over and they seldom went home disappointed.

Here's the recipe

For Garnishing
Enough bean sprout (blanched)
Bean curd (sliced)
red chillies, (sliced thin)
fried shallots
Enough yellow mee,

For the Curry
About five tablespoon of blended shallots,
About three tablespoon of blended garlic,
About 1 cup of fish curry powder mixed with water to form paste
3 cups of small pieces of chicken,
2 cups of squids or shrimp,
3 stalks of lemon grass,(pounded 3 times)
3 cups of shrimp stock(peel the shell of the shrimps and boil)
2 packets of fish cakes ( sliced thinly)
2 packets of fish balls ( sliced thinly)
2 cups of coconut milk and 1 tin of evaporated milk
salt to taste.

Method
1. Heat half cup of oil in a large pot. Fry all the blended ingredients
till fragrant.
2. Add in curry paste and fry till oily.
3. Put in the chicken pieces and then the squids and shrimps.
4. Add the lemon grass.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and evaporated milk.
6. Lastly dump in all the fish balls and cakes, leave to boil.
7. Salt to taste.

Ps. The ingredients in this recipe are not in exact measurements. Please use a lot of discretion when cooking.

Happy "Opening Houses"!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Celebrating Eid

Anticipation of Eid left me almost breathless this year. Alhamdullilah, cookies and cakes were delivered on time despite the countless last minute calls. Kids tirelessly asked how many days more to Raya, the same question catapulted every other minute throughout the last few days. The cuteness of it all seemed to dissolve in the heat of my oven and in my exasperation of finishing the orders, to the extent that I almost stuck a cellophane tape over my lil boy's lips. But of course fortunately, that only happened in my sleepy head. After making our delivery rounds, we packed our bags and left for Ipoh the same night, two days before Eid.

It's customary for my family to break fast together on the last day of puasa. Attendance list was complete, everyone in the family was there to enjoy the last berbuka of this year. Prior to the event, my sis and I went for S.S. Ali poppiah hunting in the pouring rain, all in the name of our love for our husbands. Got ourselves drenched, we shared one big payung but the two of us were much bigger, just to serve our spouses' their favourite kuih. We only brought back a pair of shoes for raya and those too were soaked.

The evening rain brought in the cooling atmosphere come nightfall, which was very much welcomed by kids and approved by parents to proceed with the fire crackers itinerary. As usual, the adults played as much as the kids creating games with the flares, something my brother is very good at. Seen here is my brother in his attempt to scribble something and my son in his attempt to light a cracker.


When the Takbir was heard breaking the silence of dawn, kids of young and old rushed to the bathrooms to mandi sunat raya and get ready to congregate at the mosque for our annual Raya prayers. In the meantime, the mums would busy themselves preparing the raya spread on the table consisting of nasi impit and kuah kacang, lemang and rendang kerang and all the raya cookies to be served right after the Raya prayers.
At the first sight of commune returning from surau, I quickly took out my cheesecakes and placed them at the table centre. It's everyone's favourite especially my mother and to be able to savour this fattening dessert together on this festive day was truly an indulgence.
The food prepared by my mother was soon devoured by all ravenously. My mum ensured that she made everybody's favourite which included rendang kerang for my yeop, rendang keping for my husband and brother in law, nasi impit and kuah kacang for my sister and I, rendang ayam for my nyah. After desserts, we moved on to the front to exchange salams and angpows with parents and sibblings.


It's the only time of the year when everyone is clad beautifully in baju kurungs and baju melayus and each family is adorned in their chosen theme colours. You could never see a parade of these matching bajus at other times, only during rayas. It is a form of union, a portrayal of harmony, and a show of togetherness all depicted through the spirit of Hari Raya.

I leave you with some candid pictures snapped on that day, and also those contagious smiles that would melt the harshest, coldest meanest of hearts.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Salam Aidil Fitri


Berpuasa sebulan telah terlaksana,
Menunaikan rukun Islam yang ketiga,
Menyusun jari maaf dipinta,
Maklumlah kami insan biasa.

Rendang Tok dimasak lama,
Dimakan dengan ahli keluarga,
Ucapan ikhlas kami untuk semua,
Moga berhati-hati di jalan raya.


Selamat Menyambut Aidil Fitri dari wiz sekeluarga!

This Hari raya wish specially goes to:
Hajjah Fatimah Azizah(mak)
Hj. Abdul Wahid Abdullah (Ayah)
yeop, nyah, kak fiza, da, wan,(sibblings)
ayish, filza, fiqah, ira, dini, isya (nephews and nieces)
and also to Batistuta (my better half) iman & a'dnin my kids (the star of my blog)
Since everyone balik Ipoh, let's have a picture perfect raya this year!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cakes of Raya

A lot of those,

Many of these,

Cupcakes in rows,

All made to please.

Boxed!

I apologize for the lack of updates,
have been busy extremely,
of recuperating and baking lots of cakes,
delivering happiness in time for Aidil Fitri.

To those who have made the purchase,
I sincerely wish to thank all,
With hope the good taste lingers to stay,
from big wiz and her oven small.


wiz

Friday, October 5, 2007

Moonlighting

I was down to my last five jars. The kids have all gone up to sleep, husband was performing the terawikh, and yours truly was struggling elbow deep in cookie dough. I had all the trays of cookies lined up in such uniformity *it was a starless night* and I was super proud of myself of nearly ending this arduous task of baking. The first tray went in and was due to evenly brown in 15 minutes and then all of the sudden...tup! Screams and shouts from upstairs instantaneously accompanied the abrupt darkness. My fingers were glued together due to the sticky dough and was finding my way to the sink. I reassured the kids to stay put and not to panic, and I frantically rummaged my way to search for candles and a lighter. Brought the "scared of the dark" kids down and went outside to see if the stars were out and indeed they were, ha ha ha. I knew my luck would be short lived, things were going too smooth to be true. It was 10 pm and the kids suddenly didn't feel sleepy, so we kept each other company by singing hari raya songs and playing with the candles. It turned out to be a fun night, minus the sweat, the nyamuks (we had to open the sliding door) and the farts,( flatulence in this family is the result of heat and humidity) but it was still fun. My cookies? let's just not talk about it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cookieku


Let the truth be told that I am not much of a cookie person no matter how hard I try to convert myself into one. Obviously I am not referring to the difficulties of my wiping out a canister of cookies, but more of my baking them. I have never experienced a perfect cookie day, in which none or no one get burnt. Little misadventures and mishaps are bound to occur along the way. Whenever I plan to bake cookies, the stars of the universe somehow realigned themselves just to witness me fail! In consequence, trays and trays of extra browned cookies are left to be gormandized by my ever hungry cookie monsters and I constantly ended up baking and baking just to fill up one canister. For this Hari Raya, I only have 30 jars to be delivered to customers comprising friends and families and it's taking me ages! I have exactly 5 more jars to fill up and wishing very hard that I could finish them in time. In the interim, my misfortune has become my children's gain. At least, some people are happy.