Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Little Things We Grew Up On

I was baking one day, everyday actually, but it was this one day that pulled me back in time, back to the early 80's.

I adore the 80's! It was the time of many embarrassing episodes of my life and my sister's. We were forced to wear knee length skirts with our blouses tucked in. The skirts and blouses were made by our Mak who displayed us as her models parading her many creations whenever we went visiting. She was quite an avid seamstress and the bulk of our wardrobe originated from her very own line of creativity from her Singer sewing machine. We were never embarrased to be clad in her clothing experiments, well not until we realized that we were growing too tembam for all the dresses and skirts she made. My sis had it worst. She hated to tuck in her blouses as she was getting a lil bit too pudgy for them, (laughs) and she was already in std 6. I was in form 4 and I still had my blouse tucked in and we even had pictures to prove all our claims! which shall never make it to this space of course!

Other than being dressed in our mum's line of clothing, we were all well fed with her cooking too. She was a wonderful cook, still is, and the food that was served on our formica dining table was always interestingly concocted. She would try to clone dishes we sampled from restaurants or gerai outside which most of the time came out a success. And because of this it was always difficult to take both my parents out to dinner as my Ayah would say "...ini, mak pun boleh buat" or "...rugi je bayar mahal2, mak buat lagi sedap!" My Ayah compliments my mother in this way, and he is not a man of many words but when he leaves remarks such as these, my Mak would just float up high.

Apart from cooking we were occasionally surprised by mak's baking skills. She seldom bakes except for trays and trays of cookies when Hari Raya approaches. The only cakes I could remember from those days were the yellow cakes, rectangular ones with drizzles of chocolate glaze on. It was a simple cake but the aroma that filled the air transformed the simplicity into magic and that pulled me here to write this entry. I am constantly searching for that perfect yellow cake and that was when I remembered the cake my mak used to bake when we were little kids. I called her right away to ask for the recipe but she didn't have it. All she could recall was the rough measurements in ounces! I desperately wanted to recapture that special aroma and this time in my own kitchen as a grown up who bakes for a living. I whipped up the batter in seconds and into my oven they went only to emerge later with that similar aroma of yesteryears. Olfactory has taken effect and I felt like that tembam little girl again. I hurriedly fetched some cocoa powder, icing sugar and milk powder and did the glaze my sis's way. She loved to have the cake with the chocolate glaze, the type of icing she fancies on everything edible! Quietly I poured the glaze on the little cakes and there I was sitting on my kitchen stool alone, sinking my teeth into the soft warm yellow cake with chocolate icing all over my mouth. After losing the thrid cake in my tummy, only then my kids realized of the cupcakes existence and they rushed in with a bowl each collecting their shares.

I would like to share with you the yellow cake recipe here. It might not be the best cake you have ever sampled, but it was certainly the best one, for all four of us sibblings. One that would always remain special simply for its presence on our formica dining table, all cut and divided equally amongst the adik beradik in order to avoid my Nyah having more than his shares.

Ps. The best thing about this recipe is, the cakes don't pull away from the paper cups.

Mak's Yellow Cake
4 large eggs
8 ounces butter
8 ounces sugar,(please reduce the amount to 6 ounces)
8 ounces flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Beat butter and sugar till fluffy. Pour in the eggs one by one and beat well. Sift flour and baking powder and spoon the mixture into the wet batter. Fold everthing well. Bake at 175 celcius till skewer comes out clean.

Chocolate Glaze
This is not an accurate measurement, please use a lot of discretions.

6 Tablespoon of icing sugar
1 Tablespoon of Imported cocoa powder,
1 Tablespoon of powder milk
1 Tablespoon of boiling water.
Mix everything together until it forms a thick paste. Pour onto the warm cake and leave to cool.


Through The Barricades
Mother doesnt know where love has gone
She says it must be youth
That keeps us feeeling strong
See it in her face, thats turned to ice
And when she smiles she shows
The lines of sacrifice
And now I know what theyre saying
When the sun begins to fade
And we made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Father made my history
He fought for what he thought
Would set us somehow free
He tought me what to say in school
I learned off by heart
But now thats torn in two
And now I know what theyre saying
In the music of the parade
We made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Born on different sides of life
We feel the same
And feel all of this strife
So come to me when Im asleep
Well cross the line
And dance upon the street
And now I know what theyre saying
When the drums begin to fade
We made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades
Oh, turn around and Ill be there
Theres a scar through my heart
But Ill bare it again
I thought? we were the human race
But we were just another border-line-case
And the stars reach down and tell us
That theres always one escape
I dont know where love has gone
And in this trouble land
Desperation keep us strong
Fridays child is full of soul
With nothing left to lose
Theres everything to go
And now I know what theyre are saying
Its a terrible beauty weve made
So we make our love on? wasteland
And through the barricades
Now I know what theyre are saying
As hearts go to their graves
We made our love on? wasteland
And through the barricades.

4 treats:

mº¿ºsh, brecht & nora said...

Hi Wiz, thx for sharing the recepi on your blog. I think others would want to protect it as their family secret recepi, but not u my friend = ) I am glad tho! Big hugs and good luck with the week ahead. I am down & out with a bad tummy upset, perhaps its gastric or food poisoning or even both, but i am on medication and resting....

Salina said...

You have inherited both her creativity and culinary skills wiz! i have to agree with your father i've tasted and sampled dishes from many restaurants world wide since i was 17 and i still feel that my mum's cooking is the best! Her curry crab is one to die for and most importantly all her dishes are cooked with love! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

And you know Wiz your children too now give the same compliment to you..mama masak lagi sedap! Remember the incident when adnin and iman asked you for money and later you found out that they used the money to buy your cupcakes! That's the biggest compliment ever for a mother!

Wiz said...

Mush - I have been wanting to write to you, but I always need to rush out or in or up or down or all of the above (laughs). Thanks Mush for constantly keeping my spirits high. I owe you one big cake!

Salina - Salina, thanks for dropping by despite the new working schedule you have to abide to. Nothing like home cooked meals and those who we serve them to. My kids are just being naive I guess in terms of their tastebuds. They haven't tasted other people's food hence their belief in Mum's cooking is the best.

anasalwa said...

We all have those embarassing moments when we were young. Now, that we are grown up (have we?:)))we wondered why was it it became a big deal then?
How is your running? Hope you have improved.
I would like to suggest you to get Stu Milltelman's book, Slow Burn, because I think I never read an excellet book about running as his.
And of course, nobody can cook better than our Mak.