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Friday, January 30, 2009

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Thanks so much Z for the order!

A good friend of mine once said to me,
if you had the time, I'd like you to make merry,
a wonderful person whom all of us adore,
a mother, a friend, a mentor and more.

I replied in delight much to my fancy,
of baking something special, something really pretty,
I gave it my all, sourcing all things nice,
For the lovely lady, cupcakes to surprise.

I placed the sweeties in boxes of pink,
with feathers, ribbons and flowers in between,
Excited we all were hastened our steps a bit,
Saw the smile on her face as she chanced upon her gift.

Z,

I have accomplished what you have sent me to do,
Made the cakes in cups and delivered them too.
Hope she liked them and felt the love you blew,
in all the fillings, the toppings and the cakes I brewed.


I'm off to somewhere for a day or two,
over the rainbow to see the clouds float through.
When I return, I hope to be up and about,
terrible coughs and asthma insyaAllah, I'd be without.

Lotsa of Love
wiz



Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Katharine McPhee

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Underneath

They say,

underneath a person, lies a soul,
behind a great man, a woman stands tall,
underneath a tree, sits a man,
beside a fiend, there's a friend.


...underneath the sugary dough, there's a cake,
for the uninitiated, it's a stake,
it might not taste as good as it looked,
for what's underneath stays unhooked.

When someone made a passing thought,
Beauty on the outside but inside is not,
Makes you feel guilty of not revealing,
what's inside is as good and as appealing.

So here I am in defense of my wares,
stop speculating saying things that's not fair,
have a bite, sink your teeth into sheer delight,
instead of engaging in what could and what might.

If you bake like you said that you do,
let's share recipes and techniques one or two,
I'm not stingy, if you thought that I were,
I apologize for I felt you might be better.

Kek yang cantik tak semestinya sedap,
Jika Ya, saya mohon seribu maaf.

underneath a person, lies a soul,
behind a great man, a woman stands tall,
underneath a tree, sits a man,
beside a fiend, there's a friend.

wiz

Revealing...

What's underneath?


a dark fudgy chocolate filled with vanilla cream alternately drizzled with choc fudge sauce in the middle is!


And what's under this cake?

a choc fudge cake sandwhiched between layers of vanilla dream, filled with choc fudge and vanilla cream.

Thanks Lubaina and Tay for the order.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mission Possible

I have been driving with the windows down lately in an effort to put more kilometres in my petrol. A brilliant idea it was for awhile, until I realized the cost cutting action has triggered my coughs and asthma. The attacks weren't as extreme as they were when I was a child but it would deteriorate if negligence to take care of my health persists.

The asthma has gone alhamdulillah but the coughs refused to take leave. I downed gulps and gulps of ubat batuk nightly, leaving me all drowsy and heavy headed the morning after. But the show must go on folks. Orders from kind hearted people in the name of charity have registered in a steady flow. The fund has exceeded a hundred ringgit to date and I'm hopeful it would increase before the hand over to Mercy Malaysia come February. Thanks so much for participating and caring folks. Your generosity will be amply rewarded insyaAllah.

Here are some of the cakes for this week.


Thanks Lina!

Thanks Azlina!


Thanks Lina!


Thanks Fali!


Thanks Nadirah!

Thanks Lisa, Siti, Sara, Marina, Suraya, Azlina, thanks so much everyone!

Your orders have possibly made my UN mission possible for me. Appreciate it more than words can say.

Like A Star

Our sways on the hammock screeched to an abrupt halt one night when my son's empty stare was suddenly filled with another one of his endless questions. Kakak was just sitting nearby waiting patiently for her turn to go on the hammock, tapping her foot away to the Mamamia's song they were both singing initially.

"Ma, what's that?" My heart stopped beating for a second or two thinking that he might have spotted something in the darkness of night. You know how kids see extra things which our naked eyes seem to let pass or choose to play blind most of the time for fear of the unknown and unseen. I just played possum and stayed quiet hoping the question would be lost in the flurry of his other follow-up questions. But he shook me and toothpicked my eyes with his fingers, pointing to the unidentified object in the sky. "Tu mama, tu! what's that ma?"

I took a peep under my winged arm, followed the direction of his fore finger, and asked him again "...yang mana anin?" To my relief I didn't see anything unusual in the sky, no flying objects or floating things, not even a passing aeroplane. It was almost 10 pm, the neighbours have retired in their air-conditioned houses, the streets were devoid of zooming cars and busses, the only sound audible that night was from the Pau vendor's horn.

Which one Anin?" Kakak too was feeling a little bit annoyed with adik's persistence for us to see what he saw in the sky. "Ituuuuuuuuu yang ada light-light tu. Up there dekat moon, the small one mama!" It took us a few seconds before we both yelped...

"Anin!!!!! ..that's a star!"

Kakak and I looked at each other and gaped at his oblivion to the blinking lights in the sky. I have always thought he knew what stars were, from all the "twinkle twinkle little stars" song he used to sing everytime he came back from kindy school. He recognized the star shape even before he went to school. He coloured them constantly and received them on a regular basis for the good work that he has done, all marked in his exercise books. A star to him then was perhaps like a fondant crimper to my husband, identifiable but not necessarily comprehensible of the exact use or the precise location where the item could actually be found.

"A star Ma? tapi dia tak macam a star pun? Star tu macam yellow and ada sharp edges kan? he queried.

I wasn't ready to glaze them with the scientific facts of a star being a self-luminous celestial body that consists of a few types of gas which generated a nuclear energy reaction that causes the twinkles in the sky. (I obviously rephrased that from somewhere) My thoughts were to use the moment to my advantage he he he. So I weaved my words in their minds and hearts make believing that a star is somewhat more than the eyes could see.

"...yes Anin, that's a star! and it is only for special boys and girls. If you see many stars tonight it only means that there are many boys and girls who have done their homework, dah mengaji, dah helped their mums and dads and have finished cleaning their rooms. And for all the good things they have done, a star will appear in the sky. Best kan?" I said convincingly.

"Iye ke Ma? itu star anin ke tu? He was getting excited at the prospect of owning a star. "...erm, I don't know, have you been good? have you done all the things you were supposed to just now? I quesioned him sternly. Shyly he said "...tak la sumer. Tapi Anin nya homework almost finished dah Ma, betul."

Kakak was rolling her eyes and almost chuckling at my answer for she knew better than that. She always fell for my not so factly answers when she was smaller. For instance, I used to tell her that the seasoning in the mamee snack was ubat cockroach so she wouldn't want to eat them and she believed it to the extent of leaving the seasoning packs in the corners of our house, to shoo the cockroaches away. She even extended this useful information to her friend and that was the time she found out the truth, the embarassing way. I was guilty, I know.

As the kids were swaying in the hammock that night whilst staring at the stars, I told them that they will be the stars of my heart if they coorperate with me in their daily hectic routine. A star does her or his homework and pray without having to be told, a star loves to help mama with house chores, a star hates to fight with each other and a star is always nice, clean and bright.

"...what if a person doesn't want to do all that Ma?" Kakak tested me.

"...well then, she or he would not be called a star. Instead the better name for that person is Mama's bright spark!".

A name my mother used to call us whenever we misbehaved or acted mischieviously long time ago. But that is a different story.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why, He Asked.

A'dnin right before he was wheeled to the operating theater at the University Hospital

"Ma, Anin nak tanya sesuatu ni."

I was smothering talcum powder on his front and back before cupping his face to smooth the baby face area with powder next. He has just taken his bath and was still wrapped in his favourite green towel when he worded me with the one line request.

"Jap k", I delayed his question, and proceeded to combing his just cut hair and putting his uniform on. It was 11.30am and I was getting him ready to go to school. It has become a powder ritual for him now, everytime after his bath. He knows mama would dip his still damp body with fragrant corn flour right after applying a coat of baby mosturiser.

After I was finished and he looking like kuih tepung gomak, I cupped his face one more time and said, "...ok apa anin nak tanya mama ni, what is it that you wanted to ask me?"

"Tak, Anin nak tanya,..." he was looking and feeling his hand before gazing up to me with "Kenapa kakak tu kaler dia lain, anin kaler lain?. Kakak tu warna dia putih sikit, anin pulak macam coklat je" He shrugged. He didn't look sad when these words came out from his mouth neither did he look angry, instead he had that perplexed expression on. "Why did you ask this wahati mama? Ada orang ejek anin kat sekolah ke? He failed to answer me. I was examining his once broken wrist to ensure it wasn't swollen before sliding his wrist band on, when I cheered him up with, "...because Anin ialah mama's chocolate fudge!" "... and kakak? He wrinkled his forehead for an answer. "...Kakak is mama's vanilla cream". "Both pun sedap" I smiled. I ironed his baju with the palms of my hands and swiped the powder dust from his midnight blue pants whilst thinking of a simple explaination for him to understand.

"They are just colours Anin, and everything has its own colour.
The tree is green, the sky is blue." I continued with apples being red, clouds being white and suddenly he said "...Pause!" Oh it is so common of him to say Pause as he thinks everything works like a DVD or CD player where he is able to pause, unpause, play, stop, rewind, and forward anytime he fancies. He dashed downstairs and a few seconds later appeared with this Nursery Rhyme book I always read to them. "Ma, macam dalam buku ni ma. Inside ada story like this." He was flipping the pages to match the words I had said to him earlier. "Aaaa! ini dia" he jigged.

What is Pink? by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? a rose is pink
By the fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue?
the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thru'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow?
pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green?
the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? why, an orange,Just an orange!

"Yes, exactly just like this poem Anin" I said in relief. He started to read the words on the page over and over again but soon stopped to ask, "Tapi tak der colour brown pun kat sini Ma?" and I quickly huffed an answer. "...that's because brown is the most delicious colour of all. You want to know why?" He had a blank look on his face by this time, as if he knew my question was a rhetorical one. "...it's because chocolate is brown, chocolate cake is brown, roast chicken is brown and char kuey tiaw is brown!" His eye brows were rasied after I cited all his favourite food in a row and a delighted face was followed by "...a'ha la Ma. Brown sumer sedap2 kan?"

We went to school after that enlightening conversation and along the way he listed all the other brown things, food and people he knew, amongst them were Mama, Aki, handbag Mama, tudung Opah, smelly socks baba and everything else. Brown sure is an important colour in his life and it is alright to be brown, it is just a colour on the outside. I try to inculcate in him that the inside is more important which has to be white and pure, not green, not blue, not black.

As I was about to leave him with his friends, I managed to squeeze in a question, "...Anin, do you like to be brown?" He just smiled, nodded and asked me to leave him there as he was afraid I would smother him in front of his friends. Saphire, faded jeans and a flying kiss would just have to do for now.


My vanilla cream crept behind my back as I was about to publish this and warned "...hope you are not writing about me Ma" And I retorted " I know I know, your friends read my blog!" and she went "...he he he tau tak per"
Kids!!


I have vanilla cream and choc fudge every single day!


Dont Know Why - Norah Jones

Monday, January 12, 2009

The "UN" Mission

The artwork of Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff that calls on the world to condemn Israeli holocaust of Gaza.

I am just another person, mother, wife, and another set of eyes that is in devastation to be fed every single day of the inhumane destruction inflicted on fellow mothers, wives and most importantly fellow muslims over in Gaza. But I am not just another UNable person, mother, wife or another set of eyes that is UNfit, UNqualified or UNskilled to contribute in my own way, in the littlest way I know how.
So...

Dear friends,

In view of the current situation and state of the Palestinian people, I hereby would like to put aside every 5rgt from every order received from my cake venture and proceed the accumulated amount to The Palestinian Fund.

I am now no more just another UNable helpless Body!

Here are the first few cakes of my UN mission.


Thanks Nadia!

Thanks Lan and Pak Nil!

Thanks Kak Lin!

Definition of UN - United abomiNation

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Deelighted!



Remember the doting father I once wrote about many many posts back? Well, I finally got to meet him the other day just before he left for New Zealand! He was back in KL for a brief holiday and I just had to make his birthday cake for him(a belated one)in return for his gesture helping me with the New Zealand itinerary last year. I brought the cake over to another friend's house and celebrated his birthday over doughnuts, cupcakes and pisang goreng. No nasi beriyani, mee kari, satay or other fancy schmancy food on the table folks, only wonderful company.

Thanks so much Dee for your precious time and the endless spread of doughnuts. All the best in losing the extra kgs in NZ.

Enida and Mas, your kindness for having us over was very much appreciated. Hope to be able to visit Enida in the land of big fur hats one day.

Here's Dee with his cake.

Have a wonderful week ahead folks!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

ABCing The 1,2,3


When my little chocolate fudge dismounted our cake mobile to attend the formal school for the first time, my heart ballooned. Inflated with concern and anxiety, I was uncertain whether or not he was ready to tread the corridors of school on his own. His hand has always been in mine and mine in his. As sweaty and clammy as they might get, letting go was never part of the story. But on the first day of school, I had to let it swing free. I had to see him off walking to his class with tears in his eyes. But he didn't cry, his eyes were just watery, claimed he.

The teachers had warned us not to stick around the class during learning hours. I complied. Instead, I hid behind a wall several metres away from his classroom....just to see if he remembered to put his over sized bag down, or to put his water bottle on the table, or to take his pencil box out. The plan was to be near just in case he needed me. He didn't.


I waited till recess time and followed him from afar. He was as instructed, with all the items in his hands. As planned, he was to eat the lunch I had packed for him as he was too small to queue in line to buy food. He finished it and then was seen queuing at the nasi lemak counter. I ran frantically towards him as he was easing his way into the crowd. He just had a broken wrist weeks ago, a slight knock or fall might hinder proper recovery. I jumped behind him and made a wall to block the bigger kids from pushing and pressing him to the counter. He raised his hand for attention and said "...Assalamualaikum, assalamualaikum makcik, saya nak nasi lemak tapi tak der sambal, tak der sayur dan tak der kacang." Of course in the chaos of it all the the makcik just yanked the 50sen from his palm and passed him a plate of nasi lemak, with sambal, with sayur and with kacang! He walked away looking at his plate bewildered, but later finished his nasi lemak nevertheless, with sambal, sayur and kacang unharmed of course.

Earlier at the canteen, I saw mothers just like me , tagging on to their little ones. Acts of endearment manifested that day in the big school compound with each parent expressing their love and affection to their child in their own special way. Some fathers chose to exchange funny handshakes and high fives to their sons whilst mothers were deep in their facial expressions rubbing noses, smothering last minute talcum powder on the kids' faces before they lined up to class. I on the other hand, had to pull the sleeves of my baju longer so that my son could have a whiff of my scent to satisfy his ration of the day before he lost sight of me.

The moment I saw him chatting away with his new friend as they adjourned to class, I quickly took my exit. I realized that he was fine without me. His hand was swinging accordingly, his steps purposefully. He was his own person in his own new world now, trotting knowingly to his seat, standing in attention screaming "Assalamualaikum Cikgu!"

The last I saw of him that day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jules Rules

If there was ever a time you need someone to help you...

rule memorable events,
tool personalized pens,
pull new friends,

or

ignite great ideas,
invite new cheers,
delight close peers,

or

win someone's heart,
tin cookies and tarts,
pin polkadot cards,

you need not look further
as everything is here.

A chirpy friendly person who would lovingly run your world for you, well if you let her!

All the best Julie and thanks so much for the cupcake platter. Love it!

Thanks for the order Julie!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's You I Like

The sound of the raging lawn mower sucked the life of me this morning. As much as I dislike the noise, I however love the smell of the freshly cut grass. Deliciously, my yawns were soon accompanied by the crisp scent and I soon found myself trailing it all the way down. An image of a familiar man instantly came into focus the moment I aided these old pair of eyes to see. He was the most handsome mower in the neighbourhood I was told, and stealing glimpses of him toiling under the blue sky gave me the adrenalin rush! My presence behind the curtains was undetected by him. It felt like I was enjoying a 5 star buffet breakfast, towers of pancakes, plates of croissants, bowls of mueslis have just been served! My delight was short lived however, interrupted by the storming of my kids down the stairs demanding for breakfast! I hurried along to the kitchen and thought of whipping something nice to share with the mower, as a neighbourly gesture of course!!! My illusions of pancakes at a five star hotel seconds ago gave me the idea on what to serve the kids and the finest grass cutter in the Long River kingdom.




This is the pancake recipe used, taken from a friend's blog. Thanks Ziela!

Ingredients:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil /melted shortening


1/2 cup chocolate chip (optional)
I put treacle instead.

Directions.

In a large bowl, whip all the wet ingredients such as egg, milk and oil. Then scoop in the dry ingredients and whip and whip some more. Once a well mixed batter is achieved, you can heat up your non stick pan and pour the batter in to make rounds and rounds of delicious pancakes.

Serve them hot with butter, kaya and a generous drizzle of condensed creamer. No maple syrup for us.

Makes probably 15 average sized pancakes like the ones you see in the pic.


I was having jitters, unsure if my surprise gesture would either delight him or otherwise. I didn't want to send the wrong impression. He was, I believe on a strict diet.

I was tip toeing nervously to the front with a plate of pancakes in one hand, when my kids suddenly whooshed like a bolt of lightning yoddling " Baaaaaaaaaaa, mama buat pancakes for breakfast!!!!" It was then when the finest looking grass cutter of the land looked back, turned off his mower, wiped the trickling sweat on his face with the back of his hand and replied, "...Okkkkkkk, nanti Baba datang!" Okkkkk I'd be right there

ps. Thanks Chamee for straightening up the lawn. I love you the way you are, love handles, sweaty palms, bushy eye brows, snufflafugus eye lashes and all. Lots and lots and lots of love, your extra friendly neighbour! he he he

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Harder Than It Is

Thanks Juwa's brother in law. Sorry I didn't catch your name. ;o)

As I bade farewell to 2008, I usher this new year filled with hope, strong wishes and stars which could shoot me high up to the sky. But there were times when the twinkle of my stars were made to fade, submerged in the murky water weakening the bright twinkle to barely a flicker. The lights weren't totally extinguished folks but significantly dimmed. Too many to mention of the dampening instances I had to face. The cancellations at the 11th hour, the long wait of the invinsibles, the point of no returns, and the unfriendly discourse with the professionals. Those are some of the experiences I was opportuned to encounter last year. I cherish them all to the extent of failing to contain the happy tears from rolling down my cheeks.

And this year, on the second day of 2009 I was greeted with another similar episode. An order was cancelled two days before the delivery. I wasn't informed or notified or given any clues regarding the cancellation. In fact everything was confirmed via the email. I couldn't have known as no messages were passed or exchanged to signal me otherwise. But somehow this morning as I was about to bake, I could sense the heart palpating in a disorderly fashion. So I emailed and texted again to ask for one final confirmation. The silly reply received was more of an annoyance rather than a devastation for me. I seriously heaved a chuckle, not out of denial but out of "padan muka" manner directed to me and me alone.

Yes, I am the only one to be blamed. Being nice has its adversaries. I should have asked for a deposit for all the orders accepted. I was stretching my weakness a bit too far. Weaknesses are meant to be taken advantage of I reckoned.

At one time, I often questioned if unkind people really do exist out there. Now,I have learnt they do, because I have met them... in person, flesh and blood.

I am not washed away just yet folks. I am still here, here merely for the love of it.

"...believing in the one thing that has gotten me this far, that's what love is for."

Thanks Amy Grant!


Thats What Love Is For - Amy Grant