About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

31 January, 2007

Presenting my daughter Cream

Well yes..here's my daughter "Cream" (you would have read my entry yesterday about my daughter Khadijah/Missy K RPing in my space).

Had a chat with her about the dos and donts of RP from my point of view last evening and addressed all my concerns (Of course at this point in time, wifey was a bit blur on the whole episode and had to explain to her with all the little knowledge I gathered in one afternoon- it was indeed an ego-boosting session for me..LOL!). She took it quite positively and her body language and feedback was encouraging.....One issue addressed and anticipating more to come!

BTW her cousin's RPing nick is not "Bomber in the Wind" but "Happy Bomber".

30 January, 2007

RP- What in the world is that?

This is way beyond me and I thought I have bridged the tech gap between my daughter and I! What's this RP thing which I just found out today from my double-digit-age-daughter Khadijah?

See....I was sauntering in to our home office this morning whilst, as usual, Khadijah and Ib were fiddling with the keyboard when Khadijah happily announced that her cousin S**a was on9 ("online" for the uninitiated) chatting with her but this time they were role playing on myspace. In their lingo they were RPing (she just shook her head and said "role playing, Daddy!" to my question what RPing was). Her cousin is "Bomber in the Wind" (if my memory serves me rightly) and she - "Cream" (what a nick?). I was next to her when the cyber-conversation was taking place. What a weird thread of conversation like "Cream hugged Bomber in the Wind whilst stepping in to the portal which brought Bomber in the Wind elsewhere" (something to that effect lah!)

According to her, RPing can come in two forms (a) one is that you are entirely a fictitious person with stats displayed on your myspace and you develop that person's character in the process OR (b) you pretend that you are a character plucked from an anime/manga movie like "Final Fantasy" or from a book or from other films etc and your cyber-conversation will be based on the story line....

I really dont know what to think now. On one side of the coin, it's pretty cool that this RPing encourages the creative side of a person to surface but on the other....who's to monitor and ensure that certain lines are not crossed OR what if other real life person's picture is being used just to be hip RPers? Apparently RPing is very popular (at least from the postings I read of which were made mid last year - read here, here and here), After reading these articles especially the interview with the RL (read "real life") RP - gawd....they are indeed using other ppl's pics to post on their RP stats....Hey your pic may be flying around in myspace for all you know - that's scary!

Isn't parenting in this fast-paced cyber era most daunting? This is the sole reason why I try to update myself with what's hip and what's not for teenagers so that I can understand them better and help me with parenting issues. I have long decided that you have to speak their lingo in order to stop the bridge from getting wider - it's a fact of life! And stopping them from visiting myspace, friendster, ym at home does not mean that they will not do it elsewhere (like cousin's house, grandma's house). If you cant beat them, join them!

Back at home tonight, I will be having a chat with missy K and explain to her the do's and don'ts of RP.........If anything to console me - at least missy K was RPing an anime/manga character which she created and the other side was her female cousin.

To you peeps out there who have faced this parenting challenge, can you please share?

29 January, 2007

Then, our rabbits

I was browsing old pictures on the computer yesterday with my three boys and stumbled upon this folder entitled "Rabbits". Yup, we used to have loads of rabbits. It began with only a pair of does (according to the pet shop) - we specifically requested for same-sex rabbits so that they don't multiply. You know how when rabbits multiply there's no stopping them! Anyway, had a shock of our lives when we were away for Eid holiday when we got a phone call from wifey's brother (who was baby sitting our house) telling us that one of the two had delivered 3 kittens...! Our worst nightmare!!!!

When we got back , unfortunately, all the three kittens were devoured by them both...Only after we read materials from the net, we discovered why....! My brother in law might have touched the kittens and left traces of third party odour. Feeling threatened thinking that the kittens were not their kittens they reacted in that manner! The other pointer which we learnt was that, they are to be kept in total darkness for about two weeks to avoid being eaten alive by the mummy. Strange but true!

I have posted two video clips of one of the kittens, which survived the two week crucial period, after we became wiser, for you to enjoy.....

28 January, 2007

What to feed the kids?

Weekend mornings will find wifey and I looking bamboozled and always debating on what to feed the kids because (a) weekdays are normally well planned by wifey - freshly squeezed mixed fruit/vegetable juices with sandwiches/fried rice/scrambled eggs/pancakes and the like (b) we have decided that fast/processed food (frankfurters, nuggets, burgers and the like) is off menu!

Just discovered last week that Ib loves my oat bran power breakfast (on some mornings) - mixture of oat bran, soy powder and a dash of molasses. Since we were scurrying to Car*****r and be one of their super-kiasu shoppers - my power breakfast seemed the perfect choice for their breakfast rather than E.K. nasi lemak (from this makeshift stall in Lembah Keramat) we buy them Sunday after Sunday!...And guess what? They walopped two bowls of them bran. Off mummy and daddy went to do grocery shopping feeling relieved and elated since they are eating healthy food!

By the time we finished shopping (and window shopping - this goes without saying, right?) it was almost quarter to twelve. Made a quick stop at the Wangsa Maju DBKL Library at KLSC to inquire about membership (thanks to a blogger [who used to teach computer literacy at my children's kindy and knows one of my kids] who visited my blog and made a mention of this library in one of her postings; otherwise we would have not known!). It's quite impressive for a neighbourhood library and empty! By the time we headed for home it was almost lunch time and again - what to feed the kids? Wifey said why don't we buy Mc Donald's for a take away? We decided...naah...not junk food (we r trying to completely not visit fast food joints and feed them with home cooked meals - it's now down to one visit a month; we used to do weekly trips!). Wifey remembered that we had some leftover bolognaise sauce from Friday lunch and we made a quick dash to Bagus Bakery Supplies store where apart from cake and cookies supplies, they also sell freshly made pizza base, beef pepperoni, pastrami, grated mozzarella and cheddar cheeses - very reasonably priced as they buy in bulk! The cheeses are imported from Australia and you can get them half the price you would have to pay at Cold Storage or Hock Choon.

Made three pizzas (see the mess above!) - bolognaise sauce with chicken pastrami; 1.5 for us and 1.5 sent over to superwomanwannabe's. Two meals settled for the kids for the day.... and one more to go!

Bagus Bakery Supplies (the branches which we know) - one in Taman Melawati Tel 0341060688 (behind Kok Art and Antique) and the other in Taman Permata (the block behind 7 Eleven somewhere in the middle).

Tired of hearing "Takde"s?

Have you listened to the latest advertisement by Hy****i on the radio? I find it quite amusing. I like the chap who says "tak de" (not available/we don't have it) - so real!

Have you been to restaurants (the not so posh ones lah!) or stalls and after you have ordered your food or drink only to be told six minutes later that "Tak de lah bang, **** dah habis" (Sorry, the food/drink your ordered is not available). I mean...this is after you have gone through their two page menu and trying to decide for a good-three-minute of what you want to have only to be told "tak de". What's wrong with having a system of inventory for the waiters/resses to check on every time they pick up orders? But then again, it's an experience which is so Malaysian that makes Malaysia colourful.....

27 January, 2007

Late and this...?

It was about half past twelve in the afternoon and Khadijah was slightly late for her French class. I (sometimes wifey) have to drive across the city to get her to Alliance Francaise Damansara Heights every Saturday. Traffic at this hour is usually smooth and I could get to AF tops in 20 minutes.

For some strange reason, traffic was not too kind on us this afternoon. Just look at the picture! This is a normal scene in the morning on weekdays but never on a weekend at this hour (one caveat : pre festive holiday/public holiday not inclusive).

I guessed quite rightly that the traffic jam must have been caused by an accident (see pic above). The only things is that, the accident was on the other side of the ring road. Why must people slow down when the accident is not blocking their way? In Malaysia it is a natural phenomenon.. I have come to a conclusion that Malaysians are either one bunch of kay poh chees (busy bodies) or 4-digit freaks (it's also known that Malaysians- not generalizing here - slow down to get the plate numbers of the car(s) involved in accident(s) to place their bets at 4-digit outlets).

But I just discovered that I am completely wrong on this hypothesis! In the Land of Dreams (some people may disagree to this nick), America, slowing down to watch an accident wreck is also very common - these motorists are called rubberneckers (read here and here and here - there is wealth of write-ups on the net about rubberneckers and I think three links is quite enough to show that we Malaysians are not alone!).

Well to make this posting possible - I must confess that I was one of the rubberneckers today (sorry peeps) along MRR2. I had to have photos right? LOL.

26 January, 2007

Where everyone knows your name

This is our latest re-discovery of a cozy and friendly breakfast place in Taman Melawati called "Anjung" (they open 7.30 am to 3 pm). "Re-discovrey" because we used to buy Laksa Johor from the owner when she used to rent a stall at the oldest food court in Taman Melawati and we keep patronizing the same stall thinking that the goodies are from the same owner (we thought she had engaged workers to man her stall). Little did we know that she moved to the latest row of spanking new food court situates along TM building in Melawati. This was revealed last Saturday when wifey was invited by a couple of friends to have breakfast with them after Pasar Tani (which I did not tag along). The food court is quite clean!

The owner (pictured here sitting down talking to wifey) is Kak Gee who used to be an entertainment journalist and actress. Currently she shuffles between cooking at her stall and writing tv drama scripts and malay folklore stories for children. The husband helps her at the stall (the chap in striped polo shirt in the picture - cooking roti jala). He was a music journalist and currently have a "small" (according to Kak Gee) printing business in between helping Kak Gee at the stall. Her daughter, who's the couple's only child (in pony tail) helps her whenever she's off university is a dean's list student in Hotel Management course at a local university. Wifey made a remark saying that she was lucky to have her hubby and child to help her at the stall. She jokingly said - that's the whole idea - teach them to cook so that she can boss them around! The menu : laksa johor, nasi lemak bungkus, sotong kangkung (for breakfast? yes.......), tauhu bakar, garlic bread, roti jala and roti bakar. We had them all except for garlic bread after our morning walk last Sunday. L** joined us as well for breakkie a bit later.

I felt at home almost immediately because of Kak Gee's hospitality and friendliness. I was impressed by the fact that she knows all her customers by their names and their personal lives...like " When is your mom coming back from hajj?" "Congratulations on your recent achievement as a hafizah" and the list goes on. She greeted wifey by her name when we arrived even though it was her second visit. I suppose she does not remember us from before because we never had breakfast at her place - only take-aways!

Nasi lemak bungkus - just nice and the sambal is gorgeous (like the sambal in Muar). By the time we reached there, about 745 am,..... there were about 6 packets left (which we immediately bought - 4 for the kids and two for moi) . I gave up one for another customer coz she was visibly upset that she could not have Kak Gee's Nasi Lemak that morning.

We bought them all!

Bubur lambuk - Not too rich and just nice. It's more of a fusion bubur lambuk served with a dash of sesame oil.

Tauhu bakar - A different sort of sauce from other stalls. This is Kak Gee's own recipe. No sotong kangkung and roti jala piccies. The squid was soft and tender and the sauce heavenly. The curry served with the roti jala was beef curry and was perfect accompaniment to the roti.
How to get there? Drive in to Taman Melawati (not the ISKL Taman Melawati entrance). YOu will pass the shop area on the left...Drive on until you pass the primary school on your right. Keep right until you reach the secondary school also on your right and ready to make a u-turn. Drive as if you are making an exit to MRR2, slow down and keep left as you reach the primary school. There is a new food court after the primary school - this is where Anjung is located (somewhere in the middle!).

25 January, 2007

Sp**do making easy money out of me

Yusof told me yesterday, that he was selected to represent his school in competitive swimming at the district level and the meet was supposed to be this morning. Excuse me...don't tell me that you don't train these kids beforehand and expect them to perform miracles?

Yusof is the most excitable child among my four....He will totally miss the crux of a matter and gets electrified with the frills and fancies....! As I suspected, after reading the memo from his teacher - he was actually short-listed for a selection process to represent his school and the swim-meet is this coming February. Still.....this really made us proud and happy for him!

When I arrived home he, as usual, was impatient and excited wanting to buy his goggles and swimming cap there and then. The only way to cool him down is to act calm and collected (in today's lingo "be a kewl dude"!). Talking about goggles - we buy about 3-4 times a year new sets of goggles for my boys.....The last outing for goggles was before Raya, I think, and they have lost them all. Of course we lost three goggles in Langkawi (one at Durian Perangin waterfall, one at Tg Rhu beach and the other at Pasir Tengkorak Beach) - sigh.....!

Made our way to Car*****r (with Khadijah and Yusof) and he had to choose the branded one, right (read here if you want to know why)? It was like RM54 - for a goggle.....? Nah.....! I would have bought it for him if he was more responsible...! Settled for a Sp**do Junior Splasher which was half the price of what he chose. Bought also two other goggles for Ib & Umar which cost RM2.90 each (the house brand).

And......I just got the news that he was selected to represent his school! He clocked the fastest amongst primary 4 and 5 aspirants...! I hope that with this selection he will become more motivated in his school work...(as a motivation booster according to Andrew Martin who wrote "How to Motivate a Child"). He used to complain a lot that Kakak (Khadijah) gets to do a lot of things and wins prizes.... He's all perky now that he wants to train at our club every morning at 630 am.....! It's his time to shine now!

My advise...be patient with your kids as they have different rate of progress. They all have different talents which are awaiting to be discovered by you...You just have to have a "trial and error" approach; let them discover themselves (in the process you'd definitely burn your wallet but worth all the single cent). No point forcing them doing what they don't like - Mom & Dad - they are just not interested......! At least that's my parenting philosphy...which you may disagree.

23 January, 2007

If you are in to acid jazz......

An accomplished singer/songwriter in the jazz/r&b circle, Noryn Aziz, has released her debut album entitled Alam Maya as a come back to the mainsteream music industry. This is not an attempt of a music review by me but sharing one of my passions in life, which is music. In any event can't do a review since I have not bought her album... Bumped into her music whilst googling for some other stuff!

I first heard heard her ages ago when she was the other half of the duo Sister Sister in the nineties, if my memory does not fail me this time. But then, her break through to the music industry had to be the pop genre.

There is a sample of four songs in her myspace which I highly recommend you hear if you are in to acid jazz. I must say her music (in this album, at least as revealed by her sample songs) is highly influenced by Incognito, Brand New Heavies and the like. It's such a coincidence that I pulled out Incognito's 1996 album, Positivity yesterday to listen to it.... (you can listen to the album here)!

We need more singers like Noryn (as opposed to Siti sound-alike) who will push the music frontier to the next level! Kudos to her!

Check out her video shot during the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival held in March last year!


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Bake with dad

Decided to spend time with the kids Sunday afternoon doing something different....Baking! Yes baking. Not that I am an avid baker or adept in the kitchen. I just thought that it'd be fun to get all my kids involved doing something simple which I guess they would enjoy.

I had this craving for the banana danish pastry which we bought from the Loaf- Bakery and Bistro Telaga Harbour, Langkawi and it seemed simple to make! It was just assembling the puff pastry and slices of banana, I think. It's no rocket science!
Well, teh kids really enjoyed it. It was not the baking, I believe. It was the chance of having a fun time and spending really quality time together with your loved ones which made the experience truly magical.....and like visa card advert (LOL) - priceless!

Step 1 - flatten the puff pastry into a rectangle of 30cm by 60 cm

Step 2- Sprinkle castor sugar on to the flattened dough
(while doing this heat up your oven at 200 degrees)
(chill the dough for 10 minutes in the fridge)

Step 3- Ask your kid to slice the bananas;
in my case Ib did it under my supervison of course

Step 4 - Make your child participate further by arranging the banana slices;
Umar did it for me and he enjoyed it!

Step 5 - Glaze the exposed dough with egg
Thanks Khadijah!

Chuck it in the oven until the dough puffs up and slightly browned

Walah - ready to be wallopped.
Hey it may be out of shape but it was damn nice!

This is Khadijah's project (Sago with supposedly palm sugar syrup - had to substitute it coz run out of it) which was taken over by wifey mid-way! Served with brown sugar syrup and cocounut milk! Delicious!

22 January, 2007

Our Sunday Walk

Woke up Sunday morning quite late (to my standard that is), about quarter to seven, and woke wifey up as she wanted to join me for a gym session (well at least this was what she told me the night before). But hey....wifey wanted fresh air, instead, that morning rather than being cooped up in the gym like a guinea pig trotting on the tread mill and asked me to accompany her for a morning walk up this little hill in Taman Melawati (this is the only way she gets to use her new Nike cross trainers which I bought her...LOL). I agreed with much reluctance; as to me morning walks are for wimps!

Decided to drive to Taman Melawati and left our car at the new Food Court near TM Building. Started walking towards the hill and passed the river pictured below and noticed a few flamingos looking for their catch of the day. The river was heavily polluted with soil eroded from the neraby hill cleared for development - thanks to the local council and the state authority for approving hill development for reasons best known to them!

Flamingos in the river

The entrance to the little hill

The no entry without permission notice - did we care?

A hill cleared for development viewed from the little hill

Wifey lagging behind........

A humongous bungalow under construction...it has a lift shaft!

On the way back, we took a detour to get to our car and walked pass this house at Jalan J16, phase 6 Taman Melawati. This is the house which was to be our first marital place of abode (residing completely together) after we got married (I was residing in Johor Bahru whilst wifey in Kuala Lumpur with her parents immediately after we got hitched). We stayed here for about a year before we purchased an apartment also in Taman Melawati. This is the house Khadijah called home after she was brought back from the hospital......

Hey, after that morning walk, I'm fully converted. It's not bad at all...you get nice view, fresh air and most importantly quality time with wifey. I'll definitely do it again. What's wrong with being a wimp once a week! LOL!

Yusof spanked!

I was so incensed with Yusof when I got back home with wifey after grocery-shopping on Sunday... The little birds at home told me that Yusof was using unpleasant language again! It was only the day before that we found a piece of paper authored by Yusof directed to his "friend" in a language unbecoming of a 9+ year old boy; supposedly in retaliation to what that "friend" had said to him. We had a chat that even though that "friend" had said things which he did not like or in a language most foul, it did not warrant him to write in such a language! I told him to report to his teacher instead whenever such a thing ever happens again! He appeared to fully fathom what I was advising him....I was sooo furious that morning because he said "s****d" to his sister and some other nasty words. Lost my temper and spanked him! I wasn't finding fault with him but when I asked whether he had finished reading his book of the week- he said no, flatly which made me doubly mad.

I suppose this problem [foul language] is quite common amongst boys this age - I was like that too...as far as I can remember. But I grew out of it as I aged....! But this would not have happened had my parents not spanked me when the situation justifies one!

I'm a all for spanking, only if I have resorted to all other possible avenues in addressing a situation, yet the same problem persists.

Yusof is not a book person....He has to be constantly reminded to read all the time unlike Khadijah (I'm not comparing here but merely sharing of the differring traits and interests which my kids have). Hence, Yusof needs to be given like two books a week for him to finish and write a summary for me at the end of it. This is the only way I can get him to read.....His latest book he finished is a funny book called "Fish" written by Charlie James; which he finished after being spanked!

Felt a little bit guilty after the spank ( just tiny weeny though)...and offerred him a sandwich. Tuna, onion and bell pepper with mayo together with iceberg lettuce and alfalfa sprouts.

He consumed the sandwich within a few seconds!

Spotted this tiny orange frog perched on the water spout whilst accompanying Yusof eating his sandwich. We do get a lot of frogs around in our backyard especially the tiny ones....orange or brown in colour.

Ne Me Quitte Pas

The first video clip featured below is a version done by Sting. Got hooked to this song after watching Mukhsin, Yasmin Ahmad's latest movie, trailer. I've heard of the English version eons ago by Sinatra ("If you go away").......but the original version by Jacques Barel is damn haunting, poignant and heart-rending; equally so of Nina Simone's. I have also inserted Simone's and Brel's versions respectively below. BTW this song was released in 1959 and the songwriter is Mr Brel himself! Enjoy.....!

Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le coeur du bonheur

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Oÿ il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'après ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Oÿ l'amour sera roi
Oÿ l'amour sera loi
Oÿ tu seras reine

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Je t'inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants-là
Qui ont vu deux fois
Leurs coeurs s'embraser
Je te raconterai
L'histoire de ce roi
Mort de n'avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l'ancien volcan
Qu'on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraät-il
Des terres brulées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu'un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s'épousent-ils pas

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
A te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t'écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
L'ombre de ta main
L'ombre de ton chien

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas

Don't leave me
We must forget
All we can forget all we did till now
Let's forget the cost of the breath
We've spent saying words unmeant
And the times we've lost hours that must destroy
Never knowing why everything must die at the heart of joy
Don't leave me don't leave me
Don't leave me don't leave me

I'll bring back to you the pearls of rain
From a distant domain where rain never fell
And though I grow old I'll keep mining the ground
To deck you around in gold and light
I'll build you a domain where love's everything
Where love is king and you are queen
Don't leave me don't leave me
Don't leave me don't leave me

Don't leave me
For you I'll invent
Words and what they meant only you will know
Tales of lovers who fell apart and then fell in love again
There's a story too that I can confide
Of that king who died from not meeting you
Don't leave me don't leave me
Don't leave me don't leave me

And often it's true that flames spill anew
From ancient volcano's we thought were too old
When all's said and done scorched fields of defeat
Could give us more wheat than the fine April sun
And when evening is nigh with flames overhead
The black and the red aren't they joined in the sky
Don't leave me don't leave me
Don't leave me don't leave me

Don't leave me
I will cry no more
I will talk no more hide myself
To look at you and see you dance and smile
And hear you sing and laugh
Let me be for you the shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand the shadow of your dog
Don't leave me don't leave me
Don't leave me don't leave me

Can't wait for this one

Mukhsin is Yasmin Ahmad's third installation of her Orked's chronicles (the first one being Sepet and Gubra the second) and is scheduled to be screened in Malaysia in March 2007. Having been nominated for a prestigious film festival, the Berlin 57th International Film Festival in the "Generation" category (a category for films which have youth as the main theme), it definitely will rock but I seriously doubt whether it will have an impact on the local citizens across the board - especially with the statistics that local movie-goers are only interested in films made by a certain academician or an ex-actor which in my opinion is a total insult to any one's intelligence. But hey....their films are blockbusters....??? I suppose the market is not ready for films which make them think......

The one thing which I love about Yasmin's movies is that they all have souls...you are totally immersed in them.

Anyway, I love Nina Simone's "Ne me quitte pas" (you can hear it here) and Adibah Noor's (congratulations for winning Best Vocal, best ballad and best song in the 21st AJL held last evening) rendition of a keronchong song, which I don't know the title, featured in the trailer below.

Our fave Lontong stall

Hey guys....Robyn of Eating Asia has reviewed the lontong place which I recommended her. You can read her review here.

Do visit her blog - well written reviews and to top it all nice piccies!

21 January, 2007

Bidan Terjun

What was supposed to be a quiet and uneventful weekend turned out to be a rather frenzied and a frantic one for me. It all started with a phone call from my best friend (pictured above) on Thursday saying that he needed some kueh, fruits and a cake for his cousin-in-law's engagement Saturday morning. I was like.....excuse me.. it's two days' to go?

No doubt he did mention to me a couple weeks back that he would need my (rather wifey's) help for three trays of hantaran (gifts) for the engagement-but it was not a firm request. It was difficult to say no (you now how you may-be-at-the-other-end-some-day kinda feeling - that's how exactly I felt) and I said yes of course without wifey's cocurrence (since she will be doing most of the decorating the hantaran etc) which incurred her wrath obviously (for not too long though).

First stop was the Bakery ( a french bakery in Ampang Jaya), owned by this lovely french couple which they opened a few years back. They fell in love with Malaysia when they visited their offsring here, that they sold off their bakery in Paris and currently making Kuala Lumpur their place of abode. Breads are freshly baked daily- our alltime fave is the sundried tomato bread (can be a bit spicy) we normally have it with kacang pool (mixed beans cooked in kurma paste with minced meat; this dish is quite famous in Johore and Singapore among the arabs especially. How it's eaten - kacang pool with fried shallots, spring onion and sunny-side-up put a dash of ghee and have it with a baguette or any type of bread..yummy!). Oopsie I have digressed.... Their quiches are nice too - three types (salmon; chicken mushroom and rattatouille- the last one is my fave). They serve good breakfast too! Anyway, we ordered mixed fruit tartlets and chicken mushroom quiche for the hantaran. A bit different, I must say....(the future-bride parents were expecting jala mas, akok etc.....as their future son-in-law is from Kelantan). BTW, apparently the owners have opened a new lunch place opposite Ampang Point which wifey and I are going to check out one of these days.

Second stop was Alexis bistro at GEM coz they have nice cakes and desserts (nice Sarawak laksa too!). We placed an order for a mixed fruit pavlova for the second hantaran. Wanted to order Charlotte au fruits from Chef Jerome but as it's not summer he doesn't do it ( I suspect that he only uses fruits from France - talk about being patriotic! - it's summer in OZ!)

Last stop was Petaling Street for fresh flowers and fruits......That completed the assignment. No, not really....the most difficult one was to break the news to wifey.....Truthfully, it wasn't that bad or that difficult..... : )! The promise of helping her did the trick...LOL!

The first tray above comprises of the tartlets and quiches with the floral arrangemnet done by wifey! Unfortunately, I didn't snap pics of the other two trays..... That was not my friend's only request - he asked us to attend the engagement ceremony the following day....Not really...it was the same day as wifey only finished doing all the decoration about one a.m. saturday morning! He pleaded like a little doggie in the window... Of course wifey refused as she was tired...she had to go to pasar tani like 5 hours later. Well, iI really had nothing to do in the morning anyway...(since Khadijah's French class was cancelled for DELF training) and I said yes.....

So ya....we spent one day of the weekend as bidan terjun (literally translated - the jumping mid-wife; its actual meaning is a person who is asked to do things on a short notice despite not having any experience).

All in all the engagement went on smoothly. My friend had to be the spokesperson for the ceremony (I would have p**** in my pants if I was asked to do that; which initially I was to which I had to refuse coz I knew nothing of this sort of thing.).
The icing to the cake was the nice pilaf rice which was served...not oily and kind to my tummy....had it with beef stew, beef briyani, sweet and sour fish, acar buah (pickled preserved fruits) and jelantah (a mixture of pineapple, onion and cucumber soaked in vinegar with a dash of sugar). And of course the traditional kueh served was brilliant too - not soo sweet.

20 January, 2007

Heavenly Thai

As you walk to the entrance, a huge red lantern greets you....

The path leading up to the bungalow

Friday nights have been pre-empted for mummy and daddy time out from the kiddos... We would always look forward to this so that we could catch up with each other on variety of issues OR catch up with our relatives or friends. Like last night, we went to Tamarind Hill to have dinner with L*n to catch up!

Tamarind Hill situates on a small hill at Jalan Kerja Raya Air Lama, Ampang housed in a 1920's colonial planter's bungalow. I have been patronizing this place for a number of years now. Most of my friends whom I have brought here would be surprised to find an oasis in the middle of Klang Valley! You don't feel that you are actually next to a busy road....I love the ambience and the food served here (Modern Siamese cuisine) is excellent.

For dinner we ordered seafood fried rice for L*n, pineapple fried rice for wifey and yours truly had Black Olive fried rice. We ordered two dishes to share - Seafood Tom Kah (it's basically tom yam but has light coconut milk in it; very nice) and Shitake Mushroom fried with basil.

Eve of Awal Muharram

Look at how smart my three boys are in baju melayu! This was taken on the eve of awal muharram (1st day of the first month of Islamic calendar).

Wifey, Yusof, Ib and I went to Masjid Al-Amin, Kemensah for Maghrib prayers and for the making of end of year and new year du'as... Of course Umar shook the whole house upside down with his loud cry wanting to follow us. He's a wee too young to follow us to the surau. I normally introduce surau to my kids when they are approximately 5.....!

We arrived about 10 past seven by the time of which the imam had finished reciting the end of year du'a. Stayed back until the new year du's was recited. Had to leave and skip the tazkirah (a mini lecture) for dinner planned a week ago (which we slightly overlooked it's the eve of awal muharram).
WELCOME 1428!!!!!

19 January, 2007

Happy New Year 1428

New year du'a

End of year du'a

Here's wishing all fellow muslim and muslimah readers a more rewarding and fulfilling hijrah new year 1428. I'm reminding myself and a'll muslim/muslimah readers not to forget reciting the above du'as at the close of 1427 and beginnining of 1428 this evening.

Our plan is to bring the kids to the
surau this evening for the prayer - praying that 1428 will be a more rewarding and fulfilling year for us!

Here's the translation of the du'as (no english translation at the mo!)

The recitation order - the end of year du'a just before maghrib azan and the new year du'a immdeiately after maghrib azan.

Maksudnya: (New Year du'a)

Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Wahai Tuhan, Engkaulah yang kekal abadi, yang qadim. yang awal dan ke atas kelebihanMu yang besar dan kemurahanMu yang melimpah dan ini adalah tahun baru yang telah muncul di hadapan kami. Kami memohon pemeliharaan dariMu di sepanjang tahun ini dari syaitan dan pembantu-pembantunya dan tentera-tenteranya dan juga pertolongan terhadap diri yang diperintahkan melakukan kejahatan dan usaha yang mendekatkanku kepadaMu Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha Agung dan Maha Mulia.

Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha pengasih dari mereka yang mengasihi dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad. Nabi yang ummi dan ke atas ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Maksudnya: (End of year du'a)

"Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Wahai Tuhan, apa yang telah aku lakukan dalam tahun ini daripada perkara-perkara yang Engkau tegah daripada aku melakukannya dan aku belum bertaubat daripadanya. Sedangkan Engkau tidak redha dan tidak melupakannya. Dan aku telah melakukannya di dalam keadaan di mana Engkau berupaya untuk menghukumku, tetapi Engkau mengilhamkanku dengan taubat selepas keberanianku melakukan dosa-dosa itu semuanya. Sesungguhnya aku memohon keampunanMu, maka ampunilah aku. Dan tidaklah aku melakukan yang demikian daripada apa yang Engkau redhainya dan Engkau menjanjikanku dengan pahala atas yang sedemikian itu. Maka aku memohon kepadaMu.

Wahai Tuhan! Wahai yang Maha Pemurah! Wahai Yang Maha Agung dan wahai Yang Maha Mulia agar Engkau menerima taubat itu dariku dan janganlah Engkau menghampakan harapanku kepadaMu Wahai Yang Maha Pemurah. Dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad, ke atas ahli kelugra dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan mengurniakan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka."

15 January, 2007

NICE fancy cakes

CHECK THIS OUT for nice fancy cakes to order!
PICS are taken from the blog!

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly