Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Ramadhan 2020 - of food and kad raya

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Hi people.

Remember when I was soooooo excited about starting a writing challenge? Pfft. I made it until Day 5 out of 10. Weak. I might continue the challenge when the excitement is back but for now, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin! It's already June and raya vibes have long vanished but it is Syawal still and we should live like it's the first day of raya. I know some of us feel a bit confused with this year raya, but hey, I would like to add more confusion. I would be talking, I mean writing-- about puasa/ramadhan instead.

I was in boarding school for a good 5 year since I was 13, then I spent another 4 years away in Kelana Jaya for my degree and 2 years in Bangi for my MA. I had my fair share of berpuasa away from my family but this year, after so long, I got to experience the whole month of Ramadhan with my family. With the PKP, there is no bazaar this year but that gave me chance to try new recipes. Some turned out superbly delicious (gitu ye confident puji masakan sendiri), some turned out okay and some just went south.

I shall start sharing the pictures of few food I cook during puasa -- from the most OK to the worst hahaha. Here is, puding caramel or puding gula hangus. One of the few foods I can cook successfully. I love my caramel pudding a bit bitter and less sweet. Hence, the dark caramel.

Roti John based on Khairul Aming's recipe. This turned out so delicious that my family said I made better roti john than the shops out there. I don't know if my family was sincere with the praises or they just got tired with me endlessly asking, "Sedap dok?", "Okay dok?".

Brownies kedut! I am a complete noob when it comes to baking. This brownies right here, was my third attempt. It tasted nice if you love chocolate and if you love fudgy, chewy brownies texture. I guess my family likes it because it was gone in one sitting. 

Now we are getting to the barely-pass-food. Butir nako. Very easy to prepare, taste nice. It was actually my first time makan butir nako and of course first time doing it. My younger sister approved it soooo I guess it tasted okay? But! My twin nephews memang menduga kesabaran ya. Every time I tried to suap them the butir nako, they just drink the sweet kuah and left the butir nako for me to chew. Kuangsam.

 Next, pulut mangga. Having sweet mangga is important to ensure the deliciousness of the cuisine. So we had several ripe mangoes and the night before making pulut mangga, I cut one of them. It tasted very sweet. That's why I decided to make pulut mangga. Tapi the mangga scammed me. It has nice orange-ish yellow colour but taste like air masak. If blind person eat my pulut mangga, they might think I'm serving them chew-able air masak. Dasar scammer. Will never believe mangga again.

Now, the worst of all. My tepung pelita. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. They look soooo fine. Even my parents were impressed with the acuan I made out of daun pisang. Okay, first off, I used the wrong tepung. Tepung pelita is made with tepung beras but me, being so confident, used tepung gandum. But then, I was told by my friend (after the whole tragedy), Ain, that limas -- a kuih that is similar to tepung pelita used tepung gandum. So I was not entirely wrong.

But people... I made another batch on the same day, this time with the right tepung. If my previous pulut mangga tasted like air masak, this one taste like air. Air as in the one we breathe in. You know, air taste like nothing. Bland, empty, tasteless. Tepung pelita should be sweet but I would like to clarify that my tepung pelita is the (very very very) healthier version of the kuih. I guarantee that diabetic people should not worry about eating my tepung pelita. They can eat a dozen of my tepung pelita and still be fine. 

Anyway, those are my stories about my cooking attempt during ramadhan. And as usual, I wrote several kad raya this year for my friends. Last year I posted out around 20 if I am not mistaken, and this year around 22. I love kad raya but it's getting really hard to find the classic one. Most of the kad raya being sold online are in postcard format and I don't like that. I want those folded cards, with carved out holes, funny caricatures and traditional pictures of random masjid and ketupat that does not look tempting at all. I love those old school cards.

Handwritten notes and cards have a special place in my heart. I kept every single note and card I received since primary school. Some notes are on tissue or small piece of paper but to me, they all are so special, considering the effort being put in by the writers to write me the notes. Gittewwww. Next year raya, I might be designing my own kad raya. I'm figuring out what kind of theme I want and whether I want it handmade or design it and get it printed out somewhere. We'll see next year.

I wish to continue this tradition of writing kad raya to the very end. I want my friends who used to receive kad raya from me, thought of me when I passed away. Like every year, when they are kemas kemas rumah and isi kuih raya dalam bekas kuih, they will go "Dulu, mama ada kawan. Selalu hantar kad raya. Ni dia dah meninggal, dah tak ada kad raya." Gitu. Hahahah. 

Anyway, I am so grateful for this ramadhan. There's nothing to rush as I'm home all day long, for the whole holy month. I have a lot of free time that I managed to khatam Quran on the night before 17 Ramadhan. The shortest time I manage to achieve before this was 22 days. See? There are some good things with the PKP.

 I would like to end my post with this picture of my choc chip biscuits. I usually baked these cookies for raya, but this year I mogok. My youngest brother, Eil, asked me to bake the cookies twice in the month before ramadhan and after that, I no longer have the spirit to bake them. Very the bosan these cookies.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin. Siapa nak duit raya, tinggal nombor account kat bawah hahaha.


Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Day 5: Something I Struggle With

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Heyyyy people!

I skipped the previous topic to write about, 'Five ways to win my heart'. It's a bit hard to write about because I think I need a longer time to think about it. Benda pasal hati ni messy and berat so we need to tunggu ada hati then we can write. Ah gitu. So, I will write about things I struggle with first.

I think most of my friends know I am struggling with driving. I just turned all pale, sweaty and silent when I sit behind the wheels. It is so nerve wrecking and I could not muster enough courage to drive. Hence, I stopped halfway in my driving lesson hahaha. I did try to drive but well, you should ask my friend, Mirah, the look on my face the moment I sit in the driver's seat. Let's just say I look like I saw death in person pffft. But, it kinda difficult to tell people that you are struggling with driving because it appears to be an easy task to many people. Let's pray that I will be able to drive too in the future, ok? Hahah.

Another thing I have been struggling with is talking to strangers. I would say that I am very talkative and chatty but with people who I am not familiar with, I come off as poyo and sombong gitu. I talk very little. I remember my conversation with a fellow bus-rider at TBS few years ago. He was sitting two seats away from me. The conversation went like this;

Him: Nak balik kampung ke?
Me: Ha'ah.
Him: Student ke?
Me: Ha'ah.
Him: Kampung kat mana?
Me: Terengganu.
Him: Ooo bas pukul berapa?
Me: 10.30.
Him:  Oh sama lah.
Me: *senyum and nod*

And after a while, the brother's bus arrived first, he picked up his bag, said bye and I smiled. The reason I remember this conversation is because right after the brother left for his bus, my friend, Kak Yong who was sitting beside me said, "Hang ni Ba, kalau dengan orang hang kenai bukan main riuh. Dengan orang hang tak kenai mulut serupa ada emas. Dia tanya banyak banyak, hang jawab ja. Apa salahnya tanya balik dia asal mana, study mana, bas koi berapa. Berat mulut betoi."

Now, this is my struggle. When strangers make conversation by asking me questions, I automatically masuk gear menjawab soalan semata-mata and never ask them anything. I think the reason I acted like that with strangers is because I often feel like I only need to ask questions to people who matter to me, whose life I am interested to know about. Hence, I don't ask questions to strangers. Wah begitu angkuh pemikiran seorang Bazilah ya. No wonder I received lot of remarks telling me that I look sombong. I guess I do appear like an indifferent asshole to strangers. As Mark Manson said, indifferent is bad. And I don't want to be seemed as bad.

So, one of my 2020 resolutions is to talk to strangers. If they ask me questions, I will answer and ask same or similar question to them. I will learn to control my level of indifference so that I don't appear as bad. Maybe I should take a lesson with my partner in crime, Bibso. That woman, she can make friends with people who sit beside her in the bus. An amaze-ball she is! Me on the other hand, would always take the single seat, buried my head in a book and avoid making eye-contact with anyone. Bibso is so amazing she can make friends with almost anyone. She asks the right questions, shows the right amount of interest and knows where to stop the conversation. In short, she's not awkward at all and she's friendly with everyone. That's it, the first thing I will do tomorrow is send my application to be her disciple.

I guess these two are among things I am struggling with and trying hard to overcome. Y'all wait, in 2021, I would be driving on the road and while driving, I would be so friendly I roll down all four windows and say 'Hi!' to every car that passes by. You just wait ok.

Till then, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Day 4: Places I Want To Visit

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Heheh I skipped a day because well you know, issues. By issues, I mean my laziness. But now, I've kept Miss Lazy in her room and I will continue the writing challenge. It's about the places I want to visit. Speaking of which, this Covid-19 is really a bitch. I planned to visit Singapore with my friends at the end of February. And around that time, there was several confirmed cases in the nation. So, we canceled the plan. Then, I plan to go to Genting Highland with my other friends at the end of March. But well well well, RMO happened. But there must be reasons and hikmah why Allah allow this to happen, right? So, marilah kita berlapang dada.

Anyway, about the places I want to visit. I am not big on travelling, idk. Maybe because I don't have enough money to go travelling? HAHAHA. Ok seriously, idk. Usually, I only go to new places because I want to see my friends who live there and most of the time, I will stay at their house, cook for them and that's about it. Bhahaha I am so boring. But, if I were asked about the places I want to visit, I think I have quite a few places. 

1. Japan
As a kid, I used to watch a lot of anime and J-drama. I used to favour J-drama over K-drama and I always feel like Japan is a very beautiful country. The food, the culture, the scenery, the mind-blowing technologies they have, I want to see them in person. Not through screen or pictures. Well, some day when I have the chance, Japan would be the first place I want to visit.

2. Iceland Northern Light
I love sky. Like very very much. What's better than sky with mesmerising light during night? Practically nothing. Except my mom's cooking. That maybe better. But that's totally different so yeah, northern light is the best. I remember back during my degree years, I took this one subject -- Creative Writing. One of the assignments was to prepare ABC book where you have to describe each letter with the things related to yourself. The alphabet A for my ABC book stands for Aurora and I pasted a whole lot pictures of northern light. It amazes me so much and I always marvel at the thought of how amazing Allah is, being able to create such beautiful things, far in the sky, untouched by the hands of the human. So amazing *insert emoji teary eyes*

3. Switzerland
I used to keep quite a number of scenery pictures in Switzerland. Everything looks so serene. And I kind of realise that I make a boring travel partner HAHAHAHAH. I love places like this where people can sit down, drink coffee and stare at the beautiful scenery for hours. It looks so nice to just breathe in the fresh air, appreciating God's creation and do nothing. Hahahah Goddd I am so very boring but yeah I think I would do exactly that if I visited places like the one in the picture.

I think that's it. Apart from these three, I think any beaches or places with nice sky would be enough to make me smile from ear to ear. Haha. The challenge is to list 5 places I want to visit, but I only have three in my mind. Okay maybe when I grow a bit older, I would have more places I want to visit. I will check in the next few years ok? Or maybe, I will stay as the boring person I am, still have only these three places in my mind. Miahahah.

Ugh I myself feel like puking reading this entry of mine. Maybe I should look up for places I should visit so I would have more in my list. Hahaha whatever it is, thank you for reading! May I still have the spirit to keep the challenge going. 

Till then, take care and stay safe!

Monday, 6 April 2020

Resepi Kek Butter Simple

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Heyya people. 
I'm taking a break from the writing challenge because I want to share this simple recipe of butter cake with you people. First off, I would like to tell you people that I loooooove baking but sadly, I am not always lucky with the things I bake. But! This recipe is really simple and if a failure like me can ace it, so can you.

So, you will be needing:
1. 250 gram butter
2. 200 gram castor sugar
3. 250 gram flour
4. 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
5. 4 eggs
6. 1/2 cup of fresh milk
*additional: three tablespoons of cocoa powder and one teaspoon of vanilla essence.

So, now the steps.
In the bowl, combine 250 gram butter with 200 gram sugar.

Beat them. I actually ran out of castor sugar and I used the normal sugar. So, the texture was not really pretty. After the sugar and butter dah turn fluffy or kembang, add the vanilla essence. Cemana nak tahu the sugar and butter dan kembang? When they turned pale yellow gitu or white gitu.

Then, remember that 4 eggs? Add one by one.

Alternately, after each egg, add the tepung. Remember to ayak the tepung with baking powder first. Masuk sebiji telur, masuk tepung. Pastu, pukul. Pastu gilir gilir sampai habis telur and tepung. And then, add the half cup of milk. Pukul lagi sampai rata.

Pastu, divide the mixture into two. Satu tu, you add the three tablespoons of cocoa powder. Kacau rata. Kalau nak buat colour colour also can. Kalau ada empat colour, bahagikan adunan kepada empat. Kalau nak buat 24 colour macam pensel colour luna, yaaaa terserah deh!

Letakkan adunan tu selang seli dalam loyang yang dah disapu minyak or di-layerkan dengan baking paper. Putih dulu, pastu coklat, pastu putih, pastu coklat. Buat sampai adunan habis. Lepas letak setiap adunan tu, disarankan menghentak loyang ye. I found the action of menghentak loyang helped the layer to be prettier hahah tapi heyy, mungkin saya hanya berkhayal.

Masukkan dalam oven yang dah dipanaskan for 10-15 minutes, at 170 degree celcius for around 50 minutes. Tapi kan, my oven kat rumah ni very the stupido. I actually put it on 190 for 50 minutes. Tapi kek tu alhamdulillah tak rentung. See, stupid oven? But really, it depends on your oven. So, kenali oven anda. Bukan boyfriend sahaja. Eh tiba.

So this is after terbakor dalam oven for 50 minutes. 

Keratan rentas. Daymmmmm they look so good. And oh, the recipe produced a very moist butter cake. And it smelled super nice wuwuwuw. Ya Allah dapnya makan panas panas!

I am not a fan of butter cake but my mom is. So, she loves this cake! I did try several times before this but eheheh my previous butter cakes need to be eaten with a sip of water after every slice untuk membantu penghadaman kerana begitulah kering, sekering hatiku. Gittew. But this one, is so gewd. I think I will be making this as my favourite recipe for butter cake.

Do try it and lemme know if you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Day 3: Top Three Pet Peeves

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Day 3 and still got the spirit. Wow, 2020 does change me! Bhahaha. Today's challenge is to share about my top three pet peeves. Pet peeve is something that you find irritating and annoying. You know, when you see something done by other people or literally anything that made you all annoyed, that is pet peeve for you. What a fancy name to describe things you hate eh? So, my top three pet peeves are...

1. Chewing with mouth opens
This practically drove me crazy. Come on, the sound we made when we chew food with our mouth opens is not really nice, right? The 'cak cak cak' drove me up the wall. It is very distracting, especially when you are trying to focus on eating hahah. It's much better if you close your mouth, chew your food in silence and when you finish chewing, you can open your mouth again. I think we all have the tendency to chew with our mouth opens masa zaman budak budak but you know, we can always improve and change whatever habit we have.

2. Spamming my Whatsapp but does not get straight to the point
I really can't. Have you ever received text from people, spamming you with your name like 'Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba'? I rushed to my phone, saw the tiny red bubble on Whatsapp icon with the number 23. Oh, must be important I thought. So I opened the messages, and the sender just called my name from message #1 to #23. I replied, yes? And then, guess what was the reply? The sender said, busy ke? And when I replied, no, the sender proceeded with 'oh ada benda nak tanya ni' and then the sender waited for me to say 'tanyalah'. 

See how many minutes already wasted because you asked unnecessary questions? I could have answered your questions if you texted me 'Ba, *insert the question*'. But noooo, some people just had to spam some tens messages before getting to the point 15-20 minutes later. But then I learnt, if the sender could take their time to get to the point, they could endure some extra minutes waiting for my reply to muahahaha. So yeah, I no longer reply as fast as I can to such messages started with some tens of 'Ba'.

3. Dog eared my books
Why you do this? Whyyyyy? I really care for my books. So, I never read them without wrapping them with the plastic wrapper first and I will use whatever I have in my hands to mark the pages, as long as I don't have to dog ear my books. I have used all sort of items to mark the pages - cable tie, candy wrapper, dry leaf, tissue, pen, business card, cotton bud, used envelopes, name it. As long as I don;t have to dog ear my books, I don't mind. Worse come to worst, I will just memorise the page number. Never dog ear my book. If you do it to your books, go ahead. But, please, don't do that to my books. I hate seeing the folded marks on the pages. It's like killing my books slowly. Gitu ye over.

I guess these are my top three pet peeves. I believe everyone has their own pet peeves. Like one of my friends, she cannot stand people who ask question merely to ask, not to seek for answers. She got so annoyed at such action and you can see it clearly on her face. HAHAHAHA but I think we all hate being asked by someone, only for the answers to be ignored, right? Anyway, what's your pet peeve?