Tuesday, 19 November 2013

dear Kakak..

This, explains result UPSR Kakak and how she, and we feel about it.

I understand to the eyes of a 12yo, this is a big thing, especially when the teachers targeted her to get straight A’s. While she was trying to cope with emotion of not getting what she wanted, I was trying hard myself – to cope seeing her so sad and broken. A senior at work once told me, when children are babies, we are physically exhausted. When they grow up, we are emotionally challenged.

I actually knew her result before she did. I text-ed the sms-system provided. And alhamdulillah, when the reply came, I was calm and composed. I have prayed for the best things for her and insyaAllah this, is the best for her. Of course I wanted her to get what she wanted – 5A’s. Nonetheless, I have taught myself to accept and embrace my children strengths and weaknesses alike. 

Dear Kakak, 

In life, you have to learn how to win but you must know how to accept defeat. Your life journey is way ahead of you from where you are now. There will be many wins and defeats, laughter and cries, happiness and sadness, successes and failures. I want you to embrace your life to the fullest. Sometimes we need to lose so we know the meaning of winning. Sometimes after we cry we appreciate more of the things that make us laugh. At times we will be happier after undergoing sadness. Sometimes we fail many times before we can have a taste the sweetness of success. Sometimes we fall, we hurt but most importantly we must get up and stand again. Those are life lessons what will teach you many things. You will be a strong person. You will be able to get your principles right and stick to those. And you will be able to always stand for your rights. And my utmost hope and prayer is that, for you to be able to stand on your own two feet when we’re gone. 

Dear Kakak, 

My friends convey their congratulations to you. They say do not worry too much about grades at this point. They say value life as a whole, not solely on what is written on the result slip. They say, not getting what you wanted in not the end of everything. Everything ends when you stop striving for the better. They say you have others talents and you must never forget that. 

I totally agree. 
Those are exactly my thoughts as well. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

let's go bananas! recipe: steamed banana cake .. apam pisang!

 I love bananas! Especially the lemak manis variation. When I was small, they were aplenty back in my kampung. The ready to eat variations inclusive of lemak manis, emas, rastali. Those that should be somewhat undergo any of the cooking process (fry, steam, bake) Actually you can just eat them directly but somehow they are better cooked  - abu, nangka, berangan, siang. Pisang siang is actually a very local name. It has other name some other places but I just can’t recall at this point. Pisang nangka is my least favored variation coz it has a hint of sourness. Though I can be such sour-grape at times, me and sour-ish food just don’t agree with each other most times.

Now that we live in KL, our banana pick are limited to berangan and emas most of the times. We buy Dole’s few times. It’s expensive and almost tasteless. A blessing what, when you don’t like something that is expensive he he. Whenever we go balik kampung, Mok would keep few sikat of pisang lemak manis (few combs of bananas? my children are confused) for us. Mother, you see, they always remember what your favorite food are, and somewhat their cookings always taste better than ours despite using the same exact recipe. Mok’s fried kembong are always better than mine. Talk about air tangan huh. 

Anyway, my children carry my genes in this banana quarters. They love banana. But still sometimes we have leftover. These leftover normally ended up on the table as cokodok, Choc Banana Cake and Apam Pisang. The first time I did Apam Pisang, sangat bantat okay. Kecut beyond words. Lucky that I have Adam, he ate few cuts, perhaps to jaga hati Ummi. Awww,.. now how can a 5yo boy can be so sweet… The rest masuk Cik Tong sampah. I googled for explanations and from readings I can safely conclude that, always ensure your mixing bowl is completely dry when you have eggs as one of the ingredients. Second time, I made sure the bowl and other utensil used were completely dry and poof! Hasilnya cantik naik kembang setaman. Too bad I used Dole’s so rasa agak hambar…

Last Tuesday I realized we still have few bananas in the fridge. The skin was all brown and black already. After few intimate minutes with Mr Google, I decided to do Apam Pisang, or nama lebih orang putih, Steamed Banana Cake.

Original recipe Apam Pisang from Noorsha. I did mine with a bit of alteration. For Apam Pisang, IMHO it is best to use the sweet variation of banana (lemak manis, emas, berangan, rastali).

2 cups mashed banana (yield from about 5 bananas)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk powder
1/4 cup corn oil

- mix all ingredient, add a little water if the mixture too thick
- spoon into small cup
- steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on size of cup)

 Here's mine. Err.. they were not supposed to bloom like that actually.
but, who cares? :D

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

of forced-leave and resepi 'sunburnt' donuts

Salam Maal Hijrah to all! Likewise many people out there, I made resolutions for betterment in whatever roles that I play, in whatever hat that I have on my head. I pray to Allah to please bless me with good beneficial life for the rest of my life. I pray to Allah to have ample time to ensure my children to at least have good solid strong foundation in life so that they can stand on their own two feet when I am gone. I pray to Allah to bless my parents with good healthy happy golden years. I pray to Allah that my marriage will last till Jannah and that we will stand for each other come what may.

Of late, I have lots to be thankful for. Kinda made me shame on myself as I have not prayed hard enough, neither I am good enough as a muslim. Kakak, landed at first place in the final exam. Finally, the last exam in her primary school. And she finished 30 juzuk of Quran end October. Iman, who has been struggling all his life where linguistic is concerned, scored 94 in Bahasa and 60 in Math.  Not much for some mothers perhaps. Close friends of mine who know our struggle in dealing with ADHD would surely understand why I feel that way. Adam, who had sudden high fever, got better 2 days after and started reading simple words!

Anyway. We had a four day leave last weekend. There's this thing called 'forced leave' implemented at where I work. With exception to those who work on shift and very closely with operational matters, others were supposed to take replacement leave (public holiday that falls on Saturday will be replaced on other working day). We had Saturday and Sunday as weekends, Monday as replacement leave and Maal Hijrah fell on Tuesday. 

We went to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort on Saturday and left for a wedding in Bagai Serai on Sunday. Traffic was a crawl on the way back to KL. We braced the rain and the traffic and arrived home at 10:45pm. We left Kuala Sepetang at around 5:30pm. Yup, Kuala Sepetang for steaming bowls of Mee Udang :-)

Monday was Thor's day. Someone was very happy that he went to purchase the tix at 9:30am. Kedai only buka at 10:00am, mind you. You see, some people will never grow up :D

Tuesday was the day I re-ignited back my romance with the kitchen. Made some not-so-good-looking donuts post-breakfast. They were intended for breakfast but Tuesday morning was cold that it took longer time for my dough to proof.

So here's them. My friend commented 'awat donut hang dah macam serupa cokodok?' A little burnt but like I always said, that's nothing new by my standard.

The boys helped me terap this. Not so productive. They hovered the dough with donut-mould in hand and I barely managed to roll the dough thin enough, they serbu the dough already. They always try to outdo one another. Let them be. Now, let's not kill their interest and creativity, shall we? I ended up with senget benget donuts. Never mind :D

Resepi asal dari blog Kak Azlita Masam Manis. Resepi donut di sini. She has beautiful photos. She is skilled at arranging her deco and all her food look so yummy. Of course my donuts were nowhere near hers so please don't compare he he.

I altered a bit - added few spoons of powdered milk and increased the sugar as I did not intend to do the chocolate coating (cos I tak tau nak buat macamana sebenarnya ha ha)

250 gm tepung roti
100 gm gula
3 sudubesar susu tepung
1/2 suduteh garam halus
6 gm yis
2 biji kuning telur
100 ml air suam
50 gm mentega (dicairkan)

- Campurkan semua bahan dan masukkan dalam mixer. Uli selama 10-15 minit menggunakan dough hook. Kalau dough melekat pada dinding mixing bowl, tandanya ia terlalu lembik. Tambah tepung sikit demi sedikit.
- Letakkan dough dalam bekas yang diminyakkan sedikit, tutup dengan kain. Letakkan di tempat yang agak panas selama 30-45 minit atau sehingga dough menjadi sekali ganda.

I had mine proofed for more that an hour, mungkin sebab cuaca sejuk, yis pun malas nak bangun lagi he he.Siap sempat saya morning nap while waiting for the yeast untuk beraktiviti.

- Lepas dough dah naik, tumbuk-tumbuk untuk keluarkan udara. I rolled the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and terap guna acuan donut. I think kena nipis sikit lagi coz mine turned out so tebal after 2nd proofing.

- Not wanting to tunggu lama for second proofing, I simple turned on the oven for 10 minutes at 40d. Then switched it off. After 5 minit  boleh masukkan donut yang siap dibentuk for 2nd proofing.

- After 30 minutes, boleh lah goreng. Sila goreng kejap je atas api sederhana or else yours will be as burnt as mine.

For that much of ingredients, I got 20 ketul donuts.

We were 5 happy people that day :D