Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | By: Wa@Wawek@Siti ;)

Eid; Home Away...

Blogging on Eid ul-Fitr???
Well, my two boys are taking their nap so I figured I'll blog a short one.
We initially thought Eid is going to be on Wednesday, August 31st. We've been referring to the Sunny Coast's Muslim Organisation's (MOSC) website for the Eid's announcement and as of last night, it seems that we'll still be fasting today. Plus I think muslims in Brissy are celebrating Eid tomorrow according to UQ's Muslim Student Association's website. 
So, I woke up at 4am this morning still hoping for new updates i.e. Eid is going to be celebrated today but there were no new announcements. I told Mr. Hubby and prepared some food for our pre-dawn meal. Mr. Hubby was not happy at all (he wanted to celebrate Eid the same day as everyone in Malaysia). He went right back to bed after quickly having his meal. After Subuh (dawn) prayers, I was on Facebook for a bit and then decided to have another look at the MOSC's website. What do you know?! A new update. Sunny Coast will be celebrating Eid today. Yippee!!! RAYE!!! Huhuhu... But then I quickly realized I haven't cooked our ketupat nasi (segera jekk..huhuhu), ketupat palas, rendang and kuah kacang (peanut sauce). Oh No!! Panic! Panic! Hahaha! Well, the Eid prayers starts at 6.45am and it was 5.15am then. About an hour to prepare all the ingredients, cook everything, shower, get Aariz ready and make our way to Mooloolaba State School's hall (where the prayers will take place); did I managed to get all done? Not quite. Huhuhu... I eventually ended up cooking the rendang after the Eid prayers. Luckily Mr. Hubby was around. He took care of getting Aariz ready. I do wish he had woken up earlier and helped with the cooking. I woke him up and told him it's Eid today after all but he would not wake up until 6am. He later then told me that he was happy it's Eid but then realized we don't have any 'Eid food" to eat so he couldn't be bothered waking up. Hurmmm... No comment. Huhuhu... Anyways, all turned out well. We made it just in time for the prayers. We even picked up a muslim friend of mine from Uni, Moti, along the way. Aariz was such a good boy! He was awake while I was praying, cooing and making noises but did not cry or made a fuss. In fact he was such a good boy all throughout the gathering. :-)) After the prayers, we had some sweets (cakes & cookies from Bosnia, Afghan, Bangladesh, and other Arabs), drinks and even chips. We brought the cookies we made; Almond London cookies. Yes, we both made it last Sunday. :-)
After the Eid prayers, we went straight home. By 8.30am, we started cooking the rendang. I've prepared and cooked everything else but Mr. Hubby won't eat until the rendang is cooked. So we had hot milo and ate rempeyek and almond london cookies whilst cooking. Aariz? He slept. Too tired I guess. He was kinda woken up by us earlier this morning while we were changing him into his new Eid clothes.
Too tired!! New Eid clothes apecially mailed from Malaysia. Thank you Mak Tok!
We finally had our Eid breakfast around 10am.
Clockwise from top left; almond london cookies. ketupat nasi and ketupat palas (rice and glutinous rice), rendang daging and kuah kacang
Not much for more than enough for us. Alhamdulillah.
Oh yeah, not forgetting Mr. Hubby's rempeyek/tempeyek.
Rice flour, tapioca flour, cumin, coriander, nuts and anchovies combined into a batter and deep fried. :-) They are crispy and make a yummy snack!  
So, we've just had Skype sessions with both our families in Malaysia. A bit teary talking to Mr. Hubby's family. Sedih wooo...huhuhu... Too chaotic in my family home to even feel sad; 14 kids screaming, playing and running around. Miss them all so much!!!
We are planning to visit a friend of mine and his family in Maroochydore in a bit. (Beraye la lebih kurang...hehehe...). He's from Bangladesh and is lecturing part-time in Uni while waiting for his PhD's thesis being reviewed.
I guess I should be getting ready. Need to feed Aariz as well.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all my family, friends and everyone.
Mohon ampun dan maaf, zahir dan batin dan minta halalkan makan minum kami sekeluarga.
Eid Mubarak!
 Hugs and kisses from us at the Sunny Coast!
Sunday, August 14, 2011 | By: Wa@Wawek@Siti ;)


I love food!
Our family gatherings are always accompanied with a great feast. It's not so much about the amount of food we have, but it's more of the various types of dishes and delicacies.
My late Granma was a legend! Old traditional savoury dishes and cakes, to Western food; she can make it all. Most of the time without referring to any written recipes. It's all in her head. And the taste is always spot on! Ahhh...feels hungry just thinking of all the food she has cooked! Huhuhu... Nowadays, her talent lives in her daughters and the many grandchildren she has. It's not too much for me to say that all of my sisters and girl cousins can cook very well. Some better than others, but all of them can cook deliciously especially if they put their mind to it! Hehehe... ;-)
As for me, I can only say that I can cook well what I like to eat most. And when I'm in the mood for it. Haha!
Since Mr. Hubby moved here with me, he's been doing most of the cooking. He has become quite a good cook now. The thing is with him is that he likes to try out recipes and does it well. The food he cooks are always yummy. Although, he only likes to cook and try out savoury dishes (with the exception of his Mom's custard pudding!). 
Custard pudding by Mr. Hubby few weeks ago.. :-)
Mr. Hubby loves sweet stuff but after trying to make a chocolate cake few weeks ago (that didn't really taste as good as he'd hoped), he decided that he'll leave the sweet-dessert-making to me. 

I love desserts!
There is always room for dessert! ;-)
Being a student here, eating out is seldom an option. Even in buying cakes, pastries, etc. I usually buy them as a reward for myself. ;-) Now with Mr. Hubby around, I kinda started to make them myself more often. Especially with the many cooking shows here in Oz, I can never resist trying out new so called easy-do it yourself-dessert-recipes. Plus, they always look so yummy!!! Most of the time they are a success; while some ended up rotting in the fridge. Huhuhu... Now that Ramadan is here, Mr. Hubby have been craving for Malay cakes and desserts (kuih-muih Melayu!!!). I love them too but back home, it's just so easy to find them being sold everywhere especially during Ramadan. Hence, I never really thought of making them myself. We usually break our fast with a piece of date fruit and some sweet stuff before having the main meal. Since the start of fasting, Mr. Hubby wanted to have kuih labu (pumpkin dessert), kuih keria (it's like donut but made with sweet potato), cucur badak (no idea how to explain so here's a link. heh...), keledek goreng (sweet potato fritters) and egg tarts. Guess what?! I've made them all!! Woohooo!!! Here are some photos of them as proof! Hahaha!

Kuih labu
Steamed to perfection.. Hahaha!

Doesn't look like the usual egg tart but ok lah...hehehe...
Ok.. Ok... only photos of 2 of the kuih. Well, it's because the others were so good, they didn't make it on camera!!! Hehehe! (Perasan!!!)
We went looking for egg tarts around Sunshine Plaza but there were only jam tarts and custard tarts. Woolies did have Portuguese egg tart but for $2.40 each, Mr. Hubby didn't think it was worth it. He's not the type of person who'll go pass each cafe/bakery to look for something unless he really wants it. Therefore, I felt obligated to do something and decided to make him some egg tarts. Despite the lack of experience in making pastries and proper pastry making utensils, I found an easy recipe of egg tart and had a go. It was a disaster! Huhuhu.. Well, not a total disaster; they taste good but not pretty at all! Hahaha!
As for the Kuih labu, Mr. Hubby loves it so much! He first tasted it on our wedding. My mom made it for the main table. She first made it as one of the gifts to Mr. Hubby during our engagement. Mr. Hubby didn't get a taste but everyone else in his family did and loved it.
Kuih labu as one of the engagement gift. Mama decorated it with chewy candies. :-)
The recipe was passed from my late Granma to my mom and my mom will usually make it for special occasions. When she heard Mr. Hubby's family loves it, she decided to make it for our wedding. Mr. Hubby was bugging me to make it as pumpkins are currently in season. I first tried making it in ramekins. The pumpkin we saw then was huge! I chopped the pumpkin in cubes and place them in ramekins, poured the egg + palm sugar + coconut milk custardy mixture and steamed it for about 45 minutes. It was a success! :-) So, when we saw these cute lil pumpkins at a fruit shop recently, we just knew it's a must to try making the kuih labu using them. Before I tried making it the first time around, I did not know the measurements. I know what goes into the mixture but have no idea how much. I remembered asking my mom for the recipe and she said, "sukatannya agak-agaklah..". She told me to roughly estimate the measurement of the ingredients according to how big the pumpkin used. So yeah, I seek Google for help. Huhuhu... One thing that I found out about this dessert whilst browsing the internet; it's actually a traditional Thai dessert (Phak Thong Sa Ka Yah). Learn something new each day, eh?!
So, about 2 more weeks of fasting to go. I bet Mr. Hubby will want some other kuih and so will I! Hehehe... Hhmmm... I think I'm going to ask Mr. Hubby to make the custard pudding for breaking fast today. ;-)


My dear Aariz

Two months have past so quickly yet it also feels like we've had Aariz forever! Hehehe... 
As always, I've been wanting to post an entry more often but have come to realize that some things are just not meant to be. Haha! 
It's two weeks into Ramadan, I've started to go to Uni, Mr. Hubby had an interview for a job and Aariz's not that tiny anymore! ;-)
Anyways, here are some photos of us three (most of them are Aariz's) since the birth.

At the birthing suite...
Fresh from the oven...
A day old. Still so tiny!!!
One of the first car rides in the capsule. (Thanks MAY!!!) ;)
Too cute!!! I can't fit in this anymore, Aunty Vicki..huhuhu.. ;)
Me and my cars... :)
Bath time! Errr...
Is that a smile?!
Enough with the phone already, Dad!
Obviously, we can't get enough of him. There are heaps more photos of him but don't worry, I won't post them all in here. Enough is enough! For today at least. Hehehe... 

Till next time!
Monday, August 1, 2011 | By: Wa@Wawek@Siti ;)

Random thoughts and the fasting month

While waiting for my finishing high-school exams (SPM; something like O-levels), I stayed home, learned to cook (particularly for my brother who at that time recently started working in JB), cleaned, did laundry (ironing clothes particularly for my dear brother..huhuh..), learned to drive and basically just being an unpaid housekeeper; which I don’t really mind. I did feel like looking for a job but my dad was not too keen on the idea. So, for about 5 months, I was at home almost all the time (I miss home!!!Huhuhu...). During that time, I had one of the biggest fights with my mum. Growing up, I didn’t really remember much of her playing her role as a mum. Maybe because I was always with my aunty (my mum’s younger sister) that lived with us since I could remember, and there was also my late Granma and Grandpa. But when my Grandpa died, my aunty got married and my Granma decided to move out of our house, my mum was taking care of the household. By then, I was in my teens. Whenever I come home from boarding school and help out with the chores or did what mum asked me to do, nothing I did was ever good enough for her. Everything I did was wrong and that I should have done better. I guess the occasional telling-me-off by my mum was bearable but when I was faced with it 24/7, I broke down. I couldn’t really remember what actually happened (selective memory?!) but I could tell you, it was a big DRAMA! Started with an argument that went on and on; then we both cried and I ended up not coming out of my room for almost 2 days. What happened next? I couldn’t remember either but being my mum, she’d probably acted as if nothing had happened and I’d just forget about it. The thing is with my mum and maybe the whole of my family, we lack in comforting skills towards each other (I think! But we are getting better! Heh..); especially using words. Communication problems? Maybe. I know I’m not good in handling confrontations and still have some communication issues especially with people I love the most. We might show it more with our actions (I know, action speaks louder than words) but sometimes a simple Sorry or I love you is all that is needed; for me at least. I guess I have to forgive and forget and not take anything my mum said or did personally because she is after all my mum. And also, she has bipolar disorder. Initially, she was diagnosed as a Schizophrenic but about 4 years ago, the doctors said its bipolar disorder. So yeah, that’s a whole different story altogether. Have I accepted this fact and know how to deal with it? Getting there.

Yesterday my mum called from Bali (she’s staying with my sister, Yan for 2 weeks). She asked me if we’re coming home for Eid. (I really wish we are!) I told her it’s unlikely that we’re coming home as baby Aariz hasn’t got his passport and we need to go to Canberra to get it done (No, we can’t apply by post anymore. The Malaysian High Commissioner in Canberra wouldn’t accept it.). Ultimately, it’s all about the money. *Sigh* Flight tickets to Canberra, application fees, flight tickets home; we are barely making it at the moment with what we have. No luck yet with Mr. Hubby getting a job. Our savings pretty much gone, and we have no idea how to sustain the things we have back home. It’s not much but we just don’t have it. But we’re still being positive, hopeful and dreaming that one morning when we wake up, we have thousands of dollars in our bank accounts!!! (If not both, at least one of us. Heh!) And, the money’s legit!! Haha!

Anyways, today is the start of Ramadhan; the fasting month. Woohooo! I’ve always loved Ramadhan and hopefully will always do. Although this year, I’m a bit worried about breastfeeding a 6-week-old baby boy and fasting for 12 hours. Really hoping I’m up for it, InshaAllah. Oh yeah, the baby boy; he’s doing very well. He’s now weighing at 5.1kg and he’s 57cm long (or is it tall?), started to smile and making lots of cute noises. Hhmmm... I need to blog more, eh??!!! Huhuhu.. Aariz’s basically what keeps me going everyday and Mr. Hubby too. Mr. Hubby’s getting pretty frustrated and a little bit depressed. I feel bad and somewhat responsible for him but there’s not much I could really do. I just keep praying hard and try to be there for him. Luckily there’s Aariz that would make Mr. Hubby smile and laugh anytime of the day. I really need to keep in mind that we are still very blessed in many ways. Alhamdulillah.. Time for Subuh prayers now.

Ramadan Mubarak!


PS: Have I had an entry on Bipolar disorder?