Month: August 2013

Entertaining for Eid

We are still in Eid mood after nearly a month. As we have been traveling all weekends post-Eid, we only had the chance to actually host some guests last weekend.I love entertaining, however, I am very much appalled to the idea of hosting an Open House Eid party. I’d rather have guests coming over on several weekends – an open house Eid Party (typically with lots of guests)  means that it would be mostly about food rather than connecting as  your hands will be too full. The last thing I’d like to happen is to only manage to say hi, ask several superficial questions to my guests.

So when several of my husband’s non-Muslim colleagues asked if they could come over, I was more than happy to cook for the Eid lunch party. We took the chance to invite my husband’s ex-housemate (from his bachelor days) over – we are married already for two years and yet he has never been to our place!

My husband advised me earlier to just make it simple and do get all stress out for this, but I love entertaining I could not help… until the last moments when I was pressed with time and had to ditch making a full-on dessert.

Again for the record, here is a list of what I served on that day. I made a point to make sure that the food was truly traditional Malay food, since I guess my husband’s Chinese and Indian friends would expect some thing else other that Chinese Chicken Rice or Indian Biryani.

Main course:

  1. Nasi minyak (loosely-translated as Oily Rice; basically rice cooked with ghee)
  2. Rendang Ayam (Chicken rendang)
  3. Dendeng Daging (Beef dendeng)

Dessert:

  1. Mixed fruit Cocktail
  2. Eid cookies

Drink:

  1. Sweet Lime juice

My husband thinks that despite it being my first time making all main course dishes, they turned out pretty well, all Praise be to Him.

And since I know that there will be more lunch parties, dinner parties, open houses and other ‘makan-makan’ in the future, I made this Party Planning Sheet (somehow the try-to-be creative side of me kicked in), complete with the cleaning to-do list – hoping that my husband won’t have to ask me again next time!

Party Planning Sheet

Download Party Planning Sheet

By the way, all the recipes for this party were taken from the recipe book my mom swears by – 1 Hari 1 Resipi: 365 Resipi Istimewa Chef Hanieliza (A Recipe A Day: 365 Chef Hanieliza’s Special Recipes) – which provides recipes for a lot of traditional Malaysian dishes that are simple enough for a beginner like me to follow.

And I guess I too am joining the bandwagon of Chef Hanieliza’s fan – how else would I be able to make a decent Chicken Rendang?

Of Eid

We celebrated our Eid this year with my husband’s family, but we got to meet my family too since all of them were in Klang Valley for the Eid – such a marvelous arrangement it was indeed! Isa had a great time with the family members, since he had all their attention (mommy could finally take a rest). I’ll let photos do the talking. By the way, some excellent photos you’ll see here are from my sister-in-laws DSLR camera, and the rest were taken using my iPhone.

The aftermath of a long break is that Isa starts to make a scene at his crèche’s entrance whenever we are about to leave him there. *Sigh*

 

Not Today, Please

We had a six-day break last week, following a four-day public holiday just two days before that, so as expected Isa could not tolerate the fact that we are leaving him at the creche. He cried his lung out, looking at me from time to time in despair.

It has never been this heartbreaking.

It comes to me that Isa is now 1 year and 3 months, and he has preference.

He prefers to be with me. 

The sad thing is, I CHOOSE to not be with him for eight hours everyday.

Maybe I really should reconsider my husband’s suggestion. Try to consider staying at home.

I could do that, I guess.

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The Best Parenting Advice I Have Ever Read

The Best Parenting Advice I Have Ever Read (Click this)

I have seen with my own eyes children under the age of ten who willingly set their own alarms to get up for Tahajjud (mid-night) prayer. I have hosted a young soccer marvel in my home who begins his day before mine by reciting Quran at Fajr (dawn). I know of an Ivy League university student who insisted on turning the car around because she realized she had left home without giving her mother salaams (farewell wishes). I have been acquainted with doctors who make more money in a single month than most people make in a single year yet choose to live in small homes with no mortgages so that their salaries can be spent supporting scholars of Islam. My husband and I work with a young man who once flew with his mother from California to Jordan, then turned around and returned on the next flight home — all of this so that his single mother didn’t have to travel across the world alone. I have witnessed fourth graders who were able to sit quietly with impeccable etiquette in front of Muslim scholars while the adults around them stretched, yawned, and sighed. I have heard children silence their young friends with urgent reminders, “Don’t say that about him! It’s backbiting!”

A must-read.

Enough said.

Look What Suits Has Done to Me

We subscribe to a cable TV. I also pay for some channels which I know would play my favourite shows – Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl and Suits. But being parents who are trying to limit our son’s exposure to TV means that we don’t get to follow the series religiously. Other than HIMYM and New Girl which used to be aired on Mondays, I just could not remember exact show times for the rest.

We get to watch those series on-demand these days, with our brothers and sister supplying us with the recorded versions.

And during the last long weekend we had, I got to finish Suits Season 2.

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It was entertaining, but I do not particularly like what it did to me.

Watching suits give the similar effect to watching Dr Yang in Grey’s Anatomy – It brings back the ‘workaholic’ side of me, the side my best friend always dub as the ‘over achiever’ me. The part which I have long left behind in exchange for a balanced and contented married life – a more meaningful life valuing those that actually matter.

But looking at those characters being aggressive, and focused (and not to mention, only found meaning and definition of themselves through their professional jobs) I could not say I was not impacted – I can’t deny the fact that the next day I left my flats for a pair of 2-inch heels I have abandoned for years, put an effort to be made up, and went to work hungry for accomplishment. And quietly put another target – another promotion in two years time.

You see, I received a long-due promotion earlier last month (my immediate superior has recommended me for that since last year, only to be put on hold but the head who seemed to believe that one needs to be in a position for at least 5 years before being promoted – which year is he actually living?) – and I didn’t feel at all excited though I tried to. It’s a recognition, alongside the monetary rewards that come with it but it’s all work. I have taught myself that it’s not how God sees me.

But after watching Suits (and on a less regular basis, the ever-focused Dr Yang) I thought maybeI should go back to reciting this mantra at work: “Work for this life as if you are living forever and the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.”

But I just found out that it is a weak hadith, so maybe I should not watch Suits Season 3.

 

To his Lord, Ungrateful

Revenge quotes image by inlove2u_1992 on Photobucket


 


I have known it long ago that one of my very, very awful traits is revengeful. I don’t let go easily, and will always find little ways to pay back. It could be hurtful words coming out from my mouth, or things I do and do not do.

Those are bad, and I am really not proud of it.

Now that I am married, I am still struggling with it. On the occasions that I got upset, or angry with my husband, if I can keep my mouth shut, my mind will terribly lead me to do my revenge in some other ways.

And these days, it could mean me doing impulse shopping that I know my husband would not approve. Because of the price and because I don’t need those things.

The other night the same thing occurred, and my reaction was – “I am buying another handbag, (served you right because you are going to be annoyed about this!). ”

That is what anger does to me.

But of course, despite me still browsing and looking at Michael Kors collection this morning, when I saw the verses I have just studied and put on my laptop, I was reminded.

Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful.
And indeed, he is to that a witness.
And indeed he is, in love of wealth,
intense.
But does he not know that
when the contents of the graves
are scattered
And that within the breasts
is obtained,
Indeed, their Lord with them,
that Day, is [fully] Acquainted.

(100:6-11)

To his Lord, ungrateful (for a kind life partner gifted).

In his love of wealth (and handbags, and prestige, and status), intense.

And that within the breasts (anger, revenge, payback) is obtained.

God knows.

God knows.

O Lord, please forgive.

Isa’s Weird (and Funny) Way of Crying

As I have listened to his crying like this since he was five months old, only some times do I find his way of expressing himself is rather funny. But his pediatrician, family members and our friends (and sometimes strangers too) often find his distinct way very, very funny.

I do not know what ‘A..Bu..Ba’ means, by the way.