Sunday, June 26, 2011

Umrah - Mecca and Medina

 (My second Hajj with my husband in 2006)

I will be going to Mecca and Medina to perform umrah with my second daughter, Siti Ayeshah.  We have already registered our trip with Tabung Haji Travel in Kuala Lumpur.  This will be my third umrah pilgrimage whilst it will be the first for Ayeshah.

My first umrah pilgrimage was in 1999.  At that time I was pregnant with Sofiyah (my youngest child).  I was about seven months pregnant then.  I went with my sis-in-law (Hajah Teh, who passed away two years ago) and my neighbour, Hajah Asmah.  We went with Triways travel.  For my second pilgrimage, I went with my husband.  That was in 2003.  As for my Hajj pilgrimage, I did it in 1987 (when I was 29 years old, pregnant with my third child, Badruzzaman).  My second Hajj pilgrimage was with my husband, in 2006.  I was 48 years old.  

Each time I went on the pilgrimage, whether for Umrah or Hajj, I will always prepare myself, physically (need to be fit, because one will have to do a lot of walking to and from the Masjidil Haram Mosque) and to attend the full Hajj courses organised by Tabung Haji.

For my trip this time around, the weather is extremely hot in Mecca and Medina.  I knew this from my friends and relatives who did their umrah during May and June.  I will be leaving on the 27th June and returning 8th July.

I adviced Ayeshah to read the guide book on umrah supplied by Tabung Haji Travel, and also to follow me to Ustazah Hajah Kalsom house to listen to her lectures on umrah procedure.  Ayeshah told me she was scared and nervous, being her first umrah.  So I told her to always seek Allah's guidance and pray so that her umrah pilgrimage will be blessed.  

Chocolate Banana Delight

Ingredients (A)
120g cooking chocolate
125g butter
1 tsp canola oil
60ml evaporated milk
2 tbsp hot water

Ingredients (B)
120g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
140g banana, sliced
45g raisins

Ingredients (C) - sifted together
100g self-raising flour
60g plain flour
10g cocoa powder
1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/8tsp baking powder
1/8tsp salt

Preheat oven to 170 degrees centigrade

Combine ingredients (A) in a small saucepan.  Heat over low fire for 2-3 minutes.  Remove saucepan away and stir in soft brown sugar.  Keep stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add eggs and stir until well combined.

Add sifted dry ingredients (C) and mix into a smooth batter.  Add bananas and raisins to mix.  Leave a few slices of bananas to be used as a garnishing.

Spoon batter into paper cup cases.  Top with a piece of sliced banana.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or ujntil cupcakes are cooked through.

Note:  This delightful chocolate cupcake can be refrigerated or chilled before serving.  It tastes excellent when well chilled.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wahid's 17th Birthday...

My 3rd son, Wahiduzzaman celebrated his 17th Birthday on 14th June.  He's getting taller and fact will be taller than his father and brothers.... 

He had a haircut on his birthday... when he crop his hair like reminds me of him when he was just a toddler... He got natural curls, and when he cut his hair short like gets more curly....
I remembered when he was about 6 years old, he wanted to look like Nick Carter.... (Backstreet Boys) and when I took him to the barber shop, he would ask the barber to cut his hair like Nick Carter....

Wahid will be sitting for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) this year, and he is studying hard to achieve 8As.  I can only pray for his success....he will have to study really hard...

Now that he is 17years old, he can now sit for his driving test.  But first, I need to enrol him in a driving school.  Shirley (the driving school instructor) will have a new student.  Wahid will  be Shirley's 5th student from among my children.  Five years from now, will be Sofiyah's turn... 

Wahid enjoys skateboarding very much.... He has been a skater since he was nine years old, that was when I gave him a skateboard for his 9th birthday.  Before he got his motorcycle licence, I had to drive him to the skateboard rink in Shah Alam, Putrajaya or Mont Kiara.  But now, he went to the venue by motorbike.  He already had his licence last year.

Well, once he got his driving licence, I am sure he will start competing in any skateboarding event anywhere in Malaysia.....

Peach Delight

125g butter
75g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
145g self-raising flour, sifted
70ml sour cream or plain youghurt
3 passionfruits
100g canned sliced peaches in natural juice, well drained and cut in smaller slices

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.  Lightly grease four one-cup capacity ramekins.

Beat butter, sugar and essence until pale and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in sifted flour and stir gently to combine.  Add sour cream or youghurt and passionfruit  pulp.

Spoon batter into ramekins until three-quarters full.  Top with 2 slices of peaches.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Stand for 5 minutes then dust with a little icing sugar.  Serve warm,.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

National Level Quran Reading Competition

My ustaz who taught me tharranum at UIA Nilai was the Selangor State representative in the National Level Quran Reading Competition.  He was the third competitor on the opening night.  Luckily my classmate sms me to watch the event and I managed to videotape when it was ustaz's turn to read.  

Ustaz, I pray for your success in this competition.  You are the best!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kayak-ing at Swiss Garden Resort, Lumut

(easy enough....but keeps going round and round....)

(Ayeshah getting giddier....)

(now getting the hang of it.... row row row your kayak!..)

(Ayeshah getting tired....)

(she's ok now.....)

(Yeah! I did more rowing in circles....)

(come on mom...let's go home.... (Ayeshah moaning...)


My husband and I last visited Lumut when we got married in 1982.  We visited hubby's elder brother who was in the Malaysian Royal Navy based in Lumut before his retirement.  

Since it was the schools' holidays, we decided to take our children (Ayeshah, Wahiduzzaman and Sofiyah) with us to Lumut.  We stayed at the Swiss Garden Resort, Lumut.  The rest of our children could not come because they have to return to their universities for the new semester.  As for Khadijah, she could not get leave from work...

It was at this resort that I learned to kayak.... At first I was not keen, because I may have to change into my swimming gear.... But then, when Wahid said, "no need lah can wear jeans and shirt...but you have to put on the life jacket..." Well then...I'm game!!

So, I sat in the kayak, me infront, and Ayeshah right behind me.... Now what?? Ayeshah said, "You have to paddle lah umi.... use the oars...." Oh! Okay... 

So paddle I did... until Ayeshah said, "Umi, you are making me dizzy...."  Aikk!! How come?? She said, " You are going round and round and round...." Oh really?? Sorry dear....

It took me awhile to paddle correctly... But then, it was so easy..... until Wahid said, "sure lah easy...the sea so calm.... if got choppy waves....difficult umi...."  Yessss ahhh??

Well, lets go to Port Dickson then.....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Senior Citizan @50????

 (my dad with my mom...I love you both very much..)

 (my mom and dad having their Arab food...)

 (slurping fresh mango juice...)

 (riding the perahu....)

 (my darling parents....happily married for 54 years....)
 (Sofiyah with her grandparents)

I visited my parents last weekend, and when I wanted to return home, they suddenly told me they wanted to come along…. I was ecstatic…. They will be staying with me for a whole week, because the toddlers they babysit will be going to their grandparents house with their parents. 

My children were so excited when I told them their grandparents were coming…. They prepared one of my son’s room on the ground floor for them.  (My parents did not want to put up in one of the bedroom upstairs).

We reached Kajang safely just before maghrib prayers.  I then cooked dinner and we ate after eshaq prayers.  Hubby and all the other children were at home by then.

The next morning, I took my parents to Tabung Haji in Kuala Lumpur.  Ayeshah and I were to register our trip to Mecca and Medinah for our Umrah.  Sofiyah also tagged along.   After registration, we had our zuhor prayers and then lunch at the Tabung Haji cafeteria.  We then did our shopping for umrah apparel at the boutique in Tabung Haji.  It was almost 4pm and I decided we return to Kajang to avoid the traffic jam in KL.  I told my parents that we visit Pak Long (my mum’s eldest brother) the next day.
So…after brunch on Tuesday, my parents, Sofiyah, Wahid and Ayeshah went to Pak Long’s house in Desa Jaya Kepong.  We took MRR2 and along the way, we stopped at McD Gombak.  We all had McD burgers… I of course, ate my favourite BigMac…

When we reached Pak Long’s abode, they welcomed us with open arms… Pak Long was his usual self…ever so jovial… as for Mak long… she will always be preparing something delicious to eat whenver we came..but this time we told her not to prepare anything….we already had our lunch… Yet, she still fried chicken nuggets for my children….

Then when we wanted to leave, mak long took me to her mini garden and told me to pick whatever plants I wish to take home…. Of course lah….cannot resist the offer…so I took 3 potted plants to hang over  my kitchen window….. Thank you so much mak long…

On Wednesday, just after zohor prayers, I took my parents and Sofiyah to Putrajaya.  My parents have never been to Putrajaya before.  So, they were pretty excited too… We had middle eastern food at the Putrajaya souk (Café Arab).  Will let hubby know that we could eat Arab food at need to travel to KL to eat Arab food….

Anyway,  Sofiyah wanted to ride the Perahu (Malaysian version of the venice gondola) at Putrajaya lake.  So…I went to the ticket counter to purchase tickets for the ride…. My parents wanted to join too.  Then when I enquired how much the ticket cost for senior citizens, the clerk said 50% discount.  So.. I only have to pay RM10 for each of my parents… But then when I enquired how old should a senior citizen be…I was caught by surprise when she said…senior citizen starts at 50 yrs old…. WHAAAAT???? Are you positive?  And she said, definitely!! 

Well…Im 53…so I should qualify lah for the discount… and she said Yes lah…. Oh Really?!! Don’t care lah….senior citizen at 50 if got discount why not????  (when I related the above at my FB status…one of my fb friends commented… (she has not touch 50 yet), if 40s become senior citizen also she don’t mind,as long got discount…if FOC more better….. HAHAHAHAAA…..)

Well, perhaps since the new 40s are those in their 50s….so the new Senior Citizens are now in their 50s…..

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Deep fried crispy squids

300g squid

½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¾ tsp chicken stock powder

Crispy flour
300g plain flour
40g glutinous rice flour
20g wheat starch (Tang mein fun)
20g tapioca flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Clean squids and cut open.  Score the inner surface with a criss-cross pattern.  Cut into slices.  Season with marinade.

Combine ingredients for crispy flour in a mixing bowl.  Add enough water to mix into a thickbut runny batter.

Dip squid slices in batter.  Deep-fry till golden brown and crispy.  Dish out and drain from oil.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tale of two Makciks

At UIA Nilai, where I was pursuing a course in Tajweed, among my coursemates were this Pakcik and Makcik (a very loving and cool couple from Negeri Sembilan).  Both of them are in their sixties. 

Sometimes, both of them will follow me to UM (Universiti Malaya) where we are studying Usuluddin.  Usually, they, and Hajah Hamidah would get into my car and I would drove us all to UM In Kuala Lumpur.  They will leave their cars at my abode.

It was during our return journey from UM that we all had a good laugh when Makcik related to us her  ‘absent-mindedness’ tales (non-fiction) mind you….  Thinking about it already tickles me….hehehehe…

I have already seek Makcik's permission to share her stories in my blog.

Story 1 (HAHAHAHA…)
 Makcik and her husband went to MAHA 2010 in Serdang last year.  They drove all the way from their hometown in their  white Perodua Kancil and parked their car at the parking lot Gate 1 at the MAHA site.

Then they went visiting almost every stall and exhibition halls at MAHA 2010.  Makcik even bought sweet potatoes (why she bought them also she does not know why…. Because sweet potatoes are available at the market where she lives..) and vegetables too.

Anyway, when they decided to go home, they went to the car park and started to look for their car.  They went round and round searching for their Proton Wira instead.  They panicked when they could not find the car.  They forgot that they came in their Perodua Kancil  and not the Proton Wira.

Pakcik was sweating (it was a hot afternoon) and Makcik was grumbling because she was carrying the bag of sweet potatoes and having to lug it around is no fun….  Finally a security guard came to their aid, and helped search for the ‘missing’ car.  They thought their car was stolen.   THEN they decided to call their daughter to inform her about the missing car… Their daughter was puzzled as to why were they looking for the Proton Wira when the car was safe at home…

Then only they remembered that they were using the Perodua Kancil…. They then apologized to the security guard, who stared at them, while scratching his head… Makcik and her husband were so embarrassed…. But no worries makcik…I think the guard understood…..

Both of them had a good laugh driving all the way home….

(Well......I too have experienced the above situation... I had a lunch date with my friend, Maria from Jakarta.  So, I took her to Sogo to have lunch at the Japanese Restaurant there.  I parked my car at the underground parking lot, took note of the parking level and numbered lot.  

After a wonderful lunch (Japanese favourite...yum yum yummmy...), we went down to the parking lot.  That was when I lost my bearing... I could not locate my car!!!  OMG... I was so embarrassed..... and poor Maria, she also had to follow me round and round looking for my car.... I told her to wait for me at the lift entrance while I looked for my car, but she refused and so she followed me... going from one level to another...(luckily there were only 3 levels).

Finally, we saw this security guard and seek his help.  We explained to him where we had parked the car, and he told us to follow him and took us to this door and then down the flight of steps... and Voila!!! there was my car.... Aiyaaaaa!!!! I was so embarrassed!! Maria assured me that she also had experienced the same thing in Jakarta....  I thank the guard and gave him a tip in appreciation.  

We had a good laugh driving all the way back to Maytower.

Makcik drove alone  to town in her car (forgot to ask her which car) to do some errands.  She then met an old friend at one of the shops and started chatting about the good ol’ days….  They walked together, still chatting to the bus station.   Then when the bus came, she boarded it too with her friend. 

They were still chatting and laughing etc etc… that suddenly Makcik realized (after a 10km bus ride) that she had left her car in town…  She quickly got down from the bus, crossed the road to the other side and waited for the bus to town.  It was a long wait for the bus to arrive.

Then when she got home, Pakcik asked her  what took her so long to get home.  Makcik gave some other excuses except the above….HAHAHHAA….makcik, makcik….. (you are so cute!!)

(I have not experienced the above...yet.... (who could also happen to me (since I was laughing my head off after hearing it from makcik)..

Makcik had to go to the bank in town and parked her car at the parking lot in front of a large drain.  She forgot to pull her hand brake and suddenly noticed the car next to hers moving backwards… She thought why was the car moving backwards…not realizing that it was her car that was moving forward…right into the drain… luckily it was just the front tyres that went into the drain….   Thank God she was not hurt in any way…. Still it was quite funny….hehehe…

 (well, I did experience something like the above, but my car did not go into the drain... it almost banged into the car parked opposite mine....luckily one of my children was with me and noticed my car was moving forward...and I thought the car next to mine was moving backwards!!!!.... (moral of the story... never parked on a slope!)

Well,  Hamidah and I really had a good laugh when the above were narrated by makcik…. Makcik is so sporting…  we love you makcik….

As for Hamidah, she also had a true story to tell... She had done her shopping at Tesco and went to her car to unload her groceries... Then, when she press the remote to open her car door, nothing happened.  She panicked and started to press her remote numerous times.... still nothing happened...Desperate...she wanted to open the car door manually, it was then that she noticed the interior of the car was unfamiliar.... She then realised that she mistook the car for hers.... Hahahahaa.... (Then I told her I too have the same experience... also at Tesco... I only realised that I got the wrong car when I looked at the number plate!! I also panicked when the door refused to open after pressing the remote!! Aiyaaaaa!!! is this aging or what????)

Grandma's country style Braised Duck in Fragrant Sauce

700g duck
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
180g young ginger, sliced
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 litre stock/water

Marinade (A)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp thick soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallot
1 tbsp fermented black beans (hak tau si)
1 tbsp preserved bean paste (tau cheong)

3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp rock sugar
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder

200g yam

Remove skin from the duck and trim off all excess fat.  Cut duck into fairly large pieces.  Season with marinade (A) for several hours.

Heat sesame oil and fry ingredients (B) till aromatic.  Add marinated duck and young ginger.  Stir-fry for a while.  Add mushrooms and seasoning (C).

Pour in stock/water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until meat is tender and gravy thick.

In the meantime, deep-fry yam pieces and steam until soft.  Arrange yam pieces on a serving plate.  Once duck is ready for serving, dish out onto the yam and serve at once.

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