Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Eid

This year all my sisters and brother plus their families celebrate raya at their in-laws. En doktor and his in-laws will be in Ipoh on the third day of raya so we decided to keep mak and ayah company. Glad that we came up with that decision because there are lots to be done on raya's eve. Alhamdulillah Aman and Azhar were forever willing to help with the preparation : hanging the curtains, washing the dishes, laying the carpets, peeling the onions , preparing the drinks, and of course serving the guests.

So, this will be the last raya for Aman as a single man. I hope he'll be a good son-in-law. As a son, I couldn't wish for a better one. In fact all my children are very nice, pleasant to be with, obedient and they have lots of good sense of humor. They are very dedicated with their work or studies and have great respect to the elderly. I wish that they remain humble and that success will not get on their heads.

Dijah is celebrating raya in Uruguay. Well, not really celebrating but she is doing her work there. At least in Aussie, she is part of the Islamic community, so she can join in the Eid prayers and other activities. Being in Latin America at this time of the year is a once in a lifetime experience. I hope she'll enjoy the trip and gain lots of knowledge and experience. I'm glad that she tried her best to keep in touch, and kept us informed of her whereabouts. The conference in Buenos Aires, the trip to the Iguazu Falls and another working trip to Uruguay kept her busy most of the time. I hope the experience will enrich her life and open her eyes to Allah's wonderful creation.

Personally, I am already looking forward to next year's holy month of Ramadan. I hope Allah will be pleased with me and my family.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Student's Pencil

It was the last day of school before the festive holidays. I was quite impressed by the tazkirah given by my ex-student (UPSR 2000) during the closing ceremony of Semarak Ramadan Program.

It was about a pencil. He asked the students to be like a pencil!

1. A pencil is idle without a hand to guide it. There must be a steady hand to hold it and guide it to write something useful. Everybody needs parents, teachers and also Allah to guide us through our lives. We will live a blessed life if we have our elders to share their wisdom with us.

2. Imagine, you are the pencil and the white paper is your life! Before you write anything down, we must bear in mind that it will leave a lasting mark on the paper even after you erase it. If you do something good then it will leave a remarkable effect that will bring cheers to others . But if you unintentionally do something wrong, then erase it at once and vow never to repeat the same mistake. Pray that Allah will forgive you and move on with your life.

3. As you use your pencil, the pencil lead will get shorter and you need to sharpen it to maximise the effectiveness of your writing. The same goes with our lives. We need to sharpen our mind and our soul by reading more books, perform daily prayers, reading al-Quran and listen to advices from our parents. It was quite funny when Adzwan told the students that they need to sharpen themselves. 'Hah! asah' exclaimed the Year One students who were seated in the front rows!

4. Lastly, people might be drawn to the colourful wooden outside of the pencil, but what is the most important is whether it writes clear enough. The same goes to us. Our inside should be more important that our appearance. Of course we have to look nice and be presentable but at the same time ,we have to nurture our hearts to be sincere in everything we do.

Thanks to Adzwan for the talk. He'll be a pharmacist with a bright future insyaAllah!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Everybody has problems but the way people react to the problems make a lot of difference. As a muslim I believe and I pray that Allah will only give me problems that I can cope with. Without any difficulties in life, my faith is not tested. Some people might talk about the problem for hours, others might keep it to themselves. Others prefer to wake in the middle of the night and 'talk' it out will Allah the Lord of the universe.

Alhamdulillah, problems come and go and I am glad I am still standing tall. I hope Allah will give me the strength to face the adversities of life and Allah is pleased with my effort.

One of my favourite dishes during breaking fast is the dessert, traditional or western. I came across a recipe on bread pudding and it seems my family love it very much. The original recipe is very rich which calls for 9 egg yolks and 2 cups of cream but for health reasons I use 4 whole eggs and 1/2 cup of cream instead.

Bread pudding

raisins - soak in water for 2 hours
12 slices of bread - cut 3 pieces into triangles and the rest into cubes.
100g melted butter
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Method :
1. Soak the triangular pieces of bread in butter and line the baking tin. Use the cubed bread to soak the remaining butter and pile it on top. Sprinkle the raisins.

2. Beat eggs, sugar and milk in a bowl. Add cream, vanilla and beat till the sugar dissolves.

3. Pour the egg mixture on the bread. Let it rest for 2 hours.

4. Bake in the oven until the top is crisp and golden. Serve with custard or just on its own.

Monday, August 15, 2011

NASTA (Tat Nanas Gulung)

Ingredients for the dough:

250g butter
50 gram powdered sugar (icing)
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
375 g multi purpose flour
25 gram cornflour

Method :
Cream butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolks. Add in vanilla essence, cornflour and flour gradually. The dough should be soft so that it's easier to press.

Ingredients for the pineapple jam:

2 pineapples - grated coarsely
300g sugar
2cm cinnamon stick

Mix all the ingredients except sugar in a saucepan. Using slow fire, cook until the juice is reduced.
When the jam is thickened, add sugar.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Limited Time

We were in Tesco the other day. I was surprised to see the price hike of the food items sold there. Really absurd. I was wondering how families with growing up children can afford to make ends meet. Even though there were only Azhar and me, I still cook for berbuka and sahur. I managed to refrain myself from going to bazaar Ramadan ; you know how shopping with empty stomachs feels like. You end up buying food of your choice but you won't be able to consume it due to time restraint!

Usually I will cook 3 dishes; savoury item for the main meal, a vegetable dish and of course I will never forget my favourite, kuih! Ayah was admitted to the hospital on the fourth day of Ramadan because of gout. He loves breaking the fast in the surau. All the seafood and the meat dishes are not good for the gout sufferers. He wasn't able to walk and mum had to call my brother from Bangi to see Ayah. The pain was unbearable that he decided to go to the hospital. Now, I make sure that my parents stay at home and I will bring the home-cooked meals to be eaten with them. After maghrib prayers, we went to the surau for Isya' and tarawih prayers. I always look forward to the tazkirah session after the prayers. Around 11 p.m. we go home to Desa Perwira.

I still remember one of the ustaz telling us that one of the virtues of Al-Quran is its mukjizat. During the time it was revealed, the Quran was highly regarded because of its beautiful kalimahs. Later, even the Europeans used the Quran to draft their country's constitutions and at present, there are many scientific facts being proven by the Quran. So, hold fast to al-Quran and aim to finish reading the whole book during this month of Ramadhan.