Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Award

Life is such a splendid thing. That is how I felt on Saturday. Aliah and Ayna achieved high achievers in Anugerah Cemerlang in their BK4 school. I am very proud of them, just like I am proud of my other Aces.

Indeed it is a moral booster for Aliah to do better in Samura and for Ayna to mantain the record which her sister achieved in the PMR last year. Good luck Ayna for the coming PMR.

What makes it even sweeter is, the father is the YDP for PIBG of the school. They did not receive the trophy and the book voucher from beloved hubby but suffice to note that beloved hubby was on cloud nine when they came up stage (beloved hubby was award presenter for Form 5) with thunderous applause from the first VIP row. Beloved hubby was in celebration mood from the start when he was greeted with a group of kompang boys upon arrival and Ali was one of them. Well, Ali is turning his drum lessons into something of value added. Beloved hubby was seen grinning from ear to ear whilst he joked in his speech that his last time feeling overwhelmed by the kompang was 17 years ago that is when he got married to the wife. Nak juga give teaser tu.

Alina and Alim were in full loyalty giving support to the father, seated at the two rows from the front designated for parents and children, whilst I was busy chit chatting with old friends and neighbours. The buzz of the talk went something like "Oh, the YDP's two daughters were the recipients too." And the mother was eavesdropping the conversation of some strangers who didn't recognise who Mrs YDP was. That was fun!

All ended up well with treats to O*d T**n White Co*fe* for lunch, followed by Book Fair at PWTC and dinner at MIL's house. It was splendid definitely. Alhamdulillah, I can't ask for more.

I told the kids that hopefully next year will be another time Ayna goes up the stage and Ali too. Insha Allah....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is It Because Of The Vegie?

Peria. Yes that was what I cooked yesterday. I went to the market, saw some green perias and decided to cook peria masak lemak cili api. Added some prawns and wallah, sehingga menjilat jari. Peria is bitter and has an acquired taste. Nobody in the house except me eats peria so I never cooked peria at home. Yesterday, I wanted to do something special for me consequently the reason for me cooking peria.

The reason of doing something special for myself arose from the mixed feeling I have been having lately.

You see, there will be this L*w Conference next week. It is just an internal affair. There are almost 100 of us in the organisation. The management decided to have the first one ever (and they sure know how to test us i.e. notice for presentation was given at the last minute). It will be something serious. Sometime last week, an instruction was emailed to the lawyers, amongst others notifying us that we would be divided into 8 groups for this presentation session and each group will be given 10 minutes to do it. Respective topics were given simultaneously. I had to cancel all my scheduled meetings just to prepare for this because I am the coordinator of group 6. The topic assigned to us is on corruption, the global phenomena and whether there is vaccination to this sickness. Piece of cake, isn't it, especially with the current scenario; MACC et all? I have already envisioned the points I will be deliberating on. It is a challenge though to speak on a "hot" and wide subject for 10 minutes. The other challenge, is to gather the team members for dscussion. We only managed to meet twice but not all members were present during both ocassions.

I did the presentation mostly although it was started off by one of the juniors. Just had to revamp it to ensure that it is tailored to such a serious, high-impact and high-expectation presentation.

Anyway, since I was the coordinator, I assume that I will be the one presenting. However my glorification was curtailed. We were made to understand that most of the groups are getting the juniors to present. Darn!

I think I would be doing a good job as a presenter because I strategised, coordinated, authored and doctored it, in short I knew the presentation and topic in and out, pretty much. I even had the speaker's notes ready to be practised. However, it was all anti-climax.

Needless to say that I was a bit dejected for a moment, but after deep thoughts on it, why not, I had my share when I was younger and this is the time to nurture, develop, challenge, expose and show off the juniors. My worry though is whether N, the presenter, could deliver it as expected. She was not present in the first discussion and I don't think our Friday one hour meeting was sufficient to equip and prepare her. I went through the slides and speaker's notes with her but I can't really gauge how she would fare. First of all I hardly know N because our fraternity is huge, however she appears to be an above average person assessing from the way she spoke to me and previously from the mails which she at times sent to the lawyers. I am the most senior amongst the team members and if we fail, in a way it would discredit my ability in coaching the juniors, and most of all in coordinating the group because the make or break is during the presentation. Double darn.

Tonight I am flying to Kuantan and I will be back just on time for the L*w Conference. I hope N rehearsed the presentation during the weekend and tomorrow.

I should have faith in her, right?

After sleeping on it during the weekend and cooking peria and have all the 5 perias for myself, I am not that miserable like last week. I begin to have trust in N to do a good job. The change? Is it because of the peria? What effect did it do to me except for the pahit-ness? Is it true it could cool me down and de-stress me. Hmmm... I will look for more peria when I am in Kuantan. Maybe that completes it all, the peria bandar and the peria kampung. And be all geared up for the Conference this coming week.

Update : The conference went well. N also did very well in presenting our subject. She was nervous, that is pretty natural for someone who does not have much exposure on presenting to the big crowd as such. I am sure N can do a lot better with more practice and exposure. I was supposed to wrap it up in a panel discussion after that but it was scrapped baecause we were running out of time. Thanks guys for your thoughts.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bigger Than Usual

Cheh! Beloved hubby commented that my hips and thighs appear to be bigger than normal. Oh no! The briskwalking and jogging every weekend plus the skipping once a week I guess don't work. No wonder I felt that my waist line is expanding. So it was not the washing machine that made my sarong shrunk.

OK that's it! Time for organic food and lots of fibre. This is the price for being above 40. I will not blog whilst sitting down, instead blog whilst standing and doing some movements. Can that work?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gossip Or What?

What would you do if someone divulge a secret to you? Maybe not a secret secret, more like an open secret. Or is that what we call gossip?

I was having tea with a group of guys whom I call "The Level 4 Boys" at *se*na last week. TL4B actually invited me for a purpose i.e. to discuss some potential opportunity in business development. They would always feel contented after discussion with me cos they definitely would get what they wanted. I always make sure that I clear the official business first before we sembang sembang on other social matters.

We chatted many things under the sun. Things like the Australian Grand Prix and the Sepang F1. Also about the possibility if I become their boss#@^&%$**%$. Haha, that was only a simulation. Needless to say that my view on their department is they need to be re-branded... badly.

Whilst we were exploring possibilities and case studies, one of TL4B's close friends dropped by to say Hi. This Kakak is my friend too, in a way. I mean I know of her, she knows of me and whenever we meet, we never fail to exchange Hi or Hello. This Kakak is so bubbly, has a crowd pleasing or puller character, down to earth and societal. She is involved with many secretariats hence the reason why she is so popular.

Sometimes I wish I could be popular like her. Every where she goes, most of the people would usually hijack her to say greeting or to catch up with things or merely to ask what is happening to this and that. She is so warm and likeable. Unlike me who always prefer to keep a low key.

The Kakak sat at the table next to us. She was with a couple of friends. From her table, she could crack some jokes with us and interjected in the TL4B's conversation. Some I could relate and some I sought clarification from TL4B. After getting tired of "Hoi orang sebelah" stuff, the Kakak came to our table and joined our conversation. Because this Kakak knows many people at high places, there she was rattling about this person and that person. My jaw dropped.

Oh ye ke, oooh and aaahhhh. Ooooo rupa rupanya dia ni nak cuba pikat dia tu. Yang si polan tu try to jek orang ni so that dia dapat overseas posting. Si anu ni trying her level best to get promoted when it was still too premature. Laa... tak tahu pulak si pakcik boss tu kedekut. No wonder he wears a lot of white shirts. Dia ada tiga helai je and dok rotate yang itu. Ha! Yang dia tu sampai tapau makanan post function. Tak malu betul. Mamat tu kena cold storage? Tak tahu pulak. Oh, tidak... cinta dia dah bertukar arah? In the first place I tak tahu pun dia suka dengan minah no 1 tu. Minah ni can introduce herself that way? Big headed nya! One after another story were spilled. I was amazed. This Kakak can actually relate all these gossips as if everyone ought already know half of the stories and she was there to confirm or to complete the end. Juicy eh?

When the conversation revolves around gossips, it gets more and more sensational. The conversation lasted til almost Isyak time which resulted in us almost missing our Maghrib prayers. Banyak betul dosa hari tu rasanya.

Whilst I was driving back, I said to myself that I am not bad after all. Look at those people, if ever the gossips were true and those people are supposed to be better than me (indeed they are at the office and I think highly of them), I could still lift my head up high and say that I am no where near them. Hmmm... that feels good.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Conversation With Alim

My conversation with the 5th Ace, Alim yesterday.

Alim : Mom, I got no 11 in Sekolah Agama.

Me : Oh yea... that is good. Congratulations. Pandai anak mama. Hmmm, what about Sekolah Kebangsaan?

Alim : Don't know yet.

Me : Now, can you tell me from that number 11, if we kick one of the number 1s, what will it be.

Alim : No 1?

Me : Yes, simple isn't it. So since it is simple do you think you can kick that 1 number for the next test or exam?

Alim : Alim kena baca buku ke?

Me : You mean Alim tak baca buku masa periksa Sekolah Agama?

Alim : No. But I got no 11. One of my friends got no 40 lagi.

Me : Yes you have to baca buku sayang. If baca buku, sure can get number 1.

Alim : I don't know. See first!

And the working mom just left the matter at that because she knows that she may not have the patience to teach Alim Sekolah Agama subjects especially Arabic and Jawi. At times, I think on this aspect I am really hopeless. Even more hopeless because I want Alim to get number 1, yet not making that much effort to help him achieve it. Mind you, this is coming from someone whose alma mater is Islamic ... something okay. Nonetheless,I still hope with lots of prayers / doa's Alim will achieve what he wants and what I challenge him to do.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nozzles and Piping Bags

My last formal cooking class was during Form One to Form Three. I remember the SRT teachers, Cik Kalsom, Miss Gan and Mrs Barnabas. Those were the times when I learnt amongst others how to goreng telur dadar, baked kek permaisuri, masak curry ayam or made currypuff. Other than this time, it was Uwan or Emak who taught me how to cook. Most of the dishes which I have tried were mostly traditional. I have encountered friends who took cooking classes and baking classes. I would love to, just to enhance my cooking skills, but time has always been a factor restricting my interest.

Baking cupcakes is the in thing now. There is so much hype about it. It has also been very commercialised nowadays. Decorating cupcakes is another skill of its own. You may just have a simple cupcake yet the decorations are just too beautiful that you do not wish to eat it but leave it as a mere decoration on the table and show off.

I never know how to make butter cream, not mentioning fondant or sugar paste. I know there will be sugar, shortening, and other things which require beating. How it finally come about, God knows. Then there is this skill that the girl at Kings or Bakers Cottage do when I order birthday cakes, this thing call, writing on the cake. Is there a skill, or just press and write? All these questions can be really tormenting when you see the beautiful kitchen or baking blogspots.

I wish I could be in the community of cupcake decorators. So when my friend Lyn Kassim posted the invitation on cupcakes deco class organised by Daalia at the Srikandi 83 egroup, I was one of the first ones to sign up.

The class was held last Saturday. Initially it was meant to be held at the cikgu's house. However last minute, T*B issued a last minute notice that kawasan Su**ng J***will be blackout from 10 am to 5 pm hence the shift of the venue to Sue Mail's house at Pu**a H**gh*s. Our poor Cikgu Daalia had to mengangkut all her barangs to rumah Sue including table and chairs.

There were nine of us, Lyn, Zue, Adeeb, Na, Na's daughter, Sham's two daughters, Sue's daughter and myself. Some of the Srikandis came all the way from Alor Setar, Penang and Ipoh just to attend the class. We were taught how to do Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes, Royal Icing, Sugar Paste, Buttercream and Ganache.

The best part was, we had the cheer leaders to give us support, like Sue Mail, Adik, Isham, Zah Ishak, Zah Asmawi, Puteri Intan, Raja Shikin and Azlin Shamsudin.

Daalia also taught us on some of the tricks to make fluffy cakes and the art of decorating. Boleh tahan garang jugak Daalia. I don't blame her because we were the noisiest, messiest and "blurrest" lots.

Some of my decorations turned out well whilst some just sucks. The grass can be like a green dot whilst the flower looked like a mountain! The cikgu said, still can lah, perhaps just to be polite. Daalia must have felt like giving up after some of her students didn't really follow her instructions but pandai pandai je buat decoration sendiri. Jangan marah.

Now I know what is nozzle 852 which is for doing flowers, 352 for doing leaf, then there is nozzle for grass, I think 233. I know how to construct the piping bag, what is the rolling pin and the purpose of the thin sponge. However I am still confuse with the ganache, fondant and sugar paste. When to use and how to do it.

When I reached home at 6 pm. beloved husband was asking where the kek bertingkat was since it took me a whole day attending the class. The Aces were impressed because they got to eat the edible Ben 10 and the cupcake with the clown on it.

I think I have to take leave the next time I try to bake and decorate. Oh yes, before that shopping the tools will have to be done. I could be a frequenter of Bake with Yen or Wilton soon.

Happy Baking!