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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Celebrating Eid in Hamilton, NZ -part 2

The first weekend after Eid, we went to celebrate it here and there. On Saturday , 26 Sept. 2009, we were invited to have "Nasi Lemak" at K. Linda's house. Her Nasi Lemak was delicious with variety of sambals(hot sauces). There were sambal ikan bilis(anchovies sauce), sambal sotong(squids sauce), fried achovies, fried salted fish and hard-boiled eggs. After we went to her house, I asked my hubby to drive to Peachgrove Playcentre as I had to pick up two boxes of toys that need to be washed. It's clean-up time after each term ends. I didn't go on Friday night and on Saturday I had to visit my friends' houses.

Here is K.Linda and family:

When we came back home, I had to rush to decorate my SIL's birthday cake. It was her birthday and I reckoned it was a good idea to bring the cake to WUMA's (Waikato University Malaysian Association) Eid gathering in the afternoon. I made her a sour cream, coffee cake with walnut streusel on top.

We went to there at about 12 and there were already heaps of people. The main dish was "Nasi Minyak" (a savoury rice) with "Ayam Masak Merah"(Hot and spicy chicken), "Dalca"(vegetables in coconut milk soup-it's might own translation!haha). Again the dishes were yummy but I had started to feel uneasy especially in my throat. Plus I had a mild cold. (actually I'm still suffering from cold!). We took some photos there with our friends. First, we took photos of our children. It was hard to ask them to stand still and some little ones even cried or ran away.

Then, all the ladies who were there at the moment took the opportunity to take a photo together.

Next, the gentlemen except my hubby who refused to join. (mmg dia tak suka bergambar sgt)
However, I don't have the photo. huhu

After that gathering, we went back to perform our Zohor prayer before we set off to Rototuna. Dr. Nik & Dr. Pica invited all to their house for another Eid gathering. There were heaps of food and we stayed there for about 2 hours. There were "murtabak"(a kind of fried bread with meat stuffing), kebabs, cakes, noodles, rice, fish, BBQ chicken and lots more. Their house was lovely and they have a nice backyard too! Rototuna is a new place and the houses there are better compared to houses we have in Hillcrest or the area near Waikato University. Well, maybe because both of them are doctors, they can afford to have that kind of house too. They pay $400 per week for the rent and the house is a fully-furnished house. Hmmm I was impressed with the house because if possible, I would like to own a house similar to that one day. InsyaAllah. Here are some photos of us there:

Our photo with Dr. Nik & Dr. Pica

All right, I need to continue this entry next time as I'm going to take a bath now. (hehe busyuk tak mandi lg dan nak sbhyg zuhur). Until next time, Ka Ki Te Ano.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Third Year of Celebrating Eid in Hamilton, New Zealand.(part 1)

Time really flies! I didn't realize that we've been celebrating Eid for the third time here! I hope that this is going to be the last year of celebrating Eid here. I miss my family and friends back home. As we celebrated Eid on Monday, 21st September 2009, I had to wish my family members "Selamat Hari Raya" on the last day of Ramadhan for us here. huhu. I wore t-shirt when I was chatting with them on YM and my brothers and sister were surprised to learn that we were still fasting. We thought that we were going to celebrate Eid on Sunday 20th September 2009 as well, but FIANZ (Federation of Islamic Association of New Zealand) told us they couldn't sight the moon(tak nampak anak bulan kat sini). I've prepared satay sauce, rendang ayam (chicken in coconut cream) and nasi impit (cube rice) on Saturday. We even ate those dish that evening.

Raya here is not bad this year as we have more Malaysians here. The night before first raya, some houses hosted "takbir". Our house was the second last house. I just took out some raya cookies and a dates cake with tea. They(some of the men here) went to 6 houses all together.

On the first day of raya, we went to one of our friends house to perform Raya prayer. We had some food at home and took some pictures first at home. At my friend's house, we met most of our friends. It was as merrier as what we had in Msia before. After the prayer and the "salam"(shaking hands and seeking forgiveness) sessions, we had yummy food courtesy of the host and some others who brought some food. Here are some pictures taken there:

After we left that house, we went to Masters Clinic as I had to redo a blood test for the immigration purpose. So, we went there in our raya clothes and most of the other patients and the nurses stared at us. The nurse that took my blood samples liked my baju kurung (our traditional costume). I told her that we were celebrating Eid and we were wearing our traditional costume for the special occasion. (yelah diaorg pelik tengok baju warna-warni dan lain dari dress diaorg). Right after that, we went to visit our friends houses until about 3.30. We visited about 7 houses! (there were more houses but we were already full and tired). I also had to prepare some dishes for our open house on the second day. So, we decided to go to other houses the other days.
That evening, I prepared more satay sauce (using peanut), mee bandung sauce and cutting beef and chicken meat to prepare satay. We (my hubby, my SIL and I) prepared the dishes until midnight.

On the next day, (Tuesday, 22 September 2009), I had to cook 3 packets of spaghetti, cube rice and prepare the vegetables. My SIL and one of my friends, (K.Eija), helped me in cooking satay in the oven. I was kind of distracted when my hubby called me at 11 and asked to dressed up to go to our friend's house at 12. So, in a hurry, I bathed my daughters and changed their clothes and got ready by 12. We spent just about half and hour at my friends' houses. (we thought of going to one instead we went to two houses).

We started our open house at 4 and the first batch of guests arrived at 4.15 and more people came after that. It went well except for at the end, we ran out of satay and the mee bandung soup. I thought it was enough but well, maybe next time we have to make more. I was pleased that our friends liked our dishes and we were kind of busy topping up the dish few times. Hafizah was kind of cranky because she had cold and fever. I had to carry her all the time as she didn't want to play with other kids or be away from me. At about 7 o'clock, the last batch of guests left our house and we started to pack things up. That night, I had to cook another pot of soup to be eaten with spaghetti for our dinner. I've learnt that if we want to invite our friends here, we have to prepare more than two main dishes. Well, we are definately going to have another one during Eidul Adha.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I broke my own record!

Everybody seems in the mood of celebrating Eid as there's another 2 or 3 days left before 1st of Syawal. I just want to share what I've been doing for the past two weeks. If you read my previous posts, you'll know that I've been busy making raya cookies. This year , I've broke my own record as I made about 2000 cookies! (buat sorang2 pulak tu). I used about 6 kg (maybe more) of flour, 5 or 6 kg of butter, 3-4 packets of dessert almonds, 9 cans of pineapples, 500 g of peanuts, 2 kg of cornflakes, 600 g of chocolate chips and heaps of eggs. I never thought that I could finished all the cookies on time. My customers a.k.a my friends here in Hamilton, NZ seem happy when they get their cookies. My friends in Peachgrove Playcentre said they haven't seen me for ages. Well, I've been neglecting my job there when I was busy with my raya cookies. Luckily there's only one week to go before the school holiday. Yeayy..... Here are some photos of my stacking cookies.
The stacking container of cookies.

Honey cornflakes(there were only 2 orders)

Peanut cookies (my hubby wants this)

Chocolate chip cookies. (I changed the recipe)

My sister, Yatie is now in Kelantan, Malaysia. She'll be celebrating raya with my father and my other siblings. This is going to be the third year for me celebrating Eid here in Hamilton, New Zealand. Last year, after my mum died, my siblings were not really celebrating Eid as they were still mourning. This year, my sister once again has to prepare some dish for my siblings with the help of my aunts. Next year, hopefully I can join them to celebrate Eid together and prepare special dish for them. InsyaAllah.

I want to wish all Muslims Eid Mubarak or in my language, Selamat Hari Raya. Please forgive me for any wrong doings. Let's be thankful for being able to face the challenges during Ramadhan. Syawal is a month of celebrating our victory. Let's celebrate it in moderation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Challenges during the fasting month.

We (Muslims all over the world), are still fasting as it is still the month of Ramadhan. For other people from other beliefs, they sometimes have little or zero knowledge about the true concept of fasting. It is our responsibilities as Mulims to explain about Ramadhan, fasting and the related things. We are facing with so many challenges everyday but during Ramadhan the challenges are somehow became more and more challenging.

I personally reckon that we always try to behave like a good muslim especially during Ramadhan. However, there's always some problems that we face. Here are some of my own challenges during Ramadhan:

  1. It's hard to be patient.
    (I always lose my temper when my daughters become so naughty especially when I am so exhausted)
  2. It's hard to show to others that fasting is not tiring.(When I'm on duty at Peachgrove Playcentre, there are heaps of things to do and at the end if clean-up I always feel exhausted)
  3. It's hard to be careful with what we see, hear and say.(Sometimes we do things spontaneously without realizing they are forbidden, like bad mouthing. right?)
  4. It's hard to be moderate in cooking and eating when we break our fast. (We always craving for special food and we tend to prepare or cook more than what we can eat)
Those are the challenges that I can think of. There are maybe more but I can't really put the challenges into words. (not sure how to describe the challenges. hmmm). I'm not going to give any suggestions on how to face the challenges as I myself are struggling to find the best ways to face the challenges. Maybe those who read this can give me some suggestions. Who knows you might have similar challenges.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tulips and other colourful flowers!

I didn't realize that I've published the unfinished entry last night. There was only the title without the content as I had been occupied with other business last night.

Ok now I would like to share the colourful things that we can see now here as it's already the season of Spring! I asked my sis-in-law to join me and my daughters to Hamilton garden to take pictures with beautiful beds of Tulips. I was quite busy with my raya cookies project but I still wanted to take the opportunity to pose there. (tahun depan dah tak de peluang bergambar dgn Tulips!). Let's see some of the pictures taken with the lovely and colourful Tulips and other flowers.

A Not-so-like-model pose. haha

Fathini who looks like a tourist here.

It's hard to take a good picture of Hafizah.I like this one!

We spent about 45 minutes there and we really felt how wonderful it would be if the garden was at our own backyard! haha. Luckily there were not so many people during that time at Hamilton garden. So, we could pose and took heaps of pictures. After the "photo shooting session", we went to Pak n Save (the cheapest store for buying food n stuffs). I had to buy some ingredients for
raya cookies and some other essential food for my daughters. Then, I sent my SIL to Waikato Uni. because she had to attend a lecture at 2 o'clock and my daughters and I headed home. While my daughters having their lunch, I made some cookies until it was time to cook for our dinner. (well, berbuka time or the time for us to break our fast).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm an amateur cook.

When I was small, I hate it whenever my late mum asked me to help her in the kitchen. I felt uncomfortable when my late mum instructed me to do this and that. But now, how I wish I have had listened to her instructions and got so much cooking tips from her. I remembered my late mum told my mum-in-law that I was not good in cooking! Luckily my mum-in-law didn't really mind.

Since I came here(Hamilton, NZ), I have had to try so many recipes and practiced my cooking skills. I know I still have to learn a lot in sharpening my cooking skills. When we can't really buy other halal food from outside, we are forced to prepare the food that we want to eat. One of the big problems here is to find the ingredients. Most of the time, we have to be creative by replacing some ingredients with other ingredients.

Yesterday, I helped my friend to prepare Chicken Rice. The problem was, I was not so familiar with long grain rice. The rice was somehow felt a bit uncooked. I had to use 3 different rice cookers and even the colour of the rice was so different. Well, I had tried my best, but it was unfortunate that the rice turned out like that. I had gained some experiences from there and it won't stop me from cooking or trying and trying until I become good in cooking. It is always not too late to learn. Right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

So much to do!

I've been somehow neglecting my blog due to my commitments with something else. If you have read my entries before, this year I decided to take some orders for raya cookies. I received heaps of orders and now I'm quite busy making and baking the cookies. Most of my customers prefer Pineapple tarts. There's about 500 Pineapple tarts that I have to made. I have been able to make about 250 and there's another half. Only some who are interested in London Almond cookies. While for the other types; Chocolate Chip cookies there's about one order = 50 pcs and Honey Joys Cornflakes = 50 pcs. Right, I have to take a rest now as tomorrow I have to help my friend preparing Chicken Rice for the Breaking the Fast Feast at her place.

Ka Ki Te Ano.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Diet during Ramadhan (fasting month)

(Some food that might be tempting to us-from my own collections)

I came across this book "Ultimate Health Plan- the DIET programme that will keep you slim for life" when I went to Hillcrest library yesterday (31 August 2009). As we (Muslims) are in the fasting month, some of us will be thinking that it's a good idea to lose some weight. (including me but I have to ask some Ustaz if this intention will not be a good idea as we are supposed to fast because Allah commanded us and it's good to cleanse our body as well).

During Ramadhan, we are tempted to eat a variety of food. In Malaysia, we normally go to Bazaar Ramadhan and buy more food than what we need. (I did that. hehe). Normally we tend to lose by the most about 2 kilos after the fasting month. 2 kilos is not very minimum and we will easily go back to our previous weight during raya. (Eid). Thus, in order to help those who plan to lose some weight and this is actually a reminder my self to be careful when it comes to what we eat.

Dr Gillian McKeith suggested that we start off with keeping a seven-day-diary. When we have the diary, it's easier to monitor what we eat everyday. She also said that we have to be honest when we write the food diary. There are about 25 questions that we should ask ourselves once we start with the food diary.

  1. Do you eat more fresh food or non-fresh food?
  2. Are you eating your five portions of vegetables a day?
  3. Are you eating the same things everyday?
  4. Are you junking out?
  5. Are you a sugar junkie?
  6. Are you a salt junkie?
  7. Do you eat enough raw fruits and vegetables?
  8. Is there too much wheat in your diet? (it's good to go wheat-free)
  9. Are you drinking enough water?
  10. Do you eat too many "white"foods? (less white food is better)
  11. Do you take more good fats?
  12. Do you use herbs and spices? (well, Asians already use these)
  13. Are you a caffein addict?
  14. Are you eating organically?
  15. How much red meat do you eat? (make it occasionally)
  16. Where are you eating? (Choose restaurants with healthy food & don't eat in front of tv)
  17. Are you a non-veggie-eating vegetarian? (some vegetarian tend to eat crisps & junk food)
  18. Do you exercise more than three times weekly?(Exercise can boost energy in all kinds of way)
There are so many steps that we need to follow as losing weight is not easy as we are aging. But, when we have set some clear goals and follow the right way, we will be able to lose some weight. Our goals should be achievable, clear, precise and realistic. Here are examples of goals:

  • I want to be slim
  • I want to banish my daily headaches.
  • I want to wake up with energy.
  • I want to sleep peacefully through the night.
  • I want radiant skin.
  • I want to feel more relaxed
  • I want to be more energized in the afternoon
  • I want to stop slumping in front of the tv every night.
Rasullah(PBUH), only ate two dates and a glass of water to break his fast. I know we feel it hard to emulate him but we can always try to be moderate when it comes to eating. As for spiritual benefits: humbleness of heart, strength of understanding, lessening of lower desires, lessening of personal opinions and anger, while overeating induces the opposites of all of those. Al-Hassan Al-Basri said: "O, son of Adam, eat with one third of your stomach and drink with one third and leave one third of your stomach to breathe so that you may think." (I took this from the internet).

Okay, I hope this entry will somehow help those who want to lose some weight and those who want to watch their diet especially during the fasting month.