The month of Ramadan is upon us. It is already day 6, and mummyji's really feeling the toll of awakening at 4.30am.
The trusty alarm clock is set at 4.45am, but now, we have the overzealous new maid, who has taken upon herself to overtake the timepiece to knock relentlessly on the boudouir's door till she sollicits a loud "OK! OK!" from mummyji/daddyji....to borrow a phrase from the legendary ah beng, "Wah biang ay!!!" Another 15 minutes of snooze time would be cool, but no, the ever-ready FDW is out there, every morning at 4.30am, a-knocking, so since the MIL's already down there clanging away, preparing the FIL's meal, mummyji trudges down too, with eyes barely opened.....
The babes have yet to acclimatise their digestive systems to ingest food before dawn though. Think it might take them another week or so, from past experience.
Mummyji had a what she thought was brilliant brainwave yesterday - to bake a nutritional, jam-packed-with-goodness muffin that the babes can eat at Sahur.
So mummyji got busy in the kitchen after maghrib and baked a batch of chocolate-carrot wholemeal muffins...with the intention of filling the babes with all the goodness and nutrients of carrots and eggs, all that energy provided by chocolate, and the slower glycemic release of the wholemeal flour, so that the day's fast will be more bearable and they'll have more stamina.
With much cajoling, alas, the babes only managed to swallow half a muffin each. Well, Mummyji gave both of them a stern talking to on the drive to school... after all, what's the point of dragging your sleepy bottoms down to the dining area just to simply stare at the food in front of you?
Might as well make the most of it while you are already up, right?
sigh, anyways, Mummyji's not about to give up yet... these babes just need more coaxing and prodding.
Mummyji's always seem to be researching more recipes, food joints and food than ever during Ramadan. Anyways, while shopping for sugar-less mooncakes for the Gong-gongji a couple of weeks ago, Mummyji chanced upon a chinese stall which was halal-certified. The main outlet is in AMK Hub, and they produce freshly-baked chinese pastries. Mummyji was quite over the moon to see "Gai zhai bang" on the shelf. There was also a century-egg-bean-paste cake, portugese egg tart and pineapple tarts.. and last but not least, an incredibly drool-worthy black sesame cookie, sold in pretty bottles. The slightly-salted cookie literally melts in the mouth, and the lovely scent of black sesame simply invites one to pop another cookie again.... and again...and again.....hmm, simply heavenly!!(... the stomach rumbles and growls as mummyji hallucinates the fragrance of black sesame paste...)
It really is good to see chinese food joints catering to muslims. Malay- prepared "chinese" food is just not the same. And that is why too, Mummyji applauds the existence of Banquet foodcourts in Singapore. What a great difference is the Char Kway Teow fried by a certified halal chinese hawker stall, as compared with that cooked by a malay food stallholder. And where else can one find a decent bowl of halal fishball meepok? Nowhere but in Banquet....Hotel fare is just not the same.
Mummyji can never forget the time when she ordered a plate of wan ton mee from a malay stall, as shown on the signboard, only to be served a dismal plate of egg noodles with a stalk of vegetable and some shreds of chicken flesh. When questioned, the stallholder merely shrugged and said, the noodles are wonton noodles what, there is no wanton, that is just a picture!...??!! What's up with that??!!
Needless to say, we've never patronised the stall again. In fact, it's not even in business anymore the last time we passed by... Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Here are some ginger cookies that mummyji and the babes baked last sunday. Mummyji made some glace icing, separated into 4 bowls of blue, orange(or copper as stated on the bottle of colour paste), pink and white, for the babes to go wild and decorate the cookies as they pleased.
They're not too fastidiously designed, but the taste is good! The cookies had a good crunch, a mild ginger taste and the lemon in the icing ensured that it wasn't too overcloyingly sweet. They were well worth the effort, considering the temptations we had on so many occasions to lick our icing-smudged fingers!
On a more serious note, to mummyji, this is a month of self- reflection and self-restraint. As mummyji's already written last ramadan, the restraint of thoughts and words are indeed more difficult to practise than not drinking or eating. Every curse that is muttered whenever any assinine driver irritates mummyji is immediately followed by a feeling of guilt and silent apologies to the Almighty. It is tough, but mummyji's a stubborn one, so she's gonna strive on, by the grace of Allah.
Now mummyji's looking forward to decorating the stairs and patios with her stash of candles and holders (mummyji has a candle fetish). Mummyji thought we'd not use those ubiquitous tacky chasing lights that almost every other muslim household dangle on their windows/balconies/parapet.... We'd use candles, and daddyji thought it a good idea too, so we got this neat 5-candle holder stand made of iron from Lim's, which we intend to display at the front patio...think we should start lighting up in a few days! Yay!