I like living. I've sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
- Agatha Christie
I love cooking..just love it and baking too. I've had this passion for cooking and baking since ages ago and I may say that instead of being a teacher, I should have just been a chef.
Just the other day, I was talking to Doria on the net and I told her that I was making Pizza for the whole family for dinner which made her go green with envy. However, I purposely did not mention to her that I was making 'Cheat's Pizza' just to savor the pride she had for me that very moment. ( Hahaha, Doria, got u this time)
So, with respect to Doria, in this entry of mine, I shall show you how I made the Pizza.
The pizza base and tomato sauce
Topped it with sausage (pepperoni is nicer though but hard to get!!!)
turkey ham and smoked chicken.
Toss some green peppers (should have put loads more!)
pineapple and mushroom.
Mozarella, parmesan and cheddar.
Drizzle some olive oil.
(Don't know y we have to put the oil on top but I just do it to impress my kids and hubby.
Gives me that pro kinda look)
In the oven for at least 30 mins at 150 Celsius.
My home-made poisonous Cheat's Pizza.
(This was the pizza my kids ate which in turn sent Iman to the hospital....)
The pizza base was bought at Giant's Supermarket along with the shredded cheese, ham, sausage and smoked turkey. The only home-made thing is the sauce which is actually some leftover spaghetti sauce that I froze in the fridge. There you have it..so Doria, hope you make it for Declan coz I know you love cooking too!
Hospitals..bah..humbug! Name me one in Kuantan that I have never slept in for at least 2 nights and I dare bet 1 gazillion bucks that you won't find it!
Qayyum as a child has made hospitals his home being admitted for the first time at 8 months old and only recently I think that his body and hands have gotten tired of the hospital beds or of being poked and pricked about by needles and stuffs. However, I thought Qayyum's condition was the worst until I gave birth to Khalida who became the champion in the family for being hospitalized at the tender age of 30 days for her bronchitis. Ever since that first admission, I think she has taken a fancy in her brother's footsteps and now hospitals are her second home. Out of my three children, Iman, my second is by far the healthiest among the three. But today, she has contributed to my collection of hospital paraphernalia because today, for the first time ever, she ended the vacation I had away from hospitals with that single pink band attached around her wrist.
My poor Iman was referred to the hospital by our local GP for having a high fever that reached 40 degree Celsius and also for constant vomitting. So, off my hubby and I brought her to Kuantan to see our trusted paediatrician. She was first examined by a medical officer who suspected her of having food poisoning because I mentioned that along the way, she complained of having stomach pains. To my horror, I remembered that Qayyum woke up at 3am just this morning to vomit his entire guts out which made me vomit my guts out too because of the smell. But what horrified me even more was the fact that they both had pizza for dinner , THE pizza I made with my own bare hands. And with that detrimental information, Iman was confirmed to be admitted where they would perform several blood tests on her. Gosh, not only am I the biggest backstabber, I am also keen on poisoning my children now!! What a horrid human being I must be!
Now, here I am again, accompanying yet another child in this whole hospital saga of mine. I am not complaining though..just letting out a little sigh. Friends and readers, please hope that she recovers soon. Insya-allah.
Firstly, for kindly spending some of your precious time to read my blog(s). Even if I might have backstabbed you, what I've written seems to interest you. Secondly, for pointing out my flaws back then. At least I know why you loathed me. If I have backstabbed you, then I seek for your forgiveness, sincerely! Thank you.
Anonymous wrote as a comment to Just Hold Your Head Up High:
you were the biggest backstabber back then.and why we laughed? how can one not laugh when you put on a veil on a tacky-coloured set of wig showing???and please spare us with the "become-a-better-muslim" claim. you effing shaved you head off and went clubbing regularly.. san veil of course.
I love old things, antiques.. if I may say. I have an old husband, I drive an old car and I tell my children to call me IBU, something those who are in the Gen X would ask their kids to call them as oppose to the now favoured Mama or Ummi or Mummy. Qayyum and Iman have been calling me IBU until last year when they started calling me Mum (damn cartoon network). And so, I have been trying to teach Khalida who is 1 year and 5 months now to call me "Ibu" instead of "Mum". However, her siblings' influence on her are far stronger than mine so Mum's the word.
Whenever she sees me Mum would definitely come out from those cute little mouth of hers to my disappointment because in our English speaking household, I would love to preserve that part of Malay in me. But as Qayyum would say in his defense.."We're English, so we have to call you Mum..not Ibu. If we call you Ibu, then we would have to speak in Malay" There I'm trapped because I have been forbidding them to speak in Bahasa...(smart kid!) So, whatever it is, Mum's the word.
While I was playing with her just this afternoon, I told her to look at me and every time I say that to her, she would cup my face with those two chubby hands of hers and plant a kiss on my mouth. Today, she didn't ..instead of kissing me straight away, she looked into my eyes and gave me that very beautiful smile of hers that melts every pieces of me..and as I was looking back into her eyes, there it was with a single breath, out it came from her, "Bu..bu" I couldn't believe my ears so I told her to repeat..Ibu..and instantly she replied IBU and to make it more sentimental, she kissed me on my lips. I had been waiting for so long to hear her utter the word IBU that I longed for and finally she did it on my birthday! So there friends and readers, I may not have received anything from that man I call husband, but to hear Khalida calling me IBU is the greatest gift of all...that is the joy of motherhood.
My students told me they wanted to come over to my house today. Since we are still in the Hari Raya mood, and not to forget that Deepavali is just around the corner, I decided to cook up a storm. (by my standards, that is)
I made Penang Assam Laksa, Masak Lodeh and Nasi Himpit, ordered some Satay and for dessert was Bread Pudding and Vanilla Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache. Since I was informed of the visit 2 days ago, I prepared the kuah laksa in advance (yesterday) because a senior colleague told me the longer the gravy is the better it will taste and true it was. The laksa gravy was simply marvelous (hehehe, this is me blowing my own trumpet).
Initially, I decided to cook just that, the laksa, but since I was in the cooking mood, I sacrificed my sleeping time and woke up early today to go to the market to buy the veggies for the kuah lodeh. As I have told my hubby that I would be cooking for extra, I told him to invite some of his friends but at 1 0'clock today he told me he forgot which got me pissed off and to vent my anger I made the bread pudding and also the cupcakes. Has anyone ever discovered the secret to good tasting food? Well, I have and it is cooking when you're angry because the desserts were totally and sinfully delish!!!
My students came at 3.30 pm although I did say to come at 4. Since I wasn't ready yet, I told them to go away to another place and not to come back at 4. They came at 4.10 and ate like hogs..it must be the good food working its magic( me again...blowing my trumpet)! I called my friends whom I know would not resist an invite and thankfully they came to help me gobble up what was left. The open house ended just before Maghrib and I was spent.
I have to thank Nining though, my very hardworking new helper, because if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be able to gloat about the good food I prepared with my own bare 'eczema'ed hands in this blog. Don't get me wrong though, I did sweep the floor, vacuum the carpets, wiped the tables and all to help her. Haik..that is ironic eh? She's the helper and I'm helping her..hehehehe..it won't hurt to be good.
To all readers, I did save you guys some desserts for your eyes to feast on. Enjoy!!
A student of mine came to me with big red puffy eyes due to crying for at least 5 hours. The poor soul was back stabbed by her own dorm mate who happened to be her own best friend who ransacked her unlocked wardrobe and found her diary that contained all these juicy details about the other dorm mates whom she had been commenting about. So, this so called best friend of hers decided to let all the other girls read her diary and now, they are all against her.
That is very typical of the human kind..to be so close to one person but behind it all, we talk rubbish and nonsense about the people we are close to. I think this is all because, nobody is perfect! It's human nature to express our feeling about the imperfections of others be it about their physiques or even the way they bring themselves because we each have our own preferences in the human package.
I can surely remember hurting friends' feeling with my remarks because at that time I thought it was okay to speak my mind, I know it is still okay, but now I do it more inconspicuously so the truth doesn't hit them hard in their face. People hated me a lot those days, and for whatever reasons they had, I have learnt to accept it! It's their opinion right and truth to be told, I may have had contributed to the fact for them to dislike me. I won't put any blame on them although it deeply hurts until this day but, while they said so many things about me, and my wrongdoings, did they sincerely think that it was a noble act when they made a joke out of me when I first started to wear the veil on my head to become a better Muslim? When I had fallen out with a girl who I loved more than my own sister,who I called a sister, who I shared my tears with, my happiness with, did I bear any grudges? A bit..but then it was me to call her up and seek for forgiveness but did we get along again? No, she ignored the SMS that I sent to her in good faith. Do I hate her for that? NOPE. We all have our own minds..don't we?
We all have the freedom of speech. What our mind thinks is entirely up to us especially when it concerns about what and how we feel although it might be offensive or wrong to certain people. However, when one may disagree to your opinion, would that be a valid reason to make us a foe of theirs and to become ostracised? And has it ever occurred to us that while we may portray this holier than thou attitude, we might have somewhere or sometime in our life offended others intentionally or not? Everybody offends everybody, though it might not be through their speech, but do remember that there exists this unspoken language called the body language. So, I try to teach myself to be tolerant of others even if they do not tolerate me. Life is too short to make enemies out of friends..I think..No one has to agree with me..
The following is an excerpt of a poem I gave to that student. Hope she will have her head held high up now.
"IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:"
Nes, learn from your mistakes and from others' too..(don't keep a diary, just blog!)
It is not easy being a teacher although people have this distorted perception that this profession is easy peasy; it is NOT! Not only do you have to be academically prepared, you also need to have that human touch which is not something that you can learn, it is either you have it or not because it comes naturally.
I think I am a horrid teacher, the least popular and officially not a favorite among students because my students don't open up to me for when I try to dig up secrets from them, all they do is clam up unlike other teachers who manage to scoop all these sensational stories that could make it to the front page in the national newspaper. I was also informed once that my students are afraid of me and they always say that I am very serious..that being the reason why they are petrified of me. You would never see a student coming up to me to share a giggle, or even get the pastries or cakes or cookies that they have just baked whereas some teachers would get bunches of flowers that could fill a whole garden. See, would you not believe that I am a horrid teacher?
But two days ago, just before the PMR which is commencing now, something happened to me which changed my thoughts on the type of teacher I am. As I was busily keying in the marks for the recent OTI examination analysis, I was interrupted by my PMR students who came to seek for forgiveness and also for me to give my blessings to them and also for the knowledge that I have imparted to them. Not just one came, but ALL the girls from the 2 classes that I teach. As they came up to me, their eyes became red from stopping the tears that nearly came down so I took them in my arms and hugged them but what touched my heart was the tightness of their embrace and as each of them asked for my forgiveness, I could feel them hugging me even tightly and it was then that they started to cry when they said to me "Teacher, I really love you!" Oh, how I strained to keep those tears back to maintain my icy cold reputation but I failed at my own frail attempt when a boy came to me with his tears welling up and said to me, "Thank you teacher, you are my favorite!"
To have female students crying is a normal sight, a normal occurrence but to have a male student trying not to cry and acknowledging you is just magical and refreshing and also enlightening. Although I may not be the most popular teacher around, I can surely say for myself that I have succeeded in touching my students' lives, something that not all teachers can be rest assured of! And that is the greatest joy of being a teacher, to touch people's lives.
How should I start? Okay..When I first wrote my virgin entry into this blog, I was skeptical about how people would accept it and with that I had so many questions circling in my head whether my ramblings would be meaningful for anybody, just anybody or not because what I wanted to write about would not be totally about my family, what I did with them or even about the political issues or recent news because my blog was going to be about me and what I felt.
My first reader is my brother who was very supportive of my decision to blog although he never commented on it. Then came Doria, followed by Fely and recently Audrey. I was touched by them and their kind comments because these four people have never, and I mean have never crossed my mind to be a constant reader for I expected my best friend (definitely) and some others who are VERY close to me to be one of those who would read my blog if not religiously then on a regular basis but sadly, they found facebooking or surfing more satisfying and have never set an eye to what I have written.
So, here, to you Alang, Doria, Fely and Audrey..I can never thank you enough for lifting my self-esteem and spirits and for making me feel that I am therefore meaningful in your lives for you guys to be interested to read what I have to say. Guys, FYI, I have always read your blogs..but silently though to keep me anonymous..but for you to stumble upon mine and to disclose yourselves just shows that there are still kind hearted people who would accept you as you are. Thank you..