Balik kampung…

It has been announced that Hari Raya 2009 will fall on Sunday, 20th September (tomorrow) and here I would like to share with everybody my favourite commercial for the festive season this year…

The message is clear and whether it will remain just a dream is up to us – me and you. The onus is on everybody to walk and work together hand in hand to make it a reality.

Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri – Maaf Zahir Dan Batin to all my Muslim relatives and friends…and to the rest, enjoy the festive season with our brothers and sisters in the true Malaysian spirit.

Happy Birthday…

My daughter arrived back in Sibu on schedule yesterday morning despite the Hari Raya balik kampung congestion at the airports even here in this little town…

Balik kampung Hari Raya 2009 1

…and anyone would have expected the airport security to operate the other x-ray machine as well, considering that the queue was so long…

Balik kampung Hari Raya 2009 2

Thankfully, all those concerned were calm and patient and everything went smoothly in an orderly manner.

And as it was my daughter’s birthday, I decided to cook some traditional Foochow birthday noodles for her, or what we call mee sua (string noodles)…

Foochow birthday noodles 1

The old die-hards would insist on buying the long freshly-made strands of the noodles which they would have to coil and dry in the sun themselves, but I am not that particular and would much sooner use those ready-packed ones…

Foochow birthday noodles 2

…than to go through all that hassle. Besides, I do not know how to coil them well and they will end up in all shapes and sizes…and I often forgot that I was drying them outdoors and they would end up getting caught in the rain and ending up soaking wet and completely ruined!

I had to prepare some birthday eggs too – the hardboiled ones…

Birthday eggs

…and for the mee sua, we would need some chicken soup cooked with ginger and Foochow red wine. We boil the noodles to soften it and once translucent, it is placed in a bowl and the chicken soup is poured onto it. The mee sua is usually served with a piece or two of the chicken and perhaps a shitake mushroom and an egg as well…

Foochow birthday noodles 3

So that was what we had with our daughter upon her arrival in keeping with the Foochow birthday tradition that symbolises that we would be blessed with very long lives, as long as the mee sua

Foochow birthday noodles 4

I did not buy a cake this time but I got these three heart-shaped tiramisu mousse instead for a change…

Mel's 20th birthday 2009

After the birthday song, Mel blew out the candles and “cut” the tiramisu…

Mel's 20th birthday 2009

I do not know what she wished for but I, for one, would wish for God’s blessings upon her throughout the year ahead, that He would guide and guard her in all that she does and keep her safe wherever she may be…and I would pray for God’s grace to continue to raise her up in the light of His everlasting love. Amen.