I do not think I can take another year raya away from Emak, Ayah and Qasim. I don't know how my sister has done it. Must be quite a sorrow and painful experience having to spend Raya here for the last 3 years.
The fasting is not that hard in UK. The hours were relatively long in the beginning of Ramadan but improved tremendously in the end. Now we are breaking fast at 7.15 pm as opposed to 8.30pm before. There are a few things I missed about Ramadan in Malaysia:
1) Mak's cooking
2) Bazaar ramadan
3) Kek batik Kelana Jaya
4) Creme caramel Kelana Jaya
5) No missing of sahur because Emak without fail will wake us up
6) Sembahyang terawih at Masjid Al-Hidayah (when rajin only...)
7) Leaving office at 4pm
8) Going breakfast with friends and family
9) Ramadan buffet spread
10) Free corporate buka puasa
However, the experience of Ramadan away from Mak's cooking and Malaysia has helped me to discover my inner talent on cooking. I have whipped up, for the first time ever, Nasi Ayam Hainan, Ayam Masak Merah, Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis, Rendang Daging, Kari Daging and Daging Masak Lemak Cili Api. Yes...for the first time. I hardly cook and never have cooked these typical malay dishes before. My expertise would usually be Italian and roasts or grilled stuff. I realised that I have a knack for cooking when my guinea pigs, usually Muz sometimes some friends (who were brave enough to sample them..) would praised my dishes. All the trouble and tiredness melt away when I see my guests treat themselves with seconds or third helping of my food. Worth all the effort.
This Ramadan has definitely developed and enhanced my culinary skills. It makes me become a more versatile cook. I have a new found confidence in cooking malay dishes. Can now attempt to impress the in-laws. Haha!
A lot has happened since we are back from Malaysia. I am yet to post our pictures from Pangkor Laut and a few more latest pictures of Noah. Will do that soon. I haven't been diligent updating the blogs... Just plain lazy..
Anyway, Muz is looking for a job now. We are praying hard for him to get a job from his old company but it seems that the re-alignment exercise at the London's office is taking too long. We hope there are some opportunities beckoning around the corner. Yes, the job market is kind of tough now. All he can do right now is to send his CV to as many places as possible and pray hard. He will need to fight with many applicants out there. We just hope that something will come soon.
As for Raya, after much discussion and contemplation... we are celebrating raya at Coventry. Actually my sister got me when she mentioned Ketupas Palas. So much of deep contemplation. Aww... how I miss Tuk Sidah's ketupat palas. The best ever since the slice of bread. Especially when you eat it with Rendang Padang - a must dish for raya as part of our long family tradition.
This year, I will attempt to make the uber famous Rendang Padang. Though I have attempted it once before but it was years ago, so barely remember on how to make them. Emak has kind enough to email the recipe. Hopefully it will turn as nice as hers.
So they say, there will be dodol and wajik making at somebody's backyard in Coventry. This makes Coventry sounds more meriah and much better than London's usual High Comm open house. I need a meriah raya to get rid of this nagging and sorrow feeling in me. Syahdu raya di perantauan....
Oh sod it... Baby, we are going to spend Raya in Malaysia next year... ok?