Celebrations And First Cooking Club (Dim Sum)

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Beautiful flowers from friend

Beautiful flowers from friend

The past 2 weeks has been absolutely fantastic. So much so until I have little time for my blog or visiting other blogs……ooops. I have been very busy but happy! Busy? Hard to believe huh, especially when I have not fully recovered from my leg injury. I have a lot to thank God for and every reason to celebrate.

Daughter’s Graduation

My youngest daughter graduated…..so thrilled…..*big smiles*. I was so happy that I was allowed out to attend her graduation, hopping along on my crutches. I was given special treatment because of my condition……*more smiles*. I was really surprised and yet touched that a friend gave me a big bouquet of beautiful flowers (picture above) and a box of chocolate to congratulate me…..wow. I thought only graduates receive them….haha. More reasons to smile! It is sort of funny that my girls never seem to grow up in my heart and here they are….2 gorgeous young adults…….*big smiles*. Really so proud of them.

Beautiful roses

Beautiful roses

And more flowers…..more smiles of course. It’s such a huge relief and sense of satisfaction and joy to know that both my girls have finally graduated. What a long journey for me! But it’s all worth it! Nothing can compare to the joy of seeing your children grow up well, though there may be lots of hiccups along the way. Motherhood is very challenging but very rewarding.

Eldest Daughter On Holiday

Another reason to celebrate was that my eldest daughter took several days off to attend her sister’s graduation and also to spend time with me….*big smiles*. We had an awesome time together. Had a lovely dinner out to celebrate. After staying at home for so many weeks, I was just SO happy to be out for so long that day on my daughter’s graduation! Of course I suffered the next day. My ankle swelled…..sigh. But never mind. It’s still very worth to have a few hours of fun and happiness….*wink*.

Birthday Party

Birthday party finger food

Birthday party finger food

Over the weekend, a friend invited us to her daughter’s 2nd birthday. I need to celebrate again because I can get out of the house…..*grin*. As long as there’s not a lot of hopping around, my ‘visa’ is approved…..*big grin*. My girls are very strict…safety comes before approval. And if I’m careless, they would rather that I stay at home. Can’t afford to let that happen. I had to promise them over and over to be careful!

I love all the finger food, very western style. There’s no cooking and greasy stove and kitchen to clean up. I need to learn that. There are also lots of nice desserts after that. What an enjoyable afternoon with friends and food!

Daughter’s Love and Care

My 2 girls who have been very well protected and very well taken cared of all along suddenly matured before my eyes. They know how to take care of me very well, much to my surprise. Despite their busy life, they text me, call me or email me very often to check how I am at home. And if they are at home, their eyes and ears are always sharp towards me. My gosh…I have no chance to be naughty! I had been chased out of the kitchen many times…..*sigh*. But well, now that my legs are much better, they are more lenient with the rules…..phew!

Cooking Lessons For Daughters

Actually my girls really surprise me with their cooking. They try to learn some of the special delicious food that I don’t always cook. I was allowed into the kitchen but not to cook. Just sit at the kitchen table and use my mouth only!! Can you imagine that? It’s total suffering. I was bombarded with endless questions! Sometimes I just wanted to stand up and take over….haha. I think on several occasions we were almost at each other’s neck…..LOL. But really glad they were very eager to learn. Want to know what they make?

Beautiful and delicious fruit tarts

Beautiful and delicious fruit tarts

I love these fruit tarts. They look gorgeous and taste very delicious. This is total surprise to me. My girl used the Scotty Brand raspberries and strawberries to decorate the fruit tarts. I told my girl that I’m going to try making this for parties! See, it’s not only they learning from me but I am now learning from them…..amazing….*big smiles*

Caramel coconut jam (kaya) and butter on bread

Caramel coconut jam (kaya) and butter on bread

This is coconut jam, also called ‘kaya’ back in Malaysia. It’s a very popular jam, SO good on toast with butter! A very dear friend gave us a bottle of her homemade kaya recently. My gosh, it was so good that we finished it in 2 days. Actually my girls finished it all. I only managed to try it once! My friend’s kaya was very smooth and fragrant as you can see from the picture.

My daughter insisted that she wanted to make. So, my friend gave the recipe. But she warned us that to get that smooth texture, you need tonnes of patience….stir and stir and stir and……

Here’s her recipe:

Ingredients for Kaya
10 eggs
600g sugar
200g coconut milk

Caramelise 100g sugar. Add the coconut milk and stir. remove from heat. Whisk the eggs with sugar and add to the coconut milk mixture. Double boil it. Keep stirring, don’t stop. If you stop, the kaya tends to curdle and you won’t get a smooth texture.

Delicious homemade coconut jam (kaya)

Delicious homemade coconut jam (kaya)

My daughter decided to take up this challenging adventure in making kaya. I only sat and watch and help with my advice. Did it turn out smooth? No! Because she did not keep stirring….hmmm. Like mother like daughter…always wants it quick….haha. Does it taste good? Yes, of course. Just don’t look at it when you eat it…haha.

Savoury rice dumplings (zong xi)

Savoury rice dumplings (zong xi)

My girls also made rice dumplings, also called ‘zong xi’ in mandarin. It was zong xi festival in June. To get the recipes is easy as there are lots on the internet but then to wrap it is challenging. Wrapping zong xi is an art. I learned it when I was young and I really wanted my girls to learn how to wrap my mom’s way. They were just too excited to learn. It took them quite a while to get it right. Lots and lots of hours put into it…prepare the rice, filling, the wrapping and cooking.

Savoury rice dumplings (zhang)

Savoury rice dumplings (zong xi)

Red bean rice dumplings (zhang)

Sweet red bean rice dumplings (zong xi)

We made 2 types, the savoury ones and the sweet ones. They made a few times, some to eat and some to share with friends. I’m really happy that they know how to make zong xi now…*big smiles*. Another reason to celebrate. My parents and parents-in-law would be SO proud of them!

The popular Sarawak 'kachang ma' chicken

The popular Sarawak

Another food that my girls learned is the famous East Malaysia, Sarawak, dish, apparently not found in West Malaysia. This dish is often eaten after giving birth but then we can eat it at any time. I think it’s good for cold weather. It’s called locally as ‘kachang ma chicken’. This is a chicken dish with chicken, ‘kachang ma’ herbs and lots of ginger and wine. There’s no water added. My eldest girl like this dish very much. By the way, this dish is often eaten by women as it’s reputed to be good for the uterus.

I googled it and found that ‘kachang ma’ is a herb called ‘motherwort’. It is advised that pregnant mothers don’t take this herbs.

Healthy Korean kimchi

Healthy Korean kimchi

Now what else did my girls learn? Oh yes, kimchi! My family loves kimchi. Just in case you are not aware, kimchi is very good for health. The fermentation causes a rapid growth of friendly bacteria which are highly important to our gut. Dr Mercola has written some very good articles about the importance of probiotics. You can read it here : The Food that Helps You to Detox Pesticides and Viruses WorldWide Battled by Gut Microbes.

We eat kimchi almost everyday. I eat it with almost everything. It’s so delicious. It’s not difficult to make. If you like to try making it yourself, click on my post at How To Make Korean Kimchi.

Off My Crutches

That’s already quite a lot of things to celebrate. One more thing. At the beginning of the week, my eldest daughter took me to the hospital for my second physio appointment. The physiotherapist assessed my leg and ankle. She was very pleased with my progress. She said, “Oh, you are very bendy!” Sounds interesting….haha. Then she said my leg is strong enough to put my body weight down on it…..WOW! This means I can learn to walk without my crutches….yippee!

To help me lower my heel gradually, a thick sponge was put into the heel area of my shoes. I can try to walk slowly in the house without crutches, wearing my shoes when I walk but when I go out I still need the help of one crutch to help with the balancing and stability. I’m seriously thrilled….*big smiles*. Looking forward to the day when I can run and jump again!

Fast Healing

My surgeon and nurses had been telling me right from the beginning that I need to use crutches for 10 weeks but then I’m off my crutches after 7 weeks!! I really have every reason to celebrate! I’m just so happy….too happy for words! However, I am still not allowed to drive yet. I need lots more physiotherapy sessions to help strengthen my tendon and ankle. Actually my ankle is still slightly swollen which is normal as I was told. The physiotherapist showed me a few exercises to do and gave me a piece of paper with visual instructions of the exercises. My daughter watched in total silence.

My eldest girl is a physiotherapist. The next day, I did my exercises under her stern, watchful eyes. I knew I won’t receive any compliments from her. I was right. She said, ‘Mom, you are not doing it right!’….ooops. I knew she wanted to say, ‘You cheat!’ but then she swallowed it….haha. She made me do it right. Oh no….that’s hard. I had to obey. How funny!…haha.

Fun in the Supermarket

After the exercise , I told her to take me shopping for groceries. She agreed…yay. See, obedience brings reward….haha. We even had a wonderful time at MacDonald to relax and chat over a cup of coffee. After that, our unexpected hide and seek adventure began……in the supermarket! I gave her the shopping list to go and get the stuff while I will take my sweet time to get 2 items which I knew she won’t be able to find it. There we split. She had the shopping trolley while I walked slowly with my 1 crutch.

The moment my girl disappeared into the aisle, I knew I am heading for trouble. I can’t remember we discussed where we should meet. I tried to walk to the aisle where she went into. By the time I got there, she was already gone. Soon I saw her again, far away. I tried to go to her direction but again she disappeared into another aisle….oh no! I tried to catch her. Soon I saw her again, but in the other direction now, then disappeared into the aisle again! I continue to walk, hoping and hoping that she will come to my direction. Suddenly I saw her far away at the other end, and coming towards my direction. My heart lept with joy! I just stood there hoping she will move towards me.  Oh no, she was looking into the aisles as she walked. Now, please, please, don’t go into the aisle again! I lifted up my crutch into the air, waving, hoping so much she would see me. But then shoppers passing by me were staring at me, wondering what this woman was trying to do….haha. Embarrassed, I quickly put it down! Suddenly my girl saw me….yay! She was smiling and shaking her head. Actually she was frantically looking for me….haha. What a cat and mouse game in the supermarket! And how funny to think that someone is looking for her mother! Fun though…haha. Lesson learned…always bring my mobile phone with me! Lost but found….need to celebrate….*big smiles*.

My First Cooking Club

That’s not all the excitement. I actually organised a Cooking Club in May. Just after everyone replied, excited to join, I suffered my Achilles tendon rupture! How sad is that. So I had to put it on hold….sigh. But since my girl is at home, I thought it’s good to just kick it off. She can help. My friends were just too happy. Everyone had to prepare a dim sum dish, one that they had not made before. Moving out of our comfort zones is never easy but if we can push through, we will be able to achieve what we never thought we will. Everyone did her best.

First Cooking Club

First Cooking Club

Our First Cooking Club was just last week. There were 7 of us. My gosh….we were all amazed at all the food laid out on the table. They looked good and tasted really delicious, better than eating out. We were so proud of ourselves. Just look at the food here. Are you drooling?…..*big grin*

Delicious dim sum

Delicious dim sum

Cooking Club 1 (desserts)

Cooking Club 1 (beautiful desserts)

After our first Cooking Club meet-up, we are just too eager to have another meet-up. Our next meet-up will be next week. It will be the famous Penang food. Ooooh, can’t wait for that. I will be making Penang cendol….yay. But then, I have no clue how to make it yet! Isn’t that scary? I have to try it out first. Don’t want to disappoint my friends. The problem is I can’t get the bean flour, called ‘hoen kwe’ here. I think I need to find a substitute. A friend had given me some idea. Have to try it.

Back To Church

After 2 months, I was so happy to be back in church again yesterday. Just so happy to see everyone and be warmly hugged by some.

Beautiful get well card by little friends

Beautiful get well card by little friends

Beautiful roses from friends

Beautiful roses from friends

I was over the moon when a little boy came to me with a card and a boutique of roses….wow! That’s so sweet of him, his sister and his parents! Very touched by everyone’s love.

Tuscan Dish Competition

As if that’s not all, I joined a Tuscan Cooking Competition and got myself busy the whole of Saturday afternoon. I think I’ll keep it to my next post to show you. It was fun and I fully enjoyed myself. After finishing his plate, my hubby said, “This is SO good. I’m SO satisfied!”

Wow…wow…wow……life is exciting. Quite a number of friends thought that I would be bored resting at home. No, I think I am coping very well.  Had lots of time to rest and relax. Best of all is to have lots of quality time with my family and enjoy being pampered. Now you know why I have every good reason to celebrate and smile.

I do hope you had a great week too. Maybe start a Cooking Club with your friends there and share with me and my friends here what you all cook. I think that would be fun. Please let me know if you do. I’m sure you will agree with me that cooking and eating build friendship….*big smiles*.

Till then, see you in my next post which will be a very healthy Tuscany Dish. Have fun cooking and baking! Celebrate your everyday life and Keep Smiling!

Quote of the day……

“As you begin changing your thinking, start immediately to change your behavior. Begin to act the part of the person you would like to become. Take action on your behavior. Too many people want to feel, then take action. This never works.”

- John Maxwell

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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Belinda @zomppa  on July 23rd, 2012

Congratulations to your daughter! Wow - you have been BUSY. Hey, if you have to be on crutches, at least take advantage of the perks. Wish I lived close enough to be part of this club….

claire  on July 23rd, 2012

wow Mary! You are really a busy lady!! Busy and yet happy! Your two girls are really blessed to have such a great mom and as a mom, you are truly blessed with such loving and concerned daughters… God bless!!

Jeannie  on July 23rd, 2012

My goodness, you on a crutch and still managed to be so busy! I wish I have half your energy lol! You really enjoy life to the fullest huh! Have a great week ahead:)

suituapui  on July 23rd, 2012

Congrats to your daughter on her graduation. Huh? Cannot eat kacang ma? But the ladies in confinement here eat that like nobody’s business? Especially the non-Foochows… Dim sum looks really very good! Thumbs up!

Mistletoe  on July 23rd, 2012

This post gave me so many laughs. Wished I could’ve been there to see the cat and mouse chase. Cats chase bunnies too, don’t they? Teehee.
Looks like you definitely had many reasons to celebrate. Congrats again to your daughter! Such a big milestone. I’m sure you were smiling from cheek to cheek.
next time I’m in Aberdeen, I want you to teach me to cook something with just your voice instructions. I think it’s be a lot of fun. Maybe this time YOU will want to hide under the table. Haha. Hope your leg is healing well. Do remember to take it easy! Hugs!

tigerfish  on July 23rd, 2012

That is why food is love :)

somewhere in singapore  on July 24th, 2012

Congratulations to your youngest daughter!!!

How i wish that i am over at your side there, hehe…

Mich - Piece of Cake  on July 24th, 2012

Hi Mary, congratulations on your 2nd daughter’s graduation! They are so grown up and talented (such lovely dishes they have made), you can now sit back and relax :) I still have a long long long way to go before I get to that stage….

Jess @ Bakericious  on July 24th, 2012

Mary, congrats on your daughter’s graduation! And like mother like daughters, your daughters can churn out such delicious food as their mum. Wow the members of cooking club are such good chef, all the dim sum looks so yummy!

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on July 24th, 2012

wow…lots of going on at your side. I am drooling at those fantastic dimsum!
Congrats to your daughter on her graduation!

Theresa  on July 24th, 2012

Congratulation!!You are truly very blessed to have 2 caring and filial daughters to take so good care of you. Felt very emotional that you are so blessed. Really love your daughters’ raspberry tarts and especially the bak chang. You are so blessed by God. Congratulations!! Theresa

lena  on July 28th, 2012

congratulations on your daughter’s graduation. i kind of forgot, is sharon your elder or younger duaghter? wow, they wrapped those bak changs? i’m stil not able to do it, i did it once and most of my bak changs ‘leaked’! haha!You really doing lots of things despite you’re on crutches..i was grinning reading you waving with your crutches in the supoermarket..yes, like mad woman! hahaha!enjoy your day! i know you will!

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