Monday, September 27, 2010

Hari Raya (Eid Mubarak) 2010 Open House Visits Weekend

Salam Syawal again, dear friends!

Chef Baini & Family's Open House 2010 Adventures 
Day 1 ~ Saturday, 25/9/2010
Anyone and everyone who has been to Malaysia knows that we Malaysians have a unique culture of the Open House that is when we host a party to anyone (and we mean anyone) who is kind enough to pay us a visit during the said occasion; usually held during the major festivals. Over the years, these open houses have become a must for people that are close to you and your non-attendance is considered a major faux-pax! In recent years, the holy month of Syawal has played host to wedding nuptials for Muslims, and in those cases, the celebrations are usually merrier and attendance is absolutely compulsory!

 And so it was last weekend that Chef & family had to make the rounds to their family and friends who had their do-s on Saturday 25/9/2010 and Sunday 26/9/2010. However, Saturday the 25th proved to be a day when all of Kuala Lumpur had their open houses! It had to be, because all major roads were deadlocked in traffic in both directions by more than a country mile! Several miles, in fact! Ouch!

Poor Ariff could take it! He succumbed to sleep very quickly! Jannah did not fall asleep...she kept herself busy counting all the money she collected from her grandparents, granduncles, grandaunts, uncles, aunts etc.!
It's a great time to be a see, its customary to give money to children who visit your homes during the open houses! So the more houses Jannah visits, the more money she collects!

 First up was Chef's junior cousin (the groom) who had his wedding at his home not very far away from Chef Baini's place. And no, this time round Chef did not make the wedding cake! You see, Chef was too busy preparing her orders for the Eid that she had no time to accept any wedding commissions! Including from her family members! Talk about a faux-pax!
But wait! Today's wedding was in actual fact a double header! The dais had another sette for the second pair who was the groom's sister...and where might she be, you ask?....

 Why, she's just a few feet away, waiting for her prince charming! Hey, she's on the phone...Yup, you guessed it....calling her husband asking him where he is....

No prizes for guessing the obvious....

He's somewhere in here! Well, dear cousin, he's just stuck in the traffic crawl,that's all; he's no runaway groom!

Here are Chef and her other cousins (not in the picture, though) having a laugh at the bride's expense! Ah well, what are cousins for if not for a little ribbing even on the most important  day of your life!!!

Next, it was the Babam's's his nephew do who lives just a few miles down the road....but again, we had to brave the traffic!

Now, technically, Ariff and Ahmad (Babam's nephew, the groom) are cousins...but Ahmad is 27 while Ariff is 14! Looking at this picture, Chef Baini is pretty sure Ariff also will make a fine bridegroom one day....(If interested, please contact Chef Baini for advance booking! No deposit required!)

The happy couple have to make their rounds saying hello to all their guests....

Here's Ahmad posing at the dais with his wife's immediate family. All the best, the both of you! We look forward to new additions, which are better sooner than later!

One last note on this do... Chef and daughter were delighted to receive the door gifts on the little pink bags! Simple and lovely! By now, it was 4pm and Chef and family had to move to their next mission objective which is at Kota Damansara, on the other side of greater Kuala Lumpur...unfortunately, traffic did not let up....

 We had to visit Chef and husband's dear friend Abdul Muluk, whom many, many years ago worked in the same office together. As you can see, Muluk had pinkish ideas of his own! Muluk did looked very resplendent in pink! The colour suits him very well! The Babams regretted not taking photographs of Muluk's apartment for all of you to see...because Muluk has decoration ideas that are very unique.... You see, Muluk uses only the bedrooms as livable spaces (including the kitchen and bathrooms, of course)...The living and dining rooms he vacated and filled the space with plants! All sorts of plants in many shapes and sizes of pots! Plus he left the windows open always, so the rains get in! Its his idea of literally bringing the garden into the apartment! Talk about a garden in the sky! The vista from the living room frames a fantastic view of the hills and at the foot of the hills lay a lake! So the effect is far-out! The Babams really regreted not taking a picture; you must see it to appreciate it fully! It was definitely worth the drive! Hey, and the food was pretty good too! Muluk, the consummate host, prepared an outlandish menu that included barbecued lamb!

Naturally, any picture of Muluk would not be complete without a picture of the apple of his eye! Now seven years old (my, where does the time fly? Not on Air Asia, surely!) Muluk's latest addition, 1 year old baby boy was asleep and therefore unavailable for the camera! This year, we made it a point to visit Muluk because for the past 3 years, we didn't make it for his party at this residence. Muluk is the sort of friend that never fails to invite you to every party that he hosts, every year, every time! You might say that he is a party animal! By then it was past 6pm and the rains started to beat on KL...and as you can imagine, traffic got worse! But we had no choice!

 Turns out the winds were very strong, too.... So on the way back Chef & family encountered a tree that fell because of the storm...It was still raining and we had time for just 1 more house today...So what do we do when we hit an obstacle that we can't go through?
Why, we just go around it, of course! That's exactly what the Babams did! He fancied himself a Karamjit Singh! (Karamjit is Malaysian rally driver of international renown).

We promised Kak Shima (Chef's student from Kuala Terengganu) to attend her open house...that also doubled as the grand opening of the Cosway Stockist Store owned by her daughter! Surely you can guess which is which from the picture below!

Incidently, Kak Shima's daughter is also an architect! Coincidence? Strange yet true!

Here's a view of the store...the room on the mezzanine is the training room...

Now you may not know this but Chef Baini and family are regular users of Cosway's products...especially the Nutri juice cordials...why, even Chef's mother-in-law uses them too...So Chef seized the opportunity to get some stocks herself....So if you're ever in the Gombak area, please do drop's located right behind the Ong Tai Kim supermarket!
The time was almost 11pm, so Chef and family decided to call it a day...go home, sleep and rest up for Day 2...

Day 2 ~ Sunday, 26/9/2010 
The next day, Sunday, was the exact opposite of the previous day...the roads were clear...must be that the whole populace of Kuala Lumpur were worn-out, and decided to stay home! But we had a few houses to go to, and miles to go before we sleep!
 Another home that Chef and family never fail to visit is that of Hasleen and Anum's..this couple are dear friends of Chef and family...Hasleen and the Babams have were roomates when they were in college between 1989 and 1991....They live in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, some 70 kilometres away... but on the highway with clear traffic, we made it there in less than half an hour! What a contrast to yesterday's ordeal! So with the traffic nice, we spent a good 3 hours catching up with the regular gang...

 Anum is the lady with the black and white blouse next to Chef...the elderly lady to the extreme left is Hasleen's mom....

Not to be outdone, the menfolk held court at the dining table! They had their own guy talk (man-language for gossip!).... as you can see, its a very 1Malaysia group! Hasleen, the man of the house, is seated at the head of the table. Unfortunately, the Babams did not take a close-up of Hasleen...the Babams swears that Hasleen looks a lot like
Justin Bieber, only older!

The next destination was the Babams' cousin's Raya Tea Party....the house is at Sri Hartamas, roughly 30 kilometres away....

As you can see, the Babams looks very much relaxed due to the smooth drive to here! This Hari Raya Tea Party was also a housewarming...Kak Ani, the Babams' cousin, finally ended her decorations quest for her new house after 6 months worth of time selecting knick-knacks for her new home! By the way, the Babams was the architect for the kitchen extension, so he enjoyed this visit especially!

This is Kak Ani with Chef Baini sauntering at the lanai...
By the way, Kak Ani is a part-time talk-show host on a local TV station...
you may have seen her on the telly a few times...

Folks, you just can't get this spread at any restaurant in Malaysia! Authentic home cooked Malaysian cuisine, prepared by Kak Ani and her sisters, supervised by Kak Ani's mom (The Babams' aunt - Mak Adek, who is almost 80 years young; one of the grand dames of the clan). She came all the way from Johore Bahru for the occasion. Johore Bahru is a city at the southern top of Malaysia, just above Singapore, about 484 km to the south of KL.

The food being so good, everyone naturally tucked in! Its a special time of the year when we touch base and reconnect with our loved ones! And of course, Jannah loved playing with the cat-in-residence!

Our last visit of the day was supper at the home of the Babams' brother Azlan and family! But when the two brothers get together, they are usually dressed in sarongs! So Chef Baini apologises for not publishing pictures, she believes the pictures are not fit for print! Some other time perhaps, Chef's blog will feature the Babams' beloved brother and his family!

That's all for today's blog, dear friends! Hope you had fun reading it!
And it was quite long too, wasn't it!
Until next time,

Love, Chef Baini.

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