Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Basic Scones





3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) white sugar
5 teaspoon (25 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 gm) butter (just out of the fridge/freezer)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1/2 cup raisins. (optional)

1. Start with Bismillah.
2. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
3. Lightly grease a baking sheet on tray.
4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
5. Grate the frozen butter using the larger holes of the grater, into the flour mixture. Then, mix the butter with the flour mixture using your fingers until it all become like breadcrumbs. You can try to selawat while doing all these.
6. In another bowl mix the beaten egg and milk. Then pour into the flour mixture, mix until all is moistened.
7. You can add the raisins at this point if your husband insist on raisins, like mine do.
8. Use tablespoons to scoop whatever the spoon can hold, and put onto the greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between the doughs, cause it will be slightly larger when baked.
9. Bake for about 15 mins or until golden brown at the top.

Update 14 May 2013:
The above recipe makes about 25 pieces of spoonful mixture scones, which may be too much for a family of small eater or a family of 2, 3, 4.

So here is half the ingredients that I tried the other morning, which was just nice for my family of small eaters.
Makes about 12 pieces of scones.

190 grams all purpose flour
50 grams white sugar
10 grams baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
90 grams butter
1/2 of 1 beaten egg.
110 ml milk
1/4 cup raisins, if you want. Well actually, for the raisins, it depends on how much raisins you like in your scones. If you like more, just put more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ngantok


Ngantok.
Aku ngantok.
Tadi tak ngantok
Lepas makan baru ngantok.
Macam mana nak hilangkan ngantok?
Bolehkah dengan mengambil wudhu hilang ngantok?
Berwudhulah dan solat zohor supaya tak ngantok.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tanggungjawab membuat drama/filem

Seram jugak kadang-kadang tu, bila tengok orang buat cerita untuk drama atau filem.

Betul kata Bromo, bila kita menulis dan mengarah sesebuah drama/filem, kita ni macam berlaku sebagai tuhan bagi watak-watak dalam cerita itu, dengan menentukan nasib-nasib mereka, juga kesudahan mereka (tentunya dengan izin dan ketentuan Allah juga). Jadi tanggungjawab itu besar sangat, untuk menunjukkan kesudahan yang betul dan pengajaran yang betul.

Saya terfikirkan hal ini sesudah menyaksikan sebuah cerita di mana penulis/pengarah memberi kesudahan yang salah bagi satu watak dalam cerita itu. Allah sudah menjanjikan sesiapa saja yang bertaubat dengan ikhlas atas apa saja dosa2 mereka sebelum menemu ajal, akan diampunkan. Watak itu ditunjukkan sudah lama mengesal dan bertaubat - tapi masih juga diberi bayangan bahawa mayatnya disiksa. Ini menyalahi janji Allah.

Tentu sekali perkara yang lagi satu yang saya menyampah adalah keberanian pelakon-pelakon Islam kita membawa adegan-adegan yang melampau.

Apa yang diceritakan dalam drama atau filem sebenarnya memberi kesan kepada penonton - lagi-lagi yang kurang upaya untuk membentuk pemikiran sendiri dan senang terikut dengan apa saja yang disajikan untuk mata dan telinga mereka.

Astaghfirullah, besarnya tanggungjawab - jika dengan cerita kita, orang jadi putus asa dengan apa yang sebenarnya dijanjikan Allah SWT. Atau orang digalakkan melakukan perkara2 yang tak baik, kerana pengaruh cerita kita. Berapa banyak penonton? Berapa banyak dosa yang kita nak tanggung?

Semuga Allah mengampunkan kita, dan melindungi kita dari melakukan perkara2 yang akan sangat merugikan kita di Akhirat kelak.

"Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things." An Nisa 4:85

Sunday, April 21, 2013

punjangga cinta


wahai pujangga cinta
biar membelai indah
teladani kalbu ku,
jujur lah pada hati mu
ada apa dengan cinta
perbedaan aku dan engkau
biar menjadi bait
dalam puisi cinta terindah

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My handling of slow mails.

I don't like to handle papers. I don't like to handle mails (unless it's a book package I ordered). I check my mails only once or twice a month, only because I have to check for bills.

I throw away mails unopened, those that are addressed to 'The Resident'. I also throw away with disgust, ALL promotional mails from the banks, no matter how elaborate or how much money they wasted on the promotional mail. I also immediately throw any promotional pamphlets from any shopping centers or brands.

If you are sending me something really important or urgent - send it by email instead. Or if you really have to send it by slow mail, alert me by email or sms. If not, it may be attended to the following month - i.e. if it is addressed to us by name.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Laments and answers from the Qur'an.

These are some of the common complains or laments we hear:

1) Why was I TESTED?
AL-QURAN : "Do men think that they will be left alone saying,'We believe', and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false." [29:2-3]

2) Why don't I get what I want? Or why do I get what I don't want?
AL-QURAN : "... It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing, which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216]

3) Why am I burdened this way?
AL-QURAN : "On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:286]
&
"So verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief." Surah Al-Insyirah [94:5-6]

4) I am losing hope!
AL-QURAN : "So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith." Surah Al-Imran [3:139]

5) How do I face it?
AL-QURAN : "O you who believed! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah that you may prosper." Surah Al-Imran[3:200]
&
"And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit," Surah Al-Baqarah [2:45] (translation by Asad)

6) What do I get from all these?
AL-QURAN : "Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and properties (in exchange) for that they will have the garden (of Paradise)..." Surah At-Taubah [9:111]

7) To whom can I depend and put my trust upon?
AL-QURAN : "...(Allah) suffice me: there is no god but He: On Him is my trust- He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme." Surah At-Taaubah [9:129]

8) I can't take it anymore! I am hopeless. I feel like giving up!
AL-QURAN : "...and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy; truly No one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy. except Those who have no faith." Surah Yusuf [12:87]
&
"Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." Surah Az-Zumar [39:53]

Mini Bread Puddings

Yesterday, about a month! after Fazi, my good friend, my lunchmate, gave birth, I visited her at home. I didn't want to visit her right after birth, cause I felt like if it was me, I could do with some rest time, alone. But I also didn't intend to visit this late. Anyhow, I finally visited her yesterday.

I'm surprised that she had time to prepare for me bread pudding, which she served on a small ball. It's not like the normal bread pudding I've seen before. Normally they are in a square pie tray or something, and I'd always try to go for the edges, because I want the more 'crispy', or 'chewy' part. Then we'd need to pour some cream over it.

This one is different. It is round, about 3 inch diameter (baked using mini pie trays). And since it is small, the whole thing is crispy. Furthermore it was just out of the oven. We didn't need to pour any cream over it - it already tasted like all in one.

I liked the taste and asked her for the recipe. I want to bake it myself, for my family, when I got home.

Apparently she got the recipe from allrecipe.com. In allrecipe.com, we are asked to melt some butter and pour it over the bread. However, my friend said spread the However, spreading of butter of the bread before tearing it would ensure that all bread pieces had some butter on it. Also it means one step lesser - we didn't have the melt the butter. I'm always for lesser ingredients and lesser work.
And the one on allrecipe.com also calls for vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract is a point of contention for the Muslims. Some Muslims says it's not halal since vanilla extract would definitely contain 30% alcohol, that makes it vanilla extract (MUIS standpoint). Other say, what is forbidden is intoxicating drinks or any thing that intoxicates. This alcohol is in another form already, part of a vanilla extract, and will not intoxicate. Therefore it is halal (Dr Muhammad Salah view).

My baker friend Tina said, vanilla extract or vanilla essence, are ingredients that you can live without. It only adds a little flavour in the form of a nice smell to the food. Does not noticeably affect the taste. As such, if I can do without vanilla extract I would.

So, after the long story, what I want to say is, I didn't use vanilla extract in my bread pudding.

Oh, the main reason for this entry is, I want to keep the recipe. I've baked and cooked successfully before. And I'd write the precious recipe in a notebook. But because sometimes I lose momentum to bake or cook, for months or years at times, I also lose the notebook. It has happened a couple of times. So this time, I figured the safest place to record what I have done successfully is in this blog, which alhamdulillah, I have not lost for the last 6-7 years.

So here goes:

Mini Bread Puddings


* Makes about 6-9 round (3 inch diameter) bread puddings.

Ingredients :

4 pieces white bread.
Enough butter or margarine to spread over bread.
2 eggs
235 ml milk.
75 grams fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Some raisins (optional)

1. Say BISMILLAH (In the Name of God).

2. Preheat OVEN at 180dec C. (about 10-15 mins before using it)

3. Spread BUTTER OR MARGARINE over 4 pieces of WHITE BREAD. Try to cover the whole surface of the bread.
Then tear the bread to pieces.

4. In another bowl mix thoroughly the other ingredients : EGGS, MILK, SUGAR & GROUND CINNAMON.

5. Then pour this mixture onto the torn bread pieces. Press with fork to make sure all the break pieces absorb the mixture.
You can mix some raisins if you want at this point.

6. Then divide the bread mixture into the small mini pie bowls or pan, about the size mentioned above (3 inch diameter).

7. Put it in the oven (middle level) and leave to bake for about 22-25 mins.

8. When done, the white part of bread should look golden and the bread edge will look kind of crispy in darker brown.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Live comments - Weapons of Mass Instruction

This book is by John (every time I type that name, I would first accidentally type 'Johan') Taylor Gatto.
Some comments as I came across things that spurs strong reactions in my mind.


Pg 64
The official economy we have constructed, demands constantly renewed supplies of leveled, spiritless, passive, anxious, friendless, family-less people who can be scrapped and replaced endlessly, and who will perform at maximum efficiency until their own time comes to be scrap; people who think the difference between Coke and Pepsi, or round hamburgers versus square ones, are subjects worthy of argument.
==> I guess schooling did work to reach the above objective - you find this in the masses. Except those who strive to not follow blindly, and in nonsense situations, to go against the masses' strong current in their way of thinking.

Pg. 100
A century of lending our children to perfect strangers at an early age - to be instructed in what we aren't quite sure - has made an important statement about modern culture which deserves to be mused upon.
==> Musing, and not liking the idea.

Pg 106
Between children identified as bright by schools and those identified as stupid, hardly a difference exists but those created by deliberate deprivation.
==> Right! like not being able to afford hundreds of dollars in additional tuition fee in order to cope with school curriculum. Except perhaps for the rare naturally bright ones.


There were more... but I missed jotting them down.

The Miracle of Human Creation

And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised:
But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!
~ Al Qur'an - As Sajdah 32:8-9

Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;
Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!
~ Al Qur'an - Mu'minoon. 23-13-14





O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).
~ Al Qur'an - Al Hajj 22:5

Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?
~ Al Qur'an - Fussilat 41:53

*all translations of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Because it's nothing

One of the thing I heard an atheist talking about is that there is no detailed explanation of how the universe was created or in fact of anything - no detailed explanation. It's always quite generic. So he's not satisfied with verses that explains something in just one sentence - and not in detail.

Subhanallah, I on the other hand, see it as something that shows how Great Allah is. How?
Say if someone ask you, how to check where a certain location is in Singapore, you'd probably say 'Google it'.
That's it. Just 2 words. Google it.

You say it like that because to you, this is nothing so amazing to you, that you would explain it with such wonder. E.g.
"OH! you know?! there is a new thing now that can give us that information!. You'll need a computer or a smartphone or an ipad, then you need an internet connection with ...." You get what I mean. You don't go on explaining in detail how you 'google it', because it's almost common sense to you.

Well, in that way, I perceive that the way God mentions how heavens and the earth are created in 6 days, or how we made birds fly, or how the sky is held up without any pillars that you can see - is in a simple straight forward, no frills manner because it is nothing for God. It is for us to discover and find out the wonders of it. It is amazing and wonderful to us, not to God.

Cable News Channel

I don't want this to be a habit - to receive, then spread negative stories about people, and we don't even know if there is any truth in it, nor the situation surrounding it.

"when you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, and deeming it a light matter whereas in the sight of God it is an awful thing!"
An-Nur 24:15 (translation of the Qur'an by Asad)

May Allah guide us and makes u good Muslims.