Kueh Putu Kacang

It's been more than 10 years since I ate one of my favorite Hari Raya Kueh which is the Kueh Putu Kacang.

I reminisced helping my mom as a tween. I remember watching her roast green beans in a big wok, watched her sieve the grinded green beans in awe, accompanied her to a nearby small mill at Bedok Reservoir, mix finely grinded green beans & sugar and together, we would pack the mixture into their respective moulds.

In my mind, it was just like playing sandcastle and as an adult, I still do.

Unfortunately, a visit to a mill was no longer convenient which was why we stopped making kueh putu kacang all these years. Until I mentioned it again to Mak that she could try asking the small shops at Mustafa that mills spices. She did but it seems the person who does the grinding only available on weekdays.  Luckily, she knew of 1 mill which is at Ulu Pandan. It was so far away but she had someone to take her so yey!

She had to wait 1 hour and paid $6.60 for requesting to mill 4kg worth of green beans and sugar.

For those who don't know what and how kueh putu kacang is made,
it is basically made of equals parts of finely grinded of roasted green beans and sugar (1kg of green beans + 1kg of sugar)

Preparing and making it is a tedious process but the end result. Oohlala... the kueh just melts in your mouth in sugary sweetness.


First step is to roast green beans in a wok, lightly grind them with a mortar & pestle to separate it's skin, sieve it by tossing and send it to the mill to grind it finely; I mean REALLY finely.

After the the green bean has turn into powder, it has to go through another sieving process to make sure there it is free of the dark particles of the skin. Spray a little of water to it to prepare it to mix with the equally powdery sugar.

The fun but almost thumb breaking part.
(The trick is to push with your shoulders, not your thumb)

We still have our old kueh putu kacang moulds; wooden and plastic. Plastic is easier to handle because the it's easier for the kueh to pop out but the wooden ones we have more traditional designs.



Teamed up with corn flour wrapped in a handkerchief to be be lightly dusted on the moulds, we worked. Packing was fun but can be tough because you need to make sure it's tightly packed or the dainty designs won't stay. We had a few imperfections but we just kept it. Nobody is going to really stare and inspect so closely anyways.



We spent about 2+hours for 3 days in the morning because the best way to 'set' the kueh is to dry it in the sun; the hotter, the better. You can dry using the oven but it will have that 'oven' smell and taste which is not desirable.

Drying it in the sun to solidify it can be tedious too. As if not so constant weather conditions wasn't bad enough, in our past experiences, sometimes we find spit in our kueh!! Not that is was intentional, it was just inconsiderate people spitting out of their corridors and it would hit our kueh.

So far, we only got hit by a couple of drops of water from neighbors watering their plants other than that, everything is good.

Here's our set up.


We temporarily set up bamboo holders just to dry these bad boys. After the front is dried, we flip them to dry the base. We didn't have the opportunity to dry them the entire day because we just don't want to take the risk of random water droplets from unidentified places so it took us about 3 days for every new batch. That is about 9 hours under the blasting noon sun. 

End result.






Personally, I like the cuter and smaller ones because I just like to pop 1 in and let it melt in my mouth. 1 kueh down!



   

8th Year Anniversary

Today marks the 8th year anniversary of my relationship with Jhon.

Sadly, we didn't get to celebrate 'properly' this year mostly because it's fasting month and we are on restriction mode in terms of lavish dates to save more money.

Anyways, I know I tend to say this every year but I can't believe it's been 8 freaking years!

This is one of our first photo together as a couple 8 years ago.
Jhon looked so young and I looked so 'bacin' lol


I swear, I didn't expect for this relationship to last this long, let alone heading to matrimony. I am very practical and cautious especially in terms of relationship.
Even at the time when Jhon was trying to court me, I was laying all the cards on the table.

I told him I take relationships for the long run, I am a broken girl with many personal issues, my family is messed up, culture differences and of course, religion; will it affect our relationship eventually if we intend to take it to the next step? Yes, I am very open and truthful off the bat when it comes to personal issues. (So I tend to take huge offence if someone states otherwise)

We talked about each topic for days if not weeks and he kept trying to convince me he was the real deal. Hey, I have trust issues, what do you expect? But one night, I was telling him that maybe we can have a good relationship but I don't think we could last long. Until this day, I could never forget it.

With eyes filled with tears of determination, he held my face with both of his hands and said,
"I will prove you wrong. You will see it, just give me a chance and I will prove you wrong"

I was speechless and I gave him a chance.

And mahal ko, if you are reading this, you proved me wrong.
You are more than I could ever asked for. You are not only a wonderful partner but also a wonderful person who is always there within a heartbeat. Thank you for being such a gentleman and patient with me. For the first time in my life, someone proved me wrong and I am glad it was you.
Mahal na mahal kita.

And here's our remake of our first picture together after 8 years.
Besides my natural wavy/curly hair and post lasik surgery & Jhon's longer hair and weight gain, we are olddd.... haha



   

Guess Who Wants the Tiffany?

It's not me and I am not talking about the jewelry.

Unbelievably, Jhon out of the blue, over dinner,


Wahahaha...I've mentioned this before. Jhon can be stoic sometimes but once in a while, he shows his soft and feminine sides which always surprises me. Like considering a dusty pink color for our decor. Anyways, I did tell him the price after regaining composure.

[xotheknot]

[wedincpetals.sg]

[SIDEvents]

I can't deny having Tiffany chairs would level up the decor but the practical side of me won't just allow us spending S$1,100 (160 chairs) more just for chairs and that's considered in the affordable range already.

I am completely fine with covered chairs with ribbon tied or some accent piece around it.
I hope he would change his mind.



   

Salam Ramadhan 2015

1 more day to Ramadhan 1436!

[http://www.ehiyo.com]

So I would like to wish all Muslim readers Ramadhan Mubarak.
I am never good at greetings for any occasion (even birthdays) so I hope you don't mind I copied this.

"As the holy occasion of Ramadan is here,
Love, peace and joy fills the atmosphere
May Allah enable us to reap Ramadan benefits, Ameen
Wish You and your family a blessed Ramadan Kareem"
[http://islam.about.com]

For Muslim reverts or soon-to-be reverts, all the best in trying to fast. It's tough. In fact, there are some born Muslims who still have trouble so don't be so tough on yourself.
Take it 1 day at a time.

Next Ramadhan, I would be a married woman. The only difference is waking up for sahur in a different home and waking up different people. As for iftar, since we will be living 10 minutes away, we are probably going to dine together with my family at my current home. Not that much difference, really.

Next year is going to be interesting with a new life chapter.
   

Malay Wedding Taboos

I initially wrote Malay Wedding Superstitions but the direct translation of superstitions in Malay is Khurafat. As Muslims, we are not supposed to believe in such things. Furthermore, what I am going to write about is more to 'pantang larang' which is translated to taboos. 

Ah yes... The 'pantang larang' for future brides and grooms. It can be annoying when the older generation insist on them especially when it effects your dating routine. Although some are challenging, I got to admit, 1 or 2 make some sense.

I'm not surprised if there are more superstitions than I have here so feel free to share if I missed anything. I am not going to include the obvious like having proper sleep, proper diet, etc. Just the out of the ordinary when compared to other cultures.

'Langkah Bendul'

[Pic source:Chronically Vintage]

It is directly translated as stepping over a sill. But the 'sill' in this case is the elder sister in a situation when the younger sister is going to get married before the single elder sister. The older generation believes if the younger sister marries first, it will bring bad luck to the elder sister which will delay her relationship status even further.

The 'only' way to avoid the bad luck, the future groom has to buy double the wedding gifts. 1 set for his future bride and 1 set for his sister. This is controversial for obvious reasons. Some families are willing to lessen the burden by just requesting cloth to be tailored to a Malay traditional outfit.

No dating or even meeting up for 40 days

[Pic Source: District Diva]

This is the taboo that will always leave a cringe to every couple especially couples who are like 2 peas in a pod like Jhon and I. It's funny, I was never the clingy-but-meet-everyday type of person but since Jhon is an affectionate guy who loves to spend time together everyday, I got hooked.

Couples are not allowed to date or even meet up for 40 days before their wedding day. In this generation, talking on the phone is allowable but no Skype and no physical contact. It didn't sense to me at first because we will eventually have to meet up because of outfit fittings and vendor appointments, right? But my mom explained that in the past, the parents would handle 100% of the wedding preparations so breaching the 'pantang' was not an issue.

The reason of this taboo is to avoid higher risk of lust ("we are going to get married anyways, so let's 'practice'") and increase the longing for each other which will lead to a greater impact of love on the day the couple meet on their wedding day. It does really makes sense but I wouldn't know how Jhon and I would handle it. He always have dinner with my family at home every night for years!

Early Curfew


[Pic source: flickr]

Future bride and groom are not supposed to spend too much time at night even with friends and family unless it's school or work related and emergencies. Basically, it's a curfew for the couple. In the olden days, black magic is rather common so it's to avoid jealous people placing a spell. It's also to avoid gossip.

This is especially strict to the future bride because "darah manis" which is translated to sweet blood as it attracts evil spirits which not necessarily to witch craft but also temptations.
It can be so strict that the future bride is not allowed to go downstairs her block to check out her decor even for a little while.

Forbidden to Lay on Bridal Bed.

[Pic source: Orkidlife]

No one is allowed to sleep on the bridal bed. It's reserved only for the couple and only after their are officially married. There is no other reason but etiquette.

Dropping the 'Sireh Lat-Lat'

[Pic Source: Reddit]

Read what is 'sireh lat-lat' here (Point 14).
It is a bad marital omen if the groom accidentally drops the 'sireh lat-lat'. So hold on to that bouquet guys.

Refrain from Shaping Eyebrows

[Pic Source: Lovetowax]

Future brides are not encouraged to shape their brows until the wedding day when the make up artist will shape for you. Hence, allowing a larger wedding day transformation.

***

I'm glad there are not many taboos but seriously, I don't know how are we going to deal with the 40 day no dating thing. Perhaps we can ask for an exception? Kesian Jhon won't have home cooked food for 40 days. haha

Also, check out:
28 Malay Wedding Traditions

Filipino Wedding Superstitions

Filipino Wedding Traditions