Since hubby's birthday last September one of my wifely tasks was made redundant. No he hasn't gone celibate nor joined a deviant sect. But the fact that he hasn't been around this past week might have given the neighbores that idea.
Anyway tomorrow is Hari Raya Haji and he will be back just in time. It won't be the full quorum again this year, but we've gotten used to it since having one kid or another too far away or having important commitments to return home for the celebrations.
Noticeably absent this year will be the teen princess who is tucked away at the asrama dealing with her SPM exams. Yesterday was Additional Maths, the first of the elective subjects. She was chirpy when she called me after the first paper saying it went quite well for her. I was surprised because her 4 older siblings had always had something cryptic to say about Add. Maths along the lines of "leaving it to God now". A text message after the second paper read:
"This is the first paper where I am not too confident sangat laa. We here are all dah bengong kepala otak haha.....
mmmm Mak my phone needs topping up, boleh?"
Like hubby says, she really knows how to manipulate our heartstrings. She makes us feel like giving her a tight consoling hug right there and then ..... and in the same breath she asks for something we won't be able to refuse given the "moment". I often wonder how kids in asrama manage to use up their phone credits so fast when they do not phone us all that much. Ah..well.
The ketupats are already boiling merrily away - I'm dealing with the innovated ones in little plastic bags which purists like my mother have accepted already. Bid'ah hasanah as we of the take-it-easy ketupat school of thought might argue.
I'm so lucky because again my sister-in-law will take on the cooking for us. She cooks just to hubby's liking the fare that arwah mum-in-law used to. I can turn out a fairly authentic sambal goreng jawa but sis-in-law's is the classic one, also her sambal kacang. She grinds the roasted peanuts with skin intact and that, to me makes the difference. But the sambal kacang of Hj. Samuri's sate kajang is still unbeatable. Anyone has any idea of this supposedly secret recipe?
Oh yes, also classic is sis-in-law's rendang daging with the limpa and hati thrown in. That I have not the courage to try yet since the recipe calls for a humongous amount of santan and kerisik which my brain might rebel against and render the product less drooling. You see, what we cook must pass the drool test before serving, otherwise we'd have left-overs which people will give a pass when we serve the dish again the next day.
Muni is over at sis-in-law's helping out. As for me, I'll whip up some chicken curry later and that would be just about it. Even with the curry there will be too much to eat. But never mind, we'll be carting all the lauk raya to princess's school tomorrow where we will spend some time with her after the Eid prayers. Following the Prophet's SAW tradition, we feast after prayers in Eidul Adha but before in Eidul Fitri. Well anyways, after the school we'll be making our way to my mother's kampung in Melaka. Although Mum lives nearby in PJ, every other year or so she decrees that we all should balik kampung.
And that will be when the tribulations begin, I believe... due to our previous experience travelling south on the north-south Plus highway on Hari Raya Haji. That time we made a detour and navigated the Rantau to Linggi federal roads into Masjid Tanah and then re-connecting to Air Keroh. We made it to Kampung Air Molek pretty unharrased, thanks in no small way to my navigating, ahemmm.
But this time, as I said at the beginning, I've been made redundant by the sleek, slim, pleasant-voiced, absolutely unirritable Kak Minah or Kak Min - real name Garmin. Yes that GPS navigation thingy which tells hubby to turn right or left or U in 300 meters, in 200 metres, in 50 metres or whatever, and tells him there's a toll up ahead, or re-calculates a new route when he delibrately or otherwise misses a turn.
Navigation is my forte. We've done drives in well-mapped countries - Australia, UK, and France - into moor countryside, the Sydney hills and French Alps without getting lost.
And now this thing's taking over in my own backyard! Kak Min nags on and on and beeps noisily when hubby goes over the speed limit. I only do it when I sense danger especially when hubby goes into micro-sleep once in a while.
When he was working in Terengganu for a spell and came home to KL for the usual every weekend, he would make the drive back to Kerteh after dinner. He'd be tired and sleepy some miles out of Kerteh where the road was straight and mind-numbing. But there was a place where the road sloped downwards and then rose again (I'm not sure whether it is still there now) but he said it was at that point where he'd catch a few winks and then re-opened his eyes when he felt the car going up the slope. Yes dangerous, dangerous and this is not to be attempted by anyone in his right mind. He might wake up already shrouded in white.
No, Kak Min is not able to do selective nagging like I can. She goes on and on and on not caring that wifey is the first-officer in the left-hand seat. But as hubby said "One good thing about her is I CAN MAKE HER MUTE ANYTIME".
Thinking ahead, will the new Kajang-Seremban road be a good bet for tomorrow? Aaaah ... let that Kak Min do her job lah.
And the ketupats are just about done in the rice-cooker.
Phewww...... Thank God for innovative technology.
Am off to the gym!