Sometimes, being called or labelled as an auntie may not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’d like to take it as an honor, while wondering if I should deserve such title. So, I thought to myself - that I should maybe try to step into this phase of life - just for fun. Afterall, I am 23.
The opportunity came when my parents and sis decided to go for a short holiday in Bali for five days and I have to step up run the house. For the first time, I did not nag on my brother to help me with the housework and I did it on my own. AND to top all of that up, impressing my parents by preparing a complete meal for them when they get back.
My first attempt to preparing was spending 3 hours looking for the best, safest yet challenging meal to prepare. The meal has to be not Chinese, or Nyonya, because the best cook (mom) is going to taste it anyway. Hence, I resort to Western Cuisine. I found out that reading recipes can be quite interesting (especially when you come across aunties who argue on what type of potatoes is best for mashed potatoes.)
After hours of planning and combining ingredients (and a WHOLE lot of prayer), I’ve decided to make the following:
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Mix Vegetables
- Bacon and Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Baking Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies - Day 1
Pillsbury Chocolate Walnut Brownies were so yummy! - ok, so I have to admit that the brownies were actually Pillsbury premix brand, and not from scratch.
The next day, Aunt Priscilla (Kuzco) and I baked Martha Steward’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies. You can get the real recipe from here.
Preparing for the Big Night In. - Day 1 & 2
Groceries can be quite expensive - I spent almost RM200 just on ingredients. Just in case if you are wondering, yes I did my shopping in three different places - Carrefour, Cold Storage and Tesco, and yes, to compare the prices- and I found out they are all pretty much the same. In fact, the imported goods seemed to be cheaper in Cold Storage.(I’m sure this would matter for an auntie). Yes, I used recycled grocery bag.
The real challenge came when I needed potatoes and they were SOO many types - Russet, Yukon Gold, American, Australian, and Local Potatoes, they even have dirty and washed ones! I asked myself, what would an aunty do? The answer was obvious - get the cheapest one lah - Malaysian potatoes it is!
my mashed potatoes ingredients.
I had to get up SO early to do laundry, clean the house, bathroom, and prepare for dinner - cutting vegetables, peeling potatoes
(and my finger) actually took my whole morning, by the time I was done, all I could think of was my bed. (oh the agony!)
So here’s the final products of my wuzzabizzaregourmetmeal:
Bacon and Cheese Mashed potatoes was my signature dish.
They were all gobbled down during dinner. (and hey, maybe it doesn’t really matter what type of potatoes you use after all)
Grilled Chicken - I’m glad that my own marinating concoction wasn’t disastrous, my family liked it too.
Grilled vegetables - I have to give credit to my host dad from America for this dish - because I learnt to make this by observing how he did his vegetables. My mother goes “wah bau mat salleh”.
The final gourmet meal - Complete with Tobasco sauce and black pepper.
So the day ended when the food was completely devoured within 20 minutes, after one whole day of preparation. It does make me think if it is all worth the effort - should’ve just gone out and eat right. It was all in all a good experience, and I have to admit that I did have a lot of fun (but maybe not doing it so often till I stop enjoying it), and have a lot more respect to all the real aunties out there.
*pssst!* it’s been 24 hours, and no one’s got diarrhea/stomach ache! PRAISE THE LORD!
*Auntie-hood hints and tips
- If you don’t know what or how to cook/bake, Martha Stewart.com is the best place to start looking for recipes.
- The mashed potatoes recipe comes from http://www.mashed-potatoes-recipe.com. Remember it doesn’t really matter what potatoes you use. Aunties would go for the cheapest.
- Never get distracted while peeling potatoes, or get too confident that you will never cut yourself. I learnt this the hard way. =/
- Plan ahead your day, when to clean house, do laundry, peel and cut vegetables.
- Make sure you find some auntie friends to auntie with you! it makes your auntie experience much more enriching.
**Lastly, just for fun:
Premature ageing: Signs that you are becoming aunty-fied.
by Priscilla Lim on Monday, December 14, 2009 at 2:49pm
How many of these apply to you? (Recommended for girls in their early twenties).
1. You wake up early to join the retiree aunties and uncles for rm1 breakfast and free coffee at ikea (9.00-9.30am btw).
2. You are concerned about the safety of random children; You cringe at the kid flinging a soft toy near the breakables and the boy who is recklessly pushing his sister around in a trolley.
3. You find the conversation of the aunties about shoe size, cholesterol and their disobedient children more interesting than that of the young girls talking about blogs and TV programs.
4. You lock the car doors and make sure the kids seated behind are buckled up before you begin your journey to a place only 2 minutes away.
5. Your conversations include topics about the effectiveness of child brain development interventions, work-family life balance, and potential schools/lessons for your future kids.
6. You are highly intrigued by everything you see in IKEA (pillows, towels, gift wrappers, cutlery, bowls, tissues, pretty plates, floor mats), and wish you could take them all home.
7. You find a degree of accomplishment in scrubbing containers, vacuuming behind cupboards and organizing your earrings.
8. Your conversations include phrases like “so much has changed”, “those were the days” or “this is for your own good”.
9. You tell kids things like “wah so big already”, “hey!you used to be thiiiis small” and “this one chi ah bah, this one chi ah mah”.
10. You choose green tea over fizzy drinks.
1-3 You are acting your age.
4-7 You are bordering auntyhood.
8-10 You have skipped the stage of young adulthood and prematurely entered the phase of auntyhood.
These questions have been constructed on the basis of the author’s stereotypes of aunties and her own personal experiences.
Like facebook quizzes, the scoring is not based on pilot tests nor is it supported by any preliminary research. Hence, this test has neither validity nor reliability. No offence to any aunties out there. Age is just a number. =)
I have been wanting to write this topic about God for the longest period of time now, but I’ve never gotten the strength to. Perhaps it is the side of the Lord that we all wish to ignore, because He is my Comforter, Redeemer, my Provider, and sometimes, we wish it just stops there. Yet, at the back of our mind, we always wonder, why do good people go through suffering while the bad ones seem to be prospering in this world, don’t we all?
As I ponder about this aspect of life, I was led to read about what happened to Job, I kept going back to these scripture which seems to be repeated in every calamity Job faced.
The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
This statement made me realize that there is ever one thing that Job did to deserve such attack in his life, is that he did everything right with the Lord - and the Lord calls him a blameless and upright man.
If God is an all loving God, why do we still experience pain?
It has been almost two months since I’ve undergone a long process of heart surgery, wondering will this of cutting through, removal and cleansing would end. In this surgery, I was left but no choice to trust that the Surgeon knows what he is doing.
I can think of all words to describe myself - broken. vulnerable. weak. incapable. I have lost control of my very own life altogether. I lost the very essence that ideal things that I held on to all the days of my life.
Through these season of brokenness, I was challenged to question the very things which formed my faith and principles in life, the very reason of why am I still living today. I sure we have all been through such season of brokenness.
In these troubled times, just like Job’s friends, many came in offering advices while discerning what the Lord is doing. They said:
- Learn, He is moulding you.
- Perhaps, the Lord wants to deal with you in certain areas of your life and ‘change you from glory to glory’.
- God wants you to trust him.
- He is teaching you how to be humble
- REMEMBER - You are in His will.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause. (Job 2:3)
In all these things, Job did not sin in his life.
Yet, “Shall we accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Job and his righteousness and innocence were declared repeatedly. He did not bring this upon himself.
So, we secretly ask these questions to ourselves:
- Is God unfair?
“But when I looked for good, evil came to me, And when I waited for light, then came darkness. (Job 30:26-27)
- Is God silent?
“Look, I go forward, but He is not there. And backward, but I cannot perceive Him…I catch no glimse of Him (Job 23:8-9)
- Is God hidden?
Why do you hide your face your face and consider me your enemy? Job 13:24
Job came before God trying to rationalize that his complaints are just, and right, and his suffering is comfortless. Perhaps his greatest mistake during his whole painful trial was constantly telling God and everyone else how righteous he was. But, who would have blame him? after all, even God Himself said Job is blameless and upright.
All throughout the book of Job, We began to see that Job’s commitment to the Lord not to run away from the the Almighty - for the Lord reminded Job that He is the sovereign Lord - the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present and all-loving God.
Like Jacob, Job learnt to wrestled with God, in the most genuine manner Job prays and take his anguished to the Lord, prayed for relief and approached God in the most vulnerable way. God reminded Him, that He is All that He is.
Frederik Buechner once said,
To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness-especially in the wilderness-you shall love him.
Love, in the end, sums it all. God wanted to prove that man is capable of loving Him unconditionally, because God first love him, and hence, we ought not to confuse God with life.
The author of Disappointment with God, Phillip Yancey asserts that if we develop a relationship with God apart from our life circumstances, then we may be able to hang on when the physical reality breaks down. We can learn to trust God despite all unfairness in life.
We tend to think that life should be fair because God is fair. Yet, God’s existence and His love for us does not depend on how good our lives is.
The cross that held Jesus’ body, naked and marked with scares reveals the kind of world we have and what kind of God we have - that in this world of gross unfairness, we have a God of sacrificial love.
The truth is, life is a parenthesis in the walk of life. Our goal is not to live forever on earth, but make it to heaven. Therefore even in the wilderness, especially in the wilderness, we shall love him.
The primal desire for fairness and a victorious life on earth will die hard one day, for we remember that even the greatest healing miracles will end one day and we will eventually die one day. Are you ready for what is next?
As you flip across the pages to the end of Job we will find that after all his accounts of grievance and woe, Job repented from self-righteousness. He showed and has proved to all that we are capable of serving God from a pure heart and with genuine love, God restored Job’s prosperity.
The bible accounted that the Lord blessed the latter days of Job with more than his beginning:
- 14 000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen and 1000 female donkeys.
- 7 sons and 3 daughters ( in the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job.
Job lived 140 years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. He died old and full of days.
In the end, we will all remain ignorant of many details in our lives, not because God hides himself, but perhaps, we are incapable of fully comprehending Him, for His glory is too great for us to bare. Knowing that He is the Alpha and Omega, He knows how history will end, yet we as time-bound creatures have the most basic understanding of what is time, hence we can only let time pass and run its course. We must lead our lives knowing that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28). Faith, as the essence of it all.
In all things, I live my life in hoping that I will stand and glorify His name. Praying that every second of it will bring a realization of His sovereignty in this world. In now and the time to come, He is my redeemer, and one day will compensate all that was loss beginning with humility, maturity, perseverance, character and genuine faith.
Am I disappointed with the Lord?
No, I love Him more because He first loved me, and to those whom He love, He prunes. I thank God for teaching me to be a Hosea.
Yancey, P. “Disappointment With God”
All Scriptures are taken from the NKJV Bible.