God has a way of catching up with each one of us – however fast we run! If only we will heed the tell-tale signs and symptoms and sometimes the clear warning bells that ring amidst our hectic human pursuits!

On Thurday night seven friends met up for a cosy home-cooked dinner at Fadzi’s! The congeniality was indeed informally cosy but the food was exquisitely nouvelle cuisine and the fashion elegantly haute couture! As always when more than two women meet, there was animated prattle and copious chatter as we downed the delish delicacies of fine dining in- between faint promises to diet and exercise the next day!

Some of us are always more particular about this and that and more fussy in our pursuits be they personal habits, skills and expertise or physical and mental activities. Some of us are more laid back and relaxed and live our lives with greater equanimity and a wonderful tolerance!

Some of us, because of or in spite of our upbringing, are more driven and anxious to prove our worth while others have imbued loads of self-esteem along the way so do not feel the need or necessity to show what they can do. In other words some of us are more competitive, more inclined to undertake challenges and risks! Some allow others to work out life’s inequalities!

Which is exactly what I did or didn’t heed on Thursday! I decided to be hip and creative and steam my late mother’s tested sri kaya nangka in a pumpkin – for style and good taste!

With all good intention I had meticulously trimmed the pumpkin and scooped out the seeds to transform it not into Cinderella’s carriage but a beautifully fluted serving bowl. Then I proceeded to lovingly pour the nangka egg custard into it and left it to steam for about 45 minutes giving extra time for the pumpkin to cook.

Presto! It was perfect – so I thought! As if nature’s bounties are not enough I placed it in a fluted turquoise glass plate which matched the blouse that I was wearing – and off I went to Fadzi’s, quite smug that I had created a new desert jackfruit pumpkin egg custard which would surely go down well with the girls!

Well  – of course there were the greetings of OOHs and AAHs which women ceremoniously shower on one another for good cheer! They thought my pumpkin desert looked inviting enough! Until dessert time…

The minute I sliced into the nicely cooked pumpkin the superficial sri kaya nangka  top sank and out oozed oodles or rather a puddle of watery sauce which surrounded the pumpkin like the moat guarding Prince Charming’s castle!

I persevered! Undaunted by dismal failure I proceeded to surgically cut out pieces of pumpkin, spoon out bits of jackfruit, egg custard and sauce and forced them on Vim, Zainab, Zaini, Ayesha, Leyla and our gracious host Fadzi – for a final anti-climactic verdict!

Not bad! Not bad! Quite nice! Creative! they all politely said amid my not-so-humble apologies! In the spirit of 1 Malaysia and the political fervour gripping the country we displayed the greatest spirit of integration, of accomodation and understanding and the highest level of mercy and forgiveness! I swallowed my pride and admitted my shortcomings but not without engaging my friends in a discussion of what could have possibly gone wrong and how it could best be remedied!

There were indeed lessons to be learnt by proud humans from the humble pumpkin and the modest nangka!

I’d like to share  with all of you my mother’s recipe for Sri Kaya Nangka:

Squeeze and mix 5 pandan leaves with  1 3/4  cups castor sugar and 2 cups eggs (10 eggs broken into a cup) until the sugar melts and a thick foam forms on top. Pour in 2 cups of thick santan and mix well. Sieve custard mixture into a pyrex dish lined with an inch of diced nangka. Steam for about 30 minutes until the sri kaya is firm to the touch.    

( Instead of santan use double cream, instead of nangka use whole kernel sweet corn and instead of pandan use a mixture of rose and vanilla essence – for  Western flavours)


***Use a pumpkin only when no other vessel or vehicle is available or when you want to catch your Prince Charming or the next by-election seat!

                                                                      PUMPKIN POLITICAL SURVIVAL

Scary Pumpking


4 Responses to “”

  1. 1 NanaDJ
    October 11, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Wow, I heard about your ladies’ dinner. Am sure you all had a wonderful time. Your pumpkin srikaya looks delicious, will try the recipe soon.
    So, the Bagan Pinang result is as expected, a case of winning the battle?

  2. 2 vim
    October 11, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    What an evening!! So much stomach cramping laughter. Your pumpkin dessert…..’labu banjir’ was exactly what that evening needed…. the perfect counterpoint to Fadzi’s precise hors d’ouvres, soup, and main course. The desserts were a delightful madness and diabolical for a diabetic like me. Bread pudding, apple crumble, haagendaas ice cream, fruits and of course…. pumpkin ala moat aka labu banjir !! An evening to be repeated soon I hope.

    The Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.

    Keep talking Nini……

  3. 3 ol' zai
    October 14, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Indeed, that was an evening to remember – congenial company, delectable dinner, decadent desserts, and, not to forget, juicy jokes!! There was a lot of good cheer and camaraderie between us ‘HENS’ and we clucked and cackled much to our own pleasure! I do agree that there’s nothing like the company of good old friends to keep our adrenalin flowing, and our soul and spirits buoyant and alive as we ride together into the sunset years..
    As for the pumpkin, Ninitalk, all is not lost. On the contrary, there was a symbolic explanation as to why your dessert had to turn out the way it did, despite your meticulous desire for perfection! Yes, I see the spillage from the beautifully sculptured receptacle as signifying the RICH outflow of love and sweet affection(thus your offer of the Sri-KAYA!) from the cup of enduring friendship..!! 😉

    Thank you for sharing your good Mum’s recipe! I should like to try it one of these days and that’s when the fond memories of the lovely evening at Fadzi’s will return..

  4. 4 ninitalk
    October 14, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Yes – wasn’t it a super supper! And superb bonding and camaraderie!

    The very stuff that 1 MALAYSIA needs to become more than just a slogan or a cliche!

    Strike on the commonalities which bind – friendship, food, sports, music – and build upon them!

    Yes – look for the good and goodness in people and build upon their talents and skills!

    See the positive in a deed or an act, the intention more than the result!

    Make the most of an event or an occasion and spread the joy and cheer!

    Yes – we must do it more often NanaDJ, vim and ol’ zai

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