May 2, 2011
Something Stupid, Something Good
Something Stupid, sung by actress Nicole Kidman and song artiste Robbie Williams
Yesterday we close the shop at 7pm, instead of 8:30pm. So that we could go and have dinner with the family..Benny's side of the family. At a restaurant near our shop and also near my mother in law's home. It was May 1st, her birthday. She's either 87 or 89. How come I didn't know? No candles on the birthday cake. And the siblings were 'fighting' over what number to say when they lit the candle. One say "Chinese birthday is plus 2", the other say we live in the real world, it should be minus two.. And I thought last year she was 87?? oh well, like they say "its the thought that counts.." To come together as a family, extended with all her 4 children, their spouses, kids in toll, to celebrate it with her, that's important.
This year I decided to make a special cake for her..Vegetarian all the way. No eggs, no flour, just sugar and water and jelly powder..yes, a jelly cake. It didn't have to be big, its just for her. I just assumed that she would like it. Our girls bought a stalk of a red flower for her. And it seems that our girls are the only grandchildren who got her something.
This is what I made on Saturday , fussing over it.
To be frank, the center was supposed to be a red flower jelly. During the pouring of warm jelly into the layers, the flower melted and smudged/fused into the jelly. When its done, I realised the top was just a smudgy red spot. So I have to improvised quickly. I use a round fluted cutter and press into the center at the top. See this photo of it...see how ugly it was??
And luckily I have a few cans of fruit cocktail at home..so I opened one, picked out the peaches, grapes and cherries and put it into the hole ... and viola! a new jelly cake is made.
When I presented her the cake, and told her it was a jelly cake, she said out loud :
"we have this for cake cutting later, I don't want the other cake..!"
Benny was seated next to his mom and he told her "She made this for you, to bring home and enjoy. This is not a real birthday cake, we should cut the one the others bought for you.."
And she told me "Gina, I like jelly cake. I am happy"
That certainly made my day..and it ended very well for me.
After the dinner, we drove to her home and did the usual photo taking, candle blowing, cake cutting, birthday song singing, etc. I hid the jelly cake into the fridge.
We left after the cake was served as it was getting late. On the way home, Benny told me that our day ended with so many blessings from God. Our sales shot beyond our target last night despite closing an hour and a half earlier. And we got to have dinner with his mom and how much he appreciated what I did, the littliest effort I tried without having a maid at home to help me to wash, clean up etc.
I overheard him talking to his mom(pretended not to hear!) he told her "Gina is very tired, very worn out. She cannot visit you like she used to have. She does everything herself, mans the store, run the household. And we have no maid. And she still finds time to do little things here and there. So I could rest and sleep very well each night. Not having to worry about things. She kept everything intact. And gave me nothing to think about, nothing to worry"
My mother in law smiled..and she looked at me and said "Gina, le chin ho, aye hiow jia ko kay"..This is my anyhow do pinyin of her teochew words. It means "Gina, you are good, you know how to run the house".
Benny is my mother in law's favourite son. For years, she used to wonder if I could keep the house together and take over her duties to take care of her precious son. Because Benny used to tell her I grew up a spoilt kid, never had to do anything at home.
May 1st, ,2011...The Matriarch says I passed with flying colours