Sunday, January 08, 2012

My Son's 2nd Birthday Party

It seemed like an innocent suggestion from my mum, "Let's get a chalet for Hadi's birthday. It falls on a Saturday, right?"

The initial plan was utilise the voucher that my brother got from SAF; which entitles him to rent their lodging at either Changi, Downtown East, Sentosa, Bintan or even far-away Australia, at discounted rates.

My mum was very much enthralled by the huge bungalows at Aloha Changi resort and was very keen to hold the party there. Too bad, we have no civil servants as direct family members. She was even enthused when she discovered that the SAF Seaview Resort is actually next door.

However, any decisions will have to come through my hubby- the father of the birthday boy. My hubby wasn't too enthusiastic about the location being in Changi, since most of his family members don't have their own vehicles and may have trouble getting there. And it's quite a distance to the nearest shops & amenities. Ho-hum.

So it's back to Pasir Ris. We were keen on the large premises at Aranda Country Club but they already ran out of rooms. I checked on Costa Sands and saw their school holiday package, which was quite a steal. They also ran out of the pretty spacious family rooms (pool-facing) so we settled for their duplex unit.

That very weekend, we drove down to the office, booked a unit + placed the down payment. Settled!

We want it to be a small family affair. Then again, the word, 'small' is seriously underrated here. 'Family affair' means inviting my mum's remaining 3 siblings & family. My dad's 8 siblings and 2 of them, with their extended family. Then there's my MiL's 6 siblings & family. Can you see where I'm getting, here??

... I need to prepare a feast! That's why I dare not invite my friends.


Pardon all those obvious masking tape pieces. I had wanted to put up the decorations myself but there wasn't anyone looking after my precocious birthday boy, that time.

Believe me, I tried. Only managed to paste the banner halfway before I hear his cry from behind me. He took a tumble while sweeping the floor (he loves to play with the broom) when my back was facing him. Gah!

As I nursed my crying boy, my helper finally arrive and I let her handle the decorations. So there. Heh.


My niggling OCD was pretty much perturbed by the asymmetrical balloon numbers on each side, or the off-centre position for those 3 balloons but I force myself to let it be. There are other more important things to look into, like FOOD, for example.

Oh, in case you're wondering why the 'Happy Birthday' wordings at the top were upside-down, well, that sheet was actually a plastic table cloth… :P

Beverage-Desserts-Snacks Table


Inside the blue container at top-right, is 'Bubor Pengat Durian' (Sweet dessert soup made with coconut milk & durian), much to my Hubby's chagrin (he absolutely detest durians). Beside it was a large kettle of hot tea.

Drinks dispenser

Huge cold-drinks dispenser provided by my uncle. He also provide the 100-plus paper cups.

Tid-bits platter

When my hubby went on a night shopping trip with my brother and cousin, I got him to buy the snacks meant for the goodie bags (I prepared 30 packets!).

I think the sight of all those cheap snacks (sold wholesale) made him delirious and he bought so many that there were excess, hence this platter.

Mini Curry potato/Sardine epok2x

Ordered this from my colleague, Sri. I ordered the regular-sized ones, initially. But I was reminded of the smaller-sized type which might be suitable for a party; with kids especially.

Each of these were only 3inches across. Gone in 2 bites, at most.

Durian/Custard Puffs & Neon-coloured Coconut Blossom cakes

My elder SiL sent over boxes of these cute, neon-coloured cakes, which I was told, were actually Coconut Blossom.

'Coconut Blossom' are actually steamed cupcakes with caramelised grated-coconut fillings. The ones I'm used to are usually tinted light-green with pandan (screwpine leaf) essence. These - were too adorable!

As if the 'pengat durian' wasn't enough, the same aunt also contributed durian & custard puffs. And the best thing was, the only way to tell the durian and the regular custard puffs apart was to either sniff or taste. My hubby didn't come near the dessert table, even.

He had others to get him drinks etc. This man of mine ain't coming near no durians. Nayy...!!!

Ice Fruit Cocktail

A popular beverage that works as a palate cleanser. I love drinking just the water. Much refreshing on a hot night!

Cooked Food Items

Fried beehoon

Asked my MiL to prepare this. Usually it's just plain, white 'beehoon' (rice vermicelli). This is popularly referred to as, 'Mi Party' or 'Mi Birthday' as it's pretty ubiquitous at most events. It's simple to prepare and is a hit with the kids.

Talk about kids; one VERY big kid (ie. my brother) doesn't fancy the white version, which he referred to as 'bland' and so he insist that some soy sauce be added (hence the brownish tint). Hmmph!

Laksa Johor

My mum actually bought some ready-made paste for the gravy and prepared a portion of it for breakfast and lunch (she brought along a portable gas cooker... shhh!).

However, there's still quite a substantial amount of the noodles and condiments left so she used up the remaining paste and end up with another pot of gravy. The gravy carried a strong hint of 'ikan kurau kering' (dried threadfin fish). Very flavourful!

The accompanying condiments were some sliced tom yam fish cake, bean sprouts, julienned cucumber, sambal ikan bilis and of course, the laksa leaves (chopped Vietnamese mint). There were also fishballs floating around in the gravy.

Accompaniments for the satay

We planned to order some raw satay from the popular stall at Haig Road food centre but they were closed on the day that my mum came by so she simply ordered from the Alhambra stall at Geyang Serai market.

I wonder if they are the same people behind Alhambra Satay Padang at Glutton's Bay (Esplanande)?

Anyway, they provided us with the peanut gravy and 4 cucumbers. The 'lontong' (rice cakes) can also be ordered but my mum chose to boil her own.

Fire Up the BBQ!

1st batch on the grill

As soon as the first guests arrive when it's almost 6pm, the men (esp. my hubby), got down to starting the fire for the bbq.

I bought my favourite otah (the one wrapped in banana leaf) from Nam San Mackarel Otah. They don't come cheap but they were so good and became an instant hit among my guests.

Since I bought too much of those, we packed some for the guests to bring back and enjoy at home.

At the same time, my youngest maternal uncle, who had promised to prepare the 'sambal pari' (skate/stingray in chili paste) also arrived. They're the ones packed in foil.

Sweet corns & hotdogs

We soaked some bamboo skewers and my bro ambitiously pierced 2 long hotdogs per stick.

He also insist on having sweet corns and he personally cut them up, skewer & slather them with some margarine with a sprinkle of salt, to his liking.

Chicken wings & more 'sambal pari'

We aren't really fond of bloodied BBQ chicken (as what usually occurred when cooked by amateurs at the grill). You know when the chicken is practically charred outside, yet inside it's still slightly raw and bloody....?

So I requested for my MiL to marinate the chicken wings and 'steam' them for a bit. The Javanese call the procedure, 'ungkep'. Just place them in a covered pot on low heat for a few minutes. This process will cook the chicken meat from the inside.

Satay on the grill!

The satay didn't make their appearance until midway through the party. The 1st batch disappeared as soon as they were cooked (I assumed they're eaten by the grillers themselves).

After that, the sticks hardly stay on the foil for long before they disappear. Ordered 200 sticks each of chicken & beef satay. Total: 400 sticks of satay, all sold out at the end of the event. Wow!

Sambal Pari

The sambal (chili paste) taste a lot like the spices used to prepare 'Asam Pedas'. Superb!

And my uncle + family refused to accept any payments for the foodstuff and effort. He told me to take it like that 'sambal pari' is sponsored by him.

Can never thank him enough. Maybe he's proud of the fact that the birthday boy shared the same name as him…?

The Birthday Cake!

My hubby casually asked his cousin, Sri if she can make my son's birthday cake for us. He only meant to take a jibe at her, since she recently graduated from Shatec, with a diploma is Pastry & Baking. She's currently working in Hilton Hotel.

Little did he expect her to readily agree and get all excited about it. Lucky us! At that time, I was having a headache, trying to figure out where to purchase his birthday cake from.

Upon arrival

Seeing that it's a mousse cake, it need to be placed in the fridge. Given the small fridge provided at the chalet, it need to be kept, sans (the Hilton) box.

I was hoping that it won't absorb any fishy or durian or whatever scent that's in there.

Or that nothing fell onto that gorgeous cake. :P

Prior to the cake-cutting

Placed the cake on a stool (to match my son's level) and propped one end with a small bowl. Honestly, I was worried about the cake sliding down (guess I watched too much cartoons).

Anyway, the cake is just too cute, isn't it? She told me that she went back to her workplace to decorate it (hence the Hilton box). So hardworking, lah you!

The cake-cutting

The lady behind us, the one carrying the chubby little girl (my niece), is Sri, my hubby's dear cousin - who made the cake. The baker, the patissier and kind soul who did it on her own tab.

Thank you, dear Sri!

And yes, everyone at the party gave it their thumbs up! Tastes sooo decadent!

Happy 2nd Birthday, my son.

I will only speak of the near future for now ~ Here's to us surviving the Terrible Twos!!!

May I gain enough patience and strength to tolerate whatever nonsense you will eventually come up with. Bring it on!!!

It's nice to see your learning & growth progress. May all development head in the positive direction, Insya-Allah.

And never, ever forget: ALL of us LOVE you. ♥♥♥


Anonymous said...

arghhh coconut blossoms i wish i was born into your family just so i can eat the deliciouness that is coconut
blossoms!! haha

bayya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bayya said...

…Just to have the coconut blossoms…? Really? True that they aren't easy to get nowadays but if u really want I can tell u where she ordered from. ;)

Frances said...

Happy Birthday to your son! Your DIY birthday party ideas were all worth the effort as it shows that everybody enjoyed the party!