December 17, 2008

Happy, Your Gifts are Here!

When I was a student of a Catholic school in South Sumatra, December would usually mean lending a hand for my teacher decorating her Christmas tree. She did not have any children, did not have any family, and she was a nun. Her room was fairly small and her Christmas tree was just tiny, placed on the table in the corner. She did not have flashy lights or other ornaments to make her tree decorative, but she had cotton balls. I was puzzled when I saw them. I remember when I asked her what they were for, she looked at me and hummed 'I dream of White Christmas'... Then, I knew what she meant. We arranged the cotton balls on the tree to resemble snow. Then, she put a big star on top which she made from cut cardboard lined with tin foil.

And yes, I was a Muslim girl and I am still a Muslim woman. I just never think that diversity and religions will stop me helping others, and I never understand why people would be fighting under the religious flags. Aren't we all praying for the same direction: peace? Peace for your soul and peace for the earth and universe?

Today, I remember my teacher and I am sending these parcels for our friendship in peaceful diversity through Happy's Christmas Gifts event. Happy Christmas to all of you!

Lemon Fudge

lemon fudge

Source: (Lemon Fudge) and adopted from The Well-Seasoned Cook by Susan. You can see the recipe by following the links.

And, here's another one:

Caramel Fleur de Sel Macarons-2

Fleur de Sel Macarons. Look at the recipe at Desserts Magazine Issue 5, here's the direct recipe link, written by Gemmi Rizzi of Bake with Heart.

Caramel Fleur de sel Macarons

My first time to taste fleur de sel, pretty salty from the most caramel I've ever eaten.

Updated from our orchard:


Cherries. Not yet deep red, most of them are enjoyed by birds. To prevent birds get these dainty fruits, we hang plastic fan and old CDs. Sometimes works, other time we often find the fruits are pecked and left hanging with a little flesh still intact with the pip. Naughty birds!

The round up for this event can be seen here.


Peter G said...

I agree Arfi...people using religion as a means to "fight" for a cause...but let's not get too heavy here...the gifts look delightful and I'm in love with that fudge!

Y said...

What lovely gifts. I love your speckly macarons. And what CDs might you be using the scare the birds away with.. Marilyn Manson? hehe..

(just kidding! I've heard about the reflective properties of CDs, deterring birds. Plastic fans, though?)

Pearlsofeast said...

Wow Arfi the lemon fudge is my favorite and nice to about ur orchards.

Passionate About Baking said...

Yes Arfi...there's much more to life than religious differences. Live & let live...& enjoy everything about life! That fudge looks seriously good, & the macaroons are so perfect they scare e...LOL...remind me of my one & only go at them! Have a good holiday season! Lov n hugs

Arfi Binsted said...

Peter: nah. Let's just talk about biscuits and happy holidays :) I am wondering if you're going to traveling during holiday this year, P?

Y: I'll upload another photo next time I'm updated the blog about the fan that I am talking about. And about the macarons, these are the ones that I mentioned about on your blog last time I saw your macarons :)

Pearlsofeast: hehehe thanks!

Deeba: love is all we need, isn't it D? Hugs.

Vij said...

I agree with you Arfi, life is too short n fighting in the name of religion isnt n let live! As always my eyes always go to your Lovely pics! the way u photograph is jus amazing girl! Happy holidays! Enjoy and have a blast!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love your story of the nun and the cotton balls. How simple that is, yet memorable. Your lemon fudge looks amazing and so do your macarons. I'm so envious of your cherry tree. I hope the birds don't get any more!!

Aparna said...

I remember this fudge at Susan's and it looks so good here too.
I've never made the macarons either. I think that's the next thing on my to try list, but in 2009 now.:)

The best things in life are its simple pleasures.
I always say and believe that no matter what, we are all the same underneath our skins and religious beliefs. We all laugh, cry and feel the same way.:)

Happy cook said...

I totally agree , when ppl are fighting about relegion.
When i was at home we din't have christmas trees comming here after getting married and for my first christmas my MIL, hubby and I went and bought my first tree which was so exciting......
Thankyou fro sending both the delicious gifts.
I have been wanting to make macroons, but i am always afraid as heard so much horror stories of disaster , I will have to make thems one of these days.
Yours look so perfect.

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Such lovely gifts! Thank you for sharing (loved the nun story too) :)

Kitchen Flavours said...

Rocking color of the lemon fudge. Love it. Nice trick with CD's. Waiting for your entry in FIC-White.

Marija said...

Great gifts Arfi! You are a wonderful person!

glamah16 said...

Whatever religious path we follow, the Holidays, and all days for that matter, should be about sharing,love, peace, and understanding. Beautiful treats you have here.

Bron said...

Beautiful macarons Arfi, you are becoming quite the pro! ;-)
The birds are attacking our fruit too, so annoying they seem particularly greedy this year too.
hugs Bron

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Kindness doesn't have a religion as you so beautifully show.

ovenhaven said...

I totally agree with you on the religion bit. Being a Muslim as well, it sickens me that today, greed for power and self-ambition hide beneath religious flags.

Now if only everyone could have a piece of that lemon fudge or macarons, I'm sure the world would be a better place :D

Kalyn said...

Lovely post, and the lemon fudge looks especially wonderful to me.

Uj said...

Its sick to hear people fight about religion... Pray that world soon becomes a better place for our younger generation to live in. Macaroons look perfect. Very cute one's :)

Jescel said...

I gotta admit that I was pretty surprised to learn that you come from a catholic school. I admire your attitude towards religion and diversity. We should learn to respect each other's backgrounds and not be haters, huh?
As usual, lovely photos! and those cherries.. yum! Lucky birds! :o)

NuKiwi said...

Very beautiful - the blog post and the treats.

When I was little, my dad would use a kitchen mixer to "whip" ivory soap flakes and warm water to make "snow" for our Christmas trees. The smell of ivory soap always triggers those memories for me.

Thanks for sharing.

syrie said...

Simply gorgeous. I'm still to try my hand at macaroons. They just seem so delicate and I imagine myself really stuffing it up! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic new year.

Sunshinemom said...

Everything looks so good! The fudge and the macarons - food art! Season's Greetings, Happy New Year and Merry X'Mas!

Cakelaw said...

Beautiful edible gifts Arfi - I 'specially love the fleur de sel macarons. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.

Navita said...

Arfi, first time here and boy! what a wonderful collection u have.
enjoyed going through ur blog, m new to blogosphere, so wud love it if u cud swing by sometime. :)


Theresia P. said...

Congrats Mbak Arfi, artikelnya di Dessert Magazine keren... n enak.
Happy New Year to u and family.