Monday, August 04, 2008

A Master Comes Out Of Retirement

Read somewhere that there are 4 types of man:

He who does not know he does not know

He who knows he does not know

He who does not know he know

He who knows he know.

With full humility, I claim the first sentence.

Its been more than 12 years now. The trays that had been wrapped in old newspapers and kept in one of the boxes marked as 'kitchenware', were brought out and unwrapped. They are then washed lovingly and left to dry in the sun, neatly arranged as only a woman can. After a full day soak, they are then brought in to be washed again. Only this time, a cloth was used to wipe them dry.

I stood transfixed, lost for words, as she moved about preparing the necessary items for the session early this morning. This, was the day I had eagerly waited for...a day that has not been one like it for more than 12 years. Due to her age and sometimes aching body, she had to postpone her coming out of retirement from a fortnight ago to today. And it was only when she felt her body was up to the occasion, did she began issuing orders to buy the necessities - she had, in fact, forced her body to do so as tomorrow, on the 5th of August, is an occasion she had marked to give something special to a lady whom she have yet to meet, but seem to have already like.

The recipe she has in hand might not be recognised by many of the younger generation today. Yet, apart from the green fingers she posses, some of her cooking and delicacies are much sought after by friends and relatives; not to mention her children, that cakapaje bloke, most especially. Interestingly, in this case, her Sultana cookies are not grabbed quickly by her children. Rather, like children, they go for the crust first, leaving the cookies for a later date.

As the sun rose higher, cakapaje volunteered to assist in any manner he can. Knowing his emak well, that she would never delegate any task which she can manage herself, he left the day free from any schedules so he could 'force' her into accepting his helping hand - using the excuse of wanting to learn which melted her resolute. And thus, an apprentice was that cakapaje...for a brief while.

No sooner had he baked a tray of which the results can be seen below, he received a call and had to rush down to Bangsar, leaving emak by herself.
The Apprentice's Work! An art, it certainly is not.

And by the time cakapaje return, the Master had completed several trays already.

Before, and...

Sealed, but yet to be wrapped.


Ydiana said...

Salam Shah

I read from a book, if I'm not mistaken entitled NLP by Dr Alder and learned about something similiar to your quotes;

unconscious competence
conscious competence
conscious incompetence
unconscious incompetence

And in your case is the unconscious competence as the first one. The author actually explained the level of learning one goes through until it reach the top level of unconscious competence.

And the kuih certainly look so sedap. First sign of Haghi Ghaya.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...'ve just gotta hand it to the master. what i need to do now is to wait for the invitation from the wak kromo guy.

eh, i noticed the 1st and 3rd line are similar la. i could be wrong as it already past 2. wait, lemme check again.

Kata Tak Nak said...

"is an occasion she had marked to give something special to a lady whom she have yet to meet, but seem to have already like"

A potential daughter in law?

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam ydiana,

Oh oh! You mean, even as I write I am not conscious as in 'tak sedar diri!'? Hmm...does not sound good at all, does it? lol!

Anyway, kerpie correctly pointed out to a mistake on the first line. So I guess, that leaves me out of whatever implied by the good Doctor...poor me!

As for the kueh raya, it is! But it was not made for the intention of Ghaya ;)

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Yo bro! You are absolutely correct! Thanks for pointing it out - I did not know I did know about it ;)

As for the invitation, I'm afraid there is none for anyone...not yet, anyway. Due to emak's health, I have long not invited anyone to the house - for more than a decade already! But let me try to tapau some for you.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Wow! Leave it to your eagle eye to notice things as such, lol! Anyway, possibly, I wouldn't know ;)

Zabs said...

Salam Shah,
Saya juga tidak malu untuk mengakui, saya juga berada di dalam kategori tersebut.
Selagi mana kita belajar/membaca atau menyelidik, selagi itu kita akan merasa betapa kurangnya ilmu/pengetahuan kita.
Seperti dikatakan, ilmu yang kita ketahui, hanya umpama setitik air dari hujung jari, jika dibanding ilmu Allah yang jika ditulis, sehingga habis air di lautan dan ditambah sebanyak itu lagi, tidak akan habis ilmu itu. Wallahua'lam.

jaflam said...

Salam Shah,
Your emak cake looks delicious, but yours a bit burnt, tapi faham orang sedang dilamun .... ombakkkk

Anyway you may continue with what happened after she ate the cake ....!!!???#@

Ydiana said...

Unconscious competent actually means that you became good at a task, eg baking cookies, that you can almost bake it without a recipe or much hassle. Its almost automatic like a professional golfer hitting the one in a hole. And that is afetr going through all the three earlies stages of learning.

Sorry, I didn't get the mistake spotted by Kerp.

Ydiana said...

Sorry again.. I mean 'hole in one' for the golfer. Hahaha..

Anonymous said...


"aku tidak tahu apa yang aku tidak tahu" - aristotle.

bagi beliau, tidak ada manusia yang tahu apa yang dia tidak tahu.

itu yang saya tahu.

erm.. nyum! nyum. sedapnye kuih.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Pak Zabs,

Benar, bagai yang Pak Zabs petikkan dari ayat Al-Quran itu - kita manusia, hambaNya yang lemah dan daif, terlalu sedikit yang kita ketahui. Disebabkan itulah kita harus selalu bersangka baik kepada semua, terutama pada Allah Yang Maha Esa dan Maha Agung. Terima kasih kerana mengingatkan saya :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Jaflam,

(Am following your saranan in using your name instead of your title, and I thank you for it). cakes are burnt because I'm simply not good at it...unlike the Master - my emak.

As for the other part, I now leave to Allah as I have done what possibly I can under the limitations and guidelines of Islam. All I can say now is InsyAllah ;)

cakapaje said...


Hehe...'one in a hole' eh? :)

Yes, I know what you mean. Its just like using the keyboard - the PC or Piano; once you are adept at it, you can play with your eyes close and not even think about it.

And don't worry about not spotting the mistakes, I didn't either ;)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Alina,

Benar itu. Bagaikan memasuki bilik yang gelap tanpa cahaya yang sedikit pun, kita tidak mengetahui apa yang ada di dalamnya.

Alhamdulillah, memang sedap biskut Sultana itu (masuk escalator ni!) ;)

Snowflake said...

Nyum... nyum... Boleh buat order dalam masa terdekat tak. (Kuih tu....?). Kalau tak boleh pun, bolehkan larr.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam snowflake,

Hehe...insyAllah. Apapun, ianya mesti tengok kesihatan Master atau Sifu si cakapaje itu lah! ;)

ps. Bilalah dapat puaskan hidam Hershey ni agaknya? ;)

Snowflake said...

Ada dalam fridge tu. Tunggu....

Me... Only Better said...

Salam Shah...

weh..i am hungry looking at those cookies...sedapnye..and who is that lady your mum never met before?

Im a bit lost as to the occasion...

Me... Only Better said...


cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Tehsin,, are like Cikgu - always reading at the parts others may have overlooked or not bothered ;)