Tag Archives: cooking

Happy Monday

Today is Monday.
For some people, they usually say “I hate Monday” as they have to rush to get back to work (again!).
Thank God, I don’t have that syndrome.
My Monday usually means wake up early as usual just to say my grace for a chance that I could fall asleep again without have to get up, get ready and go to work.
Nice simple life.

Today is Monday.
I’m thankful for a happy Monday.
I was be able to make a friend happy.
We celebrated her belated birthday with Indonesian dishes as she loves hot and spicy food at our place today. Most of all, she loves to indulge her taste buds with different kind of food. And this time, Indonesian food.
So, I cooked hot spicy Indonesian dishes for her.
One of the dishes that I made was this:

Indonesian spicy shrimp and potato

She ate with all her heart contents. She even had her second and thrice. She kept saying how tasty the dishes were. I packed some left-over for her to share with one of her daughters who loves spicy food too. That concluded my triumph as a self-proclaimed chef for the day.

What a happy Monday!

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Comfort Food

When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.

Molly Wizenberg
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, 2009

Oooh… I agreed totally with Ms. Wizenberg!

Being away from my homeland and big family then added with the crazy Canadian long winter, most of the time I seek a comfort on the food. The delicious ones that have enriched my taste buds as I grew up. The food that could bring back the warmth feeling of being so much loved by both of my grandmothers also my mother. The food that I used to have as part of my social life with friends in many local restaurants or various street hawkers.

However, the only problem I always encounter since I have been living in this neck of wood is the limited choice of ingredients. The positive part of this limitation? I became creative in creating my own style of comfort food.

In every bite, with each scoop of my comfort food, I feel the presence of my loved ones.

In every bite, with each scoop of my comfort food, I realize how proud I am to be an Indonesian.

Rujak Cuke (Green Papaya Salad ala Balinese)

Laksa (Spicy Coconut Rice Noodles)

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Kitchen Attraction

More than just a tool for me

In my previous chapter of life, kitchen was not my domain at all. There was always Grandma, Mom or our maid there. I just simply needed to ask, then my food would be served. Cooking was not my priority to learn at all. I always surrounded by the good cooks, so I thought why bother. My Grandma and Mom always made sure that we always had healthy and yummy meals, varies from Indonesian to Dutch recipes. Yet, I was a picky-eater. And then, if there was nobody at home, I still could call a delivery or buy from a street vendor.

Now, I live faraway from the great cooks or restaurants I used to know. Like it or not, I have to cook to survive. OK that’s probably too hyperbolic. Since I left Indonesia, I got no more luxury in having great food. The choices is so so limited, especially in spices. But you have to do what you have to do, right? Before trying my luck to be creative in cooking,  first of all, I had to create the ambience that could attract me to cooking. A subject that could make me feel so unconfident compared when I have to deal with a nasty client.

One of my ways was to start collecting colourful cooking tools. I could not help it. I’m an artsy person. I could not just have plain cooking tools. They better come in colour. I could get so excited whenever I found them in my favourite colour. Believe it or not, within six months, my kitchen stuff mostly come in lime green colour. Now, even my husband helps me to hunt for those things. What a good cooperation, eh?

Why kids’ educational stuff come in attractive colours? Could you attract their attention with dull colours? I guess this theory also valid for my kitchen attraction. Slowly but sure, now I could claimed that I’m confident enough to cook for a bigger crowd than just my husband and inlaws.

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