Thursday, 28 September 2006

Fussing over fasting

“It’s only a few more hours. Be patient,” I said, hearing Mak’s exact voice and words cajoling me to carry on fasting. Our third had been whining about her sore throat and Daddy has given up with sweet talk and handed over the job of dealing with the half alive creature on the sofa, for me to handle.

“Okay, let’s go shopping, and you can get anything you want”, said I trying the retail therapy approach that I heard so much about. I saw a flicker of interest and some signs of life. An hour later we were making our way to China Town following our hearts’ desire to buy everything and anything edible in China Town, from Coconut juice to fresh yellow noodles and belacan and all kinds of Oriental products. With whatever energy left in us, we dragged the over loaded shopping trolley to Soho in search of fresh fruits and vegetables as they are known to go quite cheap at that time of the day. Soho, during the day is quite respectable. The fruit and vegetable market cammouflages the more seedy business that comes to life as darkness falls. The surau that sits snugly between shops of dubious nature advertising anything from Oriental massage to promises of full fledge whipping, was full of activities as people went in for asar prayers. Its a strange little place, this Soho.

I got my fruits for the day and was about to make our way to Selfridges for fish, when I saw a fish stall selling mackerals at a quarter of what Selfridges would have charged us. The reason I had always bought fish from Selfridges was because of the guaranteed freshness. I am not a great fish eater but a fussy one. But while there I planned to buy some krispy krim doughnuts and child number three can also do her retail therapy there. But as it happens, we were too tired to carry on. So it was five whole mackerals from the cute little stall at the top of Berwick Street and Nona had to make do with two novels, one by Maya Angelou and the other by Zadie Smith. That should keep her quiet for a few more days.

I had plans for those unsuspecting mackerals. Since the start of Ramadan it had been lamb curry, lamb kicap, chicken sambal but no fish. So I had plans for those mackerals and disturbing visions of Ubi setela's creation for her berbuka loomed large before my eyes. Yes, it has got to be Ikan belah belakang sumbat sambal – and I am sure it has a more glamorous name than that. Sambal belacan features prominently of course as I have at last stock up on belacan. And the sotong will do just fine, swimming merrily in the sambal tumis amongst bits and pieces of petai that used to be contraband goods in our household. Now, we are told it has medicinal qualities, so stinking breath not withstanding, the sotong sambal will be with petai.

Among the crowded shelves in one of the shops in China Town, I found a gem of an item and even as I slipped it into my shopping basket, I drooled shamelessly into my sleeves. It was one of those soft (smelly) ikan kering and properly fried with slices of onions and chillies, it can certainly stand on its own with steaming hot rice. That should complete the menu and all I needed now is the look of approval around the table.

Actually, cooking for my lot is not difficult. Take hubby for instance. Nak makan apa? Apa-apalah ( as in nak pi mana? mana-manalah!). And even if you slaved over the stove for two hours or two minutes, the reaction would be the same. Hmmm sedap! Anyway, all the above didn’t materialise until last night because I was too tired after lugging all those foodstuff halfway across London. So we made do with mee hailam (hmmm sedap!) and Nona tried her culinary skills at toasted bagels with soft cream cheese and smoked salmon. What a weird combination. But there you are. I never promised that we are a normal family.

Tonight will be my first berbuka night out as I dine with fellow bloggers Pu1pu3 and ewok at Holiday Villa. The buffet menu is just fantastic and at £16.00 per person – it should be. But I will just have to nibble because at 8.30 there’s a proper dinner invitation at the same venue. Kak Teh will have to try her level best and behave as the guest of honour is a former Agong. Watch this space!

UPDATE: Well, I was such a glutton tahap maksima. For berbuka I had two helpings of crab sambal and was well into the next course of nasi ayam when I was reminded thatI had another dinner at 8.30.
At the proper dinner - true enough I couldnt let anything in anymore - not the scallops, not the satay nor the nasi goreng kampung. BUT I couldnt resist the lobsters. Sorry tak boleh ambik gambar - sebab nanti nampak tak senonoh sangat, kan?



49 comments:

may said...

mackerels for buka puasa sounds yum, especially the way you cooked it, with sambal belacan!! yummmm!

Anonymous said...

So, retail therapy is the answer? I thought it would make your daughter more hungry watching all the food. We have never driven into central London. Your shopping trip sound so interesting BUT dining with a former Agong! Can't wait to read your next post.

LifeBloom said...

KT - I was wondering what to eat for buka puasa this weekend. Your post have clarified that situation for me. Instead of mackerel - I will use ikan cencaru....Sodap tu....!

Wah enviousnya....do let us in the scoop and whos who at the former agong's do...!

AuntyN said...

Cencaru belah belakang kak teh? Out of this world punya menu tu hehehe. We had that last night too, siap dengan ayaq asam lagi tu. Tapi hubby beli, bukan I masak.

Ni dah 2nd "watch this space" promise ni. Tulih kak teh jangan tak tulih no..

sriperwira said...

Heheheh... ingat you masak mee bandung, rupanya mee hailam lak. foooo.. ikan mackerel belah belakang is Man's favourite. If i masak, gerenti saham naik :)

tee said...

speaking about mackerel, i had a nightmare with this fish during my study days.. the way they cooked it, alamak... hampeh betul, didn't do any justice to the fish at all.. :(

but now, ikan cencaru belah belakang sumbat sambal @ tambah ngan kelapa parut, memang sodap.. :)

Azer Mantessa said...

"So I had plans for those mackerals and disturbing visions of Ubi setela's creation for her berbuka loomed large before my eyes."

hehehehehe

Ku Keng said...

Ku Keng sekeluarga dan beserta sedara mara, ucapkan Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan al Mubarak, dan didoakan kekuatan untuk beribadah dan beramal. Semoga do'a-do'a dimakbuli Allah SWT dan dianugerahi Rahmah dan Barakah dan Maghfirah dari NYA.

Serta salam ta'zinm kepada semua.

X-Matters said...

Kak Teh
Ikan Sumbat Belakang is my mom's favourite dish to cook especially during the weekends when she knows her children will be around for lunch or dinner. Sedap sangat2 ... makan dengan nasi panas sprinkled with kicap pekat manis!
I'm hoping she'll cook this tomorrow or Sunday!
Selamat Berpuasa.

Anonymous said...

Only during the month of Ramadhan...apa apa food pun sedap.

Kalau hari-hari biasa tu tak thrill sangat

anggerik merah said...

Will stay tune for yr dinner story with former agong.

alinlai said...

ehhh mana citer makan2 dgn former agong ni? bulan posa makan apa pun sedap :) tapi lagi sedap kalau mak yang masak :(

MA said...

Here I am stumped with what to feed the kids next.

"Lagi-lagi asam pedas, lagi-lagi asam pedas..." I can hear the moanings as I am the only asam pedas lover in the household.

My kids loved ikan cencaru bakar. Will try and sumbat something for a change.

p/s Agong yang hensem tu ke?

mami-oh-mummy said...

kak teh...i find mackerel in UK too lemak for me...macam "geli-geli" sikit nak makan ...sorry people...the taste is a bit different from ours kan???

maklang said...

Apa2lah kak Teh...kalau maklang nak masak ni bagi turn. Hari ni hari Abah, besok Along then Angah and so on...So tak kelam kabut nak pikir menu. Satu orang pilih menu and everybody kena setujulaa...Tapi tiap2 hari maklang lah yang kena masak.

But the best day will be hari 'leftovers'. Maklang boleh rest memasak.


Selamat berpuasa Kak Teh...

~ahni~ said...

Amboi Kak Teh, puasa pun larat lagi no dok pi shopping sakan, tak lembek lutuit ka?

tapi saya pernah pi dengar ceramah, kata penceramah tu -bulan puasa gaji kita tak kurang tapi pasal apa bulan puasa kita kerja kurang (dengan alasan penat berpuasa)?

Ikhlas kah kita kalau macam tu...

rkaru said...

Stumbled on your blog while googling for surau sites (wanted to do a website for our neighbourhood surau). It was your post on Taufiq's (son?) surau's conflicts.

I'm glad I did (stumble on your blog). You write wonderfully and I smiled subconciously as I skimmed thru your posts, especially Baju Raya Revisited (my wife is a true-blue anak Alor Star). Not much time to read more, just after Subuh here and got to rush off somewhere soon, but I've linked to your site and I'll sure be back soon.

Kak Teh said...

may, it went very fast! and i mustsay the sambal which i fried first was justyummy!

judy, daughter was okay - as long as she got her books. My dinner with the big ex A? I was bloated and felt that I had had enough for three days.

Lifebloom - if only i have a column in Hello!

AUntyN - hari ni pun kak teh tak masak - pi beli saja.

sriperwira - bila nak rasa ikan belah belakang habark mai!

Kak Teh said...

tee - that is one way of doingit - with helapa parut. thanks for reminding me.
azer mantessa, bulan2 puasa ni , kalau terlalu banyak bloghop ke blogs yang ada gambar makanan - itulah jadinya...

ku keng, terima kasih dan salam kembali kepada keluarga di sana.
xmatters - kicap manis can go with anything! dengan mentega pun lagi sedap!

Kak Teh said...

anon, memang betul tu - bulan puasa teringat macam2.
anggrek merah - alahai - tak ada sangat ceritanya. Pergi sambut dekat kereta, dok makan , behaved myself and walked them to the carfor the goodnight wave...haha - itulah sahaja, sekian.

alinlai - ish janganlah dok cakap pasal apa yang mak masak..memang tak ada tolok bandingnya...
MA - yang ni pun hemsem jugak...masa muda2 dulu.

Kak Teh said...

dian, memang la..esp yangterlalu besartu. tapi kalau buatlaksa memang sedap - sekor pun dah cukup lemaknya.

maklang - tak apa - depa taklah cerewet tapi kitalah yang nak pelbagaikan hidangan tu...itu yang dok kena surf tengok sapa masak apa.

ahni - ya - kalau kerja mesti kurang - mana aci macam tu.

rkaru, welcome to my blog and thanks for such kind words. I have been to yours and would like to link it at www.sentraalstation.blogspot.com if you dont mind.

pu1pu3 said...

Kak Teh,
Memang sedap the buffet at Holiday Villa. Thanks again...Org melayu mana tahan asyik makan cold sandwiches...sejuk je perut.hehe...
And yup, kak teh can really eat.

ubisetela said...

Oh my...
ikan sumbat *drool*
ikan masin goreng..*droooll & cursing NuZilen Custom for taking away ikan kering from my parcel*
CRAB? that one I cannot stand.. esok jugak pegi cari.

Nazrah said...

your daughter sounds just like me.susah nak puasa... and i love soft bagels, lightly warmed, cream cheese, smoked salmon and black sesame seeds.wahh...i tak pernah pula makan sambal sotong with petai, tapi ikan masin tu waaahhhh teruja nyaaaa. nak-nak kalau ikan kering yang lembap2 tu.aduhhh..MIL made us sambal cencaru belah belakang yesterday. terliuq lagi ni.. like ubisetela...i am also crab hunting tomorrow. big fat juicy crabs separuh masak blackpepper, separuh chili crabs with pineapple...uihhhh ngam sui!

UglyButAdorable said...

holiday villa nyer buffet tu memang la worth sesangat...and i believe they have quiote good spread too..

kak teh..tks for the wishes and selamat berpuasa to you too..

Diz said...

Oh how nice. Never thought of buying fish at Selfridges -- you genius! I also like a bagel with salmon and creamcheese, just like your daughter. Very New York, that girl. Wearing my Coach bag, too, I might add.

Has said...

Oii, Kak Teh, jaga2 nanti lemak yang terkumpul susah nak hilangkan lepas puasa nanti.

Furthermore I think our metabolism slowed down during fasting month. For e.g. I ate just vegetables and fruits with 4 of my lepat aceh for breaking fast, and a cup of kopi gano and 2 lepat or equivalent kueh for sahur, and my weight is static. Probably have to let go of the kueh :-(.

simah said...

akak..the description itself memang menoda puasaku..patutnya akak completekan godaan akak tu dengan picture..baru piawwwwwwww :0)

makan ja..dah depan mata tak makan nati terliur pulak kan?

Kak Teh said...

putri - hope u have landed safe and well. cepatlah ke doktor!

ubisetela, kak teh dah beli nenas nak buat kari ketam!

nazrah, pi cari ketam, jangan tak cari.

UbA, memang worth it - tapi tak boleh makan selalu.

Kak Teh said...

diz - yes, that's the one! the one with the coach bag!

has, memang banyak lemak yang terkumpul dah tu! I will certainly increase the veges on the table.

simah, tak boleh bubu hpicturesssss...nanti susah ramai orang punya keyboard rosak!banyak droooling!

mama irma said...

Aduhai Kak Teh,
Makan sakan!!! Nanti Raya tak muat baju tau!!!!

Mama Rock said...

eh, tak senonoh ke ambik gambar makanan tu? kalau orang tanya cakap le oohhhnak share nagn kengkawan blog saya..heheehe

Kak Teh said...

mama irma, sekarang ni semua baju muat, sebab semuanya baju tak ada pinggang! hehe!

mama rock, ish nanti kena murka! anyway, the lobster went before I cld take out my camera!

cakapaje said...

A surau in Soho? Wow! Alhamdulillah! But, since when?

Count Byron said...

Talk about weird combination of food KT, ever tried, nasi gulai lemak with ikan kering, sambal belacan, and pengat pisang.. all mixed? Been told you'll never get lost in a jungle if you make it an eating habit.
Lovely write, lovely shopping KT.

Kak Teh said...

cakapaje, yes, there is indeed an islamic centre at berwick street soho. i can check on the dates for you but when I came in late 70's it was already there. I remember taking my mother there and she didnt know where to look, cos left and right there were shops displaying women in not so muc attire.

Count,no, i have never tried what you described, but anything lemak, with ikan kering will not go wrong.

Kak Lady said...

Kak Teh...mackerels tu sedapnya...

Alahai ler kenapa bulan2 pose ni semua rasa sedap...especially the ikan kering....alamak kecur air liur lah kak Teh...

maR said...

Kak teh selamat menyambut Ramadhan!

ailin...in aalborg said...

That crab sambal lagi? ish!

Kak Teh said...

kak lady, the mackerals tu sedap sebab tersangat fresh. Semalam yang terakhir tu buat asam pedas.

mar, selamat berpuasa to you too. hope everything is okay with you.

AIA - ish - memang ler! ketam is THE highlight of any meal.

maR said...

Kak teh,
Sampai2 jek terus ke rumah nenek. Sedih hati lihat nenek terlantar di katil...
Thank you, and take care kak teh ya? *hugs*

marsha said...

I didnt know retail therapy worked for the fasting month. How strange. Doesn't it make you even hungrier? hugs to your poor kids...they must be zombified!

Kak Teh said...

mar, ksedihnya kak teh dengar! Inilah yangkita semua bimbang bila kita dok jauh-jauh. Kak Teh doakan apapun, beban penyakit nenek diringankan.

Marsha,it was the promise to Selfridges that perked her up - not so much the 'retail therapy' around Soho. She is 20 - so, not quite a kid anymore. Thanks for dropping by.

blossom said...

wah! kak teh! u'll become guest of mantan Agung?

Ok.. behave.. jgn ter-suruh Agung buat 'tara-kucah'.. like me. ;p

Anonymous said...

Former Agong with a newly renovated mansion kat Belgravia ke?

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was me, the fickle Blabs. :p

Kak Teh said...

blossom, u suruh ex agongbuat tara kucaa?? hehe thatis funny.

Blabs, hmmm patik kurang periksa pulak hal tu. Yang mana satu yang ada mansion di belgravia...will stick my feelers out.

blossom said...

oops.. i tak suruh an ex Agung, I don't know any. ;p

I went to ask an imam masjid to do the tara kucah, when I was taking photos.. macam tak sengaja.. terlepas cakap. Konon kelakar..but terlupa tempat. :)

Kak Teh said...

Blossom, this is what u wrote di atas tu: Ok.. behave.. jgn ter-suruh Agung buat 'tara-kucah'.. like me. ;p

heheh - so i thought u asked an ex Agong to 'tara kuca'..but suruh imam masjid pun is a no no! hahah - that is funny.