Two Days With Andhi

Okay, this is fact: I hate last-minute things. I love something organised and scheduled, or where everything is on place. Since I was kid, I prepared all my needs for school the night before with a purpose when I woke up, everything was sorted. Even when I was in university, I never liked to finish my project late. As far as I remembered, only few times I had to do overnight work for modelling or technical drawing on the last semesters. Even the job I’m doing right now makes me more adaptable with “overnight” and “very last minutes”, I literally hate both.


But funny enough, every time I’m on vacation in Indonesia I always find myself doing some necessary things on last minutes…


I’m definitely not a really “note-book” person when I’m on vacation. Meaning I never write and make a list on what to do on a piece of paper. Even I don’t need to do like list “list”, I should prioritize what and what to do first. But again, vacation is when we could laze all day, huh? when we could do nothing from the time we wake up till almost midnight right? That was I actually did on my first week in Indonesia. I felt like what I wanted was just at home till day twenty just gone like that and realised many things left to be done.

Needless to say, among of necessary things to do, having time to catch up with some best friends of mine few times was one ‘must-do’ while I was there. Although sometimes it doesn’t work like “let’s meet by Saturday 10am” easily, I must say I thanked God for the time I had. Meeting Andhi few times was a good one.

If you read my post here, I mentioned I tried to keep my date of departure from here to Indonesia as a secret. I mean, I love surprise!! Two of my very best friends Ruli and Andreas also my sister knew the day I flew. But I kept Andhi away cause I loved to surprise him till we finally met on the day Ruli and I went together for an evening coffee and best friend talks. Meeting Andhi who’s such my older brother is always exciting. Sharing ups and downs I’ve had this year to him, took some pics of Pikachu when I visited his house, steaks for dinner along with my childhood best friend, Sohib, till the last day we had for coffee cum best friend talks about life and ended with some mini photo shoots and last minutes shopping that made me very exhausted few hours before I had to pack my things to fly back to a real life.

Did I mention when we looked for an empty road on the high-class estate after coffee-time, there was one security deported us? I also took a pic with Sohib and Andhi in one frame but had no courage to show it here cause my pose was just horrible :D

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Last Sunday Snack

Last Sunday I took 30 minutes of my afternoon time to cook a simply chocolate snack that was so perfect to be enjoyed in evening time, choco mousse pudding that I made from super easy ingredients ; dark cocoa powder from Cadbury, full cream milk, rum, sugar, gelatin, and Nutella. No wonder the texture was different after I added Nutella in last minute, I will try one more time if I have leisure noon this week Sunday (and probably add foamy-egg white and whipped cream? and strawberry fla, I can imagine the taste will be yummier and the look will be prettier :)).

Pardon for the last snap of this pudding, I’ll snap better for another food I cook. I promise :).

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Muesli

Oh I’m living in December already, most hectic month on my (work) life. That means probably I have to struggle to keep updating this blog which is I know its gonna be quite challenging. This kind of job I’m working in isn’t easy if I can’t manage my time, among of overload-deadlines-as-always and upcoming briefs in this peak season I’m struggling to keep my life balance. As much as I could, though.

For an example, like this time, I’m in front of my Macbook, just finished editing some of the pictures for this post after I spent 30 minutes inside my kitchen cooking my dinner. Tomorrow I can’t guarantee myself can stay quietly on top of my bed and enjoy freeze KitKat while I’m writing because of unpredictable things always come up in this industry. Therefore I always enjoy every second of my leisure time to do something I love. And I always do for my food as well. When I had no proper food for my ritual breakfast like what I had last Thursday cause I worked day and night, I did enjoy myself with simply yummy breakfast kind of in following day.

Muesli was my choice. What I love from Muesli apart of how easy to prepare it as a breakfast is I can mix it with any fruits that I want. Just added yogurt and chopped fresh fruits, strawberry, kiwi, orange, apple, banana and oh I had almonds on my plate either. All of them just made my two-days breakfast such a little heavenly meal. Pardon for the iPhone in some of these pictures, I couldn’t help myself to drop my NEX and capture my breakfast for Instagram instead :P.

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Pecel, Cinta, dan Ibu.

Kadangkala lucu juga bisa merasakan kebahagiaan-kebahagiaan sederhana yang mampu membuat saya tersenyum sendiri. Tak perlu mendapatkan sesuatu yang menyilaukan mata, cukup makanan enak yang saya pun tak bisa menjelaskan seenak apa. Saking enaknya.

Saya akan mencoba mengingat bagaimana hati dan pikiran tak selaras saat pada salah satu bumbu favorit saya, Pecel.

Tujuh belas hari yang lalu rasa malas memasukkan bungkusan bumbu ini ke dalam koper yang-sudah-teramat-sesak menghinggap di otak saya. Tak ada lagi ruang di antara tumpukan yang rata-rata baju, sepatu dan buku, pikir saya. Rasa malas seperti itu apalagi jika bukan akibat packing dadakan yang seharusnya tidak saya ulangi tahun ini. Pagi itu, pukul enam pagi, saya masih berseliweran di ruang tengah yang bertambah sesak karena volume koper yang semakin gemuk. Bumbu-bumbu instan yang selalu punya ruang tentu saja sudah duduk manis di dalam sana. Tapi Pecel? Saya masih bimbang. Pikiran saya sedikit menolak. Alasannya karena selain akan merepotkan saat harus mengangkat koper melewati screening di bandara domestik, biaya kelebihan per-kilo pastinya akan membuat dompet saya sedikit demi sedikit mengempis.

Untung hati berkata lain. Kira-kira begini katanya “bawa saja, karena kamu tak akan tahu kapan rasa rindu itu muncul”.

Ibu saya dengan pelan memasukkan bumbu yang ia olah ke dalam plastik gula. Beliau setengah memaksa saya untuk tetap membawanya. Sesekali saya merapikan kembali posisi baju dan sepatu agar saya yakin ada ruang disana. Saya melirik bagaimana tangan Ibu saya luwes sekali memasukkan bumbu ke dalam plastik gula yang semakin penuh. Dari rekaan saya, kira-kira, satu kilo lebih sudah berhasil masuk. Tapi tunggu, dengan koper yang masih terbuka dan nampak semua tertumpuk lebih rapi, akhirnya saya meminta beliau untuk menguranginya. “Berat Bu, lagian kadang ia hanya akan mendekam di dalam kulkas beberapa minggu” saya berujar lagi. Ibu menguranginya kembali hingga kira-kira tersisa setengah kilo, cukup lah. Ya, karena setahun lalu, saya membawa bumbu yang sama. Bisa dihitung jari saya berhasil menikmatinya. Sisanya, bumbu yang sudah encer dengan seduhan air panas mengeras di dalam kulkas. Mengeras diantara perasaan sayang untuk dihabiskan dan malas mengencerkannya lagi.

Suara hati dua minggu lalu itu ternyata lebih tepat dari alasan yang berasal dari pikiran saya.

Bumbu semacam Pecel selalu berhasil menjadi obat mujarab ketika saya, yang masih memiliki sepuluh bulan kedepan, tiba-tiba rindu beliau. Dua hari yang lalu, sedari siang, saya sudah membayangkan mengolah bumbu Pecel dengan beberapa potongan empal daging dan sayuran yang saya punya di kulkas. Saya hanya punya kangkung, sawi dan wortel. Oh ya, ada sisa brokoli dan jamur dari eksperimen-ala-ala-Italia-super-cepat yang saya lakukan hari Minggu kemarin (akan saya posting nanti! :)). Selepas pukul enam sore, saya bergegas pulang. Untung minggu ini pekerjaan saya belum cukup padat, jadi saya masih punya waktu memasak. Sampai di rumah secepat kilat saya mengganti baju dan langsung ke dapur.

Saya memulai dari empal. Daging sapi yang dibeli sopir saya mudah sekali diiris tebal (saya ‘nitip’ sopir untuk mampir ke supermarket dekat kantor pukul lima agar menghemat waktu, jadi saat jam kantor berakhir, saya tinggal ‘cus’ langsung ke rumah :P). Setelah diiris saya mencucinya lagi sebelum mereka masuk ke penggorengan yang sudah ada tumisan bumbu instan. Bumbu yang saya pakai bumbu ayam goreng, tinggal ditambah ketumbar (saya menambah banyak sekali ketumbar tumbuk) membuat rasa empalnya pun tak kalah nikmat. Memasak dengan bumbu instan sebenarnya jalan keluar yang tidak cukup baik, bukannya saya malas, tapi karena ada beberapa bahan makanan yang tidak bisa didapat disini yang membuat saya layu ; bertekuk lutut pada bumbu jadi. Bagi saya yang penting jangan sering-sering (!!!), makanan yang bisa saya masak dengan bumbu alami tetap menjadi primadona.

Setelah empal saya masak, saya menyiapkan sayuran-sayuran tadi untuk direndam sebentar di dalam air panas. Oh ya, ada pula jagung manis kalengan. Sayurannya tidak matching? Kedengaran aneh untuk sebuah Pecel kan? Saya tak peduli. Toh rasa bumbu Pecel Ibu saya ini kuat sekali, campuran sayuran apapun tak akan bisa mematahkan rasanya. Racikan kacang tanah yang disangrai kemudian ditumbuk dengan rempah-rempahnya seperti punya rahasia. 

Sayuran selesai, seduhan air panas di mangkok persegi bercampur sempurna dengan bumbu Pecel. Tiga kali saya menambahkan sedikit air mineral kedalamnya agar keencerannya sempurna. Semuanya sudah siap!. Selepas Isya’ sembari menunggu flatmate saya pulang meeting, saya menikmati Pecel itu sendiri sebelum akhirnya porsi saya sisa separuh, ia datang dan reflek “Aw, It’s heaven!”.  Makan malam kami dua hari yang lalu sungguh spesial.

Oh Tuhan, beberapa kali saya bersyukur saat rasa bumbunya bercampur dengan sayuran pun empalnya. Nikmat sekali di lidah. Sungguh (!). Apalagi bumbu Pecel-nya mendapat dukungan dari salah satu sayuran inti yang harus ada di Pecel : Kangkung (!!!). Kangkung disini cukup langka, hanya bisa saya dapat di Lekki, satu-satunya pasar tradisional seantero Lagos yang menjual sawi dan kangkung. Sesekali saya teringat wajah Ibu saya saat mengoles bumbu di atas empal yang sebelumnya digoreng dengan minyak secukupnya. Hingga akhirnya sisa-sisa bumbunya saya tuntaskan dengan beberapa jilatan di jari-jari saya. Ya! Saya menikmatinya dengan tangan, bukan sendok dan garpu. 

Memang tak ada yang menandingi nikmatnya makanan Indonesia yang-memang-sudah-nikmat di negeri orang. Luar biasa bahagianya bisa menikmati hasil racikan Ibu sendiri yang super-duper-yummy. Saya menyimpan sisa bumbu Pecel-nya di dalam kulkas, sedikit sayang untuk sekedar menjadikannya cemilan :). Ah, sungguh, saya ingin memeluk beliau saat ini karena saya semakin sadar Ibu saya briliant. Karena tak mungkin memeluknya dari sini, mungkin foto yang saya ambil dengan iPhone ini mewakili perasaan saya padanya :).

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P.S. Foto-foto ini hasil jepretan kemarin pagi, saat saya dengan semangat ingin mengulangi kenikmatan bumbu Pecel untuk sarapan, tanpa nasi. Hanya sayuran-sayuran yang sama. Memasak sayuran-sayuran itu membuat saya harus bangun sedikit lebih awal. Tak enak kan jika sayurannya tak segar? :). Oh, foto terakhir, saya ambil tadi pagi, karena kemarin saya lupa dan baru sadar tak akan lengkap jika tidak menyertakan bentuk fisik bumbu Pecel-nya sendiri sebelum diseduh. Saya terpaksa menggunakan kemeja hitam yang belum disetrika sebagai background, hehe, saya kehabisan props, toh hasilnya tidak buruk bukan?. Bagaimana, apa saya berhasil membuat anda menelan ludah kali ini dengan Pecel racikan Ibu saya? :). -Azis-

Iftar, Day 6

I just checked my calendar to make sure how many fasting days I’ve been through until this day and ouch day 7! :) I would like to share what was my meals yesterday, Iftar day 6. I decided to stay at home after two Sundays I went out to find souvenirs at Lekki.

I bought ingredients a day before to cook meals that I wanted to enjoy for Iftar but I didn’t have ideas what should I cook. So, yesterday noon by 2pm I started to think based on my ingredients (and timing!) after I cleaned my chamber, ironing my shirts that was quite exhausting.

Easy meals were my choice ; Vegy soup because I had remain carrots, small cabbage, enough potatoes and chicken. I usually cook vegy soup from boneless chicken breast but what I bought was chicken thighs (cut into pieces). I separated the thighs into two. I chose thighs that had thick meat for the soup instead of boneless chicken and thighs that had more bones I boiled them into spices. By the time I want to fry the spiced chicken for complementary meals or for suhoor I just take them from fridge, that is easy way to serve chicken. O yeah I cooked stir fried carrots with eggs on top also (nyum!) :P.

And for the ‘Takjil’ or sweet starter meal for break my fast was simply jelly in syrup. I added canned fruits and slices of fresh kiwi. Oh yeah the syrup, I couldn’t find syrup when I went to the market two days before so I decided to make it from sugar and citric acid. I thought that was a simply way to enjoy healthier syrup (??? sugar? healthy :P), nope I mean it was made just only from sugar, citric acid and food coloring without preservatives. Just remember that we are the one who can control how much sugar do we need to be enjoyed, so eat wisely ya! :). Apart of jelly in syrup I had sugar-free cookies also :)) for sweet starter.

Anyway I thought I’ve talked too much right, I’m going to work again :P (<— so you knew that I uploaded this post from my office wi-fi :P nope, we haven’t started our monday meeting so I’m not cheating right? Agree please :P). O yup, I posted my first video in my instagram for the first time from these foods :) I should learn more to record food video, that was just for fun :)

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Savoury Semur

I knew what I wanted to eat today since early last week, its Semur :). Yes, Semur was on my head since, I wanted to cook and enjoy that Indonesian food this Sunday and I just did it.

Actually this Semur has been tweaked from the original recipe. I tried to cook simpler than it should be, I mean I use spices that I had and tried to present it as close as the original one. I used basic spices, gloves, keycap, and for this Semur I used beef meat and liver. I’m so happy because I still have Kecap, and it made my Semur today was so perfect, oh nope, it wasn’t only Kecap actually, I putted gloves on it and the flavor was different! I ate this Semur with rice vermicelli instead of rice and served with boiled eggs and I had simply fried fries also, sprinkled with black pepper and salt. For drink, simply iced lemon tea, fellas it was savory for my late lunch.

I posted Semur before (!!! It was last year what??) and you can see that the pics here are so much better taken. I will learn more for food photography and for sure, cooking better. Anyway I will post my dessert after I cooked Semur later, I’m going to boil rice vermicelli for Semur, It’s dinner time now, nom-nom ;)!

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