Ah, Ini Tak Adil

Ya, ini tak adil. Saat saya baru saja menghabiskan beberapa sendok nasi merah dengan sisa paha ayam goreng yang dingin karena disimpan di kulkas karena tak tahan menahan lapar, eh malah menemukan beberapa foto makanan seperti ini :(

 

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Duh Mei, bergulirlah lebih cepat agar saya bisa segera terbang kembali ke rumah. Mendapati Ibu yang tersenyum lembut setelah selesai memasak ikan tongkol bumbu kecap dan urap-urap pedas. Lengkap dengan tempe renyah berwarna coklat keemasan. Dan mungkin esoknya, saya bisa duduk santai di warung dekat rumah dengan semangkuk bakso panas dan segelas es teh manis. Atau, mampir sejenak ke rumah makan di siang hari, menyantap sepiring kepiting pedas dengan nasi putih yang masih panas, dan membawa beberapa bungkus ke rumah.

 

Khayalan-khayalan ingin makan makanan Indonesia sudah terbang di angan-angan.

 

Ah, ini tak adil. Perut saya masih belum kenyang. Beberapa sendok nasi merah tadi belum memuaskan nafsu makan. Bahkan, secangkir coklat panas yang saya seduh dengan susu putih cair sebelum makan juga tak cukup membantu. Mana saya tak punya apa-apa di kulkas, duh, besok sarapan apa coba.

 

Breakfast à la Azis

Fourteen of January and wow guys, its twenty and sixteen!! Who feels that January becomes a month when “What’s Next, What’s Next?” is flying on mind? Is it only me? Or you too?

Before I share photographs of my breakfast yesterday morning, I wanna make some confessions. First thing first, “What’s Next, What Next?” feeling is really bothering me lately when I keep thinking what my next journey is. It’s quite different from last year when I was very relaxed with what would I face a year ahead. This year, I really, really have to think what is my next step in life.

Second confession ; today is the end of my day off! I should have 10 days off but unfortunately, I just had two days. The rest was ‘half-day’ and still working from some upcoming projects. How do you feel when most of your colleague is resting and you’re still working? :(. Third, I feel like I’m not having a good start managing my allowance (hellooo! this is new year!). Trying to be discipline on spending my money but couldn’t help myself to not to pick a new bowl and two white saucers. Because sometimes, buying things like that for ‘food-scene’ purpose makes me happy (in fact, when you should be resting but still working, gah!).

Fourth, I cooked chinese noodles (been craving it for a while), fried chicken in thick honey and sweet soya sauce, and chocoffee (chocolate and coffee :|) pudding in one hour the day before yesterday just right after I came back home by 4.30 pm. I always love to cook something simple yet tasty. Quite brainless but versatile enough.

Okay, time to share a short story behind this breakfast scene. When I woke up yesterday morning, I had an idea to play around with my new bowl which I’m sure the color will be beautiful in picture. But then I found that hammatan season is still here and morning sun wasn’t smile and said no hello. I thought I would enjoy my breakfast normally without busy taking picture and I should forget photographing my breakfast-scene. I went straight to brew a cup of coffee and accidentally found a soft natural light from the window in my living room. I dropped my cup on a purple ‘flatlay’ and surprised that the color of the background was interesting enough. So, I boiled chinese noodles for a sec and mixed with the remaining sauce I cooked the day before yesterday (for sure, I kept it inside fridge!). Then, time to play on a new bowl! I added chicken on top and sprinkled with fried onion I brought from Indonesia. I was surprised that the light was fantastic, it wasn’t harsh yet gave a perfect lighting on the food. And believe it or not, I didn’t need complicated editing for this shot cause all the pictures are clear. A little touch-up in Lightroom and Photoshop for text (some of these are straight from camera)! Hm, I still dreaming someday I’ll have a mini studio complete with light box, so that every time I have an idea for food photography, I just take my camera, set the lighting and shoot!

Hello, it’s been a while for a food lodge on this blog (click on the image to zoom)!

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Oh wait, I have one more confession ; I still want Sony A7r for my next cameraaa! :(

Happy Friday guys! Hope you have a groovy weekend just like how Justin grooves on this clip! :))

 

I Know I Miss These

If yesterday I fell on my bed right after I went home from James Bond themed party, I finally could cross legs on my bed and updating this blog. It was such a crazy time prepared, worked and finally transformed a venue into Bond ‘feel’ when hello! it was just a day before (I know this is sounds ridiculous) we realised that the party was yesterday. It was just a dangerous one but finally thanked God for everything passed as always. If you asked me was I happy for the result? Nope, just I wish we could do more. But well, it passed.

Let’s move on!

On this post I just want to share some iPhone shots that I immediately realised it becomes an annual post (after this). Reminiscing a heaven called food (by clicking the picture, I guarantee you’ll be h’angry’).

1 | There was nothing but blessed when you spend time with kind human, shopping ;D, best friend’s talk and share delicious food then. Crispy fried duck with sambal, extra tofu, and extra tempeh I had with Andhi that evening blowed my mind (holy shit! I’m suddenly h’angry’ looking at this picture below).

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2 | Yes, I’m missing you guys. The dark chocolate one, in particular :(. Below the donuts is one of my fave-ever snack. Shredded savoury beef on top of fluffy fresh bread is brilliant culinary invention.

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3 | Until I had to come back to show my sister how delicious fried duck I had (yes, that one on top!) was. I chose ‘mie ayam‘ after I enjoyed ‘semanggi‘.

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4 | There is always a room for Bakso. Enough said. I should explore and enjoy Indonesian traditional snacks more, I know.

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5 | One of the best time for food I had when I was in Indonesia this year was having a family dinner. Pardon for low lighting on this picture below :P, I was managing my iPhone.

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6| Oh God, that crushed fried onion and chilli inside sweet soya sauce plus fried milkfish, plus tempeh, plus tofu, plus urap, I mean, may I fly to Indonesia right now? :( and Rujak Cingur?

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7| If you are a reader of this blog, you know how many times I mentioned Batagor as one of my fave Indonesian food ever. Gosh! that peanut sauce :( those dumplings :(

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8| When I had lunch with my Dad only, in one fine afternoon, I realised I should do that kind of quality time more often. I chose Ramen while he chose ‘nasi uduk‘. I know I’m a straight one if I talk about street-food, especially for fried snacks, but it was an exception when I was there, I stopped by and bought some ‘filled tofu‘.

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9| As I wish there was Starbucks cafe here :(

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10| Sushi time with best friend was awesome. Ayos and Winda were so kind paying all of these food below :D

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Now, I’m trying to get rid of these foods and finish my early snack ;|(read : just an apple).

Hello fried duck, hello tempeh, hello bakso, starbucks, sushi, I’ll see you again :(

Heavenly Sunday Lunch

When I was in elementary school, I loved to see an illustration showing breakfast/lunch/dinner scene inside my textbook. Where a Dad spending time by reading newspaper, his son and daughter playing their toys on the floor while their Mom preparing food for them. It is such a beautiful scene in real life, huh?. Even right now, I love to see that kind of picture which makes me think about a quality time at home.

I’m lucky enough since I landed here six days ago, I had a normal working time when I always go by 8am and back on 6pm. That chance makes me feel like “I’m a normal man live in a normal life” (it is true, when I had a lot of works and events, I have to work in the office on daily working time and overnight in the venue! :|). Since six days ago I’ve tried to spend mostly of my time in my flat. Cleaned up my room (after a month :|), cooking for sure, and back to blogging.

Yesterday I spent my Sunday totally in my flat. Woke up by 6am and started cleaning a whole kitchen from 6.30 until 9.30, then I cooked for lunch. I had an idea a day before to enjoy ‘Pecel Paste’ that I brought from Indonesia. Pecel such a compulsory food/spice I always bring every year when I’m back from my home country. My mom always make it for her last child :P cause she knows I love Pecel so much. There was the same story behind Pecel paste like last year when I was half-hearted to put it in my suitcase because of the weight (This post was written in Bahasa last year about Pecel, what? last year? time flies!).

I wasn’t listened to my last sister when she told me to bring Pecel and also, Serundeng, even just a half kg. If you always travel abroad you’ll know what is my reason behind it. In the end I brought Serundeng even yes, half kg only (now, I want more! :(). I’m not trying to let myself feel “Oh, I’m homesick, I’m missing Indonesian food” yet I realised, yesterday noon I thanked God for that Serundeng cause it made my lunch was so superb. I cooked chicken in pepper sauce and beef in sweet onion sauce to be eaten with Pecel and Serundeng. Even veggies in this Pecel wasn’t authentic enough but I did want to say it was a super heavenly lunch I had. Oh, I want to hug my sister cause she brought me ‘Kering Tempe’ (crispy Tempeh in spicy caramel) as well :). She and my Mom are brilliant in cooking and never fail in taste. I think it isn’t because they really can cook well (only), the love behind it speaks also :).

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Here, how it looked when I added everything on my plate :)

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What I love from that is a chance to tweak Pecel sauce to be added to dissimilar ingredients and it will change into a different dish :). I think I just had an idea to enjoy with.

P.S. Behind the scene of pics above, if you are interested :P.

Had Spring of Joy This Morning

Confession number one : I’ve spread my thirst in the air that I always miss Bakso when since I lived here.

Number two : I thanked God I had Bakso for my breakfast this morning. I did!.

Confession number three : The meat balls you see on this post, I didn’t cook them. My other flat mate brought them from someone in The Indonesian Embassy, here. He gave me some two days ago when I cooked meals for dinner. I dropped and left them inside freezer. I had no idea to cook Bakso until I cooked the soup last night and it became my breakfast this morning.

Confession number four : This Bakso wasn’t authentic. I tweaked it already. I cooked the soup from chicken broth and plenty garlic (I’m a garlic lover :P), without leak and MSG :P. Yes, the soup was spiced just with salt and white pepper. Instead of rice vermicelli and yellow noodle, I added pasta and instant noodle, oh broccoli as well (I fell in love with broccoli as snack lately, I’m not trying to sound lavish though, apart of the health benefit, I love the texture and the taste :) *the price of broccoli here is fuc*in’ high!*). I poured lotta O oil, too. It was totally out of the real Bakso yet I wont lie to you guys, after I added soy sauce, chilli sauce, tomato sauce and for sure ‘sambal’, the taste was so damn delish!. You hear me? D E L I S H (!!).

Fifth confession : When I was preparing this shot, I moved front and back from my kitchen to my room, six times!, (I shot my food from my room, I depend a lot from natural morning light!) to prepare this food arrangement, with camera and iPhone in my both hands. Oh truly, it wasn’t easy when I had to rush to find angles, proportions, focus, in short time. Many times I looked at my wrist watch to make sure I didn’t waste time to snap, to enjoy and ready to go to office. I had only 30 minutes to do all of that. Eek. When I was enjoying this Bakso after snapped it, I was sweating because (1) I did a little exercise preparing this shot, (2) the ‘sambal’ was so-damn-spicilicious made this Bakso ‘nendang-banget’ (<–find that word in English *trivia* lol) in my mouth :P.

Confession number six : I forgot the lime :P, I should include it on these pics. I already had an idea to snap Bakso again, more authentic with tofu and rice vermicelli, with different table setting, look and feel. I think not only that, I bet you guys are boring with my props, I should get another new ones. Amiright? (I’m looking at my wallet and fainting :P).

Hope you guys enjoy these pics!

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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-

Squids & Ink

If I remember first time I looked Squids when my sister ate them it was something else. I couldn’t imagine why she liked that black thing and mixed with rice. Well, I was stupid then. Why I didn’t try Squids (+INK!) before I made my own conclusion. Squids cooked with their ink is absolutely delectable!

I become Squids (+INK) fans, hard fans :P. If you ask me how to cook this I will tell you the truth, I had no idea. My sister said its easy to cook, probably I will ask her clearly and show it on this blog.

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