Durian, again? Really?

As far as I remember it, Durian used to be only available around July-August time. I remember this well because I lived in the UK for nearly half my life, and my mum used to say on the phone to come back early during my summer break supaya ampit buah durian. By August, you’d be left with slim pickings, really.

But how is it possible now that you can still get Durian in February??

I just had some in the kitchen just now, like, 5 minutes ago.

I had durian dedahan and durian kuning.

But it simply felt somewhat “strange” eating a seasonal fruit out of season! It’s the same feeling I get when eating sotong tutok at any time outside of the Sultan’s birthday celebrations. Or even like having Christmas pudding in summer. So conflicted I was that I could only manage two slices, a great show of restraint on my part- certainly not an easy feat when it comes to the irresistable big stink. Hmm, maybe I’ll need some time to understand it.

Incidentally, I was in Ulu Belalong earlier this week. And during lunch one day, I saw a lone rambutan fruit in the rambutan tree nearby. Perhaps a leftover from the season, but surely the season ended around September.

Could it be that climate change is messing with the “brains” of these trees?? Is it making them ‘think” “ooh it’s fruit season now, let’s make babies” when it’s not? Another August13th-ism there.

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Tapai Tutong

I’ve written about this before, but during one of my outings recently I found this:

Yes, the sweet tapai – but in two different fashions. The one wrapped in yellow palm leaf triangles is what you’ll often find in restaurants or foodstalls across the country. The other one is less common- but is actually how tapai is prepared in Tutong. The rice is mixed with “laru” and wrapped in “Jengeng” (Simpur) leaves. Not such a big deal of course, but this was the first time I’ve seen a restaurant serving the two types of tapai on the same plate even.

I like my tapai really juicy, and served ice cold. Stick it in the fridge and you’ll see what I mean.

So what’s for breakfast?

This was a first for me~ fluffy roti kosong karing, with katam kari and kacang bendir.

The extras you see are what my brother had: ayam masak merah.

That should last me the day! But I’m not exactly a breakfast person, in fact I’m not a morning person at all.

So one day last week, a very rare occasion, I stumbled out of bed like a drunken baby hippo, all groggy but determined to face the day. Utterly unaccustomed to an early rise, the first light of day almost blinded me, but I was keen to get into the car to the kampung shop, and get the paper to read over breakfast.

Sunrise over Keriam

This colourful surprise greeted me as I entered the shop.

Apparently villagers make these foods and send them to the shop, which gets a 20% cut from each sale, while the makers keep the remainder.

I was impressed by two things: The variety of food you get to buy for only $1; and the entrepreneurial spirit of the orang kampung, and this simple system of partnership, tolong-menolong.

So when my grandma told me to bangun awal supaya “berajiki”, she wasn’t wasn’t kidding.
Maybe I should get up early more often.