Raya 2010: Day 1 A Right Riot

First of all, Selamat Hari Raya everyone, Maaf Zahir & Batin. Hope your first day of Raya was good, or least less traumatic than mine.

For me, the stress started from last night’s continuous and very heavy rain, which I wouldn’t normally care about, except this time the whole compound became knee-high flooded- which has never happened since the concrete flood drains were constructed next to our house. So there was a mild panic as the water level threatened to reach our bandul threshold at our house entrance, and I watched helplessly my left foot Croc float away in the strong current. May my fake Croc rest in peace in fake goods heaven, amen. Mum too was ready in swimming goggles in her wheelchair. Bless. Her nurse was doing warming-up stretches and dry-practising her kuak dada strokes on the sides.

The garage submerged underwater.

So there was that flood last night and the Food we had today. Every year, without fail, three troops of people come straight from the Masjid to our house for their first breakfast in a month. We’d normally serve satay for the whole of Day 1, ordered from a trusted supplier. But this year we broke from tradition and Dad said we’re just having Soto rather than the whole Satay, Ketupat, Lemang menu we were used to.

So a fair bit of soto was ordered from an unnamed soto-maker enough to cater to at least 600-800 guests. Fine. But I wish the caterer Dad chose had told us that drinks weren’t included – or perhaps more importantly- that the quantity they gave us wouldn’t last even the morning, nevermind the whole day!

Lemme get this straight, the Soto was excellent in taste, but the amount supplied was measly to say the least. Certainly not **AT THIS POINT I FELL FAST ASLEEP**

Mee Kuning and Mee Putih for the Soto

Big-ass warmer pot for the kuah soto

The chaos that was once our kitchen.

** POST CONTINUED DAY 2 RAYA, Saturday, 4.32pm**

I was gonna go all cavalier and post an entry after a long exhausting day~ but I failed, and tetidur halfway through last nite.

Anyway, I was saying… it certainly was not the amount I expected for the $500 we paid for it. It was nearly gone by 11am, and we were expecting around 800 guests!

When we queried, we were told there’d be another batch coming in the afternoon. Fine, except they didn’t show up until 8 in the evening to a royal bollocking from my normally serene sister.

In between, we ended up having to dilute the original kuah and modify it, and we even made FIVE large periuk of soup tulang/kaki ourselves and rabus mee ourselves! So much for catering services. The amahs must have thought we’d gone mad! They’d never seen us in the kitchen, much less motong-motong daging and looming over the stove!

I guess I’m not complaining about that, but surely when you contract a catering service and they’ve been told about the number of guests, you would expect a respectable quantity. Just not with this company we hired, I suppose.

So our departure from the normal fare of Satay, Kelupis, Lemang etc on the first day proved to be a cause for high blood pressure. We should have played safe and stuck to the normal menu, minus the popular lemang.

The thing is, what is Raya without the chaos? The only thing different this year has been the flash flood. That, and the drama of blocked drainpipes in the kitchen as I got up this morning. Just what the doctor ordered.

Right, I gotta go now. Another huge convoy has just pulled up in the driveway. I’m certainly looking forward the stilted conversations and awkward silences. Can’t wait.

Have a good Raya everyone!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Minal Aidil wal-Faizin.


The Kuning Trilogy

You see, I could have put “durian” again in the title, but that would’ve been too predictable, right?

But here goes, this is yet another durian blog. But read and learn.

When people say “durian kuning” or “yellow durian” we don’t really mean your typical “yellow”. Malay semantics stretches the meaning to include different hues and intensities of the yellow shade ~ and might include bright orange and a delicious deep orange. And as if by magic, I have this picture to demonstrate my point.

Nyaman ah..?

But do I hear some of you ho-humming about the frontmost sample in the pic? Do I hear you saying, “But atu durian putih jua tu yang di dapan atu..!”

No, it’s not Durian putih- it IS durian kuning.

Here’s the evidence.

If you can’t see the difference I have two things to say to you:

First, the Durian putih in the background tastes more pungent but sweet. The Durian kuning in the centre tastes distinctively different.

Second, you are myopic 🙂

Sikoi Kuning

Speaking of things kuning, here’s an all time favourite! The Yellow Watermelon.

We used to grow these in dad’s watermelon patch down in Kuala Tutong when I was still a kid. We’d grow these on one side of the half-acre lawn and three types of red sikoi on the other side. Let’s just say business was brisk!

But here’s the thing, because the watermelon types were so close to each other, they cross-pollinated, and we’d get bright orange hybrids! Simply amazing! Now I don’t have pics as proof, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, the Yellow sikoi is easy to identify. To the untrained eye it may just appear like an ordinary stripey green melon~ except, the yellow sikoi stripes are deep green against a very light green hue. And sikois make a hollow clank when you flick a well-ripened fruit. See, dad taught me well. I’m sure this knowledge will hold me in good stead in my conquest for world domination. I can almost hear kneecaps trembling in fear as we speak.

This particular fruit was given to us by dad’s cousin who’s still in the melon business. This giant melon lasted us at least 3 Sungkais in a row! Really sweet- the fruit, not my uncle.

Pulut Kuning

The Yellow Sticky Rice! Maurina mentioned this just a couple of days ago, and tonight I found this menampayak on the kitchen table. It’s that time of the fasting month, when people are celebrating their khatam Al-Quraan, or having finished reading the whole Holy Book.

The Pulut Kuning is usually seen only on special occasions, and Khatam Al-Quraan is one such occasion. At the ceremony, where the final verses of the Quraan are read, the readers bring with them the Pulut Kuning or even Bunga Telur (decorated boiled eggs, often on a stalk of faux flower) to give away to guests. I guess the event dad went to tonight wasn’t attended by too many people, because he brought home the whole mangkuk of Pulut Kuning. Either that or there were in fact too many people and that was the only thing left inda kana tapau ~ coz usually the Pulut Kuning is accompanied by a portion of rendang or something~ seldom on its own like this. Anyway, I like it for the mild turmeric hint in taste, but I can’t have too much of the sticky rice. I tend to get sleepy when I have a bit too much of it. Huarrrghhh!!