Category Archives: Rants

Spicy Fried Tempeh, and How I Miss My Mom

I haven’t written for quite awhile. Had a moment where I find it hard to process my thoughts into words. I miss having my mom around, so there’s an adult to talk to during the day when my husband is at work. Ironically, I didn’t have a good relationship with my mom as a child. We rarely talked, except when I was talking back. I didn’t know why she was so.. bitter and unloving. I’m not going to elaborate, but I discovered something when I was 16. She’s been holding so much burden by hiding someone else’s secrets just so we, her children, won’t lose respect for that “someone”. To make long story short, since then, I see her in different light.

Funny how my mom lives thousand miles away from me, but her voice is always in my head. Making comments. Sometimes it’s a nice one, sometimes it’s mocking me. When I was playing puzzles with my son, her voice in my head said “Start with the sides first, then you just fill in the middle parts“. After how many years, the memories just flooded back. Like that one time she told me how God would punish me in the future, by making me marry the boy I socked in kindergarten “so watch out, don’t hurt people“.

While driving to my grandmother’s house, we would pass a river. A really dirty one. There were people brushing their teeth there, taking a dump, taking a bath, using the water to cook their meals. I was (and still am) grateful that we have proper plumbing, so using the dirty water wasn;t necessary. Then I saw something else, I’m sure they’ve been there forever, but didn’t notice til that day. There were two men, in their underpants and wifebeaters, stomping something inside a barrel with their sweats dripping down. Undoubtedly using the dirty water, too. My mom noticed me looking at them, said nonchalantly “Oh, they’re just stomping on the soy beans that they’ll turn into tempeh“. My 8-year-old self, who love tempeh so very much, got so disgusted and wouldn’t touch it for the next 5 years. While my mom swore she never said that, I’m sure it was her selective memories playing tricks on her. Continue reading

Chicken Noodles, Comfort Me Please?

It was a drizzly, cold morning when I was waiting for the bus. As crazy as it sounds, for the past five years, I rarely go out by myself, without my kid(s). It feels liberating, yet nerve-wrecking. When I left the house, the kids were still sleeping, the boy tucked next to his dad and the girl slept soundly, the only noise was their snore.

I was going to an open house for a culinary school. About 6 years ago, I applied to this same school but due to financial and immigration problem, I had no choice but to back out. Now the latter is settled, so we decided it’s time to go back. Despite my worry about being socially inept, I made small talks without turning red (major improvement, I dare say). And heck, I like this school. There was another school that I was considering but it doesn’t fit my needs and it’s quite a distance from where I live, while this one is just a 10-min drive away.

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First Dinner in Our New Place

The thought of moving out of our old apartment was exciting and relieving. No more loud noises at 3am. No more cigarette stank seeping through our windows. No more petty fights that we could not help but overhear. But the process of moving is a pain in the ass. While I can’t really help my husband move the bigger stuff, I can’t stand the mess that’s sitting in the middle of the living room right now. Our dresser isn’t built yet, and with my habit of collecting books, we definitely need another bookshelf. My son loves our current condition, as he uses the piles of books and bags of clothes as his obstacle course.

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Banana Sundae, If Only Babies Stay Babies Forever

The habit of cooking/baking then take pictures of the end product, has definitely affected my son. The other day he was so freaking bored, he told me he wanted to make banana sundae. And he specifically told me “then we will take a picture!”, so we did that. Oh and he wanted to listen to Beatles while taking pics?! He’s been this way since he was small. I always say he is an old soul inside a 4-year-old body, except when he’s throwing hissy fit (never mind, I’ve seen adults throw hissy fit).

He cut up the banana with a plastic knife, then complained about how dull the knife is. He tried to scoop out the ice cream but somehow failed to get a nice round scoop. After the fifth tries, he asked me to help him. Melted some chocolate with a bit of heavy cream to drizzle on top of the ice cream. Continue reading

The Power of Bread

You’re having a bad day, things don’t go the way you wanted them to. What do you eat to make you feel better? My son would want chocolate chips to fix his “owie”. My husband would want a can of beer to cure his headache. I want bread with softened butter slather on top. I love carbs so much, I sometimes wonder how it’d taste to eat carbs on top of carbs on top of carbs (imagine, french bread topped with risotto, topped with fries. Gross? Maybe..)



At times, simple french baguette is enough to satisfy my bread cravings. But my favorite must be brioche. Buttery bread, eaten with some more butter? It sounds good to me. Of course too much of it makes me want to go for a nap. Leftover brioche is perfect for making french toast.  

Shitty day becomes better with a slice of brioche. The power of food is amazing, yes? Having to deal with annoying people? Eating brioche will not make them less annoying, but I think the butter helps me calm down. Brioche is my beer goggles. It makes me less profane too.  

Another day is saved, thanks to bread!

My "Beef" with the Fast Food Nomad, Just Because I Want Him to Live Longer!

From where I came from, fast food is the quintessential of American food. To us, KFC is the golden ticket to feel “Western”. Your $1 burger worth so much more back there. With so many other food vendors, while I can’t say they’re very hygienic (just don’t drink the water), selling better tasting food, it is ironic we still crowd the fast food joints. In United States, I understand, because price wise, these places are way much cheaper than let say, Serious Pie. But in Indonesia, with food vendors being literally every where you go (they cost way cheaper too), why would we flock to fast food joints? My mom said “Well, fast food is much more trendier than your usual food vendors”.

Tell me this looks better than the $1 burger..

My husband is an avid fast food consumer. I nickname him “fast food joint nomad”, which he hates by the way, since he practically jumps from one to the other. It’s weird how he complains about me overspicing food considering how salty fast food is? I still don’t understand until today. My biggest wish right now, is for him to cut down his fast food intake. I’m not a controlling bitch, but I just want him to be healthier. And also not looking forward to the day our son could question “why don’t we eat McWhatever burger, but Daddy does?” I am not a saint myself, I have my own share of junky food. Obviously, once every now and then, enough to make me feel so guilty.

Everyone can make fried chicken, if they don’t mind deep frying

The other day I was so pissed. We went to the baby’s 4-month checkup and on the way back, hubby wanted to grab some fast food. It being around lunch time, of course it was packed as hell. He kept on offering our son “do you want some burger from XYZ?” And I was so glad my son said “No, I want roast pork” (We had roast pork the other night). While waiting for the other cars to move forward, he asked our son again “So you want some?” I don’t know, perhaps it was me being super hungry or PMSing, but I was pissed. Didn’t say a word after that, just let our son decides for himself, right? And still glad he declined. After 20 mins at the drive thru, we went home and I heated some of the roast pork and sauteed some spinach. Voila, all done in 10 minutes. I crossly said “Faster than Jack”. Although I was trying to make a point, I regret being so frivolous. *Disclaimer: I love my husband so much, but not his food choice*

Brined roast pork with lemon

I just hope that slowly (we’ve been together since 2006, and I’ve only seen a little progress) he’ll eat healthier. That is all. Am I selfish for wanting him to live longer? He loves to complain about how he feels bloated (uh, DUH? The cheezburger did it). And plus, these food from fast food joints isn’t so fast anyway. But to make the change easier, I’ve been making stuff that fast food serve, but with wholesome ingredients.