October 30, 2007

Kat's mom

Is there someone you haven't heard from eons but you often thought about them? Last week I received a surprise call from a long time school friend, Katrin. It's been quite some time since I last met her over a lunch date in Cikarang (two or three years ago). I was having an appointment with my customer in the industrial area there and meet up with Kat before returning to Jakarta. Kat's husband works in a Japanese automotive electronics company in Cikarang, which is why they chose to buy a house in that area to save cost and time.

We still kept in touch by phone. The last time I got update from her was when her parents decided to sell their house in Jakarta and bought a house near Kat's place. However, as often happens, we lost contact somehow. I was so happy to hear Kat's voice again. But I was also mad at her for not telling me her new phone number and left me and my other classmate in the dark of her whereabout. She lost her cellphone and couldn't find my number until one day she accidentally found my number in a piece of a tiny paper inside her drawer. Hmmm...excuses, excuses!

We shared our girlie stories and it really brought back some good memories we once shared. We laughed about weight changes and life changes, about our everyday experiences and gossips about our classmates. Kat and I studied in a Catholic all girls high school where boys are considered as a rare species!

After some pleasantries exchange, she blurted out that her mother has been on dialysis for her kidney since January 2007, due to a complication of her diabetes. Since then her mom has been in and out of the hospital. I was totally sad by this shocking news. She added ..."I called you because I knew you'd make me feel better..." This words touched my heart so deeply.

Fast forward, I remembered one incident with Kat's mom that made me scared to contact Kat by phone ever again. The story goes back about twenty years or so ago (this makes me sounds old and wrinkle...LOL!). On one rainy day I tried to contact Kat thru a public phone. Her mom was on the other side of the line. I greeted her politely and asked if Kat was around, but she sounded unhappy and scolded me not to dial the number if I didn't have any intention to talk on the phone!!! I was so shocked esp. when she slammed the phone down, not knowing what had I done wrong. When I told Kat about this she burst out in fits of laughter cos her mom has mistaken me with her younger sis admirer. Kat's younger sister, Cecilia, has had an admirer that her mom didn't like at all. Whenever the boy called Kat's home and her mom answered the phone, he would hang up. The day I rang Kat, her mom had picked up the phone for the umpteenth times ... then it was quiet. I didn't know the public phone that I used didn't work well (I could hear Kat's mom voice but not the other way around) which led her to believe I was the same boy who was trying to date her daughter! d'oh!!!

Well, the past few days, I have been browsing as many information as possible about Chronic Renal Failure's diet and emailed them to Kat. It's too bad I could not find diet book for this disease in Jakarta as there are many food restriction her mom has to follow and it takes quite a bit of planning to prepare the foods. I may have to ask my sweetie to order the book from Canada.

Am so glad Kat rang me. Sometimes in a time of crisis, we need to reach out to another person. Being a friend, I may not always have the answers, but at least I have a listening ears and I want her to know that she is not alone. I hope and pray that His benevolence and guidance will see Kat's family through this trying time.

October 28, 2007

3 in 1 Shepherd's Pie

I stumble upon this Shepherd's Pie on someone's blog the other day but I forgot to save the link. The recipe calls for potato, kumara (a red or purple Japanese sweet potatoes), and pumpkin for the base. I quite like the idea of mashing them altogether as they create a pretty color. The filling is ground beef (well I supposed not to eat red meats...but am baking this pie for my brother...hehehe), frozen corn kernel, carrots and peas. I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding pasta tomato sauce for the filling mixture, and cover the top with grated parmesan and cheddar cheese.

October 27, 2007

One word

Belle, a cool mom from Arizona, tagged me on this one word meme. I think the rule is you can only type one word. Easy enough, right? So here goes :

• Where is your cellphone? purse
• Relationship? great
• Your hair? straight
• Work? stable
• Your sister? conservative
• Your favorite thing? handicraft
• Your dream last night? flying
• Your favorite drink? water
• Your dream car? Ferrari (hahaha..I dont even know how to drive!)
• The room you’re in? living
• Your shoes? Kickers
• Your fears? fire
• What do you want to be in 10 years? happy
• Who did you hang out with this weekend? friend
• What are you not good at? sewing
• Muffin? cheese
• One of your wish list items? vacation
• Where did you grow up? Lampung (Sumatra)
• Last thing you did? eating
• What are you wearing? duster (batik duster)
• What aren’t you wearing? shoes
• Your pet? cat
• Your computer? Intel
• Your life? busy
• Your mood? happy
• Missing? G (my sweetie)
• What are you thinking about right now? soccer (Manchester United soccer match)
• Your car? Taxi (hehehe...)
• Your kitchen? clean
• Your summer? long (we have summer all year around in Jakarta)
• Your favorite color? white
• Last time you laughed? today
• Last time you cried? February
• School? done
• Love? caring

October 22, 2007

A mother's love

This appeared on yesterday Daily Mail story. It is truly moving and insightful. My hat goes off to Emma Noble and all moms who unselfishly sharing their stories about their children with autism, hoping that their experiences may be helpful to others in similar situations.

"My son is autistic but I still feel so blessed"

Last updated at 07:47am on 22nd October 2007

Emma Noble heard her small son choke. She turned to his high-chair to help him swallow his troublesome mouthful and realised he was trying to call for her.

"He was saying, 'Muh, Muh,' but the word wouldn't come," she recalls. "I asked him, 'Harry, are you saying Mummy?' and he tried again. 'Muh, Muh,' was all he could manage.

"There was this dreadful moment between us as I tried to get him to articulate a word he knew well but he just couldn't.

"His little chin drooped on to his chest and there was an expression of absolute defeat on his face. He looked like a toy robot whose batteries had run out."

Emma did not know how her son's language had vanished. Nor did she understand why his eye contact was failing.

She thought some of his habits – lining up his dinosaurs by size and colour co-ordinating his cars – were endearing rather than odd.

She was aware he could not eat food which touched other food on his plate. She realised he thrived on ritual and routine rather than the chaos of childhood.

But she did not see the sum of them: autism.

Harry, the only child of the celebrity model and actress and her ex-husband James Major, son of former Prime Minister Sir John Major, was diagnosed with autism four years ago.

But it is only now Emma, 36, has navigated a path for the two of them through the parallel world of special needs that she feels able to speak publicly of his suffering.

"I could not live without him and I would not want him any other way," she says.

"My life would be empty without my son and the experience we have been through together. His autism makes him who and what he is and I love him.

"He makes it easy for me to accept because he makes me proud every day, proud of his achievements and of how hard he tries.

"There is no part of me that mourns the mother I could have been to a son without his condition. I simply don't know that person."

Emma protects Harry, who is now seven, with the kind of ferocity a lioness reserves for a favoured cub, and when she speaks of his achievements she exudes happiness.

Yet her life since she fled the flashguns that once illuminated her stellar career has been complex, careworn and, on occasion, profoundly lonely.

She is perched on a leather sofa in the living room of her home in a Cambridgeshire village.

Harry's toys, books and videos are scattered about and photographs of a dark-haired boy with chocolate-drop eyes and a wide smile cover her shelves. It's all very normal.

"That's the thing," she says. "An autistic child begins life normally. Harry passed all his milestones – walking and talking – at the right time.

"He was a happy, healthy baby growing into a happy, healthy child.
"The changes are wrought over a matter of months, maybe two or three. I know in the great scheme of a life that is virtually overnight but they're so small as to be imperceptible at the time.

"Yes, he had some unusual habits such as spinning around the room like a top and asking repeatedly, 'What's that?', but I found it so appealing I used to video it. I never used to think, 'This is totally out of context and perhaps I should be worried.'

"Gradually Harry started pulling me around to get what he wanted instead of speaking to me. He'd drag me to the kitchen cupboard and point to food or across to the television and put my hand on the controls.

"He stopped saying 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' to people he knew and finally he stopped answering to his own name.

"I just thought he was being lazy and that once he'd cracked something new, like a word, he couldn't be bothered with it any more.

"He was my first child so I had nothing to judge him against. For me, there were no alarm bells until the incident in the high-chair.

"You can't see the truth about your own child, you simply don't see the negative. Of course, there were other signs.

"Harry had always been adept with a knife and fork, he'd use them properly and would sit in his chair and say, 'Broccoli, please,' like Little Lord Fauntleroy.

"It was a family joke. One day, I realised he no longer had any idea what to do with his cutlery. The knowledge had just gone.

"And we were asked to leave Tumbletots [a gym class for toddlers] because he refused to join in with the other children.

"The leader was gentle and kind and suggested he might benefit from an assessment and a visit to a special needs gym.

"That was the first time anyone had used those words to me and I was devastated. I sat in my car and cried.

"But then I got home and told James we'd been chucked out and he was so upbeat and funny. He said, ;Harry, you've been expelled from Tumbletots, that's very rock 'n' roll,' and he cheered me up so much I forgot about it."

Sadly, however, that mutual support between husband and wife was wearing thin.

It was always, on paper, an unlikely union. Emma had risen from lad's-mag favourite to prime-time television presenting and the fringes of a serious acting career.

She was ravishingly sexy and, thanks to a working-class background growing up on a council estate as the daughter of a printer and a nurse, was extremely hard-working.

She might have looked every inch the ingenue, but she had a firm grip on the business side of showbusiness.

James, a sometime nightclub entrepreneur, had failed to make his mark as a novelist, as a dot.com boomer or even as a man about town until he began courting Emma.

Their burgeoning relationship was played out in a frenzy of tabloid headlines and their 1999 wedding in the crypt of the Palace of Westminster, followed by a lavish reception at The Dorchester, netted them a £400,000 deal from Hello! magazine.

There were many who said it would not last. In March 2003, they were proved right when James left the marital home to live in the Scottish Highlands.

"It is sad," admits Emma, "that our marriage came to an abrupt end just as we were discovering the extent of our son's problems. It is important that everyone – above all Harry – knows they weren't connected, that the one did not cause the other."

She is respectful and discreet about her ex-husband, who returned to his home town of Huntingdon in 2005 and now cares for Harry every other weekend.

She refuses to criticise him and describes relations today as "friendly".

But the very fact that she was a single mother when she was first officially told Harry was autistic – and that James chose to stay in Scotland for a fortnight before coming to visit them – must have compounded her pain and sense of isolation.

In May 2003 a specialist paediatrician came to assess Harry at home. Emma says: "Harry would not even answer to his name. I was physically turning his face towards the doctor, willing him to co-operate like some dreadful cheerleading mother.

"I was praying for him to prove everything was fine. At the end of five hours I said, 'Do you have any findings?' and she said, 'He's very bright.'

"Just as I was thinking, well, I know that, she added, 'And he's autistic.'

"Ridiculous as it sounds, the only thought in my mind was, 'What, do you mean like Rain Man [the film in which Dustin Hoffman plays an autistic man]?'

"That showed my ignorance and how little I knew about autism at the time. I swear I couldn't get her out of my house fast enough.

"I wanted to hunt and hunt and find a condition which matched Harry, something temporary, less worrisome, not so life-changing for my little boy."

That night she typed the word autism into the internet for the first time and she knew, as she scanned the numerous websites and bulk- ordered ten books on the subject from Amazon, that she'd found the missing part of her boy.

They have come a long way since then, but life is tricky because Harry is hostage to his rituals and anxiety that can keep him awake for all but 90 minutes a day.

Emma reveals: "Harry needs to know what is going to happen and in what precise order. There can be no surprises and definitely no dramas.

"For example, he needs me to tell him what is going to be inside a wrapped present before he opens it.

"He pictures it to be something that he wants and then, if it's not what he had in his mind, he can't understand what went wrong.

"When he goes to bed he might have to touch the curtain a specific number of times and then similarly flick the light switch, climb the stairs in a particular way, ask if the cats are in their room, check the hall light is on and that the door is open at precisely the angle he wants. And he might make these checks 20 times.

"If he's worried he's done them wrongly, he'll have to get up and start again. And he's very literal.

"I once said to him, 'Harry, hold your horses,' and he came back with two horses out of his toy box. I can't use everyday phrases.

"If I said so-and-so had bitten my head off he'd be puzzled and say, "But Mummy, it is still on your shoulders.'

"Speaking to him correctly, beginning every sentence with his name, is second nature to me. It's like having elocution lessons, you can't ever go back."

Harry retains the photographic memory for puzzles that was one of the early signs of his condition and has added to it a gift for memorising books he can recite at will.

While he does not understand the concept of empathy – he once stepped over Emma when she had fainted and told her he was too busy playing to bring her the phone – he can re-enact a film with feeling because he has imprinted the appropriate emotions in his memory.

Crucially, thanks to Emma's diligence – and the support she has received from her parents, whom she describes as "her strength", her sister, who is a doctor of clinical psychology and has done extensive research into parents' experience of children affected by autism, and the National Autistic Society – Harry has found his voice again.

And now his mother is ready to find her own. She has been privately and extensively involved with fundraising for the NAS, to which she recently gave the proceeds from her appearance on reality TV show The Farm, and has now taken the decision to go public.

She says: "I don't want my son growing up in a nation which is ignorant, where people do not know the reality of autism. That's why I am backing the work of the NAS to increase awareness.

"Of course I worry about Harry's future but if he needs to be around me until I am an old lady then so be it.

That said, he has amazed everyone with his progress and I think he will grow up to enjoy a job and a relationship."

Emma is also preparing to start work again. She mothballed her own ambitions to care for Harry and has never been able to turn to James – whose career could politely be described as erratic – for financial support.

Instead she has lived off her savings and investments but, as she says: "I've got to put food on the table for us."

It's hard not to wonder if Harry's eminent and wealthy grandparents, who live just four miles away, could help.

Emma looks aghast and it's clear she views providing for Harry as her responsibility.

She is diplomatic about the Majors' input, saying: "I'm sure they love their grandson very much but they are busy people.

"They have him to stay when they can and John sends him postcards from wherever he is in the world."

I ask how the former PM and his wife Norma, who is vice-president of Mencap, reacted to news of Harry's autism.

She can't comment because she told them by letter. And that, in itself, speaks volumes.

She seems pragmatic and without self-pity. The only time her eyes well up is when I ask her if she misses the old Emma, the carefree girl who was never, ever on the wrong side of the red velvet VIP rope.

"No," she says resolutely. "I have a much better life because of Harry. I am a fuller person, a more learned person. I was an idiot back then, as it turns out."

She belittles herself, for she has fought her way through the labyrinthine bureaucracy of special needs that defeats many.

First, in 2003, she secured Harry a place at a playgroup for autistic children and then, later that year, a position in a mainstream nursery.

Finally, a year later, she won him a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the document that is the key to a child's future.

It gave him the maximum 32.5 hours a week one-to-one support from a specially trained teaching assistant, allowing him to attend a mainstream primary school.

She was, at the outset, nervous that her celebrity might set her apart from other mothers in her position but she has found special needs to be a great leveller.

"I was thrust," she says, "into a world of autism, a whole community of people I had not known was there.

"I was amazed at what opened up before me and I realised I had kept my eyes closed to it all before."

She refuses to ask "Why Harry?", saying: "I could tear my hair out every night wondering why. There is no autism in either family and Harry did not have the MMR jab because I knew there was controversy over potential links to autism, which is ironic, really, given that he has it anyway.

"What I do know is that the number of children with it are creeping up every year.

"Whether that's because the incidence is rising or because we have better diagnostic tools I don't know.

"But I do know we have to deal with it and I hope I am now sufficiently informed to help.

"I don't want to betray Harry but it's only a matter of time before someone asks about my connection to autism and I have to tell them I have been gifted an autistic son and that I feel blessed to be his mum."

On her doorstep is a meerkat holding a camera, a joke against herself and the paparazzi who still sometimes await her there.

It tells you all you need to know about the life she once lived.

As I step past it, she says: "I want people to understand that autism doesn't mean a lesser life, just a different one.

"I want people to know just how wonderful these very special children are and how much joy and love they bring to the lives of those lucky enough to know them."

And then she turns on her high, purple heels and leaves to collect her beloved son from school.

I can't go with her because for Harry, having a stranger in the car would be tantamount to disaster, destroying his fragile equilibrium for the rest of the day.

And that tells you all you need to know about the life she lives now.

October 20, 2007

F1 (Not Formula One)

For those of you following the break-up of 11 years marriage of France's First Family , President Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Cecilia , might think about the importance between success and happiness. Whether it happens to you or to the head of the state, I believe no one enters a marriage believing that it will end, and yet people get divorced all the time, and seen as being a healthy step to take when a relationship breaks down for whatever reason. People now has options and are taking advantage of them and creating solutions, different lifestyles, that suit their own personal makeup and needs.

I once read, divorce, for one, is worse than physical death in many ways, because with death there is closure--it's the end, that's the funeral, that's the casket, it's over-- but with divorce, it's never over unless there's no money involved, no children involved, and both parties have found different mates. What do you do if the love of your marriage gone?

October 18, 2007

Me and my glasses

Memory failures or forgetfulness may occur at any age as we are all getting older by the minute. And nobody is spared from this case. All of us suffered from this only in different situations. When I was a kid, my mom always used to tell me to always put things back in the same place, so I would be able to find them. Well I know I didn't always listen when I was younger. I tend to forget things if I have a lot on my mind or if I'm in a hurry. There were times I forget and misplace my glasses, my keys, my cellphone,sometimes I have to call my number and find it inside my purse. The most often is my glasses. I usually have them on except in the shower. I even have fallen asleep with them in bed while reading or watching TV. It is not rare I would running up and down stairs, checking all the rooms for a pair of glasses like a mad woman on the loose! Once I found them under the bed, and once Suneo had picked them up off my bed and had taken them behind the TV set....argggghhh!!!!SmileyCentral.com

October 15, 2007


One of the few good things about living in the tropics is you're blessed with a lot of different varieties of fresh fruits. You can find banana's in all kinds of shapes and sized which are consumed in different ways: raw, deep fried, baked in pastry, etc. And then there are other local specialties such as mangosteen, rambutans, passion fruits, snake fruits, papaya, mangoes, star fruits and guavas just to mention a few. If you're like me, you'll eat most of them within a few days of your purchase, no matter how many you've bought. I could eat a lot of fruits every day - apples, strawberries, pineapples, water melon, mangoes. I have always been very health conscious and was lucky I live in a place where fresh produce is always available. Breakfast is always started with a glass of fresh vegetable / fruit juice which I normally prepared the night before that. And because of my endo problem, I was also advised to add more beans on my daily intake and my favorite is steamed edamame beans.
edamame beans
pineapple, orange and bakchoy leaves
pineapple, orange and carrot

October 13, 2007

Lunch and dinner of this week

tomyam soup
mee goreng (fried noodle Indonesian style)
chop suey
orak-arik telur asin (scramble salted eggs with vermicelli)

As requested by Eden, here is mee goreng recipe.
Mee Goreng Indonesian Style

200 gr fine egg noodles, cook until just tender, drain, drizzle with 2 tsp of oil
1 scallion / spring onion, thinly slice
3oz small shrimps, peel, deveine (you can also use diced chicken breast)
cabbages cut into quarters and remove the tough white core of each section
bak choy (stalks and leaves), sliced crosswise
3 tbsp ketjap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
2 eggs make scramble, set aside

Grind finely:
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
2 candlenuts
1 tsp salt

-Heat oil in wok over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic paste, stirring frequently until fragrant.
-Add the shrimp/chicken, stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes.
-Add scallions, bak choy, cabbage, salt and pepper, stir fry it for another 2-3 minutes.
-Add the kecap manis, broth and mix well so that all the ingredients will be evenly distributed
-Add the noodles and scramble eggs and stir well. Fry on high heat for another 2 or 3 minutes and dish out onto a serving platter.
-Garnish the top with fried shallots, and spring onion.

Mee goreng is best served hot off the wok/pan.

October 12, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

How many times have you bought something, and later you regretted it? Sometimes I see clothes that look nice in the store, thought it looked good on me, try it on, good price, but when I get home, I just wear once or twice and start complaining the fabric does not absorb the heat etc..etc... when the truth is some of my purchases are triggered by impulsive buying.

In today society shopping has become a a very common way to pass time for millions of people all over the world. There’s a lot of evidence that people really do see shopping as a form of entertainment. Walking the shiny marble floors, trendy stores and cool air-conditioning building is indeed the recreation of choice outside the home and workplace. It makes people happy and it provides a form of escape from the everyday worries that a person must normally confront. People "malling" because they have nowhere else to go. In Jakarta especially where the parks, libraries and museums are limited, the malls do provide us with several options and also a safe place to hang out. Consumers are exposed to ever exciting burst of distinct experience and excitement in malls, with everything from groceries and vegetables to clothes, footwear, cosmetics, electronic gadgets and household items all available under one roof. The malls also surrounded by coffee shops, cinemas, a variety of restaurants and food courts, even playground for children.

Gone are the days where people had to make a choice among shopping, movies or hanging out with friends. All these jobs can be performed at the same time, under the same roof. People come to the mall to stroll, linger, window shopping or meet their friends which has evolved into a lifestyle activity. People are spending more money than ever in an attempt to find fulfillment in their lives. Isn't it a fact of life that people do get judged by their physical appearance? For example, my Singaporean boss who is a very modest man never liked to travel with SQ despite their best reputation because the air stewardess used to look down on him --he likes to wear his old faded color shirt, he looks like the small shop owner in any China town...hehehe--, hence he has not been on any SQ flights for years. Are people treated differently depending on the types of clothing they wear? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Many people have found out from first hand experience that they are treated better and even receive better service in stores when they are dressed up rather than in everyday clothes. It's disheartening, isn't it?

Perhaps what we ought to worry about is not the mall per se, but the lack of alternatives and consumerism. They say we're living in the Age of Information but it feels as if we're living in the Age of Shopping instead. Consumerism is not a force of nature and is shaping our attitudes without us realizing it. I miss the days when my life was less of stuff, my closet may have been emptier, the days in the dorm school in which a meal is shared is far more important than the kind of food that is eaten. Is there a time when we will have enough? I am just guilty as anyone else of this. Why do I need a certain item? Could I live without it and still have the same quality of life? *Want* will always be a battle, it will not go away.
I will have to learn to ask myself if I Need this or only Want it. We'll see if I get around to that someday...coz I realize its easier said than done.SmileyCentral.com

October 8, 2007

Fancy this?

One thing we can all agree on, babies (kittens and puppies are babies too) are cute, adorable and fun to watch whether they’re playing or sleeping. Check out the wonderful pictures in the Daily Mail that show kittens and babies can be a purr-fect doubles!SmileyCentral.com

*images credit of the Daily Mail

October 7, 2007

Thank you

I just wanted to say that Suneo has fully recovered from his ordeal with the stomach bug. Glad it wasn't as serious as what the Vet told me. He recovered quickly, and now he is the same strong boy he ever was. He has gained his old weight, his coat is shining, he is eating well, and he is driving me crazy again with his many antics! SmileyCentral.com
taking over my newspaper
he loves to wander into a box and sat there

October 6, 2007

Look better longer

Have you ever gone into a department store lines or drug store and looked at all the skin care products that are available on the shelves? I swear there were hundreds of products available, all claiming to work miracles with your skin. No matter how old you are or what your skin type is, consumers search for that miracle that can do everything from eliminate acne, reduce visible pores, radiant complexion, to diminish fine lines. Today, more people see the importance of appearance in interpersonal contacts, and they are turning to cosmetics and beauty treatment to improve their looks. To mention a few here are some lines from the ads in the women magazine :

"Line prevention at its best. Preserve your radiance and delay the appearance of first lines"...Clarins

"Shiseido pureness, give your skin power over shine, blemishes and dryness"...Shiseido.

"No-Age Lotion, the No-Age anti ageing breakthrough, it smoothes instantly the skin, gives it an incredible brightness and preserves its youth capital"...Christian Dior.

The objects of desire -cosmetics, skin care products- are now placed invitingly on open shelves, it will take the utmost restraint not to touch them. Women spend so much money on them, even women who have naturally beautiful, flawless skin they go to great lengths to maintain it. As readers / television viewers we are being punished for believing those ads but have you ever taken a close look at the ingredient listing on the label of your skin care products or cosmetics? Do you know what those substances are? You may think that it doesn't matter what's in your skin care products because after all you don't eat them. However, the article in Daily Telegraph caught my attention. It highlights that everything, from soaps, shampoos,deodorants to baby lotions, could actually be pushing us further away from beauty closer to cancer.

I began to see the sheer ugliness behind beauty. Ever since I had endometriosis surgery and still have them until now (endo recurrence), I'm not on a skin care routine like I used to. I only wear Burt's Bees marshmallow cream, Marcks loose powder which is very cheap but has been in the market for over 20 years (they are originally called family medicated powder) and Burt's Bees Baby Lotion. I'm working my way to minimize the use of skin care products to as little as possible. After all life is not about your surface beauty anyway. What about you?

*top image courtesy of art.com

Perkedel Jagung & Tahu Isi

I bet you all agree salty and sweet mixture makes the best snack. When you're in the mood for a simple quick snack, this perkedel jagung is easy to make and is an excellent appetizer.

* 2 fresh corns
* 4 shallots, 2 garlics, 1 thinly slice red chili
* 1 egg
* 4 tbsp all purpose flour
* 1 tbsp rice flour
* A little Spring onion
* Half teaspoon of coriander powder
* Half teaspoon of white pepper powder
* Salt to taste

1. With a sharp knife, cut kernels from the cob: first, cut halfway through the middle to release the "milk" then cut the remainder closer to the cob.
2. Put corn, diced shallots, garlic, red chili, spring onion and egg in a bowl.
3. Add pepper, coriander, salt to taste.
4. Pour all purpose flour and rice flour, mix well, add water just enough.
5. Deep fry the corn mix two spoonful each, drain with tissue paper and serve it when it is still warm.

I was inspired by Retno's post a few days ago and made this Tahu Isi for my lunch. It's very easy to make, great taste and my friends were begging for more. I substitute the filling with carrots, cabbage and mungbean sprouts. Stir fried them with shallot and garlic, spring onion, add a bit of chili sauce and salt to taste. Cut the tofu into 6, scoop them but make sure you do not break them, then add the filling inside each tofu. Dip them in the batter and fry. I think the hardest part was waiting to taste it. They are also perfect as a cocktail food. To serve as a starter, serve with chili sauce or a relish of your choice. Thanks Retno!

October 4, 2007

Pisang Goreng

Pisang Goreng (fried banana) is one of my favorite snack. It is a great snack between meals or for breakfast. A cup of hot tea and a few pisang goreng especially during the rainy season is a real treat!! I used to get them from the pisang goreng vendor, fresh and hot!! Way back then, I enjoyed watching the middle-aged lady near my house with her large wok deep-frying the banana which is dipped in heavy batter. The batter is a combination of an equal parts of all purpose flour, rice flour, water, and a touch of salt. Mix them together, but only just, add the bananas, fry, and eat! They are moist, soft and sweet inside and the batter is crispy outside. It is very easy to make and it tastes like a slice of my childhood.

*top picture is image from Eka's Blog