Sunday, 1 February 2015

Meal 3. Indonesian feast, Sumatran style

Tonight my gracious hosts are Heri (officially Nopatakari) from Sumatra (Indonesia) and Ferry, from the Netherlands. They already get a lot of jokes about their rhyming names, so I'm happy they didn't name their son Perry or Jerry, but Gilles (at right). Even though he is in the middel of his "NO" phase, he is still as charming as ever, especially when hugging my leg. It turns out he also does this with strange ladies in the supermarket, exclaiming "Grandma!" and looking up at them with his big eyes.
I especially enjoy dancing around the coffeetable with him, boogying to some Funkadelic grooves. Make my funk the P-Funk!

When I arrive, Heri is busy in the kitchen preparing the rice, and the table is already partly set with a big platter of vegetables. Wow! I'm afraid Heri spent a lot of time preparing this dinner, and this is confirmed when we sit at the table and I see everything she has made. Fried chicken, chicken frikadel (fried minced meatball), rendang (a beef dish with coconut that takes 5 hours to make!), salmon fish heads, homemade sambal and peanut sauce, white rice and the platter with seven different vegetables.
According to Heri, the head of the fish (at right) is truly a delicacy in Indonesia, and more expensive than the rest of the fish. I must say, the salmon heads don't really look appetizing to me, but the morsels I try are delicious. As is everything else being served. I eat so much I have to unbutton my jeans at the end of the meal!

We discuss how food culture is different in the, if there is a meeting, you will usually get coffee or tea and if you're lucky some cookies. In Indonesia, it is almost impossible to imagine any kind of meeting without food.
Most Indonesians will eat three meals with rice a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a snack, a popular treat is kue (pronounce kway), a sweet treat often made of tapioca flour.
Currently, most kue you buy at the market is bright pink or green with artificial colorings, but they used to be colored brown by gula merah (palm sugar) or light green by pandang leaves.

After dinner we put Gilles to bed and move to the couch to relax. Once I am able to button my jeans again Heri brings out the kue she has made with palm sugar and coconut, and Ferry makes cappuccino to accompany it.

Over coffee and kue, we somehow end up talking about how difficult it is to poop if you are in Antarctica; it is so cold there the turd freezes before you are finished. Then Heri tells a funny story:

Heri's sister is in the living room eating something especially delicious one day. Her brother walks in and starts: "Hey Sis! I just went to the toilet and you wouldn't believe it! My poo was this weird green color and really runny with these little hard pieces--"
She interrupts him:"Oh, stop it! That's disgusting! Now I've lost my appetite because of your gross story..."
And he walks away happily with the treat...
Smart brother, huh? Maybe I should try this some day. I have a large enough supply of disgusting stories...
At around eleven we say goodbye and again I notice how I have to bend down to kiss Heri and look up to kiss Ferry...he is so much taller. Heri says in the beginning he seemed like a lamppost to her-but luckily, a soft lamppost!

Heri, Gilles and Ferry

(the original post about this meal is from Jan 29, 2006)

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