I started cooking since I was 9 years old (Standard 3). Atuk and Nenek prefer to live on their own, since Kak Ngah has got young children to take care and handle at that time. They move to the house in the compound (about 30 metres away); the house that was rented by Pakcik Jamal; who owns a coffee shop at the Godong. His own house is in Ulu Pilah, which is far from Kampong Senaling. Atuk and Nenek taught me how to cook rice and other simple dishes, enough for us to eat lunch or dinner. This cooking is the conventional way of using firewood, blowing fire with bamboo and using pots and pans made of clay. I learned to measure enough water needed to cook rice, ensure that the fire is contained but still firing when it is nearing cooking. As told in other episodes, firewood need to be stocked up before we can start cooking.
Whenever there is an urgent need to eat and preparing other dishes to go along with the rice may take time to prepare; we would normally turn to 'ikan rebus'. These are boiled 'kembong' fish sold at the Godong (Kedai Asin, the fishmonger). They cost 10 sen each and 2 would be enough to feed 3 of us. Grab one 'ikan rebus' from the shop, run home and pour hot water over it - and it is ready to be served. Sometimes, we have them fried for better taste. You may also create other kinds of dishes by using the same 'ikan rebus'; which will involve onions, coconut milk, chilly and a host of other ingredients.
Nevertheless, 'ikan rebus' used to provide the easy way to have a good, urgent, immediate and hearty meal. I used to love them as it is salty, tasty, soft, cheap, easy to prepare and above all - delicious.
2 weeks ago