... once upon a time ... a long long time ago ...

Small satchets of happenings from pockets of my life, as lapses of memories rewind to the particular place, moment and time ... realities of life
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Buat Minyak Masak (Making Cooking Oil)

There are an abundance of coconut trees around the house in Kampong Senaling. These trees have been around long before I was born. Some of them are more than 60 years old. I myself have even planted one. That coconut tree that I planted is still standing next to the house. Whenever the urge to make cooking oil arise, we call in Duman, the coconut tree climber; to climb up the coconut trees and pick the ripe ones. Meanwhile we would have also earlier accumulated a lot of coconuts in preparation to produce the cooking oil.

Lots and lots of coconuts are pried open, grated and the milk squeezed out. A few bodies will help; which normally include the neighbours. All the coconut milk are collected in a large container and put over fire to let it slow cook for a few hours. The cooking coconut milk are shovelled and moved in the cooking pot at all times. This is to ensure that all the coconut milk in the pot are evenly cooked. Only after a few hours (normally more than 8) that the coconut milk will be cooked and becomes coconut cooking oil. Only 10% of the total amount of the original coconut milk will be produced as cooking oil.

The best part of the whole episode is the 'tahi minyak'. This is the residue left behind in the cooking pot from cooking all that coconut milk that turns into coconut cooking oil. The 'tahi minyak' taste out of this world. It can be eaten as it is; which is a little salty or becomes seasoning for food and dishes to be cooked. This making coconut cooking oil is normally done once a year, especially when there are an abundance of coconuts that fell from the tree as it is already ripe.

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