(Back to front: Almost Five, Spunky Three, Workin' On One)
Monday. The family is eating fried fish, which our helpers have cooked. We have already discovered that you can eat the eyeballs. They are just hard, little white balls that taste ... fried. Today, Dad says, "I'm going to try something new. I'm going to bite right into its face." Crunch. "Hey, you guys, it's really good! It just tastes like a chip! Try it!" Soon we are all eating fish faces. Almost Five says, "I love to bite him in the face!" Spunky Three says, "I want more eyeball please." ... Tuesday. Lunch time. The helpers are at school. Mom has cooked chicken nuggets and rice. Almost Five whines out the patent lie: "Eew, I don't like chicken nuggets!" ... Go figure.
Here are our dishes. We were forced into this choice because the kitchen in the house we rent is overwhelmingly pink, with some orangey-red Chinese vases displayed prominently. This is not a set it would ever have occurred to me to look at unless forced to, but now ... I love it. My husband tolerates it. The colander, by the way, is for serving rice in.
So in Indonesia, Christmas and the 26th are spent visiting friends and family. It's an all-day open house. And when people visit, the proper things to serve them are little homemade cookies, and Coke, Sprite, and Fanta.
... Well. A friend in our neighborhood has a home business where she sells cookies and cakes for all occasions. Knowing that Christmas was coming up, and wanting to help her out, I went over and ordered 4 jars (the standard unit of measure for homemade cookies). She quoted me a price. The price did not make sense to me. If the decimal was where I thought it was, it was much more expensive than I'd expected. If I moved the decimal to the left ... too cheap. So I agreed, but resolved to check on this.
... So I checked on it. Yep, she was giving me a special price that, when converted, works out to $15 a jar. So I resolved to go and ask if I could just order two jars, instead.
... But life got busy and I didn't make it over to her house until the 20th. And when I said, If it is possible, I'd like to reduce my order, she got a frozen smile on her face and said that the cookies were all made and sitting there. In fact I was the only person whose cookies she hadn't delivered yet. She had made and delivered them all early, because of another event she was going to have to bake for soon.
... Naturally, I agreed to buy the order. I am told the cookies can last 3 months. And they are very small and labor-intensive: sandwich cookies, pineapple-jam filled cookies, cheese-topped cookies, and chocolate.
... This is what happens when you live in a land not your own and are too proud to admit you don't know what's going on. It can cost you. Financially.
This is something to make at the end of the month, when money runs low, using ingredients that are probably never absent from your pantry or fridge. I will have to separate the sections of this post with elipses, as Blogger does not respect my Enter key.
... Ingredients: half a packet of spaghetti noodles ... a can of tuna ... a slice of onion ... ground black pepper ... as much mayo as you like
... Method: break the spaghetti noodles into shorter pieces with your hands (you can do this while they are still inside the package. Less messy.) Put them on to boil. ... While they are cooking, get out a large serving bowl. Open and drain the can of tuna. Add it to the serving bowl. Chop the onion. Add it to the serving bowl, along with ground black pepper and mayo to taste. ... When the spaghetti is done, drain the noodles and immediately add them to the serving bowl too. Mix all the ingredients together. ... Presto! A cheap, ready to eat main dish in about 10 minutes.
Masak means "to cook" in Indonesian. Since we lived for a time in Indonesia, some people wondered what we eat. This blog will help answer that question ... and perhaps inspire you with its cheap, eclectic, and ad hoc collection of recipes.
Our Oven in Indonesia
It sits on top of an LPG burner. The tank is underneath the counter.