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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cross-posting: Of Laksa Asam & A Good Friend

Recommended pre-read: the epilogue; Wanshana/2008/08/Laksa-asam-and-friend

My home science teacher (God bless you Cik Kalthum) would not have believed this phenomenon for a micro second I would think. But iye Cikgu, haritu saya masak Laksa Asam!!! (And I hear a thunderous applaud from all those reading this entry - clap! clap! clap! Thank you, thank you.....)

I have never been very good at cooking. Full stop.

As the youngest of six, I was often chased out of the kitchen - I was more of a nuisance than a helping hand whenever I lingered around in that department. My mother and 3 elder sisters would be happier for me to be lounging in front of our (then) black & white TV watching Sesame Street & Popeye The Sailor Man than to be wandering about in 'their' kitchen. So you see.... this notion that I can do no good in the kitchen has long been instilled in my subconscious mind. To further entrench this notion, I was whisked away to a boarding school at the tender age of 12. The school was only 5 'miles' away from home though. But distance did not matter. With no access to a 'live' kitchen (other than the school canteen and dining hall which access were also equally denied to budding female adults) , how can you expect one to bloom into a good cook?

Later when in college, I learned about this concept of "self fulfilling prophecy" in Psychology 101. Simply, the self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a statement, a prediction or a false definition, of a certain situation. The person believing this prophecy then evokes certain behaviours or alters his or her actions which makes the original false conception to become 'true'.

So this notion of me being a lousy cook is a self fulfilling prophecy, you think? Yeah... I think so lah! No doubt about it.

Rationalising my incompetency is indeed one of my competencies :)

But it's never too late, right? Better late than never.

So when the Ah So at Pasar Rawang offered me a few packs of laksa at half price (because the customer who ordered for them did not turn up as promised), I thought - hmmm.... this could be a window of opportunity for me to hone my culinary skills. Honestly, at that point, I only thought of boiling the laksa and mix them with Prego spaghetti sauce. A suggestion by Aso though, helped pushed me to a new frontier altogether. She "directed" me to buy asam keping, bunga kantan, daun 'punina' ( trust me, she meant 'daun pudina' or mint leaves, and nothing else), etc, etc, etc. And so I snaked myself through the crowds at the wet market looking for those ingredients.

As fate has it, that same week, I had also been clearing up some boxes of books to "restore" our mini library. The last few books that remained untouchable were a few good but dusty cooking/recipe books. GOOD because they fill up the shelves, DUSTY because they really are..... they have never been put to good use other than for ogling and salivating over the pictures of elaborately garnished dishes. And one of these dust collectors was none other than a special recipe book entitled "Dari Srikandi Untuk Srikandi". I suppose, I am not alone ..... especially amongst those who hailed from the same alma mater.

I flicked through to the mee & pasta section and voila!!! Two pages caught my eyes; on Assam Laksa & Laksa Johor.

Both are my favourites.

Both have never been served home-cooked in my kitchen.

Could this be my next fear factor challenge?!

In times like this, when faced with daunting tasks that could bring tears to my eyes ( because onions would be involved) - who did I call?

WAN SHANA !!!!!!

- to be continued -

34 comments:

JoKontan said...

Kalau dah dapat Full Certification from Ayah,.

Call-lah the whole household from KD.

There will be 9 of us, termasuk bibik.

Nine,. Ibu !

:-)

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Ibu niiiii.... dah la tengah puasa ganti (oops!) baca pulak pasal laksa.... terus berkecur air liur ni...

Waterlily said...

IBU..

believe me, you are not alone!

I am not a good cook, boleh makan laar...tak kojol kalu makan...tapi susah nak tambah dua tiga pinggan kut...hahaha...

Ayah said...

this sounds like the beginning of an exciting adventure... for my friend...

Mat Salo said...

Laa... who you gonna call? I thought Ghostbusters! He..

Err, you left a comment on the other day.. betul ke wrinkles tu? Ni nak kene pi botok ni, sigh I'm so vain. :)

Syiok dengaq citer budak2 tu. My 7 and 14 ni sering berperang. Yang 2nd tu.. mulut dia, mak oi.. pernah panggil abang dia "isteri syaitan". Dah laa syaitan, isteri plak tu. Mana dia belajar benda nih? I think since sending to the new Kafa place dah benda lain pulak dia pick-up.. Apa tak kene chili ngan mak dia...

As for JB days, ada budak EC buat blog and E-groups. Quite sad to hear that some of my STAR 2 guys ada yang dah kembali... Srikandi camner, still intact ke?

Ada citer baru.., baru aja yang 7 tuh naik beskal last time I was home. Mai lah.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Ibu, well done on your laksa asam attempt!

I've yet to mencuba masak apa2 laksa pun. Like you, my presence was never welcomed in the kitchen...sampai sekarang pun. So how to learn to cook like that?

Here in Dhaka, I had to cook BIG TIME. Oyster sauce and kicap are the staple ingredients. They make anything I cook edible!

Mr Engineer said...

Don't be so hard on yourself.....we have been patronizing your kitchen for so many years already and not even once pun we all sakit perut!!!

wanshana said...

Mr Engineer,

I beg to differ! Kita SELALU gak sakit perut la after patronizing Ibu's kitchen (and her whole house) - sakit perut sebab dok gelak sakan!

But, Ibu : seriously - you are not a bad cook at all la, kawan... For one - your Gulai Lemak Ketam is to die for, maaannn!

IBU said...

Salam Jo,

Kalau dapat certification, yahhhh...boleh saja panggil the 9 frm KD. Tapi, I call Pizza HUt delivery jer lah ek? heheheh....

IBU said...

DDI ...

Aiseh...sori, sori... tapi lebih cabaran, tambah sikit pahala .. hehehe.... selamat mengganti puasa!

IBU said...

Waterlily,

HAHAHAHA.... Tak kojol? Lama dah tak dengar ....

Kalau nak tambah 2 -3 pinggan tu senang jer, pakai ler piring/mangkuk kecik, and serve in small portion. ehehehe....

IBU said...

Ayah,

Errrr.... he was made aware of my AS IS condition with regards to cooking, pre-marriage.

Not sure if it would be an exciting adventure for him. More like traumatizing and perseverance rather ... Kesian dia...

Alah... dia pun apa lebih nyer. Isk, isk... rahasia.... hahahaha ....

IBU said...

Mat Salo,

ehehe... Ghostbusters busy kat other regions. Tapi ini Wan Shana ada close relation with Snakes Buster! Kan Shana kaannnnnn?

eh! Aper kelas pakai botok? The ori susuk kan ada..... Tapi I rasa lah, mungkin jarum susuk tu pun boleh patah lah before it could even penetrate your skin. ehehe... jgn mare!

And mak oii... kemain lagi your children, siap labels 'isteri syaitan' segala? hehehe... tu lah kan, sometimes we truly don't know what they receive & perceive vs from the actual intention of what was taught in class.

And as for kembali tu, we have to accept la it's definite without much choice. Just that we don't know when exactly our turn would be. Our options though, is to try to get closer to HIM with each day approaching and not deferring it until tomorrow as tomorrow may never comes - who knows?

Sat lagi I pi tengok anak u naik beskal tu.

IBU said...

Mat Salo,

ehehe... Ghostbusters busy kat other regions. Tapi ini Wan Shana ada close relation with Snakes Buster! Kan Shana kaannnnnn?

eh! Aper kelas pakai botok? The ori susuk kan ada..... Tapi I rasa lah, mungkin jarum susuk tu pun boleh patah lah before it could even penetrate your skin. ehehe... jgn mare!

And mak oii... kemain lagi your children, siap labels 'isteri syaitan' segala? hehehe... tu lah kan, sometimes we truly don't know what they receive & perceive vs from the actual intention of what was taught in class.

And as for kembali tu, we have to accept la it's definite without much choice. Just that we don't know when exactly our turn would be. Our options though, is to try to get closer to HIM with each day approaching and not deferring it until tomorrow as tomorrow may never comes - who knows?

Sat lagi I pi tengok anak u naik beskal tu.

IBU said...

Mr Engineer,

Tu sebab Bibik yg masak mostly. Or tak pun, Shana yg 'open kuali' kat my kitchen... hehehe...

IBU said...

Madam Tai-Tai,

Not welcomed in the kitchen - how to learn to cook like that?! EXACTLY, HI 5 !!! hehehe...

Actually, even my sis in laws pun would chase me out of the kitchen tau. Takut-takut not just lauk pauk rosak, maybe pinggan mangkuk (kalau besi pun) boleh pecah kot? Nampak sgt lah ciri-ciri pengancam keselamatan sejagat dalam dapur ...

But ... I'm not complaining... la la la la la... hehehe...

IBU said...

Wan Shana ....

Tu lah kan... sampai kena panggil Tesco sponsor tissue kesat air mata.

Eh! kan ke u dah verify I ni choleric? So who says I'm happy to settle as "not a bad cook"? either I have to be very good at something or just stay very lousy at it. Sbb tu SANGAT TERROR in preparing Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi Hingga Menjilat Jari and SANGAT LOUSY in everything else imaginable. hahahaha.....

p/s Got new apparatus delivered to Secret Chamber. Must mai my home soon one of these days to ghamai-ghamai menggegarkan the chamber.

Kak Teh said...

Ibu, our stories of culinary skills or lack of it are so similar. My domestic science teacher was a prophet of Doom - she said that with the lack of skills, no man would marry me . She didnt know there are take aways. I was also chased out of kitchen by siblings because I was very slow.

But now - hey, practice makes perfect, kan???

the principal said...

Ibu,

How come I tak kenal Cik Kalthum your home science teacher? I went to the same school..Oh! I hate home science sampai sekrg. Kebencian tu menular sampai sekrg....my dapur tak pernah berasap.

U.Lee said...

Hello Ibu, can I invite myself over for your laksa? Ha ha.I love laksa lemak, laksa assam.

And there is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman by the name of Ibu in the act of cooking laksa for someone she loves.
Happy cooking, Ibu...best regards, Lee.

Daphne Ling said...

Ah...

Dah masak kan asam laksa tu? Gambor mana? ;)

simah said...

hahahahah thank Allah u have wanshana to call to!! hahahahah

salam ramadhan dari kami disini..:)

Waterlily said...

Weyyy...bila nak hapdet blog?

Anyway - you've been tagged! Jgn lupa pakai baju glamer ngerlip ngerlap, amik award.

Cheers!

Kmar said...

Eija, you shouldn´t be worry about the ´daunting´ task of ´cooking´ since oven canggih dah ada!!!

Campak le selagi boleh .. and I bet your new oven can do ´magic´... eemmm.... think so.

Pi Bani said...

So will you be having laksa for raya this year? ;)

Salam merdeka and selamat menyambut Ramadan al Mubarak!

zaitgha said...

lerr...i thought i would see the picture of the laksa by now ha ha ha....btw..Salam Ramadhan and pray all of us will have a blessed one this year...

IBU said...

Kak Teh,

Hahahaa ... she didnt know there are take aways... kesian kan cikgu2 home science kita semua.

So..... were your "slow mo" in the kitchen on purpose? Bukan buleh percaya 100% kak teh ni. Heehehe...

And yeah, practice makes perfect. I keep on practicing staying away fr the kitchen. Needless to say, I am almost perfect at it now. LOL!!!

IBU said...

The Principal,

Alahai dek.... u 'grad' desa Tun tahun berapa? Entah2 Cik Kalthum dah pindah sekolah. The last I heard she was on her own, consultant for children educare/development programme or something.

Nak bagi dapur berasap senang jer, goreng telur sampai hangus. hehehe

IBU said...

U Lee ....

I think if after you eat my asam laksa, you would choose to stay away from asam laksa for 7 keturunan.

Thanks for the encouragement though.

IBU said...

Daphne,

Gambar? AIya..... nanti I ambik gambar laksa kat kedai punya lah eh? Baru best.

IBU said...

Simah....

Tu ler pasal......... hahahaha ....

IBU said...

Waterlily,

Award? What award? Got money or not? I don't want gold or silver medal or trophy. And cash only pls.

Ahaks...

IBU said...

Kmar,

Oven tu... errr... alahai.... kena tunggu posting lagi satu lah... Manual pun x tau simpan mana.

And belum try masak asam laksa pakai oven. Kome ni.... sure ingat lasagna ek? LAKSA lah... Laksa....

Ahahaha....

IBU said...

Zai oh Zai....

I must say u r one of my inspiration to try whatever cooking limited skills that I have.

Tapi kalau nak post gambar, I kena copy & paste gambar from recipee books la baru orang tak terkejut. LOL!!!!