I’m not that bad in dancing, I can do my make up by myself and no need to go to an expensive beauty stylist, either clean up my room and house decorating they are not that hard even though I’m not the best at it. The bottom line is, I quite okay to do (typical) “woman” activities. But COOKING? I don’t even think to try and learn about it.
In fact, when I come into the kitchen with my mom around there, she would say one thing for sure.
“Aduh, ya ampun Ges, ntar tinggal makan aja.. Di sini malah buat heboh..”
Okay, Ill translate it.
“Hey.. Come on Ges, you can just eat it after I’m done with this cooking. You will only make some crowd (read : annoying) here in my kitchen..”
Then, both of my mom and nanny would laugh as I leave that sacred area and of course, wait for those delicious food ahead.
But, guess. I’m a very good chef here, in Netherlands. At least for two dishes : Dadar Jagung and Fuh Yung Hay. Yes, I made it and actually its good (at least for both of us)
CORN COOKIES, how he loves Indonesian Dadar / Bakwan Jagung.
“That corn cookies. The warm and tasty ones. I like them very much..”
“What cookies Denn? Corn cookies?”I asked both to him and myself.
After some time to figure it out, I knew exactly what he wanted me to bring from Indonesia. Dadar jagung or bakwan jagung or corn-cookies is a typical Indonesian snack with corn as the main ingredients. Dennis knew this food for the first time at our COP time, it was his birthday when his ‘house mom’ was cooking it for him. And I amazed by his memory about this food. He does really love it. Really. Maybe he will mention corn cookies as one of his favorite dishes.
* * *
LUNCH AT THE TOP OF HARLEEM
It was a quite sunny Sunday when I arrived Harleem. In front of the station, I saw at the very tall – dark blonde hair guy, its Dennis. I was so happy to find him after few minutes of my arrival and have no idea how to get the bus or any public transportation there. Before we went back to his parent’s place, he showed me a very good place to eat in Harleem, especially for this summer. I still remember, it was a roof top with both summer breeze wind and the warm sunshine that has been my place to lunch with Dennis. Since there were so many people, we even should wait for few minutes to get a good spot to sit and eat, a table next beside a wide glass wall where you can have a wonderful sightseeing. For sure, after the “bread & jam routine” at Utrecht, I was so happy to finally eat a bowl of very fresh tomato soup also with a pure orange juice. Ah,its a bliss, especially when you’re in a roof top and able to see Harleem from the top view. Thank you Den, for bring me there, it’s perfect.
Having a short local tour around Harleem after lunch was a great thing to do. Indeed, he showed me the tipical old house in Harleem, the church, the shopping street, and his favorite beer bar. The city isn’t much bigger than Utrecht, most of the buildings are similar with Delft but, this town is more crowd than my lovely Delft. What I love about Harleem is a street with typical local old houses that Dennis showed me.
Since most of the houses have a lil glass window and a lil thin door also, you can’t really see how’s inside. The width isn’t that long, but indeed they’re quite high and have that traditional brick wall with various warm and land colour. If you go into one of those small old streets, you will find a good feeling of neighborhood, a nice welcome greeting, and also the excitement by so many unique stores that you can’t easily find in a big city.
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(NOT) A GROCERY SHOPPING AT Albert Heijn
The short trip was ended and it was the time for us to buy the ingredients needed to make his favourite Dadar Jagung. Came into the Albert Heijn was felt so different when it comes to buy ‘normal’ foods rather than Nutella and whole grain bread only as your shopping list. After a silly discussion about the difference between onion, white garlic and red garlic (which is not available in NL), we bought 2 cans of corn, onion, garlic, Indonesian Sambal Badjak by Conimex [I did not allowed to buy the other brand as he told me so 😦 ], and some grams of lil cute shrimps (eh?).
“This is my first time to make it Denn, I hope that my mom’s recipe would be done with a very delicious result by me..”
“Haha! I will compare it with my last corn cookies (read: dadar jagung)”
We both laughed, and I deeply said it in my heart ‘I won’t fail, I should not..arrggg’.
* * *
WHAT YOUR HOUSE REFLECTS TO OTHERS
Come into his house made me feel so homy, how can’t I ? It’s dominated with white color right from the start. You will find a beautiful white door and big mirror who will greet everyone, your feet will just perfectly comforted by broken white wool carpet that laid. Right behind the second door, I found a big living room, still dominated with white but this time he uses some dark color to make some accents, the warmth and coziness. In some corners, there’re my favorite things shown, flowers, the fresh ones. They beautifully arranged and had a lovely color combination. When you look straight from the living room, there’s a very big glass wall with sliding door on the center. After that? An outdoor wood flooring terrace! They made their terrace bigger than their neighbors, put many plants and flowers there. The special part is the lake, right beside their back terrace..ahhh. Ah..white, flowers, outdoor terrace with lake besides it and the warm ambiance, what else you need for a perfect homy home? I just love his house.
* * *
THERE’S NOTHING TO DO WITH PRO AND AMATEUR, BUT : love what you do!
I don’t have much time to get around and adore everything, it’s the time to make it! The corn cookies. So we went to the kitchen next the other side of living room, but still, I adore many things, small things. I wonder how nice it is to see beautiful white flowers next to the kitchen sink,ah, stop. Okay, I was getting so serious to read the digital recipe sent by my mom through BBM and also make sure that what I do was right.
“Hey Viona, don’t get too serious!” said Dennis with that joking intonation
I realized that I just too into it, then smiling.
“Hey, I can not do smoething wrong, I should not. That’s why Im so serious now..hahah! I will not let my corn cookies worse than yours!”
“At least you give me something to do, ‘Ma’am’ I do nothing..”
We both laugh and I found a very nice thing for him to do.
“Okay, you can clean the shrimp..emm.. yup. Clean all of them..”
F e w . m i n u t e s . l a t e r..
“Ah, s***, ahahahaha! I get bored to clean them up!”
He went back to clean them up right after read my eyes and face.(hehehe)
Both of us actually worried about the corn cookies dough, we tried the dough cooking for three times as trials. The first trial, we knew that we should add more meis flour or maizena flour. The second trial made me add more salt and spices plus maizena flour a little bit more. The third trial? Still more salts needed. But finally we made it!!! It was very delicious! Italian will say fantastico! Of course , its better than his cooking, hihihi 🙂
* * *
I let him fried the dough with few complains because of the unshaped corn cookies, but still it was great. While he’s cooking, I made a typical Chinese omelet called Fu Yung Hay with some ingredients that left such as eggs, shrimps, chopped onion and garlic. Surprisingly I can make it, even complete with the sweet sour sauce. So that’s our dinner, the corn cookies and omelet.
Completing the home made dinner, a bottle of red wine was opened and poured to our glass. Maybe, in Indonesia we will not have red wine with that kind of dishes, but who care as long as it would make both our night and dinner getting fine even more.
The half day trip, the funny cooking time, a nice house and very good conversation absolutely made up my second weekend in Netherlands. Voor alles, hartelijk bedankt, D 🙂