I am finally over my bug. Boy, the cervical lymphadenopathy (enlarged glands in my neck) was impressively big and very unpleasantly sore!! It has finally settled down today...but it took a full week and a bit! I hope I didn't pass that one on to anyone!
I spent the day today cooking a Red Thai Curry from scratch for friends who came for lunch. It was very nice to potter in the kitchen and just enjoy cooking. It was also really lovely to be able to source all the ingredients easily, and so fresh! The recipe I use is from the Spirit House in Yandina (Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)...and I must say, it is very, very nice!
The galangal was amazing and so young and tender, same for the lemon grass. The ginger was beautiful, tender and fragrant, lovely kaffir lime leaves, aromatic garlic, fresh tamarind, fresh bamboo shoots and pea eggplants!! The pea eggplants I had looked for in Brisbane for years to no avail. I walked into the first supermarket here, and there they were! All packaged up neatly and readily available (and cheap!)
Actually pretty much all the vegetables here are cheap I think, and amazingly fresh and just beautiful! The range is impressive too. I can get baby zucchini (about a dollar for 12-15), baby chokoes (cheap, and just absolutely incredible in quick vegie saute with a big splodge of good oyster sauce!), baby corn and slightly bigger not-so-baby-baby-corn-but-still-baby-corn (also cheap, and delicious) and all sorts of other things that sometimes, I've no idea what they are let alone how to use them!! The only thing that sadly is quite expensive is pumpkin! We can get beautiful butternut pumpkin, but it is grown in Japan (a bit of a worry at the moment...) A medium sized pumpkin (about a kilo) was about 12 dollars the other day!! Can I say, we REALLY enjoyed our roast pumpkin...A LOT!!
The fresh tamarind brought back memories of eating tamarinds under the massive tamarind tree in our primary school in Far North Queensland. We used to call them "monkey nuts". Those were the days! (How old do I sound?)
As another aside, I was amazed to find a copy of the Spirit House's BBQ Cookbook for sale right here in Jakarta at one of the local bookstores! Seeing it brought on waves of fond memories of doing the cooking classes there (a must do - I'll have to ask for commission here!!) and a big jab of homesickness!
Not sure if the right way to say it, but HAppy Nieppe everyone! (Balinese New Year) Shhhh....it is apparently celebrated in silence and everything shuts down and there is no talking or noise. Different - I can't imagine a silent New Year's Eve celebration! Jakarta has remained as is, but in Bali, even the airport shuts! ALL DAY!