Everywhere I go in Indonesia, I find happy people.
A Starbucks Mocha Frap with a blueberry muffin. That’s what I ate for breakfast this morning, in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. It was delicious.
One curious thing, though: whenever I order a tall frap, I am served a grande. I don’t know why, but in a country with many small people, they only serve really big drinks at Starbucks.
…gas. There’s a crepe in that pan. Trust me. They were delicious.
We LOVE breakfast. Culturally speaking, “breakfast as dinner” is a strange concept. In Indonesia, a meal is not a meal until rice has been eaten. My students eat Nasi Goreng (fried rice) for every meal, it seems, and my idea of having certain foods only at certain times of the day is seen as strange.
This was my breakfast this morning – ham and egg muffins and a piece of grilled toast. The eggs are scrambled with a bit of milk and ham and dropped in muffin tins for about 17 minutes at 350 degrees. The toast is a piece of bread, buttered and grilled, as I still have not purchased a toaster here in Jakarta. Probably never will, either.
My love? Breakfast.
There is a duck restaurant in Ubud that has some great food. The name of the restaurant is “The Dirty Duck” in English, but the food is delicious, despite the name. I had some great sauces with my duck – I was the only person at my table to order duck at a duck resto – and my wife had a trio of sates that came with a small pot full of coals to keep her dish hot. It was an amazing experience.
The flowers above are growing in and around the resto. Like many things in Bali, the resto is an inside-outside dining experience. Very cool.
Our friends took us to this great beach-side fish restaurant in Bali. We ate on the Jimbaran beach as the sun set. It was beautiful. What was really cool was that, as a patron of the restaurant, I got to pick out the fish that we ate. I walked to the front resto, talk to the fish…uh…guy…and pick out which fish, which shrimp, which squid that we wanted grilled for dinner.
I come from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and we have a lot of fresh fish that I’ve eaten. There was something indescribable about this experience, however. Maybe it was the beach. Maybe it was the warmth. Maybe it was Christmas Day and I was experiencing something I’d never experienced before.
Whatever it was, it was definitely an experience that I’ll not forget.
I made dinner tonight. Instead of making sure that everything was well-balanced and healthy, I chose to make crepes. Crepes are, in our house, a system of delivery for the many toppings around our house. Everything comes out of the cupboard and fridge. Peanut butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, blackberry and strawberry jam, syrup, chocolate syrup, butter, sugar, pears and apples, anything that might be delicious. Good times.
In the background is a crepe in the frying pan. Delicious, it was, but healthy it was not.
This is great food. They display it in the window, and they bring all of this to your table and whatever you eat is what you pay for. It is brilliant food. Tasty. Spicy. Fried. All the things I shouldn’t eat, and it’s amazing.
So healthy food is on the menu again after tonight, but awesome, greasy, spicy food with a good friend is about as great as a night can get.
By the way, the crappy quality is because this is my phone camera. I didn’t have my big camera with me.
I’m on my way to Sulawesi, but I’m posting photos from my last trip to the Yogyakarta area. I think this is the last rice field photo I’ll post for a while, but I hope you don’t mind. I find them so beautiful.
What I also find beautiful is the very traditional way so many Indonesian farmers work their fields. Giant fields are worked with small shovels and hoes. Pretty amazing.
Well, this little pigguccino is just for you.
This little coffee shop nearby, the Antipodean, is a wondrous little place where breakfast is served all day and the baristas are happy to show off their artistic talents for you every time you order a cappuccino.
PHD is Pizza Hut Delivery. They are delivery only. There are Pizza Hut restaurants all over South Asia, but in Jakarta there are Pizza Hut Delivery joints that are delivery only. That sounds like a good idea, but the pizza is kind of dodgy. The all-meat pizza has “sausage” on it, but I swear it’s hot dogs. The stuffed crust is pretty good, but I’ve yet to find a really good pizza here in the Big Durian.
I do, however, love their delivery guys. They fly around Kemang Raya (for those just tuning in, that’s the big road we’ve got going on here) delivering pizza very quickly riding on this fleet of red motorcycles, as you can see above.
Yay! Today’s lesson is the alphabet…and P is for…pepper. Pepper…Salt ‘n’ Pepper. Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Red Hot Chili Pepper(s). Pepper Adams. Chip and Pepper. Pepper Potts. Green, Red, Orange, and Yellow Pepper. Chili, Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeno, and Banana Pepper. Pepper, pepper, pepper.
I’m so tired.
Photo Friday’s challenge this week is Crimson. I wasn’t looking to shoot this one, but I found a Cherry Coke, which I love, at a little candy story called Sticky’s in Chilliwack. It’s actually from Great Britain, because Cherry Coke is not available in Canada.
Let me just say: Hey! Coke! Bring this stuff back in Canada. And not that stupid Vanilla Coke crap either. Just the classic. Cherry Coke.
Well, any day when I get to drink a Guinness is a good day.
This was what my daughter wanted for her birthday cake. She and I have been cooking together for a long time. She is turning eleven in a couple of days and since she was old enough to help, she’s been my assistant in the kitchen. I had her smelling spices and stirring batter and cracking eggs at age three.
So when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday cake, I should have expected her to say something like this. What I wasn’t expecting was how long it would take to make it. It was worth it, though. It might be the best “birthday cake” I’ve ever made.
I realize this is not my best photo ever posted, but it certainly is one of the tastiest.
I finished off my daughter’s birthday cake, a “Lime Cream Cheese Tart“, with a white chocolate ganache. I then sliced up this lime to garnish, but never ended up using it.
I did, however, manage to snap off a few photos of it. I like the contrast of the green on white background.
I’ve been a good boy lately. I’ve been eating right. I’ve been exercising. I’ve been watching my calories, both consumed and expended. But last night I indulged. I haven’t had pizza in quite a while, but we ordered Ricardo’s last night. I ordered my own special: ground beef, ham, and pepperoni. Maybe the least healthy food I’ve eaten in quite some time.
But it was so good. I think it tasted better because I hadn’t had pizza in such a long time. Either way, it was good.
The teriyaki beef and broccoli, pictured above, was really good for dinner last night. It isn’t what I’m eating for breakfast. I’ll be eating steel-cut oatmeal with a little brown sugar and milk.
It brings to mind a little question I’ve had for a long time: why are certain foods only for breakfast? Like toast? Or scrambled eggs? Hash browns?
Is this just a North American thing? Why is that we have this thing called “breakfast for dinner”? I love it when we have breakfast for dinner, but why do we not just call it toast-bacon-hash browns-scrambled eggs-orange juice for dinner? Or, just dinner.
Do you still wash your pots and pans, maybe even dishes, by hand? I seem to have some kind of block in my head when it comes to the dishwasher. I don’t like to put my pots and frying pans in there. I have this idea in my head that it doesn’t do as good a job as I do. Plus, I learned something last night.
After making dinner, I moved the pots and frying pan to the side of the sink and ran a sink of warm/hot water, dropped a bit of soap in and then washed the dishes. And I enjoyed it.
When I was young, we didn’t have a dishwasher, so there was no choice about how to was the dishes. My mom did most of the washing, but when were deemed old enough my sister and I started washing the dishes on a regular basis. We fought over who would wash and who would dry. I hated washing back then, but I love it now. In fact, I look back on that time pretty fondly. Stupid, I know, but nostalgia fogs the mind.
I’m a huge fan of all things Jamie Oliver. The cook books and recipes. The Christmas specials on Food Network. The way he gently cusses when he gets something just right. His genuine and sincere love of herbs and garlic and chilis and potatoes and…well…all food.
Last night, I made “Jools’ Pregnant Pasta” (photo above) from Meals in Minutes. It tasted great. I used Farmer sausage and still don’t have a food processor so it was chunkier than it might have been, but it was good. Adding a serrano pepper really added some nice heat and flavor through the dish. I don’t know that my daughter loved it, but it was probably the best pasta I’ve made.