Monthly Archives: January 2014

Nadha Bum: Chinese New Year’s Edition

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As always, I made the little photoshoot of my Nadha Bum in many kind of celebration event.
And here’s some of it for Chinese New Year edition 😉

Gong xi, gong xi!

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Happy Lunar New Year!
May this year brings us more fortune, greater luck, and prosperity!
😘😘😘

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Surprising Dinner on Chinese New Year Eve

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Yes, this was a bit surprising.
As I mentioned earlier, though I’m a Chinese descendant, I rarely keep up with all of Chinese ritual and traditions because my mom doesn’t really think about it too much. From my mom’s family, the last one that keep it still was my grandma, since she originally came from China Land.

One thing I could recall perfectly is how we would gather together during Chinese new year eve to have a hotpot dinner, which she prepared by herself.
There would be a pot at the center of the table, boiling hot and full of many ingredients: veggies, meatball, sukiyaki meat. The main character of that night would be this “uang emas”, made from minced meat wrapped with yellow omelet, as symbolization of prosperity in the coming year ahead.

But then I grew up so far away from home. I missed so many new year eve dinner, and then just at one point, it stopped. My grandma’s health and mind is slowly decreasing. There weren’t any gathering anymore, no family dinner, no hotpot,no uang emas, no celebration. Chinese New Year has slowly become any ordinary day.

And today, I just happen to be in my hometown Bogor, and so does my brother, who comes all the way from Singapore with my uncle and aunty. We do have some plan to gather a day after the Chinese new year, in order to introduce my Nadha Bum to my mom’s big family. But when I came to my grandma’s place, I was quite surprised. I just didn’t see it would come this way.

There was a pot on the center of the table, surrounded by plates full of veggies, sukiyaki meat, meatball, mushroom, tofu, and so many other ingredients. All was prepared by my aunty, including this little one that recalled the memory of my childhood.
Uang emas :’)

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Not only those, she also brought us a plate full of colorful interesting unknown ingredients I never seen before. Later, I just found out that it was a appetizer dish, known as Yee Sang Salad. In Singapore, it’s one of inseparable part of new year eve dinner. Any Chinese new year celebration won’t be complete without some Yee Sang.

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Essentially, Yee Sang salad is made of numerous colorful ingredients. The variety of the ingredients itself is quite optional and substitutable. Mainly, there would be some kind of pickled, ginger, shredded raw fish, radish and many other things based on the creativity.

After pouring it on the very big plate, all of us gathered together around the table with chopstick on our hand. Apparently, we would toss the ingredients together, as high as we could, while shouting our wishes to mark the beginning of the coming year. My aunty said, the higher you toss, the more your prosperity and good fortunes will be!
*tossing it as higher as it would let me do so xD
*come, good fortunes, hurry come to mama, please xD

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It was a very interesting experience!
The hotpot dinner was already surprised me, seeing the uang emas was nostalgic, but having this Yee Sang salad for the first time together with them makes this whole new year dinner worthwhile. 😀

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I bet, this is truly a sign of a good year ahead. Definitely would treasure this kind of tradition and ritual more dearly 🙂

Gong xi fa cai!
Wishing us all a prosperous Chinese New Year with tons of good fortune and blessing along the way!
:*

My Best Ex’s Wedding

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Hey, it sounds pretty cool as a movie title, doesn’t it?

Ah anyway, here comes one of the most anticipated wedding of the year. A wedding of one of my ex, as I’ve mentioned earlier. Even our story has come to an end, He has always been one of the most special guy in my life.
I met him at the first time during my orientation in Seattle. He was one of the senior that sat on our group table, and we had been closer ever since. With just a blink of eye, there was all began. He’s been a true companion of mine during my time in Seattle. Knowing my big ambition, he helped me to stand tall along those times and helped me back up again. Two and half year, he never ceased to be the one who stood beside me in any kind of situation, any kind of condition. He’s a very kind one, a gentleman rarely found these days. I have to say, I’m really grateful to have a chance having him by my side.
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But there was time when I was still young and foolish. No matter how kind he was, I used to take him for granted and at one point, we parted our way.

I always think he made a right decision that day, which finally opened up his world and possibility for someone that he truly deserves.
That was a good break up with good intention (no need to mention the broken heart phase xD), and we remain good friend. When I met my current hubby, I introduced them to each other. Even my hubby knows him pretty well based on my story.
I couldn’t be happier when I heard he met his true half, and I almost jumped out excitement when later I heard he was planning for a wedding. Didn’t take any second to decide that I would come.

And just as any other girl that wouldn’t come alone to their ex’s wedding, but brought their newest date, surely I wouldn’t come alone as well. Here’s my partner date on my best ex’s wedding 😉

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The wedding party was held in Sampoerna Strategic Square in Jakarta. As expected, it was kinda designed with his favorite character ever, Totoro! There were a big Totoro doll at the entrance, and his wedding cake was full with mini Totoro figure. It was really cute and truly represented him.

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As I saw them walked down the aisle, glowing with radiant happiness, I smiled from cheek to cheek. My heart almost bursted from tears of joy.
They were so perfectly fit together, I could see how much in love they are. And as I saw that he stole a kiss to her forehead, it warmed my heart. He has always been that kind of person; when he loves a woman, he goes all the way. He has been a special one, and seeing him on a good hand is relieving :’)
I think they truly deserve each other.

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Anddddd, there is another thing that makes this wedding special: chance to meet many friends I hadn’t been met for years. Since we both was on the same group of friend in Seattle, his wedding also took a place as our reunion party!
There are some of us already going back for good to our different cities. This Seattlelites reunion was surely one highlight of the day 😀

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They are some good friends that feels just like our other family. Living so far away from home just felt easier with them around.

Another person I met with was his other ex before me xD
We both agree that we were the happiest ex in the world last night, to see our dearest ex finally tying knots with somebody he really deserves of.

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So again, congratulation dear Cleric Bezoe!
Wish you tons of happiness more than anything you ever know!

Ancestor Worship to Begin With

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I’m a Chinese descendant, though I have to admit I’m being raised so far away from the tradition anymore. The big families are still keeping some of the rituals, but I rarely understand what it is all about and how it should happen. All that I know, the ritual means time of family gathering with lots of rare food and snacks.

And just two days ago, a day after I arrived back in my hometown Bogor, apparently there was one ritual being held upon my grandma’s place. Due to the Chinese New Year that soon will come, there were some ceremonies that held as a preparation.

Yes, I was lucky enough to be home just in time for the Ancestor New Year Worship ritual.

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It is a ritual, where families gather together to pray before the ancestral tablets, which are believed to be the homes of the ancestors. We would place some specific foods, fruits, and cakes, which believed as their favorite, as an offering. By doing so, the spirits of ancestors are invited to join in the celebration too.

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The painting on the center is the image of my grandfather’s grandfather. I even couldn’t imagine how many years had been passed since he was around, and it amazed me more to think how long this ritual has been kept and being passed down over generation. (And I hate to think for how long it will still last when it comes to my generation 😦 )

The food that been prepared that day was his favorite meals, my grandma said. It has been told that we have to make it as close as it is, so his spirit will be pleased. So there was a few traditional cakes and one dishes I would rarely see these day: Ayam Masak Merah (Red Chicken dish).

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Mouth-watering, rite? 😋😋😋
I’m pretty sure his spirit would enjoy it as much as we do!

Later, we would try to find out if they finished enjoying it by throwing up two coin and seeing on what side it would land on. They said, if it was landed with two different sides then they finished their meal already, but if it was two same sides of coins then it means they haven’t finished it yet. When that circumstance happened, we should wait a little bit more before start throwing the coin once again.
Then what happen if it’s still the same side?
Well, my mom just told me an interesting story that happened some years ago. The coins was showing the same side again and again, even they had repeated it for quite a while. After the confusedness, then one just discovered there was one kind of meal hadn’t be served of the table. So immediately they looked for it, served it on the table, and not so long, the two different sides of coins appeared.
Kinda out of logic, but it happened anyway 😉
That’s why the elderly put a serious thought onto this.

And anyway, after the two different sides of coins appeared, we could proceed to the next ritual. It always become the highlight of the day, the most interesting one: time to burn the joss paper!! 😄

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Joss paper, also known as ghost money, are sheets of paper that being fold and later being burned as an money offering for the deceased.
It was usually burned with some other things that once became their favorite. In my case, yesterday it was burned with some cigarettes and some shots of liquor. This ritual was happened to ensure their spirit still has lots of good things and money to enjoy in afterlife.

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I have to admit, I grew up with no specific feeling towards my family tradition. But as I grow up far away from home, I’ve missed lots of those rituals already and suddenly I realized how precious those are. The ritual that has been kept from many many years and still goes down over generation. I just feel it’s an amazing thing I should treasure about.

And another thing that I just realized by then was: how fast time flies :’)
The last time I attended this was three years ago, I was the one who hold the stick during the burning of joss papers. And this year, it was my baby who hold it, with the help of my father.

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Just as the next generation is here and ready to take over, I do hope the ritual can still survive over the years to come.

A Good Doze of Sunset

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Whenever I feel weary and troubled, I always find myself going somewhere to find some little space for me sitting down and doing nothing.
I might go to some coffee shop and order a very bitter red-eye coffee, or sometimes I just drove myself randomly at night around the city.

And just this day, one phonecall weighted my heart all of sudden and caused me crying without any sound.
That was hurt somehow…
And so I looked out the balcony and saw the sun started to set off over a blue with a spark of golden sky. It was 05.54 pm, I had about half an hour before it went out completely.
Without a second thought, I carried my baby and jumped on the car, driving ourselves to the nearest beach possible to catch the sunset.

And there it was. I laid myself on the bean bag on the beach, staring over a sun that was ready to set off. Accompanied by the melody sang by the sea, I calmed myself down.

The pain still there, and so the problem is. But it felt lighter inside.
Again, I remember about acceptance.
That there are things we don’t want to happen, but happens anyway. And all that left to us, is just learn to accept.
As simple as that.

After all, a good doze of sunset and sound of waves have always been a great remedy to mind and soul :’)

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“It’s Not My Fault I Love Gelato” by Lello Lello Gelato

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Some days ago, my fellow acquaintance from film production I worked before, was apparently visiting Bali. She’s couple years younger than me, a petite lady, but a very hardworking one, and also a lovable person. It’s been quite years since the last time we met, so I couldn’t wait for our meet up and I was thinking hard about where should I take her.
And the end I chose this gelato place around Petitenget area: Lello Lello Gelato.
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It located in Jalan Kayu Aya, no 21 Seminyak, just right next to Sea Circus Cafe and Restaurant. Design-wise, it’s pretty unique and catchy. I’ve been driving pass this place for couple of times already and been thinking to pay a visit to this place one day. Therefore I was so glad that finally I had my reason to come!
Due to the narrow road and they don’t have their own parking spot, then I had to park my car on Petitenget Beach, around 200m from Lello Lello. That’s quite convenient though, because it’s really spacious over there and the area itself is pretty much friendly for pedestrians with few interesting stores along the way.

And just after we got in to the place, the first thing that caught our attention was their graffitis all across the wall. Designed with interesting quote about gelato and combined with nice handwriting typography, made it really pleasing to our eyes. Also, they have some spacious area, both inside and on their terrace, that surely make it a very comfortable place to hang out and gather around with friends.
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As we approached the gelato display area, we’ve been spoiled with so many unique variety of their gelato flavor. It required us to take some time mumbling to ourselves and trying the tester one by one. Oh my, so many option with so many signature flavor that we rarely found anywhere else. What should we get? That was the ultimate question of the day.
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And still, at the end we couldn’t make a decision what we gonna chose, and we were so saved by their “DEGUSTAZIONE” option. Basically, it was their tasting plate menu with 5 scoops of our preferences. So, yeah, pardon our greediness, but we definitely had to choose that one :’)

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Here it was, our degustazione plate, with 5 glass of our chosen gelato: Tangerine Mint (sort of fresh citrus with mint), The Carmodede (guava mixed with mascarpone), Beng Beng (yes, that chocolate product!), Snoop Dog (choco! Choco! Choco!), and Rumballs (choco gelato with dash of rum and coconut). Again, pardon our greediness, but just as what’s been written on the wall:
“It’s not my fault I love gelato!” 😉

Five scoops of degustazione plate just costed us Rp 90.000,-. It cannot beat the combination of cheap price and quality taste of Gusto Gelato, but I would say that it’s still quite cheap. Yes, considering their area, the spacious and comfortable place, also the variety of flavor and taste; the price can still be considered as cheap.
I mean, I’ve been to some other gelato places whom costed more than this and their taste wasn’t as good as Lello Lello.

We definitely had a really good time chatting over those 5 cups of gelato. A tummy full of gelato is a happy tummy x’D
Again, just as they said:
“Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for gelato!”
Definitely will come back again for more 😋😋😋😋😋😋😋

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Nothing’s Impossible on Impossible Beach

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Hidden beaches are scattered all over the place in Bali. Follow some small rocky road, and ta-daaaaa, you might end up a virgin one.
Beach, that’s what I mean 😉
And on our last weekend, we made our little journey on one.
One small hidden beach, called Impossible Beach

The Impossible Beach is located in the village of Pecatu in Uluwatu area, on the same coast line. with other famous beaches such as Balangan Beach, Padang-Padang Beach, Dreamland Beach and many others. Apparently, its location is just right before the famous. Padang-Padang, but it stays quite hidden because there’s no sign at all from the main road. The only exist sign is just right before the rocky stairs, as the access to the beach.
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The access itself is quite unique and has some difficulty to get through. I heard, that is where the word “impossible” is come from. Back in the days, it was really difficult to be reached due to its challenging track down there. It’s surely much better now, though it still requires a strong effort to go down and up again later on. But it’s really possible to do so, even I did it back and forth by carrying this little heavy one (and still managed to smile!! Hahaha!)
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And down there, it’s a very stunning beach; a beautiful rocky beach with white sands and light blue sea. An incredible view that made us held our breaths by second, just to grasp the serene atmosphere and listen to the sound of waves.
God must had been a really good mood when He created this island. Such a paradise in my motherland, as always.
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Nobody was there, but us, that day, so it felt quite as a private beach of our own. The effort of getting down there was really paid of. I think that’s one awesome reason why we should make a little journey to a hidden gem like this.
We did nothing, but laying down on the sand to enjoy the afternoon. Jumping under the water, or just letting the water touched our feet, anything. Life’s been good under the sun :’)

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Back in my single days, I frequently managed some getaway to visit a beach and go under the blue somewhere. I would swim and dive myself all the way, just to release out anything that burdened my mind and heart. This might not as close as what I used to, but I was very much at ease after that. The energy from the sun and sea was recharging the spirit inside of me. Definitely will do that more often!

I really thank my friend who accompanied me through this little journey. It feels great to cross another beach on my bucket list this year. And after all, the laughter shared in beach is a joy that brightens up our day 🙂
Till then, till the next beach adventure. Let’s lock out any other beaches around!

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Variasi MPASI: Spaghetti Carbo-Pumpkin-Nara

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Dari dulu selalu bermasalah dengan labu, apalagi labu parang, buat MPASI. Kenapa? Ukurannya gede banget! Biar beli yang udah dipotong juga tetep aja ga abis buat sekali dua kali masak. Akhirnya disimpan di kulkas trus sampai ga edible lagi 😦
Sempet browsing-browsing juga buat resep MPASI yang bahan bakunya labu parang, tapi yang keluar ya itu-itu aja variasinya. Entah dipuree atau disup.
Salah satu yang cukup menarik sih Labu Parang Keju, dan itu cukup jadi andalan kalau udah malas masak.

Semalem, pas lagi bengong di dapur sambil menatap labu parang yang masih sebongkah gede itu, tiba-tiba muncul ide. Bagaimana kalau kita bikin semacam spaghetti ala carbonara pakai labu parang?
Dan beginilah eksperimen seadanya, again, as simple as possible.
Yang penting edible! Kalau enak ya bonus xD

Bahan:

  • seperempat pack spaghetti
  • 1 buah jamur shitake
  • seiris tebal daging labu parang
  • 1 butir telur
  • 1 siung bawang putih
  • garam gula sejumput imut

Cara buat?
Standar ya. Jamur shitakke direbus bentar bareng labu parang. Terus spaghettinya direbus pakai air rebusan jamur tadi.
Sambil nunggu spaghettinya al dente, telurnya dikocok terus dicampur sama labu parang yang udah dihancurin. Kasih garam gula sejumput imut, atau kalau masih di bawah setahun bisa diskip. Terus jangan lupa kasih air seperlima gelas biar teksturnya nanti agak basah.
Habis itu, jamurnya dipotong kecil-kecil dan bawangnya dichop.

Kalau persiapannya udah selesai, tinggal tumis bawang putihnya pakai olive oil. Lalu masukin potongan jamur sama spaghetti, disusul adonan telur dan labu parang.
Dimasak diaduk-aduk di atas api kecil sampai telurnya matang dan mengental.
Selesai!

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I give it name “Spaghetti Carbo-Pumpkin-Nara”!

Yang di foto ini, adonan telur labu parangnya lupa ditambahin air 😁, jadinya pas mateng malah kering.

Apakah sukses?
Well, Nadha Bum sih doyan ya, satu mangkok full gitu langsung habis ga pake lama.
Soalnya dia memang suka banget sama pasta dan kalau dimodel gini, mau ga mau labu parangnya bakal nempel di spaghetti dan pasti ikut kemakan xD
This is a little trick that works pretty well.

And oh, at the end, it’s tasted quite good though 😉

Ex’s Wedding Invitation

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I always found myself extremely happy, whenever I got wedding news/ wedding invitation from my ex-es xD

Some of them didn’t invite me, I just happened to hear those happy news and sending them my sincere prayer for the everlasting love and happiness.
I just cannot find any reason for not being happy to hear about my ex’s wedding. I mean, despite how the story finally ended, and no matter I had to go through some hard time of brokenhearted phase; they are people I treasured very much, back in the time.
Once they were really matter, and stopped being together couldn’t even change that fact.

And today, I got a mail. Wedding invitation from one of them. And yes, I’m extremely happy right now. This one is the person who was there beside me along the way in Seattle. He’s a very nice person, and he deserve this kind of happiness.

Definitely will come and congratulate them in person. Cannot wait till then. – with Cleric

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Lika Liku, Warung Liku

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Bali is quite well-known with their rice dishes, nasi campur. It’s a rice served with some Balinese style veggies, lawar, peanut, sambal matah and pork/chicken/fish dishes. While suckling pig is one famous dish for pork, ayam betutu is made from chicken. To put it on quite details, ayam betutu is basically a chicken dish with Balinese seasoned; such as shallots, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, chilli, tamarind, nutmeg, cumin, and many more. Mixed the spices and stuff it inside the chicken, then wrapped with banana leaf and grilled until it’s fully cooked.

There’s one place that I frequently come for their plate of nasi ayam betutu nearby, and I always think they have the best ayam betutu in Bali.
Warung Liku, it is.

Located in Jalan Nakula on the north from the Sunset Road intersection in Kuta/Seminyak area, they serve their food only for breakfast and lunch. They usually open around 8/9, and finished everything by the lunch time. They are really well-known as a lunch place for office workers nearby.

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There is some parking spot, but quite small for cars. If you’re not lucky enough, then you should look for some spot at the side way. The place itself is just like any other warung, not spacious, but consist with couple of tables and plastic chairs. At the lunch time, it will be packed and you must be willing to share your table with anybody else.

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And as for the food, the ayam betutu is served with rice, steamed long beans with Balinese sauce, peanuts, boiled egg, and sambal matah. It’s full of flavor and incredibly moist. You can taste the richness of herbs they use, but it’s not too spicy. The spiciness is quite moderate, so anybody could enjoy it nevertheless.
Their sambal matah also works that way, you can enjoy the freshness without being overwhelmed hot.

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Me personally, think this is the best betutu I ever tasted. Despite its richness of flavor, you can feel it just right on your mouth. Also, for the price-wise, it’s only Rp 12.000,- per plate. So cheap and so good.
I put this Warung Liku on my frequent eating-out list, for sure

Well, if you are happen to be around Kuta or Seminyak area and you want to indulge yourself with some local food such as ayam betutu, you might want to pay a visit to this place.