April 11, 2010

2 Fishes and 5 Loaves

After church on Sunday my friends and I would normally have brunch somewhere in town - a laksa or a bak kut teh brunch. This would give the mothers a chance to relax and the kitchen a "cool down" time.

But today after an excellent sermon by Rev.Thomas Lau I thought it would be nice for my friends just to come to my home for "2 fishes and 5 loaves". ..something  lively and I hope they were game for it.

I have some fresh tenggiri from the sea and 4 small kembong  and some pumpkins from my in-law. And I do have some emplam growing on the trees. All I needed was to buy some tomatoes for a salad. I have lots of basil even though the weather had not been promising for a good crop of greens.

I came home by eleven. Lina and Albert arrived at 11:20.  Sim and the other other ladies arrived a little later. By noon I had a whole lunch ready with help from Albert (who got the banana leaves outside my compound) and Sim who pounded the sambal belachan. The ladies had helped me do all the slicing and chopping. Lina's sambal is usually out of this world!! It was fun in the kitchen.

Alfred Sibat (Methodist School Student from my brother's class) with rice and the famous Kompia I brought back from Sibu. Rice is a gift from a Wesley friend who bought it from Selangau(Rh. Siba). My lunch was a banana leaf style but with an old Biblical essence : two fishes and five loaves...but in the end our food was overflowing on the table and the fellowship was great.

My nice kembong - simply delicious (baked in tin foil with salt and pepper only with olive oil - another Biblical touch)

This is a 3 kg tenggiri or mackerel fresh from the sea. Specially cooked like ayam percik. Just nice. No Aji-no-moto- no artificial flavourings.

Golden pumpkin with ikan bilis.

My tomatoes and Australian onion salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Topped with chopped basil.

Sweet water melon from Lina and Albert.

Emplam from my own tree.

Sim making sambal belachan..He will be the next cook in Ulu Kapit!

Lina Kana(Mrs. Sibat) making the sambal for the emplam. Superb. If you go for any mission work with her she will be your unforgettable chef. Lina is a nurse by profession. .

Within one hour we had all the dishes done and placed on the table. This is what fellowship is all about!

We had water melon and ice cream for dessert.

My friends said:
"Wa...English butter....."
"All the plates are licked clean!"
"A well planned lunch cannot match this spontaneous home cooked meal ....."

May be it was a real case of 2 fishes and 5 loaves....



Ann said...

next time I am in Miri, I will invite myself like the 5000 in the Bible. Only please, don't mind I don't eat the pumpkin.

Emplam? looks like guava.
basil? my mum didn't use them, my sil's indonesian helper likes them,
Ask Alfred Sibat if he is related to Joseph Sibat who was my classmate, form 5 1971.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
Hear ye! Hear ye!! Come to my table any time Ann...

Emplam is like young mangoes...sour and tangy and chewy...good appetizer just by itself..with sambal you eat three times rice...
Forgot to ask Alfred!! We were so busy eating...
We found that kompia and English butter go well together with fish cooked in coconut milk....

Pumpkin is a common every day food here....We will give you other vegetables...I must remember that.

Arani Jantok said...

looks like a succesful sunday afternoon lunch. i miss all the food from back home.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes! Indeed! The fish was really good - two types and the tenggiri was very fresh and tasty with fried finely chopped tuneric. After the tenggiri was shallow fried with the tumeric I added one small bowl of thick coconut milk to form the sauce and then cover the wok. May be this kind of braising with thick coconut milk is a good way to cook fish from now on.

Every one loved the food. So it was a success. thanks for visiting.

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...