Yesterday I had the most memorable family gathering this year...
I successfully made RENDANG!!!
This may sound trivial to some, but hey, it's a big thing for me. The thing is, I don't normally "cook"; for get togethers like this I'd normally deploy the services of experts around me. Omelette, chicken soup, fried rice, I do those. But rendang? Heh heh...
This time was different. My mom was not in the state of health that allowed her to cook like she normally would. My dad was having both palpitation and lowered heart beats at the same time. But it was Raya Haji and most importantly, it was Esfahan's 9th birthday on 16 November, so a family congregation was in order, and who better to play host than me?
It had also been a super hectic few days for me before that. Between rushing my JulesFudgyliciousness Brownies and Chewies for my normal orders, for Bridal Glam's workshop giveaway and for favours at Soroptimist Ampang's fundraising dinner, I'd also been elbow deep in Damascus's and Marrakesh's concert goody bags and Esfahan's birthday party packs for his school class. In between all that, there were also trips with my mom for her acupuncture treatments (for her knee pain) and chauferring Esfahan to his music class lah, auditions lah, voice over jobs lah...phewh! I only managed about a couple of hours of sleep daily; so, exhaustion is one thing, dark circles under my eyes! Aaaaaaaa!!! So, there was also the needful task of applying my eye pads and facial masks...hehehe
But what made it emotional for me is the fact that this may be the beginning of my taking over my mom's role as the family's "rendang maker" at family gatherings.
And rendang is always compulsory, especially for my brother. My mom has a soft spot for my brother, coz he is the only boy, and he loves her rendang. "Rendang ada?", he asked when I told him about the do at my place. My husband didn't ask that much of me coz he knew me better by now, hehe. So since it was Raya and all, I agreed to make rendang. I was anxious and nervous, especially since darling husband only managed to shop for ingredients that very morning after Raya prayers (like I said, it had been hectic, up to the night before when we went out for our own special family dinner to celebrate Esfahan's birthday at his favourite Las Carretas) while I stayed home to clean house and supervise the younger two in their Ultraman Intergalactic Battle.
I eventually started cooking at about 10.30am, after Ayah and Abang Long returned from Raya prayer and ingredients shopping, and after all 4 boys had settled breakfast and all. Guests were invited for lunch, but since it was a relaxed, lazy day, everyone was late. Phewh! So when my sister first arrived at about 2pm, I had just managed to get everything about done, and she helped me setup while I showered. Alhamdulillah, I managed to feed my guests, safe, edible food, hehe. And Alhamdulillah, I successfully made Rendang... :)
Jules' Lemon Rendang (er, please don't ask me how much of each ingredient I actually put in, I was mostly banking on my nose to decide...)
1) Beef, abt 2kg
2) Lots of red onions
3) Some lengkuas (galangal)
4) A bit of ginger
5) Some kunyit (tumeric)
6) Chili, I think I used about 200gm puree
7) Daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaves)
8) Daun kunyit
9) Santan (coconut milk)
10) Kerisik (grated, toasted, ground coconut paste)
11) Salt and sugar to taste
12) Lemon squeeze ~ the basic principle my mom once taught me a long, long time ago, was to use asam gelugor to flavour rendang, but since I only realised midway cooking that I didn't have any asam gelugor (yes, I forgot to include this in darling husband's shopping list) nor asam jawa (tamarind), I just used whatever I had in the fridge - lemon!
13) Lots and lots of love... :)