Bubur Ayam Kampung ala Peranakan

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In the process of cooking daily in Warungkita, I realised for me food are part of my expression of nostalgia and I am my own storyteller through my own family recipes.

I talked the history of this long signature dish of: Bubur Ayam Kampung ala Peranakan (rice porridge aka congee Chinese Indonesian style) that reach my friend Nino’s table yesterday rainy afternoon and we had this talk.

When I grew up, my family favourite spot for Bubur is this particular famous restaurant in Cipayung (all the way after Puncak) called Sudi Mampir (Why Don’t You Drop By – basically the name of the restaurant). They sell the best comforting bubur in the world. My mom and me has always taken by this, and since Cipayung is two hours away (minus traffic) from our home, we tried to make this at home, guessing the recipe by the sense of our tongue, trying to replicate the taste of this particular type of bubur. We managed to have them close to its taste until the day she died.

When my mother was diagnose with cancer in 2005. Her sense of enjoyment of food was lost. And I had to see her pass her days, slipping and slipping further away towards death.

There is a saying in our family or a general belief, that the closest you are to death, in the end you will keep on eating your favourite food. At her death bed, my mother requested a particular shark fin soup from TRIO restaurant in Cikini, which my best friend Alia brought all the way from Jakarta, before she went to a coma. And its one of the last dish that she eat with delight before she died. TRIO restaurant has also been my grandfather favourite when our family still stayed in Jakarta.

A week before my father died, he requested to my grandmother house assistant to cook all his favourite food. I am reflecting now, that food is the closest thing that still attached to us when our sense of life is still lingering. Its the symbol of our survival urge to cling with material world.

My only way as my mother’s daughter at that time, hopelessly 22 and lost with the sight of death, was to go back to my mother’s pots and pan. And cook this particular bubur recipe. It become the only thing that my mother can eat and digest. And yes, I believe every time I stir the pot, I put all my love and tears, and maybe a tinge of fear even with the fact that I know I am going to lose her.

But in the process years later I ended up improving this recipe and reclaim them as my own. I add ginger, lemongrass and a whole of ayam kampung (free range chicken) to the pot. Making them to have the reputation of bringing people back to life (I wish) when one of my best friend name them “Bubur Pembangkit Mayat” (The Porridge that Can Rise Death People).

Such reputation came in the changing season or at the rainy afternoon like yesterday that hit Jogja. When a friend or my son or even myself is going to catch the flu or cough or slightly shivering, I always make this one whole pot of chicken porridge. It really help people who are sick and a very comforting dish. I remember when my best friend, Dina, can’t eat anything in her early trimester of pregnancy, I always come to her house and cook this for her. This porridge had grown to something we all love together. I am so glad how this memories has turn out to be one of my most meaningful story.

Thank you for sharing this pot, Nino, by coming to our warung in the middle of the heavy rain. And also every other friends, worker, customer that had enjoy this pot of memorable porridge. Thank you for sharing my memories. I will not forget this.

Have a nice Sunday

This post is a late post from a few months back. Slowly going back to the blogging world.

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Our Bubur Ayam Kampung is serve every Saturday in @warungkitajogja,

Nitiprayan – Jogjakarta

The Journey of Finding Home

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Banyuripan teak forest – our future home, Bangunjiwo, Jogjakarta

In so many ways, everybody need to find their own home. My life has been quiet random in the terms of the places I live in. Since 2012, I had the 10 years itch to move somewhere else. I had lived in Jogjakarta for the last 12 years. A city that I fall in love with since I was 18 years old. A city where I found my skills, gain my knowledge, belonging to communities, finding my ancestral roots, meeting all the beautiful people I love, fall in love, break my heart, again and again, where I deliver my son into the world, finish my degree after 8 years, a city where I build and rebuild my life, over and over. A city where I am most comfortable with. But also a city where I know I would not grow from it anymore. Jogjakarta is my comfort zone and everything has become too easy. Although I am at the utmost grateful with this beloved city, where I feel I answered part of my ancestry calling.

This feeling were answered in the moments I had in Tsuglag Khang Monastery when I went to Dharamsala back in 2012. I had nearly forgotten my travel passion due to all the family matters, motherhood and a faltering marriage. I was kinda lost for a while. Knowing too well that I’m actually best when I’m on the move. That my life energy is based on movement. My ways of grounding myself is often when I’m flying all over the place, doing yoga or just stare at the sea for hours (that goes for mountains too).

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The magical waterfalls of Pupuan, Tabanan, Bali

Photo courtesy of Labodalih Sembiring

Last year I tried to move to Bali, where I live in a beautiful mountain for nearly 7 months. It is a process of slowing down everything in my life. A process of cracking the nutshell to grow. The process to find the blooming of my own heart. It was a process of mirroring each other in the eyes of someone else. It was the process of opening the heart. It was about patient, resilience and perseverance. It is a process to know the right timing for every single thing naturally, something that I’m not so good at. But I learned. The hard way.

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Asabhumy on the way to Kethek Temple, Cetho, Solo

Then, it is my son. It was not easy to move permanently without slowly adjusting about his life and mine. Our own needs and our space. I decided not to go that fast this time. Though Bali stayed as our second home forever. We love Bali and its beautiful nature. His ancestral place and my love affair forever with the island which I need to answer myself. Somehow I’m starting to found Bali as my working base to be, very soon :)
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Me and Asabhumy chilling in Nusa Ceningan, Bali

Despite all things, I’m in my second trip back in Kathmandu this year. Where I found the gracious pace of Tibetan old ladies doing the kora in Boudanath had calm my mind and help me to keep my creative juice flowing through my writings. My days in Indonesia in 2014 were so intense that I need another break from it. I’m currently also helping my friend, Anggi Frisca, who managed itinerary adventurous trips around Indonesia and also Nepal, do check it out and contact them if you want to go to Everest Base Camp this year and next year: http://www.rokaora.com (ROKAORA)
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Tibetan Ladies doing the kora, Boudanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

I’m currently feeling so home staying around Boudanath Stupa this time. Of course I will share more on all the stories of the Himalayan regions since last year, so stay tune on this blog :) Bless all of you

Om Mane Padme Hum

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Boudanath Stupa under the moonsoon, Kathmandu, Nepal

Yogyakarta: One Billion Rising

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“ONE in THREE WOMEN would be RAPED or BEATEN in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION too many! STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!” #OneBillionRising

We’ve been waiting for this day. Of all rising. 14th February 2013. This is the One Billion Rising against Violence towards Women. In Yogyakarta, people starting to gather in front of the Inna Garuda of Malioboro Street. We were going to have a V-Rally along the street at 4 PM. People talked whether it was going to rain soon.

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And the rain storm did come, with a slight of hard wind. It took us around 10 minutes to decide, the heck of it, let’s go dancing through the rain. Let’s celebrate ourselves, women, the mothers, the daughters and sisters within ourselves! LET’S RISE TOGETHER! Saying out lout to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

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P1000607We dance under the rain, being blessed by mother nature for such a beautiful and inspiring day. FIGHT, DANCE and RISE! With all the love from Yogyakarta to every single of you and the rest of the world!

All photo credits to Lingga Tri Utama, the complete set can be seen here. And the One Billion Rising Jogja album. We are also being covered by the Guardian here.

Imogiri: A Visit to Bumi Langit Permaculture Center

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Mas Salas carrying Safia and explaining to Labodalih about the waste water garden

It was a sunny Saturday morning to start with. It was a date with my regular organic vegetable seller- the Bumi Langit Permaculture guys- and my favorite guys: Asabhumy (me son), Labodalih Sembiring and Paul Daley. Mas Adri was waiting for us in Milas after the organic market finish at 12 PM, Mas Salas end up taking us up to Imogiri under the slight drizzle not long after we had our motorcycle drive. Despite Paul having a flat tire and we had to stop for some tea/coffee, the way up to Imogiri worth the best excitement and amazement of my son pointing in to whatever directions of the green surrounding landscapes. We even have not arrive yet.

Entering Bumi Langit you could feel the change in the air, the slight mist and the smell of fresh rain on the ground. All the oxygen you can feel coming to refresh your lungs from the city pollution. You feel you are relaxed on your own skin. And mother nature says hi.

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Bumi Langit Biogas Tanks

While waiting for Khrisna to finish doing his things, Mas Salas carry Safia (Khrisna’s youngest sister) and took us for a tour in Bumi Langit. We went first to the waste water garden (well literally things grow above your septic tank :D) next to the biogas tanks. Then into the pool of ducks, where the filtered water create a little ponds.

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Duck Pond

This is where Bhumy getting so excited and he even pee near the pond. This area reminds me of my childhood. We used to raise chickens and my dad make the farm above water, putting the chicken in bamboo huts where their discharge fall into the water to feed carps. We had a great harvest back then. It is great to see Bhumy being comfortable running around the place and being friendly with the animals. It’s tragic and sad to see many city kids todays being so unfamiliar with nature. It feels so unnatural for a human being to be disconnected with nature. It is such a loss to our future generation to lost this kind of relationship with the earth. Our home. Our own mother.

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The view of the permaculture farm

Khrisna finally join us in the middle of our little tour. We walk and talk while seeing the amazing surrounding and the permaculture system set up in Bumi Langit. Khrisna took us for another tour, while the clinging Safia is forbidding Mas Salas to go home. Let’s the photo speak from now.

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Bhumy going up the stairs

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Put plastic in the right bin

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The view of Jogja sky from Bumi Langit

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A few days old lamb, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Khrisna and his cows, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Bhumy on his way up again

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Papaya tree on the wall

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Lushful mints and basil

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Khrisna new site

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The view from Khrisna’s house

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Amaranth seeds, 80 % protein and high antioxidant, very easy to grow

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End up cooking meals for the guys and family of Bumi Langit

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Late night talks and discussion on permaculture and near future plans, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

At the end of the day our experience with Bumi Langit really lived its name. Bumi means Earth, like my son (just different spelling) while langit means sky. It feels like you are among the earth and the sky while you are here. Appreciating the nature and being amaze with the ecosystem. Khrisna father’s, Iskandar Waworuntu, started this place with his own family and communities. While his eldest son and Khrisna’s older brother, Tantra, is based in Bali in a similar sort of setting and permaculture set up. There is a lot to learn in one day and we will definitely coming again as regular visitor. Do visit when you are in Jogjakarta area :) It is such an inspiring place to live in. Great and amazing people. Vibrant and positive energy for the planet.