Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friends, You Are Fantastic!

My 2 colleagues decided to have an "open house" (or open office, rather) for the Raya celebration today.  Open house is a tradition among the Muslim community where anybody can go to your house uninvited for the celebration.  That would include strangers who will not be turned away.  And strange children popping into your house and popping their hands into the cookie jars and asking for money gifts.  I take my hat off to these 2 ladies who cooked up a sumptious lunch with almost nothing in the office kitchen.

My office is a delapidated building and all of us are just waiting for it to be demolished.  We are hoping for a better building, preferably concrete.  The ladies sweated and cooked in the delapidated kitchen and the preparation probably began at dawn in their homes, judging from some of the cooked food that they brought.  This is "lamban" - glutinous rice wrapped in leaves and steamed.

When you peel the leaves open, it's that white thing on the plate which you eat with chicken rendang (doesn't look very appetising in the pic but it is DELICIOUS) and sprinkled with "serunding" (spicy beef floss).  Of course, you can eat it with other things like peanut gravy, curry beef and vegetables.  The ladies also whipped up "mee laksa" (spicy noodle soup) of which there is no photo because I was hungry and too weak to hold the camera and it was too delicous and before I knew it my plate was clean.

If all that food is not enough to stave off your hunger, there are all kinds of cookies.  Home-made, not store bought.  I understand that throughout the fasting month, the women in the house will be laboring over these cookies for the big day.  The chocolaty one in the middle is called "Almond London" - an almond inside a cookie insulated coated with chocolate.

 These are modern cookies - bright and colorful.  I just can't get over the purple ones made to look like mangosteens (my favourite fruit).  In order to eat them without guilt, I popped over to the lab this morning and had my glucose tested.  It was IDEAL, so cookies, here I come.

These are traditional delicacies.  I just admire the way these 2 colleagues could whip up all these in one morning for everyone at the office.  I struggle to cook for a small crowd of 6.  I will get hot and flustered and by the time I sit down at the dinner table, I have no appetite to eat.  To show my appreciation I helped them to wash up.  A little.  They were too hospitable and didn't like to see me wash up.


Magic said...

What a great tradition - that is very hospitable and what wonderful food your colleagues made. Amazing how pretty those cookies are. Sounds like the best of days at the office! Love from Leigh (Magic's Mum)

Rubie said...

Wow - my puppy mouth is drooling looking at all that yummers stuff!

Glad you enjoyed it Auntie Tooki, it's nice to be a little spoiled once in a while!

Tail Wuggles, Rubie.

What Remains Now said...

I don't have the gift of hospitability, so I (like you) am always in awe of those that do. You are a grateful and appreciative guest and I think that honors them. Thank you for sharing. Whenever I see a wonderful spread of food like what you pictured, I'm amazed. My guests are lucky if I remember to offer a bag of chips (ha). I need to work on that.

euthymic said...

Uhmmm, the food looks really sumptuous:) This is a lovely tradition.

Schnauzer Days said...

Wow, that is some spread, what a lovely tradition xxx

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