Monday, November 06, 2006


Regardless of the amount of time I have spent being educated overseas, my gastronomical appreciations are decidedly Asian.

After the daylight savings time ended, the weather took an impromptu change. Last week temperatures briefly hit below zero at night. Along with the need to keep one's body temperature constant, I started craving for sweet stuff. Getting sugar/glucose hits intermittently is a sure way to increase calories intake without turning diabetic, and as it was rather impossible to double the size of my meals... I opted for desserts instead. Yum yum.

The sweet tooth journey started off with the ubiquitous chocolate-filled pudding and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Hallowe'en was a day of home-made pastries (filled with cream cheese and Nutella), there were days of sticky toffee pudding and trifle days. I wonder whether any supermarket sells ready-to-microwave sticky date puddings, though.

Winters in my high-school years were filled with warm double chocolate muffins, scones and hot puds from Kerry's tuckshop. Well, a funny thing happened today... I was doing my grocery shopping in a normal supermarket (with no in-store bakery facilities) when a hot dessert-y smell came to air... it was weird enough because the supermarket's next-door neighbour is a pharmacy, and pharmacies don't serve hot desserts! Oh well. I ended up salivating in my head, dreaming about the elusive martabak telur and martabak manis that are in abundance in Jakarta (pictures included.) My favourite haunt is Martabak Rudy on Jalan Angkasa, Kemayoran. I have been paying a visit to the encik martabak on a regular basis since I was a schoolkid, and if you're lucky your martabak will be prepared by none other than the engko, a plump gentleman with the one of the best set of hands to make these delicacies. I wonder why the stall stopped selling kue bantal (pillow-shaped fried cakes), though.

greasy, savoury martabak telur

The savoury, duck-egg filled variety commonly found in South Asia.

saccharine-sweet martabak manis, complete with condensed milk drippings

The sweet variety commonly associated with Peranakan cuisines.

I was also told by one of my work colleagues that *somebody* in Indonesia literally took the pains to search for the best martabak in the country. I wonder where the stall is located, and how much it'd cost. I'd love to eat them ^^

That's the end of my cravings' story. This week is a no-class week, but it is by no means a complete break from studies. I need to make a journey to a place two hours away from London (wherever it may be), and record the journey as well as the destination. Plus, there are museum visits to do too.

One of my favourite study-related things to do, apart from the Photodiary project, is draping. The lessons will start in the coming winter term, but I try to spend some free time playing around with the dummies, getting to know how different fabrics behave. One funny fact I learnt is a piece of lambskin leather normally has an area of between 5 to 8 square feet (8.5 sq ft if you were lucky). That's as huge as a lamb gets... otherwise, you would need to look for cows or some larger animals if you don't want joining stitches across your piece. Hee hee.

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