Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Durians and Dumplings.

One of the best things I love about eating durians is the sweet lingering smell it leaves your finger with. It's so fragrant that I sometimes feel like licking the thumb again to see if I can still taste the sweet taste of durian from the night's before devouring of delicious durians. Seriously, I tell you, it can be a life saver at times - when there's a need of a serious wake-up call in the early hours of Mathematics or History class at school. A whiff of the strong smell from tmy fingertips (even if I accidentally brushed my face with it) is all it takes to get me awake, albeit with the sudden hunger pangs and craving for those deadly fruits in class. Amazingly though, there are still people who recognizes durians as the fowl-smelling fruit that only cause nauseousness! Really, I don't know what the fuss is all about to a certain few who squirms in uneasiness at the mere thought of the yellow flesh found under the thorny, green exterior of the fruit. I can quaintly recall someone old and wise (in the knowleldge of durian) saying that the art of eating durian requires passion and I'm beginning to think it might be true after all.

Want one?

I mean, the "stench" is one thing (that's fine by me!) but being afraid of the consequences of indulging in such pleasures of life (almost sinful!) served by Mother Nature herself is another thing that's almost intolerable by me in my little black book of Rules of Eating Durians. Oh, I've heard people saying that they're afraid to indulge because they're afraid of getting fat at the end of the day and I'll just roll my eyes in disapproval. Personally, I think it's bullcrap. I do admit, that consuming such delicacies in large quanitities might just result in undesirable body proportions but judging by the intake of a durian lover, I don't think it can hardly bring any affect to the average consumer, what else, be detrimental to your health. Let's be honest, when it comes to durians, either you love it or hate it. Period. No buts or conditions in between. Which is why I shot Grace a look of contempt when she hesitantly (and miserably) picked up the poor fruit with her finger tips, complaining about not wanting to get her fingers dirty and about her weight while trying her best to oblige mum. As I said, love it or hate it, it still requires passion to enjoy such sinful saccharine substance!

Hey, I'm all for the smell it leaves my fingertips in for tomorrow morning's class!

Coinciding with the durian season (anniversary of the blog?), the bak chang (glutinous rice dumpling) festival is here. Well, not exactly the festival by itself.
More like the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated with the traditional bak chang - steamed glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves along with ingredients like duck eggs' yolk, assorted beans and nuts and pork. Growing up, I've seen both my grandmothers making bak changs when the time arrives despite the fact that one of them is a Catholic who makes them for pleasure while the other makes them for deity worships and such. Well, that was before amah moved from her old pre-war houses to the current 2 bedroom economical flat where space constrains and old age seems to be catching up real quick with her. Used to love the smell of bak changs steaming greeting my nostrils when I was younger and when amah made them in huge amounts for eating and praying. Poh poh on the other hand, paid more attention to kee changs (another type of chang) - yellow colored glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves too minus the fillings and only eaten when dipped in homemade black syrup. Poh poh does make bak changs also but not as many as amah's.

Plenty of 'em!

Well, one thing that's peculiar about me which shows when it comes to bak changs is that I only eat the ones that are made especially for me. I'm sure I have other peculiar habits but let's save those for another day. As written in my profile, I don't take greens, any forms of greens, beans included and considering that bak changs come with a lot o
f beans, I've almost taken an oathe to swear off bak changs completely in my consumption list when I was a kid. Still not wanting to part with the texture of glutinous rice, I suggested that amah only inserted pork in the bak changs, one day while I was squatting by her side watching her insert the fillings and later wrapping the bak changs with the bamboo leaves and securing them with strings (aquired from dried fibre of banana shoots) with such ease and speed before hanging them in bunches over a long horizontal stick to be steamed. She took my suggestion and made 10 bak changs for me the following year. 10 was a large amount then, seeing that I could only manage at least one at a given time since glutinous rice can be rather filling.

Bundled in a bunch!

Ever since then, I'll get 10 bak changs made especially for me, only filled with pork, from amah. Sometimes, even with extra pork.

At least that was the way it was before she was incapable of anything more than making back and forth trips from the living room to the kitchen. It's been so long since. Now, poh poh has taken the honours of making those annual 10 pork-only bak changs for me. In a way, I do feel special, considering that poh poh only cutom makes those changs for me out of the 14 grandhcildren she has. Amah was different as Grace and I were her only paternal grandchildren then (before Edmund showed up) and Grace was a non-fussy eater. Poh poh even has ming tied in different coloured strings and hung in a different place of the kitchen, afraid that someone else might accidentally take mine. Pity the person who has to eat a pork-only chang, that's for one, but me getting angry that my precious chang was stolen, now that's another thing! I guess I was a spoilt brat in this matter, aren't I? Still, after one incident of stolen chang (I think there were tears involved!), poh poh was forever careful with mine ever since. But things have definitely changed for the better. I do occasionally take the "real" bak changs, only picking up the pork and passing the other filling to someone else and now it takes at least more than a good 3 bak changs to get me full.

Which pretty much explains my size if you put the durians and the dumplings together.

I can already see the needle in the weighing machine tilting more to the right now.


5xmom.com said...

Hey, I reconfirmed with Tim of nuffnang already. It is open and not restricted to only bloggers, readers oso welcome. But only the 100 nuffnangers bloggers who signed up get free foods lah.

savante said...

Eee! Durians!

Gallivanter said...


Quachee said...

Hi there

I am publishing a book on Malaysia, and one of the sub topics is on Malaysian fruits, particularly durian.

As you like durians, I would like to get an excerpt from you for a feature.

Is that ok? :)

PS: You can email to themalaysiapage@gmail.com

FatHer said...

As a westerner,raw durian is ...
fantastic tasting fruit.
And to prove it,here http://yourworship.blogspot.com