Mama, as the trusted manager of this humble abode, has made a resolution for the year of 2009(sounds a bit cliche kan...and a tad late too!).
We are going to eat more healthily!!! ( as part of my living au naturel project)
Cooking style will be severely altered. The oven/grill will suffer most this year ( and the year after and after....hopefully!). Next to it, all the non-stick pots and pans, and not forgetting the cast-iron pans which had been cast aside for quite a while, gathering cobwebs all over them. Oh, the clay pot too....for the singgang and such. No, I dont forget the steamer though it will come last as, except for veges, most of us dont really fancy steamed food.
Our grocery shopping lists will of course duly changed. All cooking oils will only come from olives(make it extra virgin or EVOO as Rachel Ray has it) or corn or sunflower. Pasta, wholemeal only. More organic chicken and beef. (Despite having a lot of az-zain organic produce in the freezer, we still sometimes buy inorganic chicken for bihun sup as we need more flesh for it). Organic eggs too. Tok Ayah usually provides us with these, thanks so much Tok Ayah. Tok Ayah's hens are highly productive, supplying eggs that really taste superb and the yolks are of a very concentrated yellow, giving nice tints to our dishes.
Hemm, I just have a thought! Maybe we should start rearing our own free range chicken in our backyard orchard. Add a kambing or two. You know, Abah did say, when we first built this house and started planting all those fruit trees, that we will have some sheeps/goats in our backyard when the tress are tall enough and the shepherd/shepherdess, thats you and you, Abang and Adik, are big enough. It was said 9 years ago, so I reckon the time has come now. What say you??
As for veges, we will cut down drastically on imported ones. They are 'petroleum covered' as they have to travel very far to reach us, thus use up lots of petroleum. (That's what I heard from Martha Steward's daughter, Alexis , if my memory's serving me right.) We will be kinder to the environment as well. While we are at it, Adik and Abang, please make sure you carry out your delegated tasks of putting plastic, glass and paper in the designated bins behind our house. And organic waste in the compost heap.
I ( with the help of Abah and Pakcik Nor the gardener) will try to grow more chillies,okras, long beans and eggplants, which have proven to be agreeable with our soil, and try out others like petola, cucumber and snake gourd as all of us are very fond of them. My contribution will be of going out and buy the seeds (and germinate if it needs be). Pakcik Nor or Abah, if his time permits, will dig out the hole and build the support stakes or just put in some twiggy sticks. You two will have the honour of watering them. Thus, we can all proudly say that, WE grow this veges....clever tak Mama? We will also eat more of shoots that grow wildly in our orchard as well as the ones grown by Abah/Mama. We are so lucky, aren't we? We got all kinds of ulam/pucuk just behind our backyard. They are gifts from nature read 100 percent organic and pesticides free....Alhamdulillah, we are so blessed. We could go on for one week without buying veges from the market if we wish to. I hope you will grow to like tapioca shoots and the pucuk beko. Yes, they are a bit bitter, but are full of all sorts of vitamins and anti-oxidants. Okay Abang, fret not, every now and then, we will buy your favourite zucchini and asparagus....I know for a fact that we cant afford to be fully natural much as we like it to be....
From now on, expect to eat more at home and more of homemade dishes, including bread. We will only eat out when we are on a holiday ( as in tagging Abah on his trips) or in the unavoidable circumstances when Mama is being bitten hard by malaise or malas bug.....Think of the amount of salt, sugar and artificial flavouring that we could cut down!!
As for fruit, we still have to buy those from citrus family as we obviously cannot grow them. Abah tried to grow limau madu once, but the produce proved to be the opposite of madu.... We end up eating them as 'ccolek. But we got plenty of bananas, all kind of them. We, or more accurately, Abah and Abang, grow pineapples. We do have papayas and water apples as well. Rambutans, dokong and salaks will be, Insya Allah, plentiful in their seasons. See, we dont need pesticide-laced fruits from the market!! Okay, we will buy apples for the pies and muffins.
Sorry kids, I'm reading the 'Imperfectly Natural Woman', hence this! I'm yet to finish it, so brace yourselves....I might stop you from using shampoos and shower foams next. We have the kaffir lime trees at the backyard! We should make full use of it, scrub our skin and scalp with them. Should start to make it a daily practise instead of once in a blue moon....I know Adik enjoys the sessions very much.
Oh yes , don't forget to take honey first thing in the morning. Honey is the 'super' food which everyone of us has benefited from. I'm sure you notice that all of us are having fewer attack of allergic rhinitis since we started taking it regularly for the past couple of years. As for Abang and Abah, they are depending on inhalers less and less. I could go on and on with its currative properties......
All in all, one thing we should always remember, no other way of eating is better than that of the sunnah of our beloved prophet. Eat when we are hungry and stop before we are full.
For a start....Abang is seen here happily tucking in his dinner of wholewheat spaghetti in bolognaise sauce made with organic meat balls and lots of veges. (He made it slightly unhealthy though by sprinkling too much grated cheese on top. Well,being thin and active, he can afford it...).And the drinks, sugarless fruit juice. Not bad huh!!