My Home-Cooked Xmas Dinner – New Career In Catering?

Given my incredible age, it’s not often I can say I just did something for the first time ever!


  • OldiesButGoodies-1
  • oooooooooooooooooooo
  • But yesterday, I cooked Christmas Dinner!

In times past, of course, I had played my part, maybe fetching things, assisting with setting the table, and even doing some of the washing-up.

But cook?

No way. It’s never held any appeal for me, always easier to find somebody agreeable to tend to that particular responsibility, or just take a walk to an eatery, like my beloved warteg.


  • warteg
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  • This year, this Christmas, however, I had no plans for going out, yet felt that a proper traditional meal would be appropriate.

Scanning the ads for what was on offer in the grand places of Jakarta, there were many choices, wondrous feasts for half a mill, some even less.

But the series of parties, from October and November’s North American Thanksgiving celebrations, through the run-up to Hari Natal, had given me turkey galore, even Brussels sprouts, and, yes, stuffing!

  •  I recommend the Marriott for that.


SAM_9218 – 

My Christmas Dinner!


Resolved, therefore, to make my own dinner, I shopped diligently, some fine de-boned chicken, and a hunk of pork, plus some peas and carrots.

But stuffing?

Nowhere to be found, ready-made, except maybe in posh Kemang, and that’s such an isolated territory, hard to get to on public transport (there is a regular kopaja, the 605A, from Blok M, but the traffic is a nightmare) that it seemed far wiser to do the job myself.

But how?

Consultation. Bread, onions, spices…and butter.

So parsley and thyme were discovered in Permata Hijau, onions, bread easily obtainable anywhere – hey, no problem.

So on Wednesday I got to work.

Only to discover that one of my visitors, Lord knows when, had used up my Blue Band.

Indonesians don’t talk about margarine, simply call it by the most popular brand name, much as Brits call ball-point pens ‘biros’ and vacuum cleaners ‘hoovers!’

Heck, I wasn’t going out again that day, and Christmas Eve loomed, much of which was scheduled for various activities, not least the Midnight Carols.

I quote from an email I sent my chief consultant.


Minyak goreng. fry-pan oil, a perfect substitute.
Had acquired parsley and thyme, so dropped them into a pot, with salt, and boiled it all, stirring fiercely. When it was gooey enough, I changed from pot to frying pan. When it was firmer, i placed it on a plate and put it in the fridge to set.
Had a lick at the fork – smells like, looks (a little) like stuffing, but not sure of the taste. 
Once I microwave it tomorrow, I’ll report further.

And here’s the result!



Da Stuffing!

And it wasn’t half bad!

I served it up to my good self after returning form the Yasmin Service in town, devoured the lot by 7pm – not the lot, actually, enough left-overs to see me through tomorrow and share when my Boxing Day visitor arrives!

Not perfect, the consistency of the stuffing was not quite as solid as I’d have preferred, but tasty. I’d begun to get my hopes up from the aroma whilst cooking it, and it proved just about up to expectations.

  • congratters
  • So maybe it’s time to emerge from retirement? Ask the nice ibu who runs the warteg if she wants to vary her menu and increase the number of bule customers from its current level?

(That’s one, BTW!)

Something to think about when I’m out of town at the start of 2016.