Watching The River Flow
I'm sorry I've just been sitting there watching the river flow.
Your response to my request for pape has been tremendous and I apologise for the silence as I have so enjoyed listening in to you people chatting to each other that I felt there was no need for my intervention. Please keep your chats coming in. About Kerepok Görèng Pasir (thank you Anonymous and Cik Qaleh Teksi), yes I do know about kerepok 'fried' in sand. I think we did try that a few times at home, and without the oil the kerepok did taste different. Mother used to say that sand from the pata (beach) was best for this purpose, but after seeing what they did on the pata, using their sarongs as burqas, I began to doubt that.
Sdri Norziah, thank you for responding to Sdri Nadiah's request. I think you are more qualified than I to give out recipes for such a complicated thing as Rökök Arab. I've never rolled a Rökök Arab in my life, nor made Bèkang, and even the simplest things I find quite hard to do, like wrapping Pulok Lepa.
And what an array of characters: Mök Lèbör, GUiKP's wife's grandma, Cikgu Ja'apö, Mr Isaacs, Nik Smara and a host of Möks that made our little town twirl, Mök Long, Mök Mèk and Mök Pèr.
Cucu Pök Löh Standok is right of course about Kerepok Kulit, the rolled kerepok made from the discarded skins of fish. That was special but only available to those who lived near the kerepok makers. We were lucky to have been the neighbours of Mök Nab and Mök Song, both kerepok makers, so we did know what it tasted like, but I do have my suspicions about Cucu Pök Löh's waxing lyrical ("Khepok kulik buatang Semek Dara Ttanjung") about his fish skin kerepok as the very name of its maker does suggest that there was more than his taste buds at work there.
All this talk about kuihs surely has paid off, for not only has it brought so many of you here to share your foodie talks and recipes, but it has also brought from afar Sdri Ninotaziz, a talented writer, blogger, folklorist and a poet too. I have quite forgotten what Badak Berendam looks like, perhaps you have a photo? And thank you for giving that Trengganuspeak-in-verse a home, am so honoured too.
But I must say a word about Rökök Arab before I go. That's eggs, ghee and a host of other good stuff all rolled into a cigar and so special it was that we got ours from the vicinity of the Istana Maziah, made by the hands of Mök Nöh who lived in Dalam Kota. As Anonymous (Sdri Norziah?) rightly points out, Rökök Arab isn't Apék-Apék, the latter being just thin crispy crackers that sometimes - if flat - concealed picture cards (as Mr Van N'dot found in Dalam Bata) and - if rolled - were used as straws for drinking hot Milo.
So thank you all: Ajidol, Aliff, Che Qaleh Teksi, Cucu Pok Loh Standok, GUiKP, Mmekkolang, Nadiah, Norziah, Zulomar (for the Berönök) and the various Anonymous contributors. To Semek Dara of Tanjong, a special thanks for having lit up the early life of Cucu Pök Löh. And thank you too all you good people who commented earlier (for names please see Comments below).
Please keep the conversation going, and your recipes coming in.
If you're a newcomer, please read these too:
A Bèkang From Kölang
Your Recipes Please!"