I am proud to announce that I am now 18 years of age!
November 23rd was the day I turned 18. I woke up to a sight of my Mom making Tumpeng in the kitchen. Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice, with various dishes surrounding the mountain of rice, which is usually consumed by Indonesian during a special event. In this case, my birthday. Indonesian believe that the cone-shaped rice represent the mountains in the land of Java, which is the house of the Gods, and the side dishes surrounding the rice are the things given by the Gods that we harvested. The peak of the Tumpeng is usually cut and gave to the most important person. He, or she, could be the one you love most, the eldest, or simply the birthday girl.
Mom didn't expect me to wake up early (it was half passed ten in the morning. I usually wake up after midday), so she was a bit startled when I asked her about what we were going to have for lunch, on my way to the bathroom. I believe Mom was hoping to finish the Tumpeng before I woke up. But, since I was aready awake, I ended up helping her preparing the dish.
Yellow rice is usually used in the making of Tumpeng. But, since we didn't have any yellow rice, we used red rice instead. This dish is very simple to make, as it consists of cone-shaped rice and various side dishes. Mom started with peeling the tomato and make a rose out of it.
Rose Tomato, Step #1:
- Posses a kick-ass skill in using knife
- Peel the tomato in a swirly pattern. If you haven't an idea, you may open YouTube and type "How to Make Tomato Rose".
|Slowly peel the tomato|
- Twirl the Tomato skin round and round, and voila! you just made yourself a Tomato Rose.
- If you don't have any idea on what to do with the skinless Tomato, you can cut them to pieces and start munching.
|Tomato for breakfast|
Other than Rose Tomato, my Mom also made a flower with a green tomato. Green tomato are usually used to make chilly paste (sambal), I don't think they taste as sweet as red tomatoes.
Green Tomato Flower, Step #1:
- Master a more kick-ass skill in using knife.
- Make an X on the skin of the Green Tomato.
- Slowly peel the skin. Make sure the inner part of the Green Tomato is detached from the skin.
|Peel the skin a bit|
- Pull the skin apart from the inner part a little bit, and there you have it!
|A plate of foodstuff for garnishing|
One of the side dishes that Mom made to decorate the Tumpeng with was Tempe Orek. Tempe is a chunk of fermented soybean, and in Tempe Orek, it is cut into small pieces and fried with some nuts. Soy sauce and chilly are used in the process of making this dish. Fry the Tempe and the nuts together and you will end up with a bowl of crispy and flavorful dish.
The next dish was Sambal Goreng Kentang. You only need potato, spices, and frying pan to make this dish. First, you diced the potato. Second, fry the potato with the spices. Last, but not least, dig in!
I love Mom's Sambal Goreng Kentang because it tasted delicious! True, it's a bit spicy for my taste, but I like it. Especially when Mom add some meatballs to the dish, yum!
Vegetables were also used to decorate the Tumpeng. Mom used four kinds of vegetable, which were bean sprouts, long beans, water spinach, and spinach. They were quickly boiled and mixed with a rubbing named Urab. Urab here is made out of coconut and spices. It tasted savory and a bit salty.
|Mixed boiled veggies|
|Water Spinach (Kangkung)|
Then, Mom took out some flour and corn, and made a batter to make a corn fritter. Indonesian are more familiar with the name Bakwan Jagung, which is Corn Fritter in English. It's basically deep-fried batter with corns in it. You have got to try my Mom's Corn Fritter. They are beyond delicious you ought to want more after you finish a piece.
Sliced omelette is another side dish that you can found in a Tumpeng. We didn't use many eggs to make the omelette, one is enough. You simply crack an egg open and add some salt into the gigantic cell, and stir it until it's bubbly. Then, you fry the egg mixture with a non-stick frying pan, with low fire. After the egg is nicely fried, roll it and slice it. The next thing you know, the Tumpeng is garnished with eatable confetti.
After the side dishes were prepared, Mom proceed in shaping the red rice. Since we don't have a cone shaper, Mom cunningly used whatever tools that we got to shape the rice. She used a bowl to make the base and a funnel to make the peak. In the end, the Tumpeng didn't share the same shape with a cone, but you would get the idea.
After the rice was shaped and the side dishes were prepared, it was time to decorate the Tumpeng!
|Chiko was curious to see what Mom was doing|
|Mom, decorating the Tumpeng|
|Mom made those Tomato Roses|
|Of course, fried chicken is essential in Tumpeng!|
It was midday when Mom finished her creation. What used to be an empty white plate had become a luxurious dish that can feed three people. There was this mountain of red rice, surrounded by colorful side dishes. There were Tomato Roses and Tomato Flower, there were also fried chicken, spicy potato, and greens. The Tumpeng that Mom made was awesome!
Then, we proceed to destroy the beautiful masterpiece and dig in. I had a spoonful of rice with a little bit of everything. I love every single thing that was on my plate, especially the Bakwan Jagung and the Sambal Goreng Kentang.
|And there you have it, a plate of luxurious Tumpeng|
|Lunch is served!|
My Dad couldn't go home on my birthday because he had a simulator test, so he wished me a birthday greeting via Whatsapp and gave me a virtual birthday present on his Tumblr. Thank you, Dad!
After lunch, I got a text message from my colleague at work, saying that I have to drop by at Gudang Rottie, so I did. I arrived at the restaurant and I was overwhelmed. I was welcomed with a plate of red Velvet Cupcake, with a pair of lit-up candles on top. They shook my hand and gave me birthday greetings, and we took picture together. The place was a full-house that afternoon, so we quickly celebrate my birthday and got back to work.
I stayed for a while at Gudang Rottie and headed back home. I brought the Red Velvet Cupcake that my colleague gave to me and share it with my Mom. It was nice and sweet, and a little bit salty on the edges of the cake too. The cupcake was delicious!
|Birthday surprise from my colleague in Gudang Rottie|
At night, I was surprised by my best friends, Icha, Dila, Sally and Angel. The came to my house with cakes and presents. The fantastic four sang "Happy Birthday" as they walked into the house, while I was giggling to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. that was aired on Fox Channel. I was overjoyed, I squealed the entire time. It was the most awesome birthday surprise I had!
There were two cakes, one was from Icha and Dila, and the other one was from Angel and Sally. Angel and Sally's cake was decorated with lit-up 1 and 8 candles, and the cake had "Happy Birthday Kinan" written on it. The cake was glazed with white cream and decorated with green icing sugar and chocolate block.
Icha and Dila's cake was bathe in chocolate ganache, and decorated with strawberries and chocolates. "NABUNAGA TWINS" was written on the cake, which I supposed would be "NOBUNAGA TWINS" if the one who wrote on the cake didn't accidently switched the vowel. Dila, Icha, and I are fans of Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk. The two of them made Slam Dunk fan-fictions, in which I was the twin sister of a character named Kiyota Nobunaga, hence explained the writings on their cake.
We had the Tumpeng that my Mom made for dinner and the cakes that my friends brought. The five of us chatted at the dinning room while munching on fried chicken and chocolate cake, and simply had a great time.
Dila gave me a homemade popped-up birthday card, with drawings of me, Kiyota Nobunaga, and Hanagata Toru playing basketball in it. The birthday card is plain genius because I could actually move the basketball around! "We don't have a birthday present for you because we haven't buy one," said Icha, "but, hey, we got you some cake!".
Sally and Angel got me a box filled with knickknacks. "It is called the Box of Metamorphosis, because you will find things inside the box that will transform you," said Angel. I opened the box and I was welcomed with beauty products, accessories, and a beautiful dress. I was in cloud nine when I receive such present! They told me to dress up and be a girl, so I did. The next thing I know, we were in the living room taking endless frames of pictures.
|Me and my best buddies!|
In summary, my 18th birthday was awesome! I got to spend it with my family and my friends. I ate lots of delicious food and cake. I had a great time keeping in touch with my friends. I was showered with surprises. I got loads of birthday greetings and presents. It was awesome!
Thank you, everybody, my 18th birthday would be dull without you guys in it!
Kinan L. Wirastani