Ketupat and Non-Ketupat


Our parents are the oldest, so every lebaran day our extended families from both mother and father would come to our house. And so, my sister has already organized the menu and who will do what since last week. Luckily, our helpers decided not to go back to their village this lebaran. Well, even if they do go, they would have already been preparing the basic spice mixes for all sorts of dishes by now.

My sister has organized two menus: ketupat menu consisting of opor ayam, rendang and sambal goreng hati as well as tapai ketan hitam; and non-ketupat menu consisting of bakso, lasagna and salad.

The ketupat menu will be made just enough for our close friends who don’t celebrate lebaran because they will be looking for lebaran dishes.

While on the contrary, non-ketupat menu will be for families because we know for sure that they will have enough share of ketupat in other homes they will be visiting.

Normally, the non-ketupat menu will be history by the end of the first day. For almost 10 lebaran already, my sister’s lasagna has been our family’s ulterior motif to come early to our house. Otherwise they will miss this year’s lasagna for lebaran. My salad (or sometimes my sister’s) comes second, though not as popular as the lasagna. For several years, the bakso that my close friend sends me, is also one of the best sellers.

So, eleven days before lebaran, my sister has already emailed our lebaran menu. My part this year is to prepare Thai Beef Salad. I’ve started to do my grocery shopping at a nearby Superindo. Because everything else needs to be fresh, I could only buy the limes. A good thing that all the limes at the fruit counter was quite tender, which means that it won’t be that difficult to squeeze the juice out later. Today, most of the vegetables looked fresh and they are not as pricey as I had predicted. I hope they stay that way until Wednesday when I come back for the real shopping later.

Rendang order from our second cousin arrived this afternoon, and another one from Uda Dian directly from Rendang Minang in Padang had arrived since last week.

Tapai ketan hitam is a must, as this is so my mum’s signature. The black glutinuous rice is bought and will soon be fermented. It is best served chilled poured over steamed glutinuous rice on the day.

My sister has started already cooking as I can already smell a waft of richly spiced coconut milk coming out of her kitchen, from now until lebaran.

Moment like these is irreplaceable. No wonder millions of people are willing to go for days on the road to spend lebaran at homes.

Well, for those who are going back home, have a smooth journey home. Happy festive season, may we all be forgiven for all our missed words and actions, on behalf of Rasamasa.