Did you know that winter is the hardest season in terms of maintaining your weight? As the weather gets colder, your body deprives for more heat and energy and before you know it, your mouth is munching all kinds of food 24/7, be it sweet or spicy, creamy or oily; anything will do…
Also, instead of the usual 1L of water that you used to consume is no longer a habit when all your tummy is craving for is cappucino, latte or hot chocolate – as long as they are warm and toasty.
That’s my predicament for now, living in Europe. Hi everyone, before I continue let me introduce myself. I have come out of my hiding! I am Mimi Rahman, the eldest out of the Rahman siblings; and also the Creative Writer for Khatulistiwa.
Currently I’m living in Netherlands and this story here is about food for thought – literally. Right now in the cold winter, food has become my everything and EVERYTHING.
I started my day today with a piece of bun with three slices of turkey ham with a dash of chilli sauce for taste. Enough? No, not really.
Counting hours to lunch, my stomach was already grumbling so loud it could be heard from the room next door! I should let you know that I’m a fairly petite Asian lady and I’m craving for my food! But I must refrain myself… No, no…. no tit-bits or kudapan Mimi… no instant milk tea that I used to have…. No mochachino or coffee from the machine. These are prohibited Mimi! I was trying to be good by going caffeine-free. So somehow, I managed to refrain myself from having anymore food and drinks until lunch time arrived.
A strong infusion of free-flow cappucino, chocolade, koffee etc…. *HEALTH ALERT!!!*
When lunch time arrived I dragged myself to the office canteen. Food here is different from home. Here I get all kinds of drinks from milk to squeezed-at-that-very-instant orange juice; smoothies to … err… more milk. Food consists of salads, breads, soups and cheese and cheese and cheese. Yes, Nederland is nothing but bread and cheese. “Hmm… maybe I should’ve just devoured whatever I had at home.” I thought to myself. It’s not that Dutch food isn’t great, it’s just not very similar to what we have back home. Lunch is bigger in Malaysia, and thus bread and cheese just won’t cut it.
Dairy, dairy and more diary products!!
So I decided to go out for a cafe hunt. My officemates and I found a cafe about 3kms away. We had smoked salmon with brown bread and tomato juice. Here I was trying to be good to myself staying away from all that caffeine and cheese.
Such satisfaction? Neeeee!
Enjoyed the view of the International Court of Justice with trams and cyclists passing by? Grande!
….Unfortunately before it even reached 4PM, my stomach was already crying for PROPER FOOD. None of that sandwiches !!! I need riiiiceee. I need warm, cooked fooooooddddd!!!
As soon as I got home, I ran to the kitchen and thawed the only fish left in the fridge. Got myself a handful of red onions, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, cili padi (chillis) and salt; all blended to a medium grain. I prepared the fish and stuffed the mixture in and wrapped the little beauty with an aluminium foil before shoving (campak jangan tak campak) it into the oven at 200C for 30 minutes.
I waited patiently.
The clock never ticked so slow.
And then TING!!!!
I looked into the oven…… and voila….!
I GOT MYSELF A FISH T_T
Finally!!! Finally after a long day at work I finally got a proper meal. Yes it was only 4PM and yes this was technically dinner but oh well. I am super satisfied.
… but that wasn’t all. This Asian woman can eat. Later that night I found myself at a Lebanese cafe at the city centre (known as Spui here) of Den Haag. Me and the hubby indulged ourselves with a wonderful lebanese marble cake (kek batik mixed with chocolate and biscuits) and had a serving of mint tea with honey.
Now tell me, how sinful has my day been?
The answer is no, not at all. It’s winter after all, who cares about being good 😛
– Mimi Rahman