Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Kenduri Durian

Saturday is normally full of activities at our house. It is the day the weekly turns up, as early as 8 a.m to scrub and clean for about four hours. I would be doing almost the same, or sometimes simply read. Once in a couple of months or so, the gardener would come to trim the grass and clear up, outside. If AHS goes to market, I'd have to clean and sort out whatever is bought. We would then either have lunch outside, or, when in the mood, I'd cook something.

But last Saturday AHS had inspiration for a kenduri: tahlil for family members who had passed on. And what brought about this inspiration? Durians! AHS is a 'hantu durian'. If we are on the road somewhere, and there are lots (must be the season) of durians, he will stop by the road side, choose one and we will eat the king of fruits by the roadisde. So AHS phoned me from the market, sounding quite pleased with himself, saying: "We are going to have tahlil after 'asr; I'm buying durians." I had brought back some work to complete, and wasn't feeling too good to top it up. (Notice how people would get sore throats when durians are abundant?

My dear AHS came home all eager, greeted by a sullen wife. How come I wasn't consulted? He gave the excuse: I thought there wouldn't be any durians.

Well, the tahlil was simple enough. I made pengat durian with a quarter of the durian, while the rest was eaten with santan (added with a pinch of salt), plus white sugar and scraped gula melaka on the side. Simply divine. I also brewed a pot of kopi kampung and teazan-- an Algerian concoction of tea leaves. It was a small affair with just the imam and wife, AHS' daughter's family and both AHS and myself. Amazingly the grandchildren were on their best behaviour.
I don't know why I was upset with AHS' impulsive act. It turned out very well and, in retrospect, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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