Posted in Cooking, In English, Journey, Motherhood

[EF #2] The (Once) Little Girl’s Unexpected Dream

This is a story of a girl and her mother. A week(end)ly story of an elementary school girl, the only daughter in the family: Going (involuntarily) to the traditional market with her mother.


Prior to leaving the house, she had to make sure that she wears proper outfit: a shabby 5-cm-above-the-ankle trousers and a fully-covered-shoes. This is important, as most of the ‘floor’ in traditional market was not that clean and learning from what she had experienced, there was enough muddy-footwear stepping on her little ‘innocent’ feet.

As she walked down the alley of the market, it was not surprising if her mother had gone far ahead of her, leaving her carefully walking to avoid any chances of being splashed by the ‘muddy’ floor.

And as her mother started to enter the “fresh meat products” area, she would be placed in a snacks booth owned by a very sweet Aunty. Her mother was smart enough not to take her since she wouldn’t stand the smell. And oh, don’t forget the floor 😅

No worries, because this sweet Aunty would receive an equal compensation for the temporary ‘child care’ service she has provided: having a loyal customer every weekend, a loyal little customer who usually spent quite much at her store 😉

When her mother reached her with lots of plastic bags fully filled with fresh products, she refused to make any contact with her mother’s hands since it must have been in contact with any of the meat-products. ‘Yucky’ and germophobia detected.

Yes. She was THAT freak.

Once they got home, instead of helping her mother in the kitchen to do all the cooking, she would instantly dressed herself in a set of ‘new’ outfit, completely different with the one that has been used to go to the market. And if it was necessary, she would (re)take a shower.

Afterwards, you could find her in her room, watching tv or doing some homework, listening to the radio, requesting some songs and be ready with the record ‘button’ on her radio, while waiting for the meals to be ready.

Well, what could you expect? Even when she’s an adolescent, she barely can’t distinct coriander seed with pepper seed.

Peeling carrot or onions, you say? It would take ages.

So there she was. Along with her two younger brothers. Sitting neatly at the table, ready to enjoy the homemade meals her mother had prepared.

The mother is a great ‘chef’. At least for the girl and her two younger brothers. She is a home cook.


Every single morning, the mother prepared everything while rushing herself to the office.

Everytime they went out for meals, the children always compared the meals with their mother’s. Always not good enough. Nothing compares to the homemade meals.

That’s how they define their mother. There’s no need to know the process of cooking. What’s the use?


Years gone by.

The little girl got married. Married with two academics degrees in hands, but zip about cooking, financial planning, and even worse: how to become a good wife and a mother.

In less than two years, the dependent girl had to live far away from her mother. Going abroad, accompanying her husband to continue his study. Carrying a 7 months old baby.

Early days abroad she spent with crying, literally. Before, everything was nicely prepared by her mother. Now, there’s mother no more.

Fortunately, her husband has been quite a helping hand. Not only with the baby, but also with the house. He was not hesitant to do the dishes, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom, and to go to the traditional market to buy fresh products – without even bother to wear a shabby 5-cm-above-the-ankle trousers and a fully-covered-shoes 😁

Months gone by.

This new mother always insisted to cook homemade meals for her husband and her little daughter, despite the skill she didn’t have.

Not only because she adores her mother that much that she wants to be at least a bit like her and the memories of the tradition of the family meal, but also her great concerns about a healthy non-additive-made-from-scratch meals, her love of good food, and her longing for hometown meals.

Out of many reasons, here’s the most important: Because it was a compulsory task. “Would you feed your baby nasi lemak or chicken curry?” 😅 If not, well definitely, you have to cook, then.

And by cooking, it means hours spent making a mess at the kitchen.


From scraping out the insides of the fish belly using her own finger, peeling deveining and cleaning shrimps causing countless puncture at her fingertips, slicing and grounding a bunch of red meat using giant knife and food processor, cleaning a whole chicken covered in droplets of blood, to cleaning and washing the squids which leave her hands smell fishy for hours.

Not to mention making an international call on and on to her mother and grandmother to ask for (family) recipes, opening and closing countless food blogs, exploring various cooking tips, googling images only to make sure which one galangal is, thousand times of failing and trying new recipes, and eventually forcing herself to do the fresh-product-shopping on her own: going to the traditional market.

Stepping out of her comfort zone. Giant one.

The power of ‘kepepet‘.


At her fourth years of marriage, the (once) little girl who has transformed into a young mother, has the most favourite routine on the weekend: Going (voluntarily and happily) to the traditional market with her lovely husband and their little daughter.

While shopping, she and her husband would lively introduced their little daugher to many kinds of vegetables and fruits they encountered at the market. She has also established a quite well relation with the sellers who friendly greeted her everytime she comes, “Nak masak apa harini?”

Cooking, unexpectedly, has become her most favourite hobby. Or you may call it, a passion.

The kitchen recently has been a joyful place for the (no longer a) girl, where she could literally feels happy when she was able to successfully make a delicious and healthy meal from scratch: Being told by her two-years-old daughter that she loves the meals by showing her empty plate and called as a good cook by her loving husband – things that she could have never imagined before 🙂


No more yucky-germophobia-thingy.

It all have been substituted by a joyous feeling at the deepest part of her heart, when she was able to ‘magically’ turned any fresh ‘yucky’ products into a delicious whole-hearted meal, served beautifully on top of the table, pretty enough (at least her husband thought so) to be captured and posted in a so-called blog, being read and appreciated by hundreds of readers, with hope to spread the inspiration she gained from her mother and be beneficial for whoever reads it. cumi1 At this point, she has come to a rather unexpected dream: Being remembered as a home cook by her husband and child(ren), just like her mother, while having her own healthy home catering service. Quoting Mr. Mayor, “What’s in the world better than being paid for doing your passion?” 😉


My mother is a great ‘chef’. At least for me and my two younger brothers. She is a home cook 😊


P.S. This post is written as a part of weekly Blog Challenge in Blog English Club (BEC), a community initiated by Mas Dani, Mba Nita, and Mas Ryan; mentored by the great ‘Grammar Nazi’ Mba Yoyen, Mba Mikan, Mba Eva, and Mba Nana.

This week theme is “Wildest Dream”, is my dream wild enough?😅

Any of you interested in joining the club? You’re just one click away to the registration form 😊

27 thoughts on “[EF #2] The (Once) Little Girl’s Unexpected Dream

    1. Thank you for the attention, Mba Fara 😊 However I’d rather say that I haven’t achieved the dream since I’m only a beginner in cooking and still dreaming to have a healthy home catering service on my own 😄 Wish me luck! 😉


  1. Nice story, Mba 🙂 I also hate those yucky things in the kitchen and traditional market, but love food especially the homemade meals by my mom. You inspire me. I probably need to learn how to cook, so I can be a great home cook when I get married someday 😀


    1. Thank you Icha 🙂 Believe me, you’d change a lot when you got married 😉 I started to learn how to cook when I had my daughter, it was my 2nd years of marriage. Don’t worry, you’ll have time for that 😉 Send my warm regards to your Mum 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andin congrats on a great achievement. Your little family must be so proud of you. What kind of healthy food do you offer in your catering service? Do you go by certain diet menus for instance?


    1. Thank you Mba Mikan for stopping by 🙂 Alhamdulillah, it’s the least I could do since I’m NO good at time management, financial planning, cleaning the house or whatsoever 😀 hehe.. The home catering service remains a dream Mba, not yet realized 😉 But what I have in mind is I’d love to have a non-additive-non-MSG-natural-made-from-scratch family meal service, focusing on toddler food. For instance a healthy non-preservatives homemade nugget, non-MSG nutritious baked goods such as schotel, lasagna in which not only filled with meat but also fresh veggies. Well, that kind of menu, I guess 😉 Care to be my customer? Hihi.. 😀


      1. I think that’s an excellent idea. I know a friend who makes her own nuggets for this very reason. I think it will be a hit. I mean I heard of catering service for babies because some parents are both working and don’t trust their help to make the meals for their kids. I’d like to if you can deliver all the way to oz 😁😁 ideas remain only ideas when there’s no action taken. Seriously I think you should pursue it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This post made me smile. I too was once a ‘kepepet’ cook. I had to cook because I lived in a foreign country where there is no ‘warteg’ and there were limited delivery services (and expensive too!) so I started cooking and grew to enjoy it 😀


    1. Hihi..thanks a bunch for your time reading this too-long-post Mba 😀 Well, I guess ‘extreme’ circumstances do shape/change people, don’t they? 😉 Aaah.. Would love to taste one of your cooking 😀


  4. Huaaa..i like this so much! Since i’m also a mother of 1 who’s a little bit pessimistic with my cooking skill because always comparing to my mom skill’s hehe i hope one day i could be as good as her, well, i’m struggling 😀


    1. Thank you, Nadia 😊 Always nice to hear one’s mom being the best cook for her children 😊 Most often we just need to be more confident on ourselves and has the courage to try. Nekad kali yaaa 😁 Maybe that kind of courage will show up once we’re in a circumstances which left us no other option (than to cook by ourselves) 😁 hehe.. Thanks for stopping by, dear 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow.. that’s an amazing story, pas baca langsung kebayang, sudut pandang yg ga biasa, panjang tp kebaca semua… nice… jd kangen nasi lemak *ga fokus ama grammar krn lg laper, wkwkwk* 😀


  6. Awwww Andin.. salute to u. I don’t really like to cook but yes I love baking more. Still a beginner.will peep in to ur blog once i have time to cook or bake in these few days.


    1. Wow, what do you usually bake, Kak Jo? I am only a beginner in cooking and knows nothing about baking 😅 Would looove to share some thoughts, tips, and recipes 😄 Thanks for coming by, bu Guru 😉


      1. No, I’m a beginner too ndin. Just bake the easy one. So far, muffin, brownies, pie and macaroni schotel never fail. But the carrot cake and red velvet sometimes failed. And guess what, I have tried making chiffon cake for 11 times and never succeed…. *pecahkan saja telornya…1 kilo kakaaaa* lol…


  7. Wooow Mba Andin, what a great story. Love the way you write them. I can imagine how happy your family is having a great home cook and I’m amazed how you transformed from that little girl to the best cook for your family. Thank you for joining in. 😀


    1. Thank youu, Mas Dani 😊 I am still learning to be a better cook and hopefully one day I can fulfill my dream to have a healthy home catering service 😁 Thanks again for the initiative on forming BEC and this great challenge 😊


  8. Hi five Andin from this grammar Nazi 🙂 Due to kepepet reason I also had to learn how to cook since I had moved to The Netherlands. Now I dare to declare myself a foodie. It seems like I think of food, cooking and baking almost all the time.

    I fully understand your satisfaction of preparing meals from a scratch, without additives and preservatives. I see this also as a challenge daily.

    I really love how you describe your experience going to the market with your mother. I hope your dream will come true very soon.

    It is really nice to know a fellow foodie.

    I’m looking forward to read your coming food related posts. Until then, happy cooking!


    1. Thank youu, that’s very nice of you to say ☺️ Seems like most Indonesians living abroad are forced in an extraordinary circumstances to ‘push their capability to the limit’ at almost.. anything 😁 It’s a pleasure knowing you, Mba Yo 😊 Thanks for the encouraging words, happy homemade cooking to you too 😘


  9. I am at verge of crying..!
    I can relate to some parts of the story since I’m a horrible cook, horrible at chopping onions and will take aaaages in peeling potato (or peeling anything really).
    Recently I lived by my own for an internship outside of my hometown and I was blown away with how much I miss having homemade warm hearty food. The moment I return back home, I hang around the kitchen and tried to get my hands on anything I can help.
    Now I’m quite an expert at making gulai ayam, lasagna and rendang.. Something I’m rubbish at prior.

    This is a wonderful story, and I’m planning to show it to my mum 🙂


  10. Thank youu, I’m glad that you enjoyed reading this too-long-post 😉 I once made a lasagna and it was horrible, the ‘lasagna’ itself remained uncooked. LOL 😅 Would love to taste that cooking of yours 😉 Thanks again for being so thoughtful, please send my warm regards to you dearest Mum 😊


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