Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back from KL with Sop Ayam (Chicken Soup with Pasta)

Is it just me, or do we all hate the phrase "Have you gained weight?"
That was ALL I could heard throughout my KL work trip! Heard it from my boss, my co-workers, my co-workers from other countries, our company's VIP customers, regular customers, non regular customers, nobodies, everybody! E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y!

Well, there were some variations to the general phrase...
- Sometimes it's the supposedly "caring" "You need to be on diet" version
- Sometimes it's the plain mean "You are so FAT" version
- Sometimes it's the concealed "You must have been so happy" gentle version
- and sometimes it's just the silent once over

Whichever version it was, none sounded good to my ears. I am expecting the kind "Don't you care about what people think, as long as you are happy" advice, but let's face it. Hearing the phrase all the time, isn't my idea of fun :p

Apart from SC's influence and the surgery (I doubt that I could blame it on those two any longer), I need to take responsibility for my actions (midnight bingeing, lack of self control, my suffering from lazybum-minosis and couchpotato-coxis ^_^)

Will the phrase stop me from indulging? cooking? food blogging? I don't think so. I've had my share of super strict dieting (JUST 3 pieces of wontons for dinner, and I removed most of the wonton skin!!!) and crazy exercising (a minimum of 3 hours of cardio classes per day). One doesn't work without the other for me. If I really wanted to lose some, I can't just exercise and keep eating, or dieting without exercising. It has to be a combination of both, and it has to be strict and hard. Sure, the hard combo worked for me. I lost pounds after pounds quickly. But that wasn't my idea of fun too. What a freaking dilemma, eh?

So, here's my current action plan:
- To eat more mooncakes. It's mid autumn festival and you just gotta have them!
- To cook more, eat more and catch up with food blogging
- Buy new clothes that fit
- Finish all the yummy goodies I've bought from KL before they expire
.....Wait a minute! That's surely a wrong plan to achieve the objective of not hearing the phrase again??!! LOL! Freak the phrase! I'll start worrying when another business trip is scheduled ^_*

Let me share some weight gain inducing sodas I found in KL:

Why would anyone name a drink "Anything?". I simply bought this out of curiosity. It tasted like a mild version of Sprite or 7-Up. Not bad, but I wouldn't have called it "Anything?"...hmmm...maybe "Whatever!"

I bet these are nothing special in some parts of the world, but I haven't seen these in most supermarkets in Hong Kong. So, I bought them. Gosh, my love for sodas....sigh... top it off, the guy seated beside me on my flight back to Hong Kong sneezed and coughed all the way through the flight. Naturally, without covering his mouth. Now, it is my turn to sneeze and cough my way through meetings and conference calls. To my coworkers, boss and customers (were you the ones who called me fat?), good luck, y'all! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA! (Evil! Pure evil!)

Here's a comforting recipes from my childhood in Indonesia...
Sop Ayam - Chicken Soup with Pasta

The Indonesian version is normally thin and clear, but I love it thick and rich (What else is new? Typical Rita) ^_^
(serves 4)
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 1/2 lb lean pork (can be replaced by beef or chicken breast), cut into chunky pieces
- 1 carrot, cut into small pieces
- 1 small potato, cut into small pieces
- 1 sprig of chinese celery, cut into small pieces
- 4 cloves of shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- a couple of chicken franks, cut into 3 mm thick pieces (optional, and you can also add spam cubes, just the way we love it in Indonesia)
- 2 handfuls of pasta (it's normally macaroni, but I only have fusili ^_*)
- olive oil, salt, pepper, corn starch

Marinate chicken and pork in salt, pepper and a bit of corn starch while preparing other ingredients. Saute shallot in hot olive oil until a bit browned, add chicken and pork until a bit browned, add a bit of water. Add vegetables, add water just enough to cover all ingredients. Cook for about 1 hr, add ground nutmeg, add pasta, cook until everything's soft and the soup is thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

In Indonesia, we (of course!) eat the soup with rice, with some crackers, sweet soy sauce and chilli sauce. But it is chunky enough to be a meal of comfort by itself.

Sharing this with Presto Pasta Night's Gang, hosted this week by its fabulous creator, Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

By the time I finished this soup, I was like..."The phrase? What phrase?!" ^_^


Ning said...

Welcome back Rita! Missed your funny stories! Looking at your "scrawny" pictures, I think it would be good for you to gain some weight. :)

noobcook said...

Welcome back!! :D wahahaha ... I love your action plan ... Lovely chicken soup, such a nice comfort food~ :)

Lidia Sianturi said...

Welcome back! I like the idea of "whatever" to name the canned soda..hehehe...

daphne said...

as long as we are healthy and enjoy food right? =)

and u look just as beautiful! What fat. hrpm!

FFichiban said...

Welcome back! Haha I know what you mean.. whenever I go back to Asia I always return as a puff cos the food there is sooo goodd!

Ruth Daniels said...

Welcome back and remember that all those people are just jealous!

And the soup looks and sounds like a perfect meal whatever the dieting plans. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Jin Hooi said...

welcome back Rita!! Aww.. i missed reading ur blog so much !!! U look beautiful as u r now, not fat la!!

elsye said...

doyan aku iki :D....jadi pengen ikutan nyeruput sop nya :P

A.G said...

oleh-olehe ndi :P.....
sopmu model sop express yooo syedep n praktis

Anonymous said...

Hello! Just discovered your blog and liked it enough to subscribe.

Actually, those drinks are made in Singapore, and there are 2 types. "Anything" which is the one you have here and is carbonated...and indeed, "Whatever", a non-carbonated version which actually does exist!

The flavours are not printed on the cans so you won't actually know what you get until you drink it.

Anonymous said...

oh! And the names for the drinks were decided because when the nominated drink-buyer is taking orders for drinks, there will invariably be someone who says "get me anything" or "whatever".

Little Corner of Mine said...

Welcome back Rita! Oh, don't we hate that phase. I'm wondering why those people are so tactless, I don't think anyone loves to hear it, but yet they say it anyway. DUH!

Rita said...

Welcome back! I know how you feel, I decided not to worry about it anymore, instead I make sure I stay healthy, that's all. Who cares what size pants you wear?

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Wow, you really have got all the versions correctly!!

I have never encountered the "You must have been so happy" gentle version until very recently. From my mother! Haha! =D

But yes, I know what you mean. I fear that I am also ballooning out of control. Although, I have never lost weight in any significant fashion like you have. Of course, that's probably because I never tried. Too lazy. ;)

I'll do something about it... eventually.


[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

The power of chicken soup to make people forget: you tell em, girl! LOL

Maybe people are just too thin over there. I looked at your picture and you ARE thin!

CECIL said...

Welcome back!!

kittie said...

I can't believe people would say that - how rude!! My family think they have a god-given right to pass comment on each others weight - and I barely take it from them - and definitely wouldn't from strangers ;)

(Once, at Christmas after not seeing my family for a couple of months, my sister took me to one side to ask if I was absolutely positive I wasn't pregnant. Because, y'know, I had got so fat!!!)

Mónica said...

Welcome back Rita!
Your soup looks so tasty! Pure comfort food.

Dwiana P said...

Rita, itu green tea nya buat gw yah. seger bener euy:)

deeTha said...

diet?no way.. sop ayam?okeeey.. syeger tnan :P
ttg bumbu ngohyong kui opo? kae ws tak jawab.. hehe

Zen Chef said...

I heard myself saying the same phrase as i was walking by a mirror this afternoon. Gosh, all this food blogging is gaining on us. Isn't it what you call 'Pork chop' in HK? :-) haha.

No matter what you do, don't hit the gym! It's on page 123 of the food blogger code of conduct. Have another scoop of ice cream instead. ;-)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

You're not fat! What meanies!

tigerfish said...

Welcome back! Don't care about what other pple say, as long as you are happy doing what you enjoy, right?