lemon basil

I live in a tropical country where sun shines 365 days a year. And I have never grown anything my whole life. Weird? Not really. I am what you would call, a plant killer. Anything I touched would wilt and die tragically – I am referring to flora species only here. Although not specifically limited to that, I can add tortoises, gold fish, koi, iguana, etc. 

I would love very much to have herb garden. Whenever I feel like cooking something, I can just step out to the front yard and yank some plants out and I would be on my way. Wouldn’t that be marvelous? 

I did try some packaged seeds with no avail. About a month ago, Pai bought too much lemon basil and without much thinking I grabbed 5 bunches. I walked out to the garden and just sticked them into a potted moist dirt. The next week, Pai told me that we have flourishing lemon basil plants! 

Lemon basil is used a lot in Indonesian cooking. I will feature more of these dishes later. Definitely. I am too excited about this. I have mint, parsley and coriander on the way. Let’s see whether they survive. 

*fingers crossed*


We live in the tropics, where people hardly ever heard of Thanksgiving. I thought it would be great to have a nice dinner party introducing the concept of Thanksgiving to our family and close friends. There are a lot to be thankful for all year round of 2008, and what would be best to sum it up with a nice dinner in the garden? 

I could not be happier when my proposal for November 24 meals, 24 hours, 24 blogs was selected by FoodBuzz. That is a great opportunity that I had never thought would be possible. 

The preparation started two weeks ago with party theme, choice of menu, guest list, cutleries and dinnerware,  music list and basic party needs such as tables, chairs, light fixtures. Then I moved on to the shopping, cooking schedule and deadline, decoration. Read on to see how it all went.

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Bread stuffing for turkey

I modified some of the recipes I found with the ingredients I could find here. The stuffing and gravy were the hit amongst the guests. The gravy was all gone during the first 20 minutes. Maybe next time around I should double the recipe. 

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Roast Turkey

Adapted from FoodNetwork, I picked this recipe amongst thousands of other ones I have found because it was the simplest and seemed to be really easy. 

The turkey turned out to be moist and lightly scented with the aromatics. The brine flavored the turkey subtly. A perfect one for guests who had never had turkey before. 

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Anchovies with Green Chili

 anchovies with green chili
A new anchovies dish that we experimented with for Thanksgiving dinner party. It received a rave review from our guests. The right amount of chili and the sweetness on the tip of your tongue will definitely make you dance. Well, not literally, you know what I meant. Definitely the easiest dish of the day.

Photos taken by Rusdy Suki

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