07 October 2015

Our Mid-Morning Snack

Even for teenagers, we consumed a lot of food. Many of my memories of my teen years revolve around food: making it, eating it, hiding it from my little siblings so that I didn't have to get the idea.

I have always immensely enjoyed eating. Just up the road from where we lived was a family-owned puri stall that sold puri sets each morning for 1.30RM (0.30 cents USD). A puri set consisted of two deep-fried flatbreads, one slathered with a generous serving of potato curry, and the other placed on top, like a sandwich, rolled up in a sheet of brown waxed paper, ready for anyone to take home for a quick, cheap breakfast.

We loved them. I still do. Just typing out the description is making me hungry.

Isaac and I would scheme together during school in the mornings. Once it started getting close to 10 a.m., we deemed it was an appropriate time of day to start insisting that it had been long enough since breakfast that we were beginning to feel excessively hungry. "Hey Mom," we suggested, "Would it be okay if we walked up to the puri shop and brought back a snack for everyone?"

As if it were a service we'd be doing for everyone else.

Many times, she'd say yes, and we'd march up the hill, clutching a 10RM bill and some change, and order 8 puri set--one for each of us 6 kids, one for mom, and one for Auntie Letchimi, who at that time cleaned our house on weekday mornings.

When we weren't buying take-away puri, we cooked all our meals in our own little outdoor kitchen--the extra gas bottle was so that we'd never run out of gas in the middle of cooking a meal! (We learned from experience.)

We'd wait as the lady stacked our brown paper packages into a plastic bag, handed her the money, and then took off for home. We didn't bother with walking all the way down to the intersection to cross the street (since Mom wasn't there to make us), we'd just climb over the cement divider in the middle of the road. We'd march through the front door and by this time, word of the mid-morning snack had spread through the family, so everyone had moved from the school room to the dining table. We'd drink glasses of cool, sweet iced tea while we snacked on our spicy curry and bread, and Auntie Letchimi would tell us stories--stories that depended on her mood--they might be stories from when she was young and lived on a farm on the mainland with her parents and grandparents, or about one or more of her five children, or about working for an Australian family a decade or two ago, or everyday neighborhood gossip. In that neighborhood--everyone knew everyone's business. They even heard when your home phone rang at 3 in the morning, knew it must be your American relatives (because who else calls at ungodly hours), and would ask the next days if the news from America had been good or bad. That's how far sound carries.

Mom wasn't the biggest fan of these mid-morning snack breaks, as it's obvious that taking breaks is not the most efficient way to get school done, and when you're the boss, you have to think about such matters, but we loved our puri.

The same family still runs that little puri shop. These days, I live a little farther away. If I get a craving for puri, I'll probably send Angel in the car to grab a couple of sets for us. They still use the same brown paper, though the price has gone up 10 or 20 sen over the years.

{This is Day 8 in my 31 Days series: 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia}
Moonofsilver said...

I want to try this!!!

Rachel said...

Oh, they're so good. I'm sure there's recipes online. Healthwise--well, it's deep-fried bread, so we know it's not something to eat for its nutritional benefits.

Tayler Morrell said...

Those sound delicious! You should put up a recipe of one sometime if you know it!

Bekah Loves Blog said...

That sounds delicious!

Suzanne said...

What's not to like about deep fried bread? LOL


Charlene Maugeri said...

Oh my goodness. This sounds absolutely amazing. And I love the memories you have revolving around puri sets! So fun!

Paige @ Reasons to Come Home said...

What a great memory! And now I need to try one!