Monday, April 20, 2009

Trout for Lunch and Salmon to take Home

Trout for Lunch and Salmon to take Home

Sunday was muggy and damp all day. Heavy cloud above, fog in the morning and no sun at all. I have a bit of sleep after work, just 20 winks, but I continued my sleep in the car on the way to Oamaru. We started at 10.30am, and arrive at Pak Tam’s place in Oamaru around 2.30pm.
He was busy marinating a filleted headless salmon, spread out on a sheet of aluminum foil on the lid of big chest freezer. He cut lengthwise, all the bones have been carefully pulled out with a tweezer. Then he rubbed olive oil and brown sugar on the salmon meat. The skin has been left intact, to retain the form of the fish. That is it, no other flavouring, herbs or spices. Salmon is a delicious and flavourful on its own, and tasty, not bland, tasteless like any other fish. So there is no need to add any herbs nor spices to hide the blandness.
While he was working, I told him that Mahmud, Firdaus, Mahzan Mahbob and Amir Shakib all send their salam to him. He lit up like a firecracker, he was happy that all those guys from years ago still remember him.
He scratched his head trying to remember which one is Firdaus.
"Alahai, that the son of MSD Director who studied to be a dentist in Otago years ago" I said.
Now he remembers.
Pak Tam repeated their names, and told me that Mahzan Mahbob was one brainy fellow who was set to become a millionaire. Yes I told Pak Tam that Mahzan is running a business in Pudu, but not more than that, because I don’t know if that is Mahzan’s own business or he is managing it for someone else. But I told him that Naim is successful, with his own contracting company. He is also a good son, taking care of his invalid parent.
"Naim came here a couple of years ago" said Pak Tam.
Pak Tam recited a hadith, Rasullullah was asked by a companion, (which sounds something like this) “Who shall I take care first, Rasulullah, my mother or my father?”
To which the Prophet said, “Your mother.”
The companion asked again, “And then?”
Again, “Your mother.”
The companion asked again, “And then?”
Again, “Your mother.”
Pak Tam said, “ Your mother 3 times, only then your father.”
“Barakah and blessings are for the son or child who takes care of their parent. Rezeki murah and Allah will provide for him.” He continued.
“Ask Naim if he remember carrying the sack of kahawai from Waimakariri, and he get fever the next day from working too hard.”
“We got over 200 kahawai that time, and we gave them away at the masjid and to the students in Christchurch.” Pak Tam was relating the story back in the 80’s when Rashidi and him was fishing for kahawai at Waimakariri River mouth.

There were 4-5 headless cleaned and gutted salmon in a plastic container. Kak Julie asked, “Can I buy these salmon.”
“No they are not for sale.” Pak Tam said.
“Those are for sadaqah, to be given away free. If I sell them, the benefit of it is just the money that I get. If I spend that money, it finish.”
“If I give it away, even if I get one Bismillah that is more than enough already.”

He gave one to each of us.

Lunch was ready, white rice, mixed vegetable (cauliflower, carrot and beans) fried lightly, trout masak asam and fried rainbow trout steak.

Then we drove to Zaidi's place down the road, by the railway line near the beach. It was a 1920's bungalow, 3 bedroom, stipled concrete, 3 car garage on a quarter acre section. There is even a chicken coop in the backyard, with few chicken in it. All that for $150K.
We picked the two dressed sheep and bundled it into the car. Zaidi gave us 2 big plastic container of goat milk as well as some silver beet.

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