Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hantu Kuali.

Of all the ghosts, hantu kuali is the least scary because there are so many of them, as many as there are kuali in the world, and they don't have a leader. You have one in your house, lurking in the kitchen attaching itself to your kuali. There are only two types of hantu kuali, regular and non-stick.

You will know right away that they are in your house when your fish doesn't fry right, or your sunny side up turns up wrong with the yolk all messy all over the skillet when you try to scoop it into your plate. It doesn't make you mad all that much but it irritates you a little to see your egg all messed up when the warranty card says your skillet is 100% non-stick. Nothing to worry about. It's hantu kuali trying to get you into a game. It's pretty harmless. It won't cause too much trouble to you in broad daylight, or in the morning when it is all bright and sunny. But it is an entirely different story if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry all a sudden thinking to yourself, maybe I go down the kitchen to fry an egg, or a frankfurter, or a meat patty. I say go down the kitchen because I presume you live in a double storey house in a nice suburb somewhere in the city, or some other middle-class neighborhoods in the country.

At night when it is all quiet hantu kuali can be quite naughty. And bad. In the kitchen you turn on the light and there it is, the kuali hanging from a hook waiting for you to take its handle. You'd better be nice not to hold the handle too hard because they are sleeping and they don't like it when you wake them up holding them by the ear, or the handle of the skillet. It can get them into a foul mood. Especially at night when you are the only person in the kitchen, with hantu kuali. You place the kuali on the range. Hard. That's another no no but you just did that because you find it hard to adjust the knock when you are half awake. Actually you have just knocked its bottom against a hard cold range. As if that isn't enough, you turn on the fire and leave your skillet hot before you put in the oil. At this stage you are really pushing your luck with this hantu kuali eventhough I've said ealier that generally, hantu kuali is harmless. But remember, this is at night and you are alone in the kitchen.

(Camera pans on the blue-flame of the rage. A close-up shot of the side of the skillet. A faint sound of oil heating up. The sound of an egg being cracked open, followed by the deep, baritone sound of a human voice humming a mantra that sounds like Thai.)


Blogger 2wenty3hree said...

hantu kuali eh? so all these whiles, those awry-gone cooking is because a hantu kuali was doing its mischief and not because of my bad cooking skills?


12:44 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

HELLO... I was under the impression that hantu's are supposed to be scary and not hilarious!

My mother does not have a hantu lurking behind her kuali but instead has a kuali berhantu. Its black and dah become so thin from over 40 years of cooking and frying in it... just think of all the 'black metal' that has found its way into our bellies... For close to 30 years it was the only kuali that she had had. From when I was old enough to start cooking I had wanted to inherit it from her. Its just so shiny and beautiful and food that comes out of it just tastes so good. When I moved to Labuan a few years ago, my mother presented it to me as a going-away present. But when I moved back (coz I couldn't stand being away from my parents and my husband could no longer afford the weekly trips back home.. hehe), she promptly reared her ugly elbow... (buruk siku daaa...) and asked for it back... Even when she has 9 other kualis of all sizes, designs and makes hanging from hooks in the wet-kitchen.

12:50 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

your story is dead hilarious but i still get goosebumps reading it.

and this comes from someone who tried to summon hantu raya and hantu tetek from the depths of the seas once.

ps/ i think there are a few hantu kuali, hantu periuk and hantu dapur lurking in the dark recesses of my kitchen.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

hahaha - wait for my next post - as I had intended to write it before Ileave for this 'spooky' place. Ha! is it a hantu season? I was thinking abt this too..

2:49 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

@ babe

wahh hantu tetek got live inside the sea wun ka? Mana dia nak dapat bebudak lelaki untuk dikepit kat tgh laut tu? Unless of course she/it makes do with errant sailors and oil riggers.

3:22 PM  
Blogger torts said...

a hantu kuali seems to serve a hungry man pretty well... & it has to nite time.

4:00 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

2wenty3hree: No, ma'am. Ain't nothing wrong with your cooking. It's them hantu kuali.

Noni: The effect of this story will come later when you are all alone in the kitchen at three a.m. Or later, whichever comes first.

Babe: You tried to summon the ghosts? Do you this thing freelance, or are you a professional hired by someone? You're special, ma'am.

Kak Teh: The place you are staying now is spooky? Is it a 2nd World War building? Will keep a lookout for your entry, ma'am. Awang Goneng's latest entry is hilarious, of course you need to be a Terengganu true and true to understand it.

Noni: In all my years at sea, I never came across that sort of hantu that can leave me with a mammaries.

Torts: Yes, ma'am. You've got it right. It sneaks up on hungry men.

4:08 PM  
Blogger aalborg said...

so that's what it's called. I always thot I needed more oil!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

so now we oredi have 'Hantu Kuali'oredi , I can't wait for 'Ranjang Nafsu' next.

4:26 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

bergen, we have to stop meeting errr thinking like this lah. hehehe My new entry pun pasal kuali jugak cuma it is not hantu but b*nt*t kuali hehehe.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Count Byron said...

Wow Berg. You manage to summon all the hantu lovers to flock here..showing tetek, b*nt*t, and what have you ( or the hantu ).

Great stuff. I better be on the lookout for one in Countess' kitchen.. perchance it has mamaries to share too

6:35 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Ailin: Your cooking is fine, ma'am. It's...well you know what it is.

Noni: I don't think I am going to write that one, unless you insist. It is hard as it is trying to come up a ghost story in Malay according to the winning formula set by Mr Publisher. It's a tough going.

AuntyN: Yours is a better story, ma'am.

Count Byron: Be sure to be with countess when she's all alone in the kitchen, sir.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Ini dia cerita hantu kuali ...Ohhhhhhhhh

6:33 AM  

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