Hot & Sour: A No No

I went to Bidan Iie (read: Beedone Ee ee’), a most friendly midwife in my community, last Friday to get my pregnancy checked up. Upon consultation about my stomach cramps, she advised me to strictly avoid foods that promote excessive build-up of acids in my tummy. Apparently, as I’m currently hosting two gastric — one of my own and the other is my baby’s — the tendency of having accumulation of acids in my stomach cavity is high, hence the muscle cramps.

So, here I am, constantly recalling the invisible list of foods I should restrain from and weighing the potential risk of submitting to my craving. Bidan Iie said I shouldn’t eat hot and sour foods. You know what, among the few things I’ve been crying out for are a little hot bakso, a popular Indonesian meatball soup, and the spicy and sour pempek, which is a traditional fried fish balls in mixture of sweet and sour soy sauce vinegar, dried prawns, and cucumber. Sometimes I do desire for soto mie as well, that is some sort of tasty noodle soup with meat-based broth, topped with fresh tomatoes, fried potatoes, cabbage, and pieces of meats. Yummmm!

I crave for soupy dishes. That’s the fact. And well, it’s actually ok to eat them without mixing a spoonful of chili paste nor ketchup into them. However, without a bit of hotness or spiciness of the broth, the dishes become, at least to me, less enjoyable. I’d still ache for a bowl of any of them.

Bakso and soto mie weren’t much to consider about. Whenever I long for any of them, despite knowing the risk, I’d simply buy them and add a bit of sauce and chili paste to simply satisfy my craving, hoping that a tiny bit wouldn’t affect me much. Pempek, however, have been many times resisted. To eat the dish without the hot and sour blackened vinegar would only remove the gist of the dish and why it was created at the first place. The vinegar is what makes the dish called pempek; otherwise, just call it fried fish balls. Unfortunately, the mere balls wouldn’t manage to satisfy my cravings. I wish I could take it (the dish) along with the sour vinegar. But, I remember numerous times my stomach got so tight during the fifth months of my first pregnancy, in 2009. For that experience, so far I’ve still managed to keep away from this most tempting, favourite of mine. I don’t know till when.

Anyway, I insisted on cooking a sumptuous sweet and sour bolognaise yesterday, out of my yearning for a weekend spaghetti treat. I have no doubt I’d venture on other prohibited meals in future. Fingers crossed, I certainly hope things will go just fine and my baby is keeping up with his or her mummy’s crazy food adventure. God-willing, insya Allah. I look forward to discover my other cravings and enjoy the conscience-bogging struggles of satisfying them or restraining from them.

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