Potato Rolls

I always love to bake bread. I love the smell when it comes out from the oven, the smell that  washes down all the waiting time to see it rise, the messy hands of kneading. After all I never mind them all and just love to make bread.

This is my first time making it , I usually make plain bread . I think I have fallen in love with this kind. Sweet, fluffy, chewy…hmmm just good.

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You can see its beautiful and tempting looks, right ? Or I just love to say it hehehe.

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Let’s see the recipe.

Ingredients :

2 medium potato, boiled and mashed

2 eggs

6 tablespoons of granulated sugar

115 g butter and more for brushing

1/2 cup warm milk

11 g dry yeast

4 or more cups of all-purpose-flour

Get start :

Proof the dry yeast with a tablespoon of warm water ( I usually do this in the first step of making a bread )

With a wooden spoon, mix the mashed potato, the proofing yeast, 2 cups of flour, the milk, 4 tablespoons of sugar  and the eggs till you get a sticky and shaggy dough. Put it aside, cover with plastic wrap or tablecloth till the dough doubles in volume. I let it for about  1 and a half hour.

Cream the butter with the remaining sugar for about 3 minutes. Pour into the dough and add the remaining flour. Knead the dough till you get a still-a bit-sticky and smooth dough. Don’t worry about it gets stick on your fingers. When you make the balls of the dough, put some flour on the fingers and you can easily shape the dough into balls. I don’t use any measurement, just pulls put some dough and shape it and put it into the buttered round pan. I still have some dough and just make a ribbon shape bread ( forget to take the picture of it )

Bake it for about 30-35 minutes. My oven is at 190 C max so that’s the highest heat I can use. If the top browns too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil and continue to bake. I love my bread to have some darkest and bit crispy side and bottom.

Brush the top with melted butter soon as you take the bread out from the oven.








A strange place of healing

I am not a mall shopper. I’d prefer to shop at small shops around the neigborhood or traditional market than going to mall. The mall is where I hunt for books. 

The thing I want to share about what I think of the shopping mall is I have found out the place could be my remedial emotional breakdown. It’s not about spending all my money for books to make myself feel better, but just sit at one of the public benches provided inside the mall with a glass of fresh lemongrass tea and deep eyes.

Deep eyes. The thing I do is letting my eyes wander around and read many pieces of life stories. A mother tries to calm down her little girl or boy’s tantrum. A young teen couple passing by holding each other’s hands with eyes filled with young love. Parents with toddlers , are happily window shoppings, kids with extreme energy playing at the amusement onsite park ( I love to sit around the place and enjoy another form of chaos which in a way soothes me ). Or just watching a guy or sometimes a woman getting busy with their IPad at a cafe nearby. 

Just a couple of hours sitting there has released my own heart tantrums. Strange place to soothe a breakdown feeling but it helps me. 

The Tin Christmas Tree


A creative handmade Christmas tree , made of empty tins of soda drink , built on the front hall of our church, Saint Mary Regina. Someone probably can build a tree like this after a whole year drinking the soda. In the sense of art ; unique. In the sense of health ; quite scary.
Anyway, let us enjoy the thrill of the
coming joy. Keep the spirit up and stay healthy.


On the 10th floor, the lift door opened and a young man walked in. Wearing a pale blue shirt and dark blue trousers, Alina’s glance fixed on his smile. Charming. Alina thought. At least I was lucky to have a charming smile with me through the basement. Fortunately, her meeting finished after the busy office hour so she could feel at ease being in an empty lift. She often got panic if the lift was full with people.

“Good evening,” the guy greeted her after pushed the P2 button.

“Good evening,” Alina smiled.

“Which floor are you in ? “ he leaned against the wall in front of her. It looked like he was glad that there were only two of them in the lift. His face was kind of lightened.

“Oh, I don’t work in this building. I just had a meeting on the 12th. How about   you ?”

“My office is here.”

By the time he finished saying it, suddenly a loud bang was heard. The lift jolted. Alina  jumped aside in a panic .

“What was it ?” she asked in horror. She quickly looked at the buttons beside the door. Off. Duh ! Please, don’t let this lift break down, God, Alina pleaded.

The guy immediately pushed the phone button . A voice came out from the speaker, asking them to stay calm . The lift would be normal in a few minutes.

Alina was terrified hearing the brief conversation between the guy and the person from the maintenance room. She took out her mobile. Oh no ! No signal at all.

“Relax, lady. It’s nothing. The lift will be normal in a minute.” The guy calmed her down.

Alina with her heart was beating fast , nodding weakly. Looking at his calming smile, Alina tried to get grip on herself.

“Well, I am easily get panic if get locked in a small room.”

Let him knew my weakness, Alina thought. It’s better than she pretended to be brave and suddenly collapsed. That would be unbearable embarrassed .

The guy with that nice smile, holding out his hand.

“At least for a while, we can have a chat and know each other’s name. I am Adrian.”

Shyly, Alina took his hand and said her name. She felt a sharp cold on his hand. Perhaps it’s because the air-condition. She felt this building’s central air-condition was too much as well.

Now she could take a good look of his face. He’s not too good looking but he seemed nice with his smiling lips . He had a clear black eyes . If we looked at it for quite long, it would give us a cold feeling. But Alina felt the way Adrian looked at her was friendly . That made her forget her panic .

Alina agreed with him that at least by talking to each other, she could be calm and breathed easily.

“Do you realize that people like us whose names started with A , get disadvantage sometimes,” said Adrian.

“Is it ? I’d never thought about it,” Alina laughed slightly.

“When I was at Elementary , I was always asked to sit in front and if I skipped class, I was easily known ,because my name was on the first list,” Adrian laughed and showed off his fine white teeth. Alina laughed too.

“Hmm, when was it ?” Alina teased.

“Well, probably just two grades before you,” Adrian laughed.

“Have you worked here long ?”

“Yup. Long enough to take the parking space for new tenants.”

Alina laughed. What a clown. It felt talking to him for hours would not be boring. But sadly, they would part in a few minutes. Alina hoped they could talk a bit longer and asked for each other’s phone number. Having another new friend sounded good, especially the one who was charming like Adrian.

“Looks like you are lucky enough to not being able to move out from this building.”

“Too bad, you are right. I am .” Adrian looked away at the door. Alina saw he narrowed his eyes, like he was holding a pain inside him.

“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude.”

Adrian looked at her and smiled.

“Well, sometimes what we want in this life is not what we get. Don’t you think   so ?”

Alina nodded. Yes. Like what she was having right now. Trapped in this lift with Adrian though he was nice , but this had delayed her to meet Sandra for a movie at Pacific Place . They had planned to see “Gravity”. Sandra must have been worried as her phone had no signal at all. The movie would begin in about ten minutes.

Suddenly the lift button was on and through the speaker they were informed that the lift would stop on the main lobby. Alina was relieved. Thank God it would not stop on the parking floor where they would face an empty area. In another six floor, they would say goodbye to each other.

“Thank you for the chat. It cured my panic.” Alina smiled.

“My pleasure.”

Shortly before the door opened on the main lobby, Alina held out her hand . Adrian softly held it briefly. His hand was still as cold as ice.

“Take care.” I hope to see you again one day, Alina thought.

Adrian just smiled.

In front of the open door, there were four men who two of them were the maintenance staff, considered their uniform, and two looked like the building management staff.

“I am Lukman from the management. We do apologize for the trouble, Mam,” said one of the men with no uniform.

Alina nodded. “I was a bit worried back then but thank God there was a guy from the 10th floor who was with me. He was the one who called the maintenance when the lift broke down.”

The four men were staring at each other in an awe.

“Do you know his name, Mam ?”

“Yes. Adrian. “ Alina looked left and right looking for Adrian but she did not see him. He had gone like a shadow.

“We both were going down to the parking lot.”

The four men stayed still then the guy whose name was Lukman, said to Alina.

“Pardon me, Mam. We don’t want to scare you away but you were the only person in the lift. And the man you talked about ? Mr. Adrian, he was killed in this building bombing in 2000. You’re right. His office was on the 10th floor. This has happened once before.”

When Alina heard the man’s explanation, she felt the floor crushed down. She was staring at them in a terrible shock . A chilling goosebump crept all over her body. She was clearly looking at Adrian’s nice smile and felt his cold hand when they shook hands.





Pada lantai sepuluh , lift berhenti. Pintu terbuka dan melenggang masuk seorang lelaki muda. Mengenakan kemeja lengan pendek polos biru pucat dan celana biru tua, pandangan Alina lebih tertuju pada senyuman lelaki itu. Charming. Alina membatin. Lumayan , sepuluh lantai menuju basement ada yang enak dipandang. Untunglah meetingnya selesai pas jam sibuk sudah lewat jadi setidaknya dia bisa lega di dalam lift tanpa merasa panik dalam lift yang penuh sesak .

“Selamat sore,” sapa lelaki itu setelah menekan tombol P2.

“Selamat sore.” Alina tersenyum.

“Kantor di lantai berapa, Mbak ?” lelaki tersebut bersandar ke dinding lift di hadapannya. Sepertinya dia lega juga lift hanya terisi mereka berdua. Keliatan dari raut mukanya yang tampak cerah.

“Oh saya hanya meeting tadi di lantai 12. Anda sendiri ?”

“Ya, saya ngantor di sini.”

Begitu lelaki itu selesai menjawab, tiba-tiba bunyi seperti sesuatu yang menghantam lantai terdengar. Alina seketika melompat dan tersandar pada dinding .

“Apa nih?” ujarnya panik. Dengan cepat diliriknya tombol-tombol lantai dekat pintu. Mati. Aduh ! Please, jangan lift nya tiba-tiba ngadat, Tuhan. Alina membatin cepat-cepat.

Lelaki di depannya dengan cepat menekan tombol phone . terdengar suara dari speaker memberitahu agar mereka yang berada dalam lift tetap tenang . Lift akan segera normal dalam beberapa saat.

Alina lemas mendengar percakapan antara lelaki itu dengan orang dari ruang maintenance lift. Diambilnya handphone dari dalam tas. Ampun ! Tidak ada sinyal.

“Tenang, Mbak. Tidak apa-apa. Sebentar lagi lift berjalan normal.” Lelaki itu menenangkannya.

Alina masih dalam keadaan panik dengan jantung berdebar-debar, mengangguk-angguk seperti orang bloon. Melihat senyuman menentramkan lelaki tersebut, sedikitnya dia berusaha untuk tenang.

“Ya. Saya suka panik kalau terkurung di ruang tertutup.”

Biarlah lelaki itu tahu kelemahannya. Daripada dia sok berani dan tiba-tiba pingsan. Sangat memalukan.

Lelaki tersebut masih dengan tersenyum, mengulurkan tangannya.

“Setidaknya untuk beberapa saat , kita bisa mengobrol dan tahu nama masing-masing. Saya, Adrian.”

Dengan agak malu, Alina menyambut uluran tangannya sambil menyebutkan namanya. Genggaman tangan Adrian agak terasa dingin. Mungkin dari AC karena tadi juga di ruang meeting, Alina kedinginan.

Sekarang baru lebih diperhatikannya raut wajah Adrian. Tidak tampan tapi menarik dengan bibirnya yang tampak selalu tersenyum itu. Matanya hitam jernih. Kalau dipandang lama-lama agak ngeri juga. Tapi Alina merasakan pandangan Adrian padanya ramah , sehingga rasa paniknya perlahan-lahan menghilang.

Alina setuju saran lelaki tersebut bahwa setidaknya dengan mengobrol, dia bisa melupakan rasa panik dan sesak nafasnya yang serasa tidak ada oksigen di dalam lift.

“Kamu sadar nggak kalau kita yang bernama berawalan A kadang ada disadvantagenya,” ujar Adrian.

“Apa ya ? Aku sih nggak pernah memikirkan itu,” Alina tertawa kecil.

“Kalau aku, waktu masih di SD, selalu diminta duduk di depan dan pasti ketahuan kalau bolos karena nama di absen selalu yang paling pertama,” Adrian tertawa dan menampakkan barisan gigi putihnya. Alina ikut tertawa.

“Wah, SD jaman kapan itu ? “ candanya.

“Paling dua kelas di atas kamu,” sahut Adrian tertawa.

“Sudah lama ngantor di sini ? “

“Ya, cukup lama untuk mengambil jatah space parkir penghuni gedung yang baru.”

Alina tertawa. Konyol juga lelaki ini. Rasanya mengobrol berjam-jam dengan dia akan terasa menyenangkan. Tapi sayangnya, sebentar lagi mereka akan terpisah. Alina sedikit berharap mereka mengobrol cukup lama untuk saling menukar nomor telepon. Menambah teman tidak ada salahnya. Apalagi yang menyenangkan seperti Adrian.

“Beruntungnya sudah nggak mungkin pindah ya ?”

“Sayangnya, ya.” Adrian melemparkan padangannya ke pintu lift. Dari samping, Alina bisa melihat matanya menyipit, seperti menahan rasa sakit.

“Maaf Adrian, aku bercanda.” Alina merasa tidak enak.

Adrian menoleh dan tersenyum.

“Well, kadang keinginan kita tidak selalu sesuai dengan keadaan yang kita hadapi. Dalam banyak hal di hidup. Menurutmu, benar tidak ?”

Alina mengangguk. Ya. Seperti keadaannya sekarang . Terjebak dalam lift bersama Adrian dan membuat dia kehilangan waktu untuk menemui Sandra di PP untuk nonton bareng Gravity. Pasti Sandra panik menunggunya sementara handphonenya tidak bisa dihubungi dan jam masuk bioskop sepuluh menit lagi. Meskipun gantinya, dia mendapat teman ngobrol seramah Adrian.

Tiba-tiba tombol lift menyala dan lewat speaker mereka diberitahu lift akan berhenti di Lobby Utama. Alina bernafas lega. Setidaknya lift tidak berhenti di tempat parkir yang begitu pintunya terbuka, yang terlihat hanya area kosong. Enam lantai lagi mereka akan berpisah.

“Terima kasih ya atas obrolannya. Rasa panikku jadi lenyap.”


Sesaat sebelum pintu lift terbuka di Lobby Utama, Alina mengulurkan tangannya dan disambut Adrian. Tangan Adrian masih sedingin tadi.

“Sampai jumpa.” Dalam hatinya Alina membatin, semoga kita bisa ketemu lagi.

Adrian hanya tersenyum.

Di depan pintu sudah berdiri beberapa orang, yang tampak dari seragamnya , mereka pasti bagian maintenance gedung, serta dua orang berpakaian biasa. Mungkin dari pengelola gedung.

“ Saya Lukman dari pengelola gedung . Kami mohon maaf , Bu, atas kejadian ini,” ujar salah satu dari lelaki itu.

Alina mengangguk. “Ya. Tadi saya sempat kuatir tapi untunglah ada pegawai dari lantai 10 yang bersama saya. Dia yang menelpon ke bagian maintenance begitu liftnya mati.”

Empat lelaki di hadapannya saling berpandangan.

“Ibu tahu nama orang tersebut ?”

“Ya. Namanya Adrian.” Alina melihat kiri kanan mencari sosok Adrian tapi sudah tidak nampak. Seperti menghilang saja perginya.

“Kami sama-sama mau ke parkiran,” ujar Alina.

Keempat lelaki tersebut terdiam. Lalu lelaki yang bernama Lukman tersebut berujar.

“Maaf Bu, kami tidak bermaksud menakuti Ibu, tapi tadi Ibu sendirian saja di dalam lift. Dan Pak Adrian yang Ibu bilang itu, almarhum meninggal dalam pengeboman gedung thn 2000, Bu. Memang, kantornya di lantai 10, Bu. Kejadian seperti yang Ibu alami sudah pernah terjadi sebelumnya. “

Begitu mendengar penjelasan tersebut, kali ini Alina merasa lantai yang dipijaknya benar-benar ambruk. Dia membelalak dengan mulut ternganga. Rasa dingin mengaliri seluruh tubuhnya. Di pelupuk matanya hanya terbayang senyum ramah Adrian dan genggamannya yang sedingin es.