17 September, 2012 1 Comment
Albert Einstein once quoted “Necessity is the mother of all invention”. He could have been talking about the boys and girls of MRSM Seremban. They are so full of innovations and invention.
One innovation I remember well is the ROTI SETERIKA. Now, one wonders why a person would want to iron a slice of bread.
Aha! On those odd Saturdays or Sundays, when many a poor boy (or girl, as the case may be) would sleep in and wake up later than they normally would, they would miss the breakfast service at the dining hall. Now, regulations stipulates that no food be served outside the stipulated service hours.
But, the Abangs and Kakaks Dapur, God bless them, would purposely leave out loaves of bread for those sleepy heads who ambled their way into the dining hall at 10.00 am looking for scraps. (Yes, you can picture those sleepy faces in your mind), They’d find these loaves of bread at the service counter, maybe with some margarine.
Normally, these sleepy heads would take a whole loaf of sliced bread, with dabs of margarine, back to the hostel. But eating cold slices of bread with margarine is not that appetising. Would bread slice taste better if toasted? Hence the Seterika.
One would take a slice of bread and lapik using a piece of paper. A piece of foolscap paper would do (masa tu belum ada kertas A4 AA). One cannot directly iron the bread, or the bread would fuse (melekat) to the iron. One would then iron the slice of bread as one would iron a piece of shirt. Not too much pressing mind you, or the bread will be penyek… Set the iron to high heat, and viola! Toast is ready. Put on a dab of margarine, and the plain old roti slice would taste wonderful. Kalau ada gula, sprinkle some crystal sugar on the roti bakar. Yum yum….
This is when there was no Gardenia bread (memang sedap dimakan begitu saja) around.
In those days, convenience snacks were not readily available. And on RM15 per month pocket money, one would have to stretch the ringgit so that it’d go a long, long way.
Roti Seterika was a good way to have a hearty meal on the Saturdays and Sundays without having to spurge your cash. And what a brilliant was of community bonding. You see, the roti seterika is usually a communal effort between small groups of BFFs. Those who has not stayed in hostels wouldn’t even begin to understand that bind between us, of why that bind is strong.
Nowadays, I still have my roti bakar on the odd Saturday or Sunday morning. And still splash a dab of margarine, with sprinkles of sugar crystals on that piece of bread. Ah, yesterday, when I was young….