There wasn't a food processor, oven or even a kitchen bench in sight, but preparations were busily under way for lunch local style.
Gathered on a large, carpet-covered platform under a tall thatched roof, a group of local women and men were pounding spices, plucking chickens and stirring pots from which delicious aromas filled the air.
I was invited to try my hand at crushing herbs and spices but I think they did it a lot better.
It was all part of a morning tour of a Sasak Village on South Lombok, Indonesia. This was close to where I was staying at Novotel Lombok's villas set amongst luscious tropical gardens edged by a white sand beach and turquoise bay.
Meeting these people was pure delight as they welcomed us into their homes, even creating local versions of our names so I became Kerryanna for the day!
While Australians have long had a love affair with Bali, just beyond its shores lie 1,500 other islands like Lombok waiting to be discovered. I flew here via Denpassar, Bali with Garuda who will soon be offering direct flights from Brisbane.
Here's the 'cooking school' ...
|Some of our ingredients|
|Preparing the meat|
|This is the stove|
|Preparing a chicken|
They live a simple life but there's plenty of happy faces. Their homes are created from bamboo, thatch and mud but have stood the test of time.
Just as well I had a guide to follow through the village as it was maze-like with its paths and alleys.
|Here's our guide|
|This is a traditional form of Ikat weaving|
|Age is no barrier to weaving in this village!|
|Inside the houses were very simple and neat|
|The jewellery was all for sale, of course!|
I really enjoyed talking with the young women and girls and sharing a little insight into their lives.
The tour ended with a delightfully gritty and sweet traditional Indonesian coffee.
This tour was organised by Novotel Lombok
More on Lombok
Sleeping around Lombok
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was travelling as a member of the Australian Travel Writers Association for their annual conference held in Lombok.