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Last Night--simply Yummy!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Indian Parsi Community maybe the most dimunitive one but it surely has made it's presence felt in the progress of India's Industries by contributing such names as the Tatas,the Godrej family and the Wadias. There have been many legal Luminaries among them--and many of our Freedom Fighters too have belonged to it--in a nutshell it is an illustrious Community indeed!!Sherry Aunty who was the Principal of the Chandigarh College of Home Science was someone I knew from a very young age.Her infectious laugh and Joie de Vivre made her very popular---for me however it was her shoes and perfumes that really made an impression!!The former were custom made by hand from Chinese shoemakers in Simla and the latter sourced in the Bazaars of Bombay!!Of course contact with her niece Meher brought her even closer as Meher and I were roughly the same age.
My real contact with this Community came after my marriage to Sudhir.Not only were our GPs Parsi--but the Legal Community had many Luminaries from this Community--and there would be loads of Invitations to attend Weddings and Thread Ceremonies of young children known as "Navjyots" that were numerous.The Parsi appetite is known to be extremely large--and the huge portions served at each event are a testimony to that.The first such Wedding I attended was barely a month after my own.Sudhir and I along with Milind and Nina went to this beautiful Wedding at the "Agiary" or Fire Temple near Afghan Church in South Bombay.It was a truly overwhelming and enjoyable experience for me.The entire Agiary Courtyard was lit up with Fairy Lights--these were strung over every Coconut Palm Tree around--and trailed over Shrubs and Vines in the Courtyard.The Dining Tables were laid out in straight lines--covered with crisp White Damask Tablecloths and had colourful Fairy Lanterns strategically placed over them.There was a Live Band performing and the kids were having a gala time dancing to the latest English Pop songs.The turn out was very impressive--the men in formal Suits or in traditional Parsi "Daglas",most of them sporting the traditional,shiny ,squarish conical hats on their heads.The women were like bejewelled Peacocks--flaunting their multi hued beautiful hand embroidered "Garaas" ---in rich Purple,Emerald Green,Shocking Pink and Royal Blue--the rich Silk thread Embroidery being shown off to perfection against the rich,deep Colours.It was however the Jewellery that was spectacular--for such occasions were the time to flaunt it--and antique Pearl and Precious stone studded pieces were twinkling at the throats,ears and arms of the ladies.For my uninitiated eyes it was a glimpse into an exotic Paradise---very dignified yet full of glitter!!The circulation of soft and hard drinks along with various Tit Bits added to the ambience and atmosphere--all very chic and sophisticated!!This Picture was to shatter soon--as soon as the cry "Jamwaa Chaalo Ni" was uttered.Those words are the traditional call to take one's place for Dinner at the long tables laid out in rows under the Stars.
All those haughty,dignified men and women changed in that one instance--the ladies picked up the skirts of their volumnious Saries almost up to their knees and made a dash for the Tables followed by the men--trying to get there before the others!!The lucky ones who got there quickly began knocking over the Chairs against the Tables--reserving place for their friends and family.Sudhir had caught hold of my hand and half pulled and half dragged me to where Milind had reserved 4 places for us---that was when I vowed that I'd never wear high heels again to any Parsi event!!The Food was served on tender Banana Leaves--extremely sumptuous and scrumptious---those who have attended similar "Dos" will know what I'm talking about--but for those who haven't--here it comes!!The Meal begins with a bottle of one's choice of a Soft drink, hot Indian Bread and a tasty Pickle called "Lagan nu Achaar'.This is sweet,sour,spicy and simply yummy---made with a rich mixture of Dates and other Dry Fruits cooked along with certain Spices in Vinegar and Sugar syrup!!This course is followed by an Egg Dish course,followed a Chicken Course,followed by a Fish Course,then a Meat Course which finally brings one to the scrumptious Dal-Palao with Mince Meat (Kheema) Kababs.Luckily those days my stomach was a bottomless pit--and I managed to sail through the entire Menu creditably even with the addition of dollops of Fresh Cream Cheese,Crisp Wafers,a yummy Bread pudding called "Lagan nu Custard" and many other Condiments that accompanied each course.By the time the Sweet Course came around I was satiated and full--but like a glutton ate whatever was offered!!There have been many such Dinners since through the years and I became a veteran at outrunning even the fastest to unashamedly corner our seats at the Table---but the thrill and wonder of that first Dinner was never replicated.The Food is as wonderful as ever---but slowly the capacity to gorge as before lessened and yesterday I finally acknowledged ruefully to myself that my eating days were over!!
One of Ritu's colleagues named Daisy celebrated the Navjyot of her two grandsons yesterday.This was my first real outing after Sudhir passed away---and while I was looking forward to going the spark of anticipation was missing.As expected there was a surfeit of the Starters---both Non vegetarian and Vegetarian---but I was forced to limit myself--or I wouldn't have been able to eat Dinner!!The Meal was as wonderful and mouthwatering as was expected--but Ritu and I left the Eggs,shared part of the huge portion of Chicken,ploughed our way through the large portion of excellent Fish but refused the Meat--because we wanted to eat the Dal Palao!! Finally stuffed to the gills we refused the Sweet--but womanfully ate our way through the Cream Cheese and shared the Custard too!!Now I'm set for a year of not eating Parsi Food--for such Food is available outside Parsi homes very rarely--hence the anticipation and eagerness to have a bite of it!!All I will say now is that God Bless you Mrs.Godiwalla--may you continue cooking your excellent Meals through the future Generations too!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 2/23/2013 12:07AM

    Oh Komal I just love your blogs they are an education and a joy in themselves.I really like Saasha17's description you are an Indian Enid Blyton ! Long may you write !

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CHARITY1973 2/17/2013 2:40AM

    Wow, you may know some of the families I know in Bombay. They are Parsi. My parents followed the teachings of Meher Baba, a Parsi from Pune. He has many followers in the Bombay Parsi community.

As for their food, I am most aware of their egg dishes which are divine! My most favourite way to eat eggs. But I only get to eat them every decade or so. Once a year would be an event to be looked forward to!

Thank you again for the colourful narrative. I would have had no trouble putting away 7 or 8 courses of Parsi food either. I once ate 8 puris from a Uttar Pradesh village girl who cooked them in front of me. She had never seen a blond tall girl eat and just kept frying them and offering them to me. I just kept eating! They were like donuts to me. I could have eaten more but my shame stopped me...

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/14/2013 8:01AM

    I sounds so pretty.
One of my staff members was maried last year. I don't know where but the description you laid out reminds me of her pictures.
Every woman looked like a Bird of Paradise. The bride like a queen.

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BOVEY63 2/11/2013 1:21PM

    I always enjoy reading about the various celebrations and traditions of your country.

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MILLISMA 2/11/2013 10:16AM

    Sounds so good! emoticon

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SAASHA17 2/11/2013 8:00AM

    thanks for describing the feast...U are def an Indian Enid Blyton... emoticon ...

I miss the huge dinners my dad's parsi friends used to have...

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STONECOT 2/11/2013 5:34AM

    Makes my breakfast oatmeal seem a bit tame! emoticon

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TENACIOUSTRISH 2/11/2013 5:22AM

    emoticon

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Moments from the Past

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Setting a new routine means unlearning the old one--something easier said than done!!Earlier I used to cook a full Indian meal--5 courses in all--each day for since Sudhir ate only Dinner at home I felt he should get a "proper" full Meal after a sparse Lunch or no Lunch at all on busy days in the Courts!!This conditioned me to cooking 2-3 Vegetable Dishes along with a Dal/Fish/Meat Curry and a Salad or Raita daily.These would always be accompanied by the staple steamed Rice and Indian Breads.The variety of Dishes ensured Left Overs--the Non Vegetarian ones tasted better a day or two later--but the Vegetarian ones needed to be finished---and fast!!Recycling wasn't such a great idea for Sudhir preferred fresh Vegetables daily---so the Left Overs would mainly be finished the next morning at Lunch.
Besides this I would also cook the Vegetables I liked but he did not for Lunch--- for instance I loved making a Vegetable Curry from unripe,Green Jackfruit----something he'd just peck at but I can eat for ever!!!Now this Curry though easy to cook is something that always converts itself into a large quantity--and lasts for about 2-3 days---a portion of it heated up and consumed daily!!Despite these measures there would still come a day each Week when I needed to empty out the 'Fridge---and no matter which day of the week I chose--Sudhir would put my nose out of joint that very same day!!It would begin easily enough--Chhaya Bai and I would remove all the tiny containers,pots and pans and then switch off the 'Fridge.We'd then wipe down the shelves with Soap suds and Water before going through all those various Containers piled haphazardly on the Kitchen Counter.These would then be disbursed----depending on the quantities in each Container--among the four of us--Chhaya Bai,Vanita,Hira Bai and me!!Now this ensured that we'd cook Dinner later--as there would be sufficient Food for the morning--even after Hira Bai left with her share.I'd assemble my Ingredients and begin to cook when unerringly the Doorbell would chime--and there would be my Darling husband standing in the door---grinning from ear to ear at having surprised me by dropping in for Lunch!!Sometimes he'd be alone--other times he'd have his Court Clerk Babu and his Juniors with him--and I was supposed to feed them all Lunch!!
Luckily for me I always cooked in excess--and so never fell flat on my face but after Sudhir came back home I would pick a fight with him over the extra Guests--for just supposing there was not enough to go around what would I do??His answer always was--"We could always order in--this is Mumbai--and we have so many establishments nearby--that hardly would be a problem!!"However while he began warning me in advance about the Guests--his own arrival was another thing altogether!!After a few of these "'Fridge cleaning" experiences he began arriving home with Food from his favourite Restaurants---sufficient for him,me and my ladies to eat!!The only problem with this was that this became a habit even on days I cooked--- for each time he came home unexpectedly he just surmised that there would be no Food ready at home!! Most times however ---especially on Wednesdays and Fridays---I'd cook his favourite Dishes and again that would mean a surfeit of Food at home!!He knew exactly how to wind me round his little finger--with a hang dog look and a disarming grin he'd turn my irritation to contrition--and show his generosity by giving Chhaya Bai and Vanita separately packed Containers which he got home--specifically for their families!!My biggest problem after he died was first to learn to cook smaller quantities and second to teach myself to recycle the Left Overs!!Today I'm becoming an Ace at doing both--getting my eyes used to looking at smaller Portions of food has to an extent solved some of the problem.A dry Vegetable Curry can be transformed into delicious Parathas--mashing it together till no lumps remain and then adding Whole Wheat Flour,a pinch of Salt and a little Water to knead the whole thing to a pliable dough which is then divided into equal sized balls.Each of these balls is then rolled out a little thick and roasted on a hot Griddle with a Ghee on either side and served hot with a bowl of Fresh Curds--home made Yoghurt for a wholesomely satisfying Meal.In the case of recycling Dal which is a bit more watery I cook the Dal till the water dries up sufficiently--leaving behind just enough liquid to bind the Whole Wheat Flour to a pliable dough without using any more Water. Having grown up in North India,I love such Meals and have now begun cooking the simpler and less elaborate Menus which I truly enjoy.Perhaps this is a sign that I'm now thinking of only myself---and a new Pattern is getting set!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 2/14/2013 7:54AM

    It all sounds great to me!
I also perpare foods in advance and eat the same thing for a few days changing out the accompanying foods for variety.It helps to prepare ad package for serving sizes.

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BOVEY63 2/11/2013 1:18PM

    Bet those surprises did bring a smile to your face too - see your beloved at the door.

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MIRFA71 2/10/2013 1:12PM

    Recycling vegetable curry and dal sounds interesting. I should try the veggie paratha for my kids.

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MILLISMA 2/10/2013 9:54AM

    You really are doing well and, of course, I enjoyed reading your blog. Only wish we could smell what you are making!!!!

hugs...Mary Anne

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SAASHA17 2/10/2013 8:45AM

    jackfruit curry...i stopped right theree emoticon

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SPSPSP1 2/10/2013 2:54AM

    Sounds so delicious! Now I miss home! But, it's great that you've learned to give yourself healthy portions.

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/10/2013 2:41AM

    Oh Komal no matter what you cook it sounds delectable ! I was alone for lunch today and I made myself a simple Palak paneer and naan .My husband tires of my fondness for paneer so when he is out I eat it regularly !

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KACEYSW 2/10/2013 2:33AM

    Truer words have never been spoken! Thanks for the reminder!

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Full Circle--2

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The reason as to why I don't Blog as often these days is because I've been bitten by the Spring Cleaning Bug--getting the Kitchen into shape made me focus on everything that needed doing--and thanks to that ,these days I'm so tired at the end of the day that by 9-9.30 p.m. I'm literally dead to the World!!Add to that my Walks every evening--it is something that I've begun looking forward to--agreed that the Pavements are pock marked with holes and one can't dare raise one's eyes from where the feet are going--but it is the beautiful Park that summons us like the proverbial Shangri-La and the 30-45 minutes spent there--- gazing at the Sunset and the Sea truly refreshes and rejuvenates both Body and Soul!!
Last 10 days I spent getting Sudhir's papers into shape.There were two huge 32" bags full of these and it really worried me because these were luscious Termite Bait--so I wanted these stacked in Sudhir's Steel Cabinets--and the Bags out!!Added to that was one of Sudhir's Juniors named Palash who called to say that there was a File which was needed by the Client so could I please let him have it?This literally irritated me--firstly I was not conversant at all with Sudhir's Professional stuff---and secondly wasn't it a bit late in the day to be asking for such important Papers--I mean it was over a year since Sudhir passed away!!However my Guilt wouldn't let me sit still and I began sifting through Sudhir's Briefs searching for that damned File.While doing so I also began making space in the Steel Cabinets--for everything was arranged by the year for easy location--but since now no one was going to reach out any particular Brief I began clubbing the Briefs together--as many as could be accomodated into each shelf--they were piled up nice and neat---- one on top of the other!!By this excercise I gained the extra space of 4 big shelves--enough to keep the entire lot stored in the two big Suitcases!!Agreed it took me about 2-3 hours in the afternoons daily for 10 days to do this--for this is pretty tiring work despite having Vanita's help---it was worth it in the end--for the first Set of Papers I came across in the first Suitcase I opened was that darned File!!However,all the Papers are now safely inside the locked Steel Cabinets--and I have given away the Suitcases to Vanita for though these are in great shape--- I don't need that size Cases anymore!!!
I have since progressed to my Closets--and restored order in some of these.We are a family of Clothes mad people.Mummy when she died left behind a hoard of unworn brand new Saries--all expensive stuff that the 3 of us had gifted her for her Birthdays,Diwali and other such occasions.She had a particular style that she loved to wear--and as she grew older preferred wearing lighter Saries--so we'd get her the more expensive hand woven Cotton Saries to wear----light and airy but beautiful to look at!!Besides she preferred colours like White,pale Cream and Ecru--- with small woven borders and Paisley or Flowery prints.Today we have a Closet full of stuff--and no one who'll wear these!!One of Mummy's cousins took some of these as did Meera one of our cousins--- but by and large these are still languishing in the Closet!!My foray into my own Closet was an eye opening event--for I too have far too many unstitched pieces of various Salwar-Kurta Materials--many of these bought when Sudhir was still alive.I have always loved Colour--and specially the vibrant shades of Green and Yellow.
Besides I love Hand Embroidery too--a result of which was my keeping a good rapport with two young Salesmen on a regular basis.One of these was Deepak whom I've known for the past 30 years and the other Amin for almost as long too.These two would bring beautiful stuff--Deepak gets delicate "Chikan" and Applique work from the City of the Nawabs--Lucknow--- and Amin brings the lyrical "Kantha" Patterns from Calcutta----both irresistible and divine!!The various forms of Embroidery and the tiny,perfect stitches used to form beautiful and rich Patterns are a Joy to hold and feel.today while I still love and enjoy the vibrant Colours, the urge to wear them has worn off----and as a result I've now begun giving these as Gifts on various Occasions---to Lotta and Sayali and also to my sisters.My biggest dread today? That I too like Mummy will leave behind a Closet full of Stuff no one will want--so I'm trying to offload these at every chance I get!!
Unlike my mother I'm trying to not hoard stuff----many of my old Vessels have been given away--and only those that I'll be using have been retained.However I have a penchant for buying Pots and Pans that catch my eye--and because of that I keep repeating emphatic "Nos" to myself every time something in that Category seems iresistible!!Besides Pots and Pans, I also have a weakness for various Perfumes--which I hoard and never use!!I have a whole set of the Stuff stored in my Steel Closet--all I do is periodically open the Box where I've stored these Vials and Bottles and run my hands over these--but somehow can't bring myself to use any of these!!Each time I bought a new bottle Sudhir would look at me exasperatedly---but experience had taught him to hold his peace!!Today all these have become more precious to me--for these show the depth of my husband's love for me--for no one knowingly spends a large amount on stuff that may never be used---but he did!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 2/10/2013 12:22AM

    We must have been sisters in another life for I show exactly the same exasperating hoarding tendancies as you do !!!!

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MILLISMA 2/9/2013 8:05PM

    Another beautiful and touching story. Thank you, Komal!

hugs...Mary Anne

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RIDMYCOCOON 2/9/2013 12:21PM

    cleaning can be very therapeutic. i had to clean my mother's hoardables it was very challenging! those items sound so lovely!! I think your penchant for perfumes has a sweetness.

i do love reading anything you write. emoticon your writing transports me. you have quite a talent!! i am your biggest fan!

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MIRFA71 2/9/2013 7:42AM

    You are doing a wise thing giving away the stuff that you don't need anymore. And I am sure the person receiving these gifts is equally delighted to get them. From time to my mom and I also sort out clothes and other household stuff and give it away.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/9/2013 7:14AM

    I too dread leaving things to be cleaned up.I was fortunate my parents enjoyed sparse living but when Dad passed I still had a 3 bedroom house to empty and sell.

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Full Circle--1

Sunday, February 03, 2013

These days as I observe myself closely I notice certain tell tale signs of ageing--and I realise that just like Mummy acquired certain character traits of her mother as she grew older--I too am acquiring hers.Cooking has always been something I enjoyed--and that is what I had in common with both my Grandmas--paternal and maternal---- for they both enjoyed Cooking too.With my mother and mother-in-law it was a Passion--and both had discerning taste buds--they would dissect every Food they tried out---ferreting around to find each and every Ingredient used!!Sudhir's sisters--Kunda and Suhas as well as my sister Ritu possess this same Passion--and it used to amuse me earlier--but lately not-- for I find myself straying into their Territory!!
Thanks to Ritu I too would watch these Cookery Shows on T.V. with her---for it is interesting to see different styles of Cooking employed the World over.It was by chance that one day I stumbled upon 3 Indian Cooks---Marut Sikka,Aditya Bal and Vicki Ratnani on an Indian T.V. Channel called NDTV Good Times.All three have a passion for Cooking but while Vicki dabbles in Continental and Fusion food it is truly fascinating to watch the other two--specially Marut Sikka cook.His Recipes are simple and easy--uncomplicated but if followed to a "T" produce amazing results!!I have been hooked onto his Show for well nigh over a month now--and have been trying out some of his Recipes.I love cooking old,traditional and authentic Indian Cuisine---modifying the Ghee used in most to suit my Diet.Maybe that is why the fact that he uses the traditional methods to cook as far as possible appeals to me!!The fascinating Vessels and Utensils he uses are another attraction---these are so wonderful that they have me drooling--specially the Pans he cooks his Rice in!!Unfortunately they seem to be pretty old--he must have scoured the old Bazaars of Delhi,Hyderabad and Agra to get these----for they have that wonderfully antique look of the Pots and Pans both my Grandmas owned!!Just today I visited my sisters-in-law--both of them are each other's next door neighbours--so it is very easy to visit them at the same time since they literally live side by side!!However they too were a bit taken aback by the vehemence with which I discussed the Recipe for "Mutton do Pyaaza" which I cooked to perfection last Wednesday.I seem have found my rhythm again for frying the Spices on slow heat for hours on end--and trust me it does add yummyliciousness to the Dish!!Only one thing--the satisfaction of achieving a perfect result of the Recipe takes the edge off my appetite and I end up eating plain Pickles and Indian Bread--for I'm too stuffed to even taste whatever I've cooked so laboriously!!
It is not just this--it is also many other small nuances that are changing me.Mummy would have the T.V. going full blast all day--she'd watch all her favourite Programs and their re-runs all day long after she became confined to the house after 2003.This confinement was more mentally induced than any physical reasons.She had visited my cousin Meera in Hyderabad and while there caught a very bad Chest Cold.This made it difficult for her to walk to catch the Flight back to Mumbai--and maybe the ride in the Wheel Chair changed her outlook altogether---and she slowly began letting go!!As her moving out of the house for her daily errands decreased her weight increased--till she was really pretty overweight.I am scared that I may go her way--and maybe that is why I try to keep myself busy and as far away from the T.V. as possible!!Besides my high is my Computer--specially going onto the History Sites--for these truly fascinate me immensely.I'm surprised when people tell me that they find History boring--for to me there is nothing more riveting and spell binding as a Subject.However---I've also learnt painfully over and over again that too much Knowledge is not a great Conversational Gambit!!
These days I'm beginning to like my own company---and any diversion of Routine is getting to be troublesome!!My mind is now settling down to the new routine--as i rush about getting the entire house in order.There are still Sudhir's papers stored in the house which need stowing away properly---and also weeding through stuff that I can safely give away is hard to get rid of--for I suffer from pangs of guilt at getting rid of perfectly good stuff--but unfortunately not needed any more!!Ritu tells me that I better stay away from acquiring any more Pots and pans--but those are so very lusciously inviting--the brilliantly coloured,Die Cast Ceramic coated Sets in different sizes which are displayed so very invitingly on the Net!!It is really hard to resist their lure--and here too shades of Mummy surface--for she too had loads of Pots and Pans of various shapes and sizes--Copper,Brass,Steel and Bone China---which became a headache for Ritu to dispose off after she died in January,2010.As far as I know these are still stored on Mummy's Loft--wrapped in Newspapers and stuffed in Gunny Sacks!!!However I wouldn't want to wish this on my daughters after I go!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 2/7/2013 3:52PM

    I love hearing about your cooking experiences,I love to cook ,so did my Mum.I never had Grandma's around so I did not learn to cook from them.

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PUDLECRAZY 2/5/2013 6:28AM

    But how do you modify Ghee? I love that buttery richness, but it IS buttery rich. emoticon

I know what you mean about cookware.... when you love to cook, it is so nice to have great tools for the trade.

emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/5/2013 6:07AM

    You had a routine before and now this is your routine. Nothing wrong with that.
As for cleanign up the clutter, I agree.
After Dad passed we held a sale and emptied the house. I was so happy he and Mom didnot like "things"
The contents including furniture were gone in two days and nothing went in the trash.



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BOVEY63 2/4/2013 4:25PM

    I never did get the cooking/baking gene from my grandmother or mother - it all went to my sister. My cooking is very simple and baking almost non-existent.

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SAASHA17 2/4/2013 7:55AM

    emoticon I wish I could cook like my mom or grandmother...lol..I just cook coz I have to...lol...Maybe once I have kids, I will get better...or maybe the recipes will get shorter...lol.l..


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MILLISMA 2/3/2013 8:37PM

    I learned to cook with both my grandmother and my mother and to this day, still enjoy being in the kitchen with all the gadgets and pots and pans. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memories.

hugs....Mary Anne

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/3/2013 4:06PM

    Loved hearing about the Indian cooking shows. Good for you for staying away from tv. I'm not there yet.

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MIRFA71 2/3/2013 1:27PM

    My maternal grandma's cooking was simply awesome. Even the simple khatti daal she made was so yummy, that it was delicious enough to eat with plain boiled rice. I couldn't cook a quarter of how she cooked. My mom also makes delicious mouth watering food. Even though I have learned from them, I have modified the dishes and their lengthy preparations to the minimum, so that I could cook in a jiffy. So with the reduced time they don't taste as heavenly as they should. Maybe with more time on my hand I would go back to the lengthy preparations.

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Open to Change!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The last 3 days have passed by in a whirl---in many ways these have been introspective,ruminative and in parts very enjoyable!!Getting rid of many old things adds a new slant to one's perspectives--and sometimes clears some old,addictive Cobwebs.In my case sifting through old stuff, drawers I usually hesitated to look through has left me feeling mentally lighter and physically tired but not unhappy.The result has helped me remove a lot of Clutter---and let's be honest---left me loads of Space to store new Stuff---which I won't for I like the feeling of having additional Space!!!
In Mumbai, Space is at a premium--and today's Flats come with a lot of built in features--which they have recently incorporated into their Floor Plans.That is why we had to resort to various kinds of ruses to store stuff---going vertically higher seemed the only solution!!In all these upper Drawers--very hard to reach without a ladder----a lot of stuff found it's way and because it was out of sight it became forgotten and proceeded to collect several layers of Dust and just rusting away!!On Thursday I opened two such drawers---and came across a collection of my old Steel Utensils? which I had salted away because in actuality though these had outlived their usefulness--but I just couldn't bring myself to throw away!!!Well the final outcome was that all these got thrown out--and the Space got taken up with Stuff I need on a day to day basis.This includes a collection of Magic Mop Fabrics---which Sudhir and I had bought in L.A. a few years back for Vanita to swab the Floor with daily!!Well finally Vanita has it--and the look she beamed at me while telling me how good it was to use showed me that it was Money well spent!!!
Another new Routine we are trying to set is our Walking Routes.Previously we'd go round and round our Building Complex--a necessary but irritating prospect.To complete 1 km. we had to walk around our Complex 5 times---this was a route that Sudhir had driven around to get me the exact measurement----and mentally exhausting after a while as the large number of Rounds tired us out--while not really clocking up much Mileage!!Since Thursday evening 3-4 of us have finally taken our courage in our hands and struck out a beautiful Park on the Sea shore nearby--30 minutes of walking at an even pace gets us there and we sit there enjoying the view of the Arabian Sea and the refreshing Breeze for about 20-30 minutes before starting back home.In another 30 minutes we are back home--recharged and refreshed.The only drawback--it's boring to do it alone because that is when the length of the entire Walk gets to one!!Let's just hope it becomes a Routine--doing it even 4 times a week would be sufficient!!
Today has been a mix of Nostalgia and Memories--as it was our National holiday--our 64th Republic Day!!Since childhood it had been my dearest wish to attend this Event personally--but somehow it never came to pass.Now since 1983 this Event gets televised--and since day one of it's being made available I've never missed a single telecast!!Sudhir would just shake his head at me helplessly as I sat there---- crying copiously into the various Handkerchieves he kept handing me---the huge flood of Pride that swept over me literally making me weep!!Last uyear I just could not face this---so I took off for Kolhapur--along with Ritu and Kunda---to spend the long Weekend there!!Today I decided not to run--and collecting a few Napkins next to me sat down and watched the whole Telecast once more.It was painful but it also was self educating as well.It taught me that there is no place on Earth where I can go--leaving my Memories behind--I just have to stand my ground and face my fears--and today I did manage to do that.
So I watched---and wept--both out of Sorrow and Pride---the former for the Vacuum in my Life and the latter because it felt so proud to see the show of Strength that India set forth!!As always it is these few lines that incapsulate my vision for my Country from a song by Allama Iqbal written in pre-Independent India.The words are truly inspiring and if we learn to live by what they tell us--nothing and no one can stop our Progress!!The last Verse of the Song "Saarey Jahaansey Achha Hindostaan Hamaara"--teaches us about Religious Tolerance and Brotherhood and says this----
"Mazhab nahin sikhaataa Aapas mein Bair rakhnaa(2)
Hindi hain Hum(2) Watan hai Hindostaan Hamaaraa
Saarey Jahaansey Achha Hindostaan Hamaara
Hum Bul Buley hain Isskey yeh Gulsitaan Hamaara!!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 2/1/2013 1:34PM

    I am also very sentimental about those events and usually get teary-eyed too!

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MIRFA71 1/27/2013 1:51PM

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DRASADAF 1/27/2013 12:23AM

    u can complete ur lone walks by listening to some music while walking using earphones...that way u can enjoy ur walk n the view too. ..i love doing it...instead if i walk with someone i keep on winding and talking lol ,makes it tough that way....and makes me cry too Saarey jahan se achcha hindustan hamara hamara..... emoticon

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NITAINMN 1/26/2013 2:35PM

    Happy to hear all the updates, Komal. Clearning away the old junk always gives one mental peace. As you do this, keep telling yourself, you are cutting the ties that bind and getting rid of the negative karma. It helps even more. I even do this when chopping vegetables, hoping it works. Noted about the new route to the park and back. I sure hope you will find an enthusiastic walking partner. Perhaps Ritu? Happy to note you are finding your individual self once again from before the marriage, though you will always be grateful for the memories and wisdom.

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MILLISMA 1/26/2013 2:34PM

    Making space in the kitchen!!!! How many of us have these types of draws/cabinets. I have been doing this on bad weather days. Sometimes it brings back wonderful memories.

Enjoy your walks.

hugs....Mary Anne

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:33AM

    Nothing like cleansing and purging in the kitchen to show you what you truly need!
I'd love to take that walk!
Please be safe. The news we hear over here has been all about women being victims of many abuses.
It sounds as though there will be sweeping legal changes but changing mindset is another matter.
Thinking of you always,
Janet

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