Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A day of fender-bender!!!!!!!

This was  Monday and as usual the morning began with the so-called 'Monday blues' feeling.   I woke up at 5 am as usual and began to ponder about the chores spread in front of me for the next 12 hours.  The first job would be the cooking and packing dabbas for the family.  Then, the traffic and then the work place.  I put an end at this juncture and entered the kitchen with a big obeisance to the deities residing in my kitchen.  One portion of the kitchen which has a separate platform has been assigned to the Gods and Goddesses.  After lighting the lamp, dished out the required sabji and kept dal in the pressure cooker.  I had lots of coconuts (whole) (courtesy Navrathri visits to friends), so thought of preparing some dish with coconut.  Veggies cut ,dal getting ready, coconut getting ready for grinding, preparing masalas for the sabji, rice in the rice cooker - who says women can't  multitask.
I could see some of my clothes had entered the drying sector of the washing machine but not performed the action.  Immediately, upon checking the power, I found the wire has been plugged off and connected to the microwave which shares the same switch board.  Obviously someone in the family forgot to replug.  This means another 5 minutes of extra time to be spent on the drying part as I machine dry only 75% and then hang  the clothes in the clothesline.  Sulking at the extra drying work, switched on the washing machine.Phooof!!!!

The whole house  engulfed in darkness.  Bare silence for a few minutes and then I could hear one by one calling out as to what had happened.  I do not visualise any concern in the call, but the air conditioners in their respective rooms have tripped too.  If it had been Chennai, I would have happily opened all the windows for the fresh air to seep in, and that would have given my family few more minutes of the morning sleep.  But, in this place, they r all huge glass windows and numerous buildings nearby which would never allow any fresh air to the house during the grim summer mornings.

Now, it struck  me that this was the day of disaster and had begun early in the morning.  To top it all, the gas solenoid valve is also interconnected and that was the end to that too. The house in darkness and no gadgets working, my head was spinning.  For  a moment, I did not know where to begin and do what.  As the oil lamp was already lit, I tried to figure out for the torch and reached to the main switch board.  Scanning at close encounters, I could see the main switch had tripped. Slowly, I brought it back to position and could see all the gadgets back to action.  Heaving a sigh of relief, rushed to the kitchen. Already lost precious 15 minutes in all these activities.

Was wondering if I should go ahead with the drying and it took less than a few seconds to say 'NO'.  Cooking was in progress and the coconut was ready for grinding and whoops, the blender would not work. The fuse must have given away when the power tripped.  Too late to think of another recipe to dish out at this moment.  So, it was going to be just dal tadka:):)  My thoughts raced to my mother's place and in the same situation, she would have been there at the grinding stone completing the work without a complaint. None of us would have given much concern about the tripping and all the jobs would have been completed  as usual except that it would have been my mom's worry to set it right before we return back home, poor she.  One never realises the grimness of any situation unless u experience it on a personal level. 
The final tamasha was when I began to take the shower. The hot water would not budge in as I waited and waited and waited. It did not take much time to realise that this was another one who had taken casual leave without notice and brrrrrrr the water was cold and it was a real quick bath :):)  Now, I realise what it takes my boss to get triggerred, if anyone takes leave without notice, it is bad.

But, with the help from my family members, the day took off and ended pretty decent inspite of the spate of early morning activities.

It gives me shudders to even think what would happen if all the  gadgets failed  at the same time.  We can manage the dining part with plenty of restaurants ready to cater us, but for washing,cleaning, grinding, storing etc. etc., there is  no other alternative. I cannot even faintly opt to do my grinding in the grinding stone or  hand wash all my clothes etc etc. 
Moral of the story: Do not wait till Monday morning to dry your clothes :):

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Awesome awesome banana bread or cake??? Tooo good

A beautiful morning and a mood for baking.   Off to the kitchen and saw some ripe bananas in hand, having recalled a banana bread recipe which I had bookmarked, rushed to have a look at it. It belonged to Sunitha of Collaborative curry with the original recipe here.   After seeing her clicks again, there was no second thought in my mind but to bake it then and there. With such basic ingredients and a very simple procedure, one can dish out a gorgeous cake like this.  Of course, I could not term it a 'bread', for it did not possess any typical bread qualities, the texture was more of a cake including the deep honey color.  Added some walnuts as I love to have crunchy bites in between the soft texture.

Butter       1 stick
Sugar        1 cup
All purpose flour    - 2 cups
Eggs    - 2
Bananas - 3 mashed well
Walnuts chopped - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1  tsp
Vanilla essence  - 1 tsp

Mash the bananas well with a fork, this works better than anything else.

Mix the baking soda in 1 1/2 tbsp water and keep aside.

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy.

Keep adding the other ingredients one by one to the butter sugar mixture and blend together.

Bake at 375 deg F for an hour.

The aroma of the bake fills the house and do not be surprised if it invites the neighbours to your doorstep.

Very contagious,one cannot stop eating with just a slice,so beware!!!!  After seeing this cake disappear, I would call this one  the perfect ' Gone in 10 minutes'.

Thanks Sunitha for a wonderful recipe.

When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.  ~Laiko Bahrs

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chitchatcrossroads - One year old :):)

A milestone achieved and thanks to all my friends for the encouragement and the support. A big thanks to my fellow contributors for helping achieve this milestone. It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we started our blog. I still recall the healthy debate among the family members regarding the title of the blog, the contents etc etc. And 'Chitchatcrossroads' was chosen unanimously as ours was not an exclusive food blog and the title should truly relate to the contents published.

 My first blog was about my travel experience to the US, which was a true episode translated into words.  This ordeal  might have been experienced by many like me and it is to the individual to tackle the situation and come out of it.   Although I have made many trips to US since, this ordeal remains and would live with me throughout.  Again, the 'Lone Daniya' was about the whole and sole daniya (cilantro)  which sprung out, just to encourage me and indeed that was my hand in gardening for the first time too. Gardening is not as simple as just planting a sapling.  It requires the care and love almost as raising a child.  This Lone daniya made me develop a beautiful indoor garden with about 20 plants adorning my drawing room.  My other blog "Ignorance is a bliss" evoked much response as much as 'Platform No.1'.   Very often we come across people who play a small role in our moving life and ever remain there, thus making a dent in our hearts.  Thus, was this boy selling 'chai' in the Egmore station who I might not meet again, but he has carved a place in my thoughts and reached you all too. 

Small poems like the 'LIMIT' and the 'Forget not' were liked by many and happy that it reached out to their hearts. Children, unaware of the parents' feelings, does not often communicate and keeps them under suspense.   Those 'two minute' talk or chat would do wonders in their parents' lives.  'Specatular spectacles' and 'Gold facial' brought a smile into many and I personally enjoyed writing my experience at the parlour :) There are times in our lives which brings some sunshine to the routine life.  Very often, these are embedded in our daily lives and there is no need to go and look out for those moments, they always exist  around us and it is for the individual to watch out for those  and enjoy them thoroughtly.

'Sun lover' too was a true experience of the loneliness felt with the weather change.  This is quite prominent in the Western countries where there are distinct climate changes.  Weather plays an important role in our psyche.  Summer and spring brings in cheers and winters bring in solitude alongwith it. It is upto the individual to put on a brave front and overcome any anxiety associated.

As  my children are not  very conversant in their mother tongue  and that made me write 'Mother tongue=Native language=???' which was chosen as the 'Tangy Tuesday pick' by  Many of my frends were able to relate themselves to the story of 'My friend Kamala' and am sure there is a Kamala in most of our lives. 'Advertisement and the wonder years' brought back nostalgic memories to many  of us as we all reach out to ads and simply love them. My bloglist would not be complete if I do not mention about the four parts on 'Pranayamam and its benefits' by my husband which I hope would have benefitted many of my blogger friends.

When it came to the recipes, most of them were home cooked on a routine basis, but some were delicacies and it is a norm now to ask my children if they had clicked enough of the  new dishes they prepare :):)Learning the art of perfect photography too, thanks to blogging again.

That was a short glimpse of our journey of 365 days. Of course, acquired tons of friends during the journey and now blogging has become a daily feature in our lives.  This has gone to such an extent that if I do not get a comment from a regular visitor, I start wondering what is happening and  why they have not commented:):)

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!
"A milestone passed, new things begun, dreams as shining as the sun, a goal achieved, a victory won!!!!! - Unknown
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