Dec 31, 2008

Diced, cubed, shredded, sliced…..

I don’t know whether I am foodie but I’d like to think that of me. What could possibly make a foodie, a foodie? Love for food? That I have in truckloads. So, I qualify. And I also like to cook. Sometime back the ‘like to cook’ was almost ‘love to cook’ and the demotion in status is due to failed attempts of mine to bake (cooking, baking all same, ok?) a perfect and soft eggless chocolate cake for a relative’s birthday. A small cake and I couldn’t get it right. The cake got a little chewy and I had to heat it every time I cut a slice to eat because, the hotter cake was simply, more edible. Now I shudder at the thought of having to bake, but I know I am just addicted to getting it right someday. I have learned that I should just not follow multiple recipes and tweak it for my needs, without even knowing whether the original worked for me or not! Bah!

On recipes that I find online – I am sure most of us would’ve noticed the layout in which the cook/chef has detailed the procedure – first a brief of what the ‘dish’ is all about, then the ingredients, time estimate and then the procedure, with or without pictures. In the ingredients, there are measures for each of them and we can see the words cut, finely chopped, cubed, diced, shredded, roasted, ground, juiced, extracted, half-cooked, al-dente etc very generously used. Now this is where I have a problem!

The preparation time set out in the recipe just does not involve the time taken for one to cut or finely chop or cube or shred or roast (you get the idea) the particular ingredient. Take diced carrots, for example – for a slow person like me, peeling, washing and dicing (ok, for my defense I will also mention that I like to be a perfectionist and so no bad pieces, for which I also run a quality check), say 2 carrots takes at least 5 minutes. But the recipe says that after your ingredients take (are made to?) the shape necessary for the ‘dish’, the dish could be turned out in, say 20 minutes. Is this fair to assume that all the ingredients are readily available in the shape the recipe calls for? What if some flour has to be dry roasted for some time? These are the things that anger me. I want an approximate time for getting these prepared too…I don’t want to be fooled into an ‘easy and quick to make’ recipe, which required loads of time for preparation. As a matter of fact, some recipes do mention a ‘preparation time’ and then ‘cooking time’, but the ‘preparation time’ is so unrealistic. Only a trained chef or a robot can do that, I say!

People who think what I am talking about is too trivial, try walking by some recipes when you are having friends over for dinner at short notice or something. You will find yourself in your dirty apron still in the kitchen when they are at your door. So, I’ve decided to mentally add all the time to a recipe if I ever try anyone out again. And, yeah, the mouthwatering cumin cookies and almond drops are so inviting…..gosh…I might need to get to baking again.

Cookies, here I come!

Thank you Sri, friends and all anonymouses for stopping by this blog this year. Wish you all a Happy New Year! May you have a wonderful 2009!

Dec 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday kannamma....Have a great year and a lovely day :)

Love you so much.....

Dec 23, 2008

I must be getting old

I was on a random nostalgic trip today and I visited my first blog. There, I have a three-post series on my holiday in Munnar in 2005. I had in fact, signed off the last post of the series in haste saying that I am not going to do more travelogues unless I actually have the time to write them down beforehand.

Surprisingly someone has read that series of mine and commented that my write-up was not even near a ‘travelogue’ and followed that with some more trashing of my writing, anonymously. Now, even I know what I wrote was not a travelogue, but just my experiences on the way to and from the hill-station. And in some vague moment I had finished off my post with that word, for want of a better word. That was then. I read through my posts and I see clearly that I never had intentions of delving into details on how to get there, what to eat, what to expect, wallet factor and other such details. I had also mentioned about the longish route we had to take from Madurai via Thekkady and too much of dense vegetation and the like. I remember the entire drive during the day appeared like a drive in the night. And for me the 7-8 hour cold and hungry drive (reasons explained therein) only gave me a headache.

Reading that comment now, I am irked that someone ‘anonymously’ lashed out at me. Why did he/she want to assume that I wanted to see ‘bikini-clad’ women in a hill-station? How out of mind should he/she have been to assume this when all I said was about the boring drive? And frankly yes, there are not as many ‘spots’ in Munnar like there are in Kodaikkanal or even Ooty. So what, I had felt the hill-station lacking. If the reader had to disagree with me, there certainly was a better way, I am sure. The comment was pretty condescending. Having abandoned that blog, thankfully I got to see that comment only today. I could have felt really bad had I seen that then. I don’t know why, but I know I would’ve felt bad.

Actually, I had meant to write about my ‘then’ writing style myself when I noticed this comment and I have technically replied to it here! Well, I notice that when I had started to blog, every was written ‘evry’ didn’t was written ‘dint’, something became ‘sumthin’ etc. I don’t know when the transition from the broken English to‘better’ English happened. When I read my previous entries, I am not particularly proud of my sentence construction or usage of the shortened words. My bad and illogical flow of thoughts could have been because I never edited my posts and I don’t do them now either, but I know I am much better now.

I have written about random things in the spaces that I’ve put up here. I think the broken beginnings are worth it. Though I still have a long way to go, I have traveled some distance and it feels good to think about that, and bury the bad.

Dec 22, 2008


I am fat (bordering on obese!) and I have begun to workout to stay this way or simply put, not to get any fatter. And my twice or thrice a week sessions are sometimes eventful.

Last week, when I was at the gym in our office, a couple of loud mouthed idiots walked into the place. One of them was a mini-celebrity of sorts. He is part of the company band and has actually started worshipping himself, I guess. He is so full of himself and at most times uses his company-wide recognition to happily flirt around with a good section of his ‘fans’ and some equally stupid and pretty girls. Yeah, I have a problem with people who don’t know the word ‘humility’ and I don’t like to see show-offs. I cannot stand people who are beautiful and know they have-it-all, behave like….what else, have-it-alls. I have (happened to?) hear(d) all about this scumbag from a couple of other gym-mates at the ladies locker room. The other 2 ladies, oblivious of my presence or maybe assuming I am definitely not a Tamil, bitched about that guy in Tamil. And I can tell you, it was really entertaining. But see, a ladies’ locker room discussion should remain a secret, particularly so if it involves so many un-parliamentary words! *devilish grin*

Well, he walked into the gym dressed in shorts and a tight sleeveless whatever-it-was-that-looked-like-a-woman’s-undergarment. He is a short and a not so well built guy and this made him look funny (read eeeks so gay). The other guy didn’t look this bad, but was equally loud mouthed. These guys start warming up – keep yakking and its heard all above the sound of some rocking music. And unfortunately for me one other guy then wishes to hear ‘lounge’ music in the gym! I wanted to runaway from there, but I have this strict gym instructor who keeps reminding me of the great shape I am in. I gritted my teeth and continued as they talked non-stop when they were on the tread mill, when they did their push-ups and thankfully I was done and when I was about to leave, I heard one shout to the other doing the abdomen-crunches, “hang in there, hang in there”. It may not sound weird now, but then behind the closed doors of the gym and some lounge background music, you get the idea, it was ahem….

Dec 9, 2008

Blind, totally

An old friend of mine got married sometime back and I knew the guy she married but I didn’t know that they were going around. The shocking thing was, when I mentioned this to another friend of mine, she was surprised I didn’t know. I was probably the only one in the group who hadn’t seen this coming or even known when this was happening. You must’ve looked at the expression on my friend’s face when she asked me “you didn’t know they were a couple?”….I don’t ask her who’s-doing-what questions these days.

I miss things even if they are right under my nose, or is it only because they are where they are?! But seriously, it feels like Phoebe who feels that she is always the last one to know.