representing different times and moods

Monday, December 26, 2011

food.(quotidie deliciis delectabile)

mom always says that with the arrival of winter, we all get metamorphosed as goats.
her very words.

not that i mind being a goat,goats are cute,but she doesn't say that because of their cuteness, she says that because of our food. we start eating greens almost in the same proportion as the goats.

so,before i start my yummy story, let me add a few quotes, one of the most wisest quotes ever written in this world.

let's start with a sobering fact-
Mahatma Gandhi
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
Mahatma Gandhi
and another -
  “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives.”
Oscar Wilde
 “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
George Bernard Shaw
 Roald Dahl
“Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It's made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!”
Roald Dahl 
 Virginia Woolf “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf
 “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.”
Erma Bombeck
 “If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.”
J.R.R. Tolkien
 “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
Charles de Gaulle
but quotes aside, what happens to me on regular basis during winter?
i hear a hawker outside, Fenugreek,spinach,coriander,green garlic,huge white radishes and radish get the idea. a whole lot of leafs,and greens- and to not to forget the peas and chickpeas and pigeon peas and the different Vaal beans or Valor beans (i have them growing in our garden:) ) -
and i run outside and buy it, not everyday, but only once a week, 
before this ends, you will figure out why.
valor  beans/surati papadi
i always mean to be nice, to my self and others,but particularly to my self, considering vegetables.i always think,now, i shall be really careful and wouldn't buy too much,...

so i bought these,
one morning- when this tale began- or today :D 
and these,
and than i became all brave and daring, i started plucking and cleaning them,and separating them, and washing them,and drying them.....
so i had started at 10am , and i was still trying desperately to finish it all at 1:30 pm....
but after much toil and lebor, i got the unruly greens under control.
like this,
the only problem being that they now dominated the whole kitchen space,shamelessly.
i had to wrestle them or half of them,in the refrigerator after they dried enough.
the remaining thing will have to be take care of at dinner :D
i can not claim that during all this process, i wasn't dismayed at my self for giving in to a momentary euphoria, a green one,this economical indulgence is very very time consuming, but than - you have to work hard to reap the rewards.

and here is another effort of mine that took me three hours a few days back.

winter is a season for food,fun and family, but it is mostly about food,food and more fun food with your loved ones!
 it is cold, you need to heat it up with added flavour and spice in elaborate dishes, or piping hot simple dishes,they both work, as winter is a wonderful season that makes you more inclined to eat.

mom just came back from her training session, they are being trained by the government in a 4 star hotel, not that i care for stars and such,if the hotel in question is in my town it self, but i do care for the lunch they are being given-  i am talking about her today's meal, a walnut salad,(a Waldorf Salad? may be) with fresh apricots,green apples,peaches and such- i am very much against food that has travel thousands of miles, but have never tasted a fresh apricot! i want a fresh apricot!*pouts*

there is nothing in life, if you haven't eaten and travelled, and if you haven't travelled and eaten,and if you haven't travelled a little more,to eat.
gosh,the way i am going about it,people will start thinking i am on the verge of having a eating disorder! :D
 no. i eat very moderately , couldn't eat more even if i tried, and from the last few years i seem to have developed a sugar and oil sensor, if you were to give me a cookie, i'd be very unlikely to take another after the first, i get this feeling of instant revulsion,particularly to cookies. poor cookies.
they say that happens when you eat a lot of veggies, your natural moderation drive kicks in,and you stop liking the feel of any bad excesses, and you don't really have to be conscious about it either, unless, of course, you are not used to hearing or following what your stomach says, if we always hear what it says, eating good becomes very simple.
out stomach is a very intelligent organ.

we are not going to discuss the goodness of healthy eating though! far from it, we must indulge, and indulge we would.

the explorations with food,this time,started with my backing my first bread, two loafs, one simply salted one and one was garlic bread with oregano and chilly flacks, both brown,whole wheat bread.
we did have some "rising" problem,as the shape was given after it had risen, that's just silly :)
 still, they were alright.

my another way of hiding my over indulgence in buying spinach and other greens is to make pasta in green sauce.
adding a little cheese on top is always nice.

talking of cheese- pizza is the ultimate cheesy delight, as we all know. the above shown pizza is the best i have eaten yet, in my life :) .the place has always been my favourite though, from childhood, and their new (since some last few years) thin crust pizza,(which they insist on calling "paper thins") is amazing,which i tried for the first time last month.they've been winning "the best pizza" award from the last two years.
we ate with relish and delight there,along with a lot of goofing around. here is a preview.

with the arrival of winter, the earthen ware pots take over our kitchen.they are marvellous utensils, absolutely bio degradable,easily produced and local, green in every way possible,they make the food more delicious and cook faster with less heat,and retain the heat much longer,and if you wrap it nicely with a kitchen towel,the food inside will stay warm from more than two hours.

I do like those a lot!
after my insane indulgence in greens- i had to sit all day long plucking, and the refrigerator bulged, but some catastrophe was prevented by my resorting to desperate measures. we made Palak Paneer, thus, making a lot of spinach purée. it turned out really well.
just as the kitchen had started to stop panicking, mom went to the regional farmer's market again on Saturday, a mere 2 days after that, and indulged in her own vegetable fantasy.

a heart shaped peanut and my "peeling,shelling,plucking" bruised fingers.
home baked "Handavo" a kind of  bread made Lentil flour and our little sand baking cooker.

and the preparation of the special winter casserole started the day after hew extravagant behaviour. that is "Undiu".

home grown

my dish
there is, of course, a lot more to food, i haven;t even touched the surface, i hope you enjoyed reading.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

sunshine on my nails

The Final studio Submission is over and done with, i am well rested after 4 consistent nights of having "barely enough sleep to keep me functioning during the waking hours", i had a wonder nap this afternoon, in which i dreamt of music playing, an old silver haired couple kissing and laughing, the universe and orbits of the planets, electromagnetic fields, flowers and barking cats and meowing dogs, rustic - green and mysterious , English country lanes, and lots more that i don't remember now. always a bad idea to keep it inside. "to write about later" , at least i always forget a bit, be it a dream, some thoughts, or a wonderful idea or lines that i consider wonderful, they always escape me.

i also dreamed my self shouting from a green knoll," oh, my beloved land Narnia"
guess who's been reading too much of the stuff? :)

yes, i am uploading my videos from the trip, links = photo link.

i was ecstatic the day i put in my final work of studio, even nature conspire to make me wonder more and more at the beauty of things as i walked back home in the evening, i saw a litter of extremely cute and fur ball puppies, though they wouldn't let me touch them, than i saw a little black cat up in the branches of a small tree, looking lustily at a weaver bird, who, in turn, had been chirping lustily without a care in the world,the whole world seemed to be celebrating with me.

now the little black cat was a treat in it self, i can proudly now say that yes, i have met a magical cat, it had white wisps of eyebrows, a white streak down it's nose , a white wise chin, white paws , a white little belly, and a white belt around the neck too.the way it looked at me was so exciting. i went round and round the tree, trying to get a nice picture of it in my mobile, not at all an easy thing with restricted zoom and working in VGA as it would only zoom in that quality, 5 MP doesn't zoom.
but this is the one i got-

and here is an awesome picture i found online, not taken by me

and after that i saw another pale pink cat, and went and tried to photograph it ,while the ladies sitting in the varandah of a near by house looked on my activities with interest and a critical eye.
well, i talk cat, on my better days!
and thus i don't gossip about humans with humans.

i came home, brimming with joy,  i could go on kissing and hugging all the three available humans,and talked a lot of the mix of cat and baby,(i do do that from time to time)  i felt quite obsessed with kitties. so i searched and found new facts about them, the importance of their whiskers and the use of the idiom "be the cat's whiskers"
internet is very neat.

so in consideration of my current cat obsession, Vidur made a cat form to delight me out of his handkerchief.

today i had been planning to make a recycled hand bag, and write a letter or two, besides writing this blog, but after an enthusiastic display of joy -by shouting , it's VACATION, it IS vacation to brother, i gave in to my tired and painful , sleep deprived eyes.

thus ended up writing this long in to the night.


yesterday, while i awaited the professor's pleasure to receive my work in the library, i happened up on a Gaudi Book.
I did, eat up the whole book during the two hours there, literally. i might still not remember all the names-mighty hard to swallow- if you know what i mean- but that doesn't make me like any of it any less.

i also just than realized that i haven't yet talked much of architecture on here, though an architecture student i am.

it is because i wasn't able to determine what to mention here, but i have at last made up my mind, who is my most favourite architect. yes, it is Antoni Gaudi, indeed, i could marry his work!

he has let him self be influenced by the great classic architecture, but he is so surreal,straight out of a fairy tale, i had liked him from the start, that is , from my second semester, but reading this whole book was like a solar lantern hitting my head- you, post modern masters, you surrealism supporters, you minimalism makers, you all come on the second place, Gaudi is the biggest story teller. who wants to say they like the light but stark white walls and neat lines of minimalism when i can get glimpses of fairies and dragons in nooks and crannies of his iron work, and get sunflowers on my chimneys!

this photo won't upload right side up :/
and what beats a gate which reminds you of sweet smelling water lilies?

and a doorway in an enchanted castle?

and iron work strangely like beaks of birds which will either start talking or poke you in the eye!
he seemed to live his dream, and also some how managed to bring the dreams a live and made them tangible, so much so, that even while looking at the photos, you gasp, and your fingers long to touch.

And here i used to think that Le Corbusier and F.L.Wright could be my most favourite.
( no, i never liked Mr Write as a person, he never had a chance)

but there are so many others that i might have considered putting on the first place.
how could i have?

the book

told you i wear sunshine on my nails, you never noticed!


mila casa- door. living in a fantasy novel

told you i could marry his work- i could even marry him! if such creativity was to be witnessed from near
no Ghosts are allowed in my bedroom though!
but, what Vidur made me, isn't at all bad :)
isn't he just so very lovable?

any how, got to run, this blog stretched  out to today, and we are to go to Ahmedabad now :)
may be we'll see some nice shoes?

thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

dancing raibows.

so, I have smile on my face, the infectious,silly kind which you wear for no particular reason, may be it is just something in the air, or that i am thankful without being so very consciously, for everything, for every positive person in my life. I am thankful that the exams are over, (they went well too), for my family and loved ones, for the conversation i am Having right now, for the flowers, for the trips, for the very comfortable bed i am sitting on,for the pending visits of uncles, for the marvellous books yet unread, for the gifts that i have to give, for the squirrels chirping outside, for the cool waft of wind -well, you know the flow.

I am reading the third book in the "chronicles of Narnia" it's called "the horse and his boy" of those day , on which you make songs and sing along, want to wear floor length skirts and twirl about, hum and laugh, dotted with curious childish sudden sentences that you utter, with a smile on your lips and mischief in your eyes, but pure , unalloyed joy in your heart.
It is one of those days.        
It has been good since yesterday.

But it is better still, today, and more so, this afternoon.

It is a frolicsome mood that beholds me, no worries, not now, for life is wonderful. And i am blessed, very very blessed. To have the wonderful life.

And, it includes you- reader. You are one of the wonders of my life.

I am lazing around, now. Wrapped in my favourite fragrance of roses and peach, well, it is a shower gel from Avon, but it is a smell i really like, and appreciate that it has me under it’s folds.what a delightful feeling. What a small delightful thing.

It is worth to indulge at times, and i am very feeling very indulgent right now, for my self. I am feeling as indulgent as Beethoven moonlight sonata! 

Now, did you say it right, some one?

Do not worry, do not try and make sense, of the words that are flowing. They are just for the indulgence of it. For the beauty of writing for no particular reason what so ever, it is just to be happy, and may be, to make someone a little happier.

Leave little notes of good greetings and full of feeling, when you go to the library next time, may be , stuck between the pages of a nice book? Make someone happy, you don’t need to know who or how, but just try. It is worth it.

I know i would love find one of those  : ) and probably , you would too.

Believe in fairies, believe in fairy tales.

In elves and werewolves and giants too. Why not?

And if something scares you, ask it, “are you something dead” or are you alive?

I am again wearing my strawberry dress, i really like it, i like long dresses, i like long skirts, and i like ,no i love , my brother.

He is a miracle that happened in my life at the age of 10. His being has made my life a lot richer and fuller.

I was acting overly childish yesterday, you know, you do that when you are among your loved ones, the ones who will entertain and forgive you. And i wanted to cry, just hold on to one reason and cry, simply. You do need to do that sometimes. Well i do. What ever he might be when he playes the kid-rightly so too, but he is such a rock when i am in tears. I would, without fear, step in front of a snarling lion and cover him, but i need him to hold me when i cry, i need that. I am alot like a baby, his words, when i am  being petulant and teary.  

But , aren’t those moods highly satisfyingly delightful too?

 So he went on and told everyone to not annoy me,not that any one was! he makes me stuff i might be wanting or, gives me his, he’d do all in his power and knowledge to get me to ,, err you know.. to stop crying. He really is wonderful. Sometimes you’d think he was the elder one of the two.
But wait, i must go and see  the three little kittens who have just arrived at my aunts. Their mother brought them there out of the blue!

Granny says that the mother cat changes the location of the cubs 7 times, before and a little after their eyes have opened, and than , she chooses the safest one of the 7 houses to raise her young. She even puts them in different locations and keeps going to each during the day, a sort of safety technique i suppose.

Needless to say, that they were DELIGHTFUL! Cuteness red alert! And there are 4 of them, though, one seemed to have gone on some serious exploration when i went there, i took photos, sadly it was dark soon. Grandmother gave them milk and i kept my hand extended without moving and one came to inspect the fingers, and i touched it’s tiny little ear. The mother herself, sitting on their perch on the big wooden swing on the front porch, let me touch her and scratch under her ear without protest.
There is nothing more heart warming than a baby extending his/her hand to catch hold of your shoulder or sleeve, while it is being carried on a walk with their respective mothers or fathers, as you pass them on the sidewalk, or the tentative but inquisitive quivering little noses of brave kittens that come and sniff at your hand.

So, as i was returning, a neighbour asked me about my dress, where she could get some nice ones for the daughter. I remember the days when i was considered an odd ball, though i still am, but not by the people who know me daily. I am still a lot different than an average woman of my age is expected to be, atleast in this little town here. But after all, truly speaking, it is the little towns which will accept you more readily. A friend told me again just at the start of this semester how girls would snigger and boys would wonder at my whim of two braids, or when i wore skirts at college, though, i have not stopped doing any of these two, i still get around to going there twin braided whenever it pleases me and i have the time (zombie early mornings! ) and skirts are not that frequent only because of the inconvenience they would cause while travelling extra long time in buses.  It doesn’t make much difference to me when people can’t understand me. Those who i care about understand me, and that’s all i need. When my dressing started to change ,as it always does when you finish school and become a bit more refined, during college, there were speaking and un accepting glances from around the house, but it has changed to wonderment since. People do get it that you do what pleases  you, i wear what i feel like, i could be clad in a skirt one day , in a sari the next and in a Jane Austen dress the day after, like today. ( when i walked to my aunt’s this evening, i received the usual glances of – ohh she’s wearing a dress at that age- and that’s what got me thinking. I am happy to report that the population has matured a little, the glances are far fewer than the number i might have received 2 years back, and i didn’t hear one tittering girl today) , i would wear jewellery only because i want to, and they can get a lot big  and bold. I would rather hear a lecture on how the universe was created than hear what the people living around me did in their past- not that i don’t know the persons, i have a detective streak too at times :P 

Too much introspection, not good.

So, the other day, that is,almost a month before i went on the trip- it was college day, i was on the college bus with a bunch of 1st year students and some 4th years. They were talking so loudly, in that annoying posh voice you adapt and learn if you have grown up in a too wealthy household without having to use your brain much, and that all in an annoying mix of English and Gujarati. Oh my this and oh my that. There was one boy with the group too, and he was as silly. I was dozing, and the 4th year s were talking in a more decent way in the seats ahead of me , all the silly racket was behind me, depriving me of a decent doze. 

Suddenly, there was a piercing scream. I woke up with a start.there was mayhem in the seats behind me, people were shouting and jumping , a girl fell across on two others sitting on my right, still looking around frantically. One would think something very vile had started attacking them. There was another shout saying it was on the back of my seat, i turned, and the beast emerged, in the form of an extremely cute little rat, it was a baby rat, it got down from my head rest and considered, than as i put my handup, it accepted the bridge and journey down to my lap,where i very much intended to hold it by the little tail and take it outside of the bus,which was now in full panic mode, but before could catch it, it started ahead on the back of the next seat – and the girl, who has fallen on the other two girls, gave another scream, i can not explain it now, i than, the thing to do seemed to me to give the little rat a flick of my hand so that is landed square on the wailing girl’s legs. 

Suffice it to say that, i have never seen a more comic jump and a faster exit in my life, luckily , the bus was stationary.

Of course , my little scurrying friend also made the other fly, only a little less fast, even the boy, who till now had been speaking “oh how you girls get so afraid” got off the bus just as fast, if not more so.
There was nothing more to be done but go to sleep till the driver came up and asked where the blasted rat was, while the others complained from outside and declared they won’t be travelling in the same bus now, though we were to change the bus, that is why we were standing there, a pity really, it was a very comfortable bus. So, till the other bus arrived, i handed down a few people their bags which they had left inside and induced the boy to come in and help us find the mouse, he did come, but still kept well behind me and the driver. We found those, were two, and made them get down.
Oh did i laugh that day :D

Good night!