15 October 2006

Back after a break and some cooking from blogs

Diwali is just round the corner and I've been busy spring (It's ALWAYS summer in Bombay) cleaning. There's tons to be done. I have come to believe in the fact that one work leads to many. For eg. if I start cleaning my wardrobe, I find a dozen things in it that have no business to be in there and then I have to hunt for a place for each. I have also vowed not to buy one single thing - artefacts, clothes, kitchen gadgets - unless I pass it through my 10 point checklist to decide if it is absolutely necessary(which I will formulate and share with you in case you want to see it). Yeah, not even if that earthern bowl is going to look good on the blog. Not as long as I move into a bigger house with a bigger kitchen and an EVEN BIGGER store-room :)

Meanwhile, I have been doing the basic cooking, trying some new stuff and have made two Diwali recipes so far - Spicy Khajas from bawarchi.com and 2 types of Nankhatais learnt from various bloggers. I shall tell you about them in my next entry.

I must say thanks to my blog-o-buddies who were wondering about my absence from the blogging scene. Feels good to be remembered and missed a bit :)

Let me fill you up on what I've been upto the past two weeks ...

See this card. See something familiar? Well, if you read Meeta's blog, you'd know that she'd been to Peloponnese recently. I was so happy to see a card from my dear blog pal. I just saw the front of the card and I knew it was her. Obviously this was the first time I'd heard about this place on her blog and to get a bit of her holiday in my mailbox was a great surprise. Well, that's Meeta for you. She sure knows how to make friends happy.

Last Sunday, I also received a call from Vaishali (Happy Burp) who's reached Pune, safe and sound. I've been so terribly busy whole of last week for the same reasons I stayed away from the blog that I am yet to call her again and ask if she's settled down. But I'll do that as soon as I'm done with this post.

Here, let me share with you some of the stuff that I've cooked from fellow bloggers' recipes....

Anita from Mad Tea Party does all things so exotic that it'll drive you 'mad' - if you don't make them, that is. She made these steamed bottle gourd koftas that can be frozen and dunked into a gravy when required. I tried them and quite liked them. No pics of those though.

But I did take pics of her Lemon Marmalade that I made last night when mom was around. I've never been after citrus fruit seeds the way I was yesterday. I told my mom a dozen times not to miss a single seed as she was peeling the sweet limes for our dinner time fruit. Nah - Pip collecting is not my newfound hobby nor am I a little crazy. The marmalade required to boil citrus pips for quite a while to make up for the absence of pectin. The liquid in which the pips had boiled for over 30 minutes hadn't turned significantly thick (especially as compared to Anita's description) - so I added a pinch of gelatin dissolved in water. Now the marmalade bottles can safely sit upside down without the fear of any leakage...haha. This was my first 'jamming' experience and I quite liked it.

The marm' is quite bitter as of now. I don't know if that's how it is supposed to be. I'd like to hope that the bitterness will go away in a few weeks, as like it does in a lime pickle.

And that one is Nic's Lime loaf. Baking Sheet has become my only needed baking resource in the last few months. I subtituted the half the plain flour with wheat flour and some wheat bran. The loaf was kinda rough and dense, but we quite like it that way. DH absolutely loved the lemony aroma and taste.

Wait, it's not over yet. Two weeks ago, our friends were over from Bangalore. Their dear boy was off egg for a while and hence Saffron Hut's Eggless Banana Muffins were the perfect treat. They all loved it and I packed the rest of it for them to take back home.


Just reminding you about Weekend Breakfast Blogging - the theme for this month is Twist in the Plate. Did you jazz up an ordinary breakfast for Diwali? Did you try your favourite blogger's recipe with your own twist? Did you turn a sweet one into a savoury one? Come on, tell me about it. You have time till 29th of this month to send me your entries. WBB turns monthly and theme-based this month onwards. Read more about it here.


Latha said...

Hi Nandita,

Tell me about Spring cleaning! No matter what time of the year it is, seems like we are always cleaning! And collecting/acquiring things not needed!
Your post is lovelt. Very sweet of Meeta and Vaishali. Blogging is such a wonderful thing. You make friends from all walks of life.
I read your column in chennai online. Very well written and so informative. I thought of u every time I chopped an onion yesterday. I did not wash it ebfore cutting, lest i loose its nutritive value like u mentioned :-)
Waiting for more of u're cooking experiments :-)

Foodie's Hope said...

Welcome back! Beautiful diya!!
Happy Diwali!!:))

Kalyn said...

I had wondered why you weren't posting so it's good to know that all is well. I am completely in agreement about your vow to not buy things. I need some help in this area. I'm alway purchasing things that feel like needs at the time, but later I realize they were only temporary wants.

Nandita said...

haha Latha - don't we all nod our heads at that one thing, how we shop with our hearts instead of using common sense. I'm glad you find my column useful. Dolet me know if there are any topics you have in mind - stuff that you'd like to know more about. And yes, I learn a lot too each week as I write stuff.

Asha - Good to see ya girl - am im glad to be back too

Kalyn - Thanks for thinking about me..yep, Diwali is cleaning time, giving away time, and repenting about hoarding time LOL...There's more such stuff coming on my next post...its Diwali goodies time here ;)

Anonymous said...

Hah! i was wondering abt where u were, but guessed it, Diwali preps! Cleaning... u end up 'discovering' things u thot lost, in the most unexpected places! Have a grand time in Diwali, good ol' Mumbai is ALIVE then!!

Anita said...

That's a lot of cooking, baking, and jamming on a 'break'! Glad the marmalade came out alright.
No cheating (with the gelatin) next time! :) My pip-syrup was not thick-thick, but like jelly-syrup while it is still warm. Was your's thinner than that? Maybe the Chakotra pips have extra pectin!
Have been thinking real hard for the 'twist' - nothing yet!

Nandita said...

Manasi - Did you notice that I've used your recipe to make Nankhatais at home? Made three different batches - been making them for my relatives / friends luckily not hogging them myself.

ANita - May be your EMPHASIS on thick mislead me into believing that syrup itself would turn jelly like...it turned thicker than water, thats about it...may be it would have worked in thickening jam after cooling, but now since i added gelatin, i donno if the effect is due to gelatin or due to pips...besides i feel using the pip boiled water, lends that BITTEr taste to the marmalade....will it be less bitter in a month or so, and can i leave it out or refrigerate?