From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Saturday, September 24, 2011

TANTE MARIE AND ME.....



All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go....


Have been humming this for some time now ..

Actually the truth is I'm not ready at all, physically yes, mentally not at all...


This is the first time in my life that I'm actually embarking on a journey , completely on my own..


There is no crew, no make-up or hairdresser. no director, producer, co-anchor, no friends and no family...’Oh my God !!!


Sometimes I feel like how will I ever do this and then again ...I'm sooooo excited...



Gosh! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and completely blessed that I'm actually getting a chance to go and learn something that I have fallen in love with over time….






Well the bare naked truth is that,. I actually have loved food all my life, sometimes I feel that in my past life I must have been born in a country that had no food , because frankly I'm eternally hungry and my near and dear ones will vouch for that.


I could never really do without eating, so you see dieting or fasting has never been part of my life.


Food is my "happy person", and cooking and feeding friends and family is my ."happy time , and watching people enjoying my food is fully "Nirvana" to me ...


Among all the things that bring a smile to my face, food figures pretty high on my list ....


I think my passion for cooking is my “pot of gold” that my grandmothers Rose-Mary and Agnes left me with lots of blessings that I have just discovered…





My Mum who is fantastic in the kitchen and in all spheres in life, used to keep telling me that I need to learn to cook and I always told her that I would never really cook.


Frankly learning slowly but surely , “Never say never”,


Because like my friend Sandy says, “God has a wicked sense of humour “.


So going with an open heart and am actually feeling like Alice in Wonderland, going to just follow the Rabbit …and enjoy this adventure…



I just feel like its divine providence that I'm actually able to go to Tante Marie , which is Gordon Ramsay's institute in Surrey , Woking..


I'm going for the Cordon Bleu certificate course that happens once in a year ...


And I'm just happy that I'm going to be part of this fantastic learning experience...


Have butterflies in my stomach ...and every time I think about this ...my heart beats at triple the speed, in nervousness, anxiety, excitement and complete thrilling freakin happiness..


This for me is going to be my “TOOMUCKINGFUCH” moment of the year…



I just know that …



Know these two and a half months on my own is gonna be tough, but I think its just what ‘LIFE” has ordered for me..


It’s a new day and a new season , a brand new path and I’m just gonna follow the Yellow Brick Road…







Will work really hard, because , that's what I really enjoy doing,


Hope to travel a bit and hoping I have friends coming to visit..




I could never really do this..


If Arshad did not support my love for food and is always so encouraging ...


So thank you Warsi.... for being YOU

You are the "King of the jungle"...



My parents... for coming over to help me out ,with looking after my kids and my home...Thank you for always standing by me and for always believing in me...



My friends who really pushed me every time I was in two mind's,


Mini: Will miss that look on your face when I know you don't approve , but still indulge me...


And will miss sharing a room with you, you are my "scary- monster" slayer


Jaya: Will miss those Green eyes flashing which say , I know what you up to ha ha ha...


Thanks for always being there in a loving non-judgemental way...


Sandy :Everytime I have a cup of coffee , I will think of you , and all the laughter you bring to my life...


Really gonna miss "US" 4 together ...and really wish you guys could come visit...


Anusha:Please try and not have too many "mutton " dinners that I may miss, and hope to learn some awesome Hyderabadi fare from you when I'm back..



Roshan and Shaheen:Thank you guys for always being part of my life and infusing it with fun and love ...


And my babies, "Zeke and Zene"... Found my passion because of you, every smile, every "I love this food', every , 'You are the best Mama in the world"....


Actually made me discover that 'Food' is what I love ...its my meditation, my path, my happiness....



And so to all of you reading this...


Keep me in your prayers and stay in touch via Twitter....


Will keep in touch with you via ‘Food and fun times” ...





Wrote this and wanted to share it with all of you ..




You know I have to go...
A little birdie told me so ...
My bags are packed with folded clothes ..
My heart feels scared,and my toe nails painted blue instead of red....

Oh my god!!!
There are voices in my head..
Of Gordon Ramsay inviting me to ...
Make bread..
So to Tante Marie I must go..
Baking ,cooking and all that jazz..
Will have the. Most fun I've had..
Will walk in the cold ...
All by my self..
Will live in a room that I pay rent ...
Hope my friends do come over for a while...
Will laugh ,giggle n drink some wine ..
Will really miss home I know..
But as I have never done this before..
This will be a tick on my "to do"list ...
And if I feel stressed... Think I will go shopping and buy a FCUK dress..
And if it becomes just too much ..
Then I will soak in a tub of fizzy "lush"
Don't want to be back..
Without my Cordon Bleu certificate tucked in my back pack..
Hope to catch a lot of theatre and on holidays just disappear..
Read a book in a park..
Or lay down just for a lark ...
And watch the puffy clouds go by....
Smile at strangers and maybe say Hiii !!!

Pick up hot coffee at Starbucks
Warm my hands and inhale the cold ...
Will sit at at St.James watching the ducks...
And when the night closes in ..
Hope to be really tired with all my pursuits ..
Have a shower and jump into my snuggliest night suit..
Then thank God as I lay down on my warm bed..
And pull the covers over my head ..
I'm not a kid to believe that spooky monsters stay under my bed ..
But it's just that after the candles are blown..
Well I really don't like to Sleep Alone ...
--

Monday, September 19, 2011

DAY 60 : ZEKE AND HIS FOOTBALL / DINOSAUR EGG...




What is it about little boys...
I can forgive Zeke anything....
I never understood "Love at first sight" , till I looked at Zeke..
He is the Boy I will always be in love with..
And I will always be the first girl he ever loved , and no matter what , he will never forget me...
mostly because I wont let him..ha ha ha ..
Well Zeke just turned 7 years old, he is no longer a baby , but a little boy, who knows what he wants, and does not hug me or kiss me like he used to , and I don't like it all...

But I guess that's what little boys are like...
He has a mind of his own and wants to do things his way ...
He loves Doremon...who I want to throttle ..and does weird funny Mithun kinda dances...
And and on the other hand loves to dance to Michael Buble, while he mimes "Feeling good" like he is actually singing it...
He loves cold water and Lays chips, and loves irritating Zene..
But he still sucks his thumb...
But when he hugs me tight (once in a blue moon) , its the sweetest hug ever...
He still wants me to put him to sleep every night and snuggle with him...
Zeke ..my baby , my boy that I love with all my heart...
And we fight just as much, in fact I don't think I fight with anyone as much as we do ...
And its fine ,because it's better to express what you feel , than hold it all in...

This year I told him that we will invite 7 kids home as he is turning 7...
By the time , it was his birthday, there were 37 kids at home...
And it was a mad funny day..


They had their 'Froggy' Amole Gupte , who surprised the entire Besant gang after they watched "Stanley ka Dabba"..
And enthralled them with his spur of the moment stories ...

Then came Rob from Pogo...
Rob is just too sweet and unbelievably simple and down to earth , and such a talented artist and magician ..
Zeke, completely loves him ...and for some reason thinks that he is his buddy , and Rob indulges him...

And then there was Arshad ,the in-house DJ for the evening ...and general entertainer ...who also signed autographs ...
We started by 2pm and went on till 8.30pm

Well I attempted to make a football cake ....but it become a little oblong ...but tasted really yummy here goes ..

Ingredients..
200 gm good quality chocolate, chopped

120 gm butter diced

150 ml water

270 gm granulated sugar
10 ml vanilla essence

4 eggs separated

3/4 cup soured cream
350gm plain flour
10 ml baking
powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


Method

Over a low flame , in a saucepan ,melt the chocolate, butter and water stirring ..
Remove from heat , beat in the sugar and vanilla and leave to cool..

Beat the egg yolks lightly , then beat into the chocolate mixture..

Gently fold in the soured cream...

Sift over this batter the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda , and fold it in gently...
Whisk the egg whites till they are stiff, then fold in gently into the chocolate mixture...

Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees...
This batter makes two cakes of 7 inches in diameter... and gets done in 40 minutes..

Its soft and really rich ...and tastes very nice even with just some chocolate poured on it ...

Zeke's birthday cake was plunged into with a cake knife, he took great pleasure stabbing it, and so did the few kids who got to the cake before I got to it, my hard work all destroyed ha ha ha
And I kept saying its a 'Foot ball" and they kept saying "No , No , its a dinosaur's egg''...
Well it was a cake that was dug into and devoured , then the kids proceeded to dance to some fun Hindi music and jump on my sofa's..
And frankly , it was all fine..
The big fat smile pasted on Zeke's face was really worth everything ...

It was a day well spent...
So here's presenting , "Zeke's 7th birthday" football/egg cake, soft and sin worthy , with lots of love only from "Maria's Kitchen"....

P.S. Wrote this for Zeke , cannot even tell you how cutely he smiled as he read it ...

My little Zeke..
He is nothing less than the most amazing treat..

He came to me on a rainy day ..
And just glowed like the suns rays..
I was smitten ..I was sold..
On this little bundle ...
All swaddled with pink toes..
When he cried he got all pink ..

And when he
poo'd.. Yuck! He raised a stink ..
But all that really did not make a difference..
Because this was my baby my providence ..
He blew bubbles and showed us his middle finger ..
And we excitedly took his pictures ...
He is the only boy ..

I fell in love with on sight and am happy that for a portion of his life ..
He will love me with all his might ..

Well now he is 7 years old ,,,
And has become a little brash and bold ..
But that's good.. Because he has his own mind
And that's
always a good sign ..
Well I don't know what's written in the stars ..

But know this..

He will be looked after by the one above and he will be deeply loved..

Because he is my boy and I love him so ..
And when I'm gone ..

I pray to God to always keep my Zeke safe in his arms..
My little Zeke ,my shooting star ..
It does not matter where you are ..

You will always be in my prayers and thoughts..
That's because I will always love you more than , much too, much..
My little boy is 7 today ..

Big bright smile and his loving way ..

His friends all love him so ..
And are knocking at our door ..
For a day of frolic and fun ...
Well let this day unfold ..
With all these little boys ...
And their stories untold...
I'm ready for mayhem and crazy times..

With Zeke and all his boys ..
Frankly I would not like it any other way..
Because being naughty is the only way ...
So off I go ...
With a big smile ..
To spend wonderful times , with the one boy I can truly call mine ....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

LITTLE LAMP...




This is something I wrote , and two of my friends said that I must share it with all....
I dedicate this to everyone in my life that ..
I have loved, will love and always love…


We all have a little light in our heart..
We may not find it at the start..
But as time goes by...
And we live life in this world..
We keeping walking inwards ..
Towards this light we hold...
We all love to travel and see the world..
The highest peak , the deepest sea..
The warmest beach and the coldest fir tree...
But we all know that this travel is just surface ..
And it's the inside journey that actually makes us who we are...
Find out what exactly makes us tick.
Who we are ?
What we want?
Where do we belong?
Are we walking the path we have been sent to earth for...
Are we blessed enough to find the street that brings us peace...
Well in this life of mine I have been walking for quite some time..
Most of the time I did not really know where..
Through deep dark forests..
And some times deserts bare..
I walked I trod..
Till my feet were tired and my body sore ..
I felt cold and alone..
And even though sometimes I met a lot of people,
They were not my own..
I looked and searched for a path ..
That now I began to think did not exist..
Felt this is something that only happens in books..
Till one day..
I gave up..
I sat near this brook..
Thought I should wash my face and sit a while..
And as I put my hands into the cool water..
I see this face smiling back at me..
She seems tired, she seems broken..
She has a few laugh lines and her hair is all tousled..
She looks lost but not beaten..
Big brown eyes and a friendly smile...
I looked hard ..
I looked deep..
There is a light in her eyes..
That tells me ..
There is still a long journey ahead and she has not yet all the various paths tread..
I look back at her..very closely ..
I see me..
I have changed..
Grown older..
My heart is filled with stories..
That are brimming over..
But it's my eyes I recognize..
They are the windows to my soul ..
And they say to me,"put your favorite pink keds on ..this track is just about to start over...
Where was I ??
Where have I been???
I have been searching for so long,that I forgot to see, that there is this lamp inside me...
I still don't know where to go and what to do..
But this little light is going to do me mighty right..
I found a path , by a lovely lake..
I picked some daisies ...
And just sat and smiled..
Watching the day go by ..till the moon lite shone..
And I realized ..
I have been sitting for hours all alone..
Had a few passers by..
Some waved hi..
Some sat and chatted a while..
Some made me laugh..
And some got tears to my eyes..
But they all left..
You see they were temporary guests...
At the end of the day..
If you can sit on your own and still smile ..
Think that's what makes that light inside you shine..
None of us can live alone .. That's why we have friends and families at home..
Some we hold close..
Some we let go..
Some stay in our hearts forever more..
What's mine deep down in my heart will always be mine..
Come rain or shine..
When I love, I love with all my heart..
Not afraid anymore to open my heart and love some more..
I always know when I'm right or wrong..
So I look for my little light ..
And as long as it's shinning bright..
I know the one above has his arms wrapped around me tight..
So with this thought I sleep ..
Snuggled in my bed..
Not wary of the next day ..
Or what life has in store for me ahead..
Yes .. All will not be perfect..
I don't want it to be..
My life will be turbulent..
And frankly that's what made me...
.who I am..
A girl who can still smile..
And love with all her might..
Who can give the tightest hugs..
And sometimes cry all night..
To say what's in my heart..
Which sometimes I think is not smart..
But hey .. Who says I'm perfect..
I me that's who I am..
And I love that little light inside me..
That is the only part in the world that is truly MINE !!!!

See you guys soon ........

Friday, September 16, 2011

DAY 59 : FOUR GIRLS MEET SERENDIPITY......






















Four girls...
Turkey-Spain
Oh my god, it just has the makings of the best time ever..
Filled with fun, laughter, gossip, smiles, giggles, shopping, irritation, hugs, kisses, sand, water, beautiful bronzed bodies, burnt shoulders, pink cheeks, glossy mouths, kohl rimmed eyes, bikinis, snorkeling, shoes, bags, sangria's, delectable food, walking, running, climbing, whistling, singing, dancing, crying, hysterical laughing...
Well we found pieces of our hearts, we forgot existed …and found us again...
Not that we were lost and this was a soul searching trip..
But going on holiday with the girls is like a shot of oxygen...
It's a heady feeling.
Like a shot of wheat grass...
It's detoxifying and cleansing...
Gosh it was a trippy..
We all found answers that we never even went in search of...
We found happiness, when we were not even looking..
We went our separate ways on some days , only to meet up again with lots of missing, love , warmth and trust ..
We felt like a sister-hood has been formed without really saying it ..
Feel an unspoken bond of love and trust ..
Like no matter what you doing someones watching your back ...
Gosh I feel blessed and like the luckiest girl in the world ...
That I could do a holiday like this , travel to a destination of our choice , and with girls that I love immensely ..
We were so busy having a blast that the days flew by, it's always too short a time when you having a blast
Mini, Sandy, Jaya and Me...
We did it all..
Four hot-headed, strong- willed, smart and gorgeous girls, planning a holiday together…
Well there were bound to be a lot of arguments, because though we are all pretty alike, we are all so darn different its not even funny…
Mini- the smart, fun and mad Devils advocate, the voice of sense, who went hysterically mad with laughter at moments you would least expect...
Sandy- The sassy-sexy Intelligent chica, who has a body to die for, who says it like it is…and made us laugh till we cried…
Jaya- The writer, easy going Vegetarian, who was up for most of everything. And was partner in crime with me, while we soaked in the culture of Barcelona…
Me- Think I’m easy going, but stubborn, with crazy energy and wanted to do everything and all…and talked too much and always woke up too early…
Had never been on a holiday with anyone of them before, well we have all worked together a lot in and out of the country and traveled together, but holiday well…
We plotted and planned and e-mailed one another …I hated that. Not good with e-mails, so also got shouted at, for not replying…
Mini was in-charge of stay in Barcelona.
Jaya was in-charge of ticketing…
Sandy and me of stay in Turkey.
Mini and me –Stay in Tossa
And all of us had to do research and find stuff we wanted to do in all the places we would be traveling to …
We were all going a little bit mad and excited. We had never really gone on a holiday without kids and the men in our life, so this was new.
We wanted to make the most of this holiday, and soak in the city and shop and party and do it all.

We laughed within minutes of waking up, pranced around in our nightwear.
Drank various teas together..
Screamed at one another from the bathroom..
Put mud packs on our faces and talked funny...
Readied ourselves for the day and went out with a skip in our steps…
We did a lot on this trip..
We carried our own luggage unlike the spoilt way we live in Bombay…
Into and from airports, hailed cabs, bargained with various men for various things, that we had to buy or we would die ha ha
Dragged our ever growing luggage into taxis and dragged them from various streets..
Pulled them into trains, trams and buses more often than not…
And the luggage always increased in weight and number ha ha ha
We fought with guys who thought they could take us for a ride, and gave it back,even if deep inside we were petrified ha ha ha
We went into a Turkish Hamam.
That had to be for us. One of the maddest and funniest experiences…
Where we met burly Turkish women who scrubbed us till we were clean and our skin had a sheen.
But this experience was like a bonding exercise in a weird sort of way...
We laughed and talked , wrapped in towels,with shiny faces, drinking amazing apple tea, still not really believing that we were all there together…
Shopped at the Grand Bazaar and bargained like fiends…came back in trams with a zillion bags…bone tired and so very very happy ..
Devoured clams with lime on the streets.
Went and soaked in all the sites…but were most kicked at being inside the royal harem in Turkey ..
In Barcelona armed with a map, we found our way around town..
Traveled in and out of Gaudi’s city in trains and walked till our calve muscles were weary.
Partied at Garcia and danced the night away…the streets were filled with music and smiling faces…
Got into a train and went to Dali’s museum and from there we went to Tossa
That was truly the high point of out trip..
We soaked in the sun and got burnt..
Downed sangria's, snorkeled, giggled hysterically shopped and swam some more….
We brought in Mini’s Birthday at this beautiful out door bar in a run down castle atop this hillock with the most amazing view…
Gosh ….could anyone ask for more..
Came back to Barcelona and went back into gypsy mode..
I went and climbed up this mountain alone…
Never done something like that before..
Was not even scared at all..
Felt a deep sense of freedom and insane love ..
We laughed, cried, wiped each others eyes, soul-searched, found answers where we least expected and bared our fears to each other, we sang , danced and forgave each other for everything …
and grew a new respect for each other…
We met “Serendipity”
I love this word…
I love the meaning of this word…'It's the act of finding something valuable or delightful or magical when you are not looking...
OK I added magical...because I feel some wonderful moments are magical..
And I can say with a smile in my heart, that unknowingly and very very often this year I have experienced this wonderful feeling …
Feel that the moment you let go, and you keep yourself open to the universe…
The stars just smile down on you…
Today I don’t have any food from “Maria’s Kitchen “ to offer you , but have something that I want to share with you…

Serendipity Sangria...
  • 3 1/4 cups ( dry red wine
  • 2 cups sparkling apple juice or Appy fizz
  • 4 tbsp gin
  • 4 tablespoons citron-flavored vodka
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 small orange, sliced thin crosswise
  • 1 small lemon, sliced thin crosswise
  • 1 small lime, sliced thin crosswise
Pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher, mix well, and refrigerate. Serve chilled over ice.
You can also put some cinnamon sticks into it, it really tastes good...
Frankly I have not yet tried this recipe, but it sounds yummilicious, and so want to share it with you, I had a lot of sangria and so did not want to make any ...
But do try this and tell me how it was , and have a glass of this listen to Rihanna belting out, "only girl in the world "..
And you will feel like how we i.e.Mini, Sandy , Jaya and me felt ...
See you all really soon ...
Love always ...