From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WALK WITH ME...

So what do I do, when , I think of you ...
I smile ..
And wonder if you do too..
I think of all the days gone by..
And all the words we whispered beneath our breath..

Love is such a funny thing..
Because you never really know, what it is going to bring...

Showers of blissful rain..
Blushing rays of the sun..
Cold winter winds that are just perfect for the tightest hugs..
And spring with its fill of flowers abloom..
That makes love the most wanted of all life's boons..

So walk with me my love. into the setting sun..
Hold my hand and laugh with me till the day is done..
Look into my eyes and feel all I do ..

And tell me how your day went ..
If you faced your dragons , that sometimes, only live in your head..
Did you share smiles and moments that bring you joy..
Did you walk away from trouble, if it crept towards thy..
Did you brighten up someones today , like you spread sunshine in mine ..
And when you finished with your day, did you feel happy and at peace in your heart and head..

Did you think of me when you had a bit of time..?
What I did..?
What made me smile..?
Am I walking with a few dragons still, for a bit and a mile..

All I want to say is that I'm happiest when I'm with you ..
You make my day, complete, even before I open my eyes..
You fill my being with so much joy, that I'm sure its an over-spill from another life-time..
You fill my heart with love that is so deep ..
That all I want to do is hold you tight ..
And listen to you breathe...
Nestle in the crook of your neck ..
And tell you all that's in my heart and in my head..
You make me feel safe..
You make me feel reckless, like never before...
You make me feel beautiful , like I have never felt..
And as alive as fireflies on a moonless night..
As peaceful as the brook that runs calmly ahead..

So is it too much to do , if all I want to do, is spend time with you...
You live in my heart, that I know for sure..
So stay for a bit and more..
And we will have more than all the colours of the rainbow..
More fun than all you have done..
More laughter than it is possible to..
More than all you can imagine..
Is all that I want with you....

And if I lose you down the road..
I will let you find your way..
To happiness and peace..
Where ever that may be..

I will always wish you well..
And hope that no matter where you will dwell..
You will always be surrounded by light ...
and love will stay with you with all her might ..

I know that in life I may not be perfect or the best ..
But I know when I love..
It will always be the deepest...

With this now I go to sleep ..
Knowing fully well..
That no matter what I say or do ..

I will always love you..















 
 



Thursday, July 26, 2012

A PLACE I CALL MY OWN ...

Blissfully asleep in a space I call my own..
Where when I peep, I see all of the universe so blue and green ..


My hideout..
My sanctuary...
The one I go to when I need to talk to myself all alone...

It's high on a cliff and only I know the path ..
And no one can find me..
Once I have locked the map to my heart ..

It's beautiful..
This place of solitude of mine...
Amongst waves gnashing along the hill, and whales swimming with abandon...
The sun shines bright in a sky ,of the most beautiful blue...
And birds, whisper to me of things I never knew...

I sit facing a calming blue..
And talk to the one ...
I most want to talk to...

It's wonderful this place ,that is all about solace..
Because I can invite who ever I want ...
And they always oblige, I meet them with arms wide open and my broadest happiest smile..
I bare my soul...
Say things I really want to ..
Things I would probably only say when I am  all alone...
And when it's all done...
Your conversation is carried up , to the sun, through the clouds,
And peace washes on your face like a beautiful shroud..

I have a mirror here, that shows me a truth so bare...
That when the wind howl's around ..
I don't even care...

Calm, peaceful, soothed and loved is what I feel...
Sometimes feel , this could just be a dream...
But this is my nook, my reality, with no half truths or shadows..
What is.... is, and what will be, will be..

Maybe one day I will invite you there..
Just to let you see what I see..
A peek into this heart of mine...
And share with you..... all !
Over a glass of wine..

A universe filled with love and emotions, that sometimes are as still as waters that run deep...
And sometimes as bounding as the waves that run to the sandy shores to meet ...

Who am I ?
What do I hold?
Where do I walk?
In this earthly world...

I just know that I have to be the person , I was sent to be...
Love as much as I can possibly...
Spread smiles..
Hug the ones that need some hold, when life gets out of control...
Listen more than I can speak...
And never be fearful of small talk...
Never be afraid to walk a mile..
All alone or sometimes with a soul, for a while..
But walk ,I will till the rainbows end....

And yes ,will live life always in hope ..
That tomorrow I will have a day , better than today..

So with an open heart, filled with love..
I have traversed far and wide..
And will continue to face the sun..and leave all the shadows behind...

I was made to love ...
And no matter what ...
That's what I will do ..

Because when you walk with love ...
Only what's true will come to you ...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

DAY 79 : SPY PROOF TART....

Kids are too cute..
Specially sometimes when they believe all the wild stories , I make up...
Yesterday was one such day..
As my sister is down with her kids...
Its a full, crazy, running, screaming house...
And I wanted some peace..
And some "me" time..
Feel like a Tart ?????
So I decided to make "Flaky Pastry"...
I did not know what I'm going to make with it..
But the whole process of making flaky pastry is very soothing and calming...
So I got together lard, butter, flour , salt and water and started....

And then in the middle of it all, when my hands were into flour , Zeke and Kyle, decided to run around the kitchen and play "Super-Spy"..
I tried getting them out, but no amount of asking, scolding and then later screaming, was helping..
They were talking loudly in the same room to one another on "spy-talkies"

I thought I'm going to go crazy..
And so changed tactics...

Called them and told them I have a secret to tell them, they love secrets..
And so I whispered "I'm a secret agent"...
Zeke and Kyle..stopped talking..
Then Zeke's eyes lit up...
And Kyle looked at me with a smile, I think he must have been saying"all lies" in his head...

But in the next 5 minutes, they were both eating out of the palm of my hand...

I told them that there are cameras all over our home, so I cant talk loudly..
As I'm really not allowed to tell anyone , as it could be dangerous..
And that I have a special phone that connects me to the main office..
And this, went on..
I put my pastry in the fridge to rest...

And was wondering what to make for dinner...
and had tit-bits of stuff at home..
So decided to put it all together and make a tart..

Ingredients...

Onions -1/2 kg
Tomatoes- 2
Bacon Rashers or Chicken salami or Chicken sausage- about 150gm
Green chili- 2
Garlic chopped- about 6
Lamb minced- 1/2 kg
Milk - 350 ml
Eggs -2
Paprika - 1 tsp
Garam Masala or Mixed Spices- 2 tsp
Salt and Pepper to taste
Butter - 2 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Wheat flour - 1tsp

Heat a tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in a non -stick pan...
Keep 100 ml milk aside..
To the remaining milk add the eggs and beat it well and keep aside...
Add the chili and garlic..
Stir it a bit and add the onions..
Let the onions get very slightly cooked then add the paprika, garam masala and some pepper...
Add the Bacon rashers or chicken salami and the minced lamb..
After about 15 minutes add the tomatoes
Cook it all really well for about 10 minutes more...
Add about 100 ml of the milk and let it cook for 10-15 minutes more , till it all gets creamy...
Take it off the fire and add the wheat flour to it..
Give it a very good stir...
Cool the mix a bit..
Then add the remaining milk that has been blended with eggs..

You get flaky pastry in the market..
If you live out of India..
In Mumbai , some bakery's sell it too..
And so just buy it ready made..if you can...because its a long process to make it...

Roll out your flaky pastry to the size of your tart case...
Do not make it too thin, I kept mine a little more than 1/4 an inch...
Prick the base of the pastry , this stops it from rising while cooking ...
Add the filling , but not till the top...as it rises while baking...

Grate some mozzarella cheese over it ..
And bake it at 200 degrees for 35 minutes if its a 7 inch tart ring ...
And a little more depending on how big a tart you are making..
Cook it till you see that the flaky pastry is nice and brown and has left the sides of the pan..

The cheese will burn, please do not let that scare you ...

So while all this got ready, I was being asked questions about my first spy assignment!
Do spy's only wear black?
How many gadgets do I have..
Do I have my own aeroplane?
Do I have a partner?
How many cases have I worked on?
Do all spy's do yoga?
Does my phone and my car transform?
Do my boots help me fly?
Am I stronger than a guy?

And then like "Calvin and Hobbes"..they made a transmogrifer....
Out of a carton...and very happily chucked all my books out of it ..
And used up all my little note papers to write codes and draw maps..
So now I have two little secret agents Z1 and K1..
Who have begged me to tell my boss to "Please make them part of the spy union, PLEASE ...PLEASE PLEASE..." were the exact words...

So I told them, that there are rules..
1. You cannot tell anyone, that I am a spy..
2. You have to first learn to talk softly..
3. You have to be fantastic in your studies, specially since you will need maths, science, history and geography in all field work..
4. Have to learn at least one foreign language..
5. Need to play at least one musical instrument(Zeke says drums, so I'm doomed)
6. Have to be super in martial arts..
7. Must know how to cook.
8.  Must be able to make friends with animals..
9. Must treat all girls and everyone smaller than them with care.
10. And the most important of all, must start with first listening to Mama, because you cannot do anything you want when you work as a spy, you have to follow orders and listen to instructions...

Ha ha ha , I was rolling on the floor laughing inside my head, looking at the wonderment in their eyes..
And then I notched it up a bit..
I looked and Zeke and told him"Baby last year, when I went to London for my chefs course"...
"You were on a secret mission???" he completed...
"And you were only pretending to cook?"...
Ha ha ha I love little boys...

And at the end of 30 minutes, the tart was ready..
Steaming hot and the aroma was bursting with excitement...
Zene, who also wants to be a trainee spy, helped me set the table..
Zeke , Kyle , Cruz and Zene...
Sat down and ate without any "choo-cha"...
"Awesome Mama, awesome"..
I think that's their favorite word...
Then I pretended like it was some work call , and told them that , they are being watched and if they follow all the rules, then after they have finished their studies ...
They may get chosen as secret spy's...

I sometimes am amazed at my imagination...
And more at the innocence of little kids..
They live life full of wonderment..
And I live it with them...
I love today...
I love tomorrow..
And I love my yesterday...because it made me find so many little things about me today ...


And so as I take a bite, the crunch of the flaky pastry and softness of the filling...makes a wholesome tasty bite of complete comfort...
I'm thinking this can get very very addictive...
Hmmmm ...its the perfect meal for a Saturday night..
And so here's presenting, "Spy Proof Tart"...hot out of the oven and straight onto a plate ....
Only from "Maria's Kitchen".....

P.S. ANd as im posting this, I have been asked by my Zeke to please take him to my head- quarters to meet my team....ha ha ha ...

Dear God,
I thank you eternally , for making me a mom, and giving me these little ones...
And a chance to feel a love so pure, that wants nothing in return...
Your Favourite,
Maria...

 








Friday, July 13, 2012

DAY 78 : I CAN HAVE MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO..

And so after running in the rain and stuff like that, I decided to join Crossfit ..
Why ?
Because I went for two sessions in the holidays at a bizarre hour of 6am..and loved it ...
Why 6 am in the holidays???
 I can hear you think ...
Painted by my cub Zeke..
Well I really don't know, what I was thinking ..
Oh wait! I was not thinking ...

So after stopping all exercise in the holidays ..
And indulging myself completely...
My body really started craving some kind of crazy exercise...
(it has crazy thoughts sometimes)..
And so after indulging in early morning running in the rain..
I finally joined Crossfit again in July...
And bonus, my friend Mini also works out there..
And it's always more fun hanging with her..

And so every morning after dropping my cubs to school...
 I head straight to this mad crazy place, filled with everyone who just loves the rush, and the pain of a kick-ass work out , and all come back for more ...

And no it's not like a normal gym , with shiny mirrors every where , and everyone checking themselves out..
Here you get so destroyed that you do not even want to look into a mirror..
It's basic and fantastic...
Straight to the point ...
And that's exactly how I like it ...

Well it's now two whole weeks and frankly , I think I'm kind of getting fully addicted..
Cross fit is just an awesome place to work out ..
And Dipesh is truly inspirational...

All the trainers there Jehangir, Mihir, Mrinav, Akash, Karan are just so dedicated and push you to do more than you think is possible...
And are always around, so there is no chance of an injury due to incorrect form, or if you are a beginner and have never exercised...
 I have never been to a place so sorted...

I'm the worst candidate in a gym..
I'm an outdoor person and a yoga person...
Hanging with dumbells is just, not what I do ...

I don't know what to do with them , frankly ...
And even if I was told..
I just do not remember...

The last time I really enjoyed working out was with my trainer Vilayat, who used to do functional training with me...
All kinds of crazy things ...
He is simply out of this world...but I lost him to cricket ..
He is a cricket coach, and the most gentle soul you could meet...
Who would make sure I did my routine in his very silent persuasive way, and would ignore my "excuse face"...

But Crossfit is Vilayat on steroids ...
Here we all work out in a group and do all kinds of everything, from pull ups, push ups, jumping on boxes, carrying weights, doing some crazy stuff with them, burpies and other technical terms I have never ever heard...and then at the end of an hour ...
Lakshya ..destroyed...

We all just lie there on the floor..
Destroyed  , glowing and happy ..
And totter off very slowly to a day , that is always fantastic...
Because of the crazy amount of happy hormones kicked in...

And so most days after I'm completely destroyed ...
I go back and cook something healthy ...

And so a few days ago , Dipesh made me taste a lovely concoction of a fruit smoothie, that I promptly went back made and drank up greedily...
And then after another work out..
He made me taste brownies, that were healthy....
Maybe I always look hungry...that's why most people are always offering me food...
Oh and the fact that I suffer from low BP...
(And thought that I'm going to pass out one day after my work-out ...)

And so I asked Dipesh what all went into that brownie....
And decided to make a healthy cake to share with the  batch I workout with, after our Friday the 13th work out...

I do not have the proper recipe..
Because I was just putting stuff together , tasting the batter and the consistency, and adjusting it ..
But I can tell you all the ingredients I used ...

INGREDIENTS

Dates
Figs
Apricots
Prunes
Raisins
Cocoa powder
Eggs- 3
A fresh coconut scraped...
Coconut water
Apple-1
Courgette-1
Carrot-1
Almond flour
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda - 1tsp
Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
A handful of walnuts, coarse lay chopped ...
Oats...

METHOD..
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees.
In an electric mixer, blend all the dried fruit , with the eggs , honey and vegetable oil ..
When it is blended ,add the cocoa powder and taste it, adjust more sweetness in terms of dates and prunes, or more chocolate , with the cocoa powder..
Grate the apple, courgette and carrot and keep aside ..
Mix the almond flour with the baking powder and soda bicarbonate and keep aside ..
Pour the puréed contents of the mixer , into the grated fruit and vegetables..
Add the dried mix of flour to it ..
Mix well..
As this was done without measurements ..
I tasted the raw batter and adjusted the sweetness, and the consistency with coconut water ...
I added the hand broken walnuts last ..
I then weighed and divided the batter into half ..
Into one I added a hand-full of oats.
But you have to see that you do not over add as the consistency may go all wrong ...
Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, or till a tooth-pick inserted in the center of the cake , comes out clean...

I made two cakes..
One without oats - this was very very soft
One with oats - this was soft but had a bite ...

I'm really ecstatic..
This cake has no butter, no sugar and no flour ...
I don't know if I can make it healthier than this ...
They came out soft and did not have a very heavy chocolate aroma ...( which I'm going to sort out the next time)
I CAN HAVE MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO...


But it was yummy and not in a healthy way...
You know what I mean, everyone thinks that if something is healthy , it cannot be tasty and vice-versa...
I thought that the cake was nice, and really light and moist ,but I would have liked it sweeter...

I gave some to Arshad , while he was trying to exercise ..because I wanted an opinion..
I sent some to Mini's ....

And took some to the gym, for our Friday the 13th Workout ...
And frankly was not so dead today ...
Maybe it was easier today..
Because Dipesh was feeling generous and wanted us to have a relaxed weekend ..
Ha ha ha ..
Dipesh...

Well he works out like a beast and pushes everyone too...
And he is such a lovely gentle soul...
Who causes us all a lot of pain , but " sweet pain"...

Well I shared the healthy cake with all...
And the consensus was "it's good ! is it really healthy?"
Its nice to see a bunch of health conscious guys and girls dig into cake, with no guilt at all...
I follow Kabir, if he stops, then I know its enough.










I'm definitely going to be making this more often...
I cannot believe I actually made a cake , from scratch, with no real recipe to follow ..
I just followed my instinct and my taste buds..
Well I think I want to make this slightly sweeter..
And also have a little more chocolate feel to it...

But I think it's a start, I don't think I'm going to stop cooking what I do cook,but will add a whole lot of healthy options also...
I'm really liking this way of life...
Vegetarian, fishitarian and paleotarian...
(who sometimes cheats with red meat, who to me is like the dark handsome guy in soppy fictional love stories..ha ha .)

And at the end of the day..
It's respecting your body...
And that is as important as respecting yourself and others...

No I'm not striving to be size zero or skinny...
But I definitely want to be a very healthy and fit me...
So that I can still climb trees with my cubs and go up a mountain, swim in the deep blue..

Good health is not a legacy...
It's something we earn, if we respect our life...

And frankly I'm extremely happy and really hope I continue this ...
Err I even have funky glitter silver Vibram shoes ..
These shoes are meant for "cross-fit"ing

That I can't wear anywhere else, so I better go to cross-fit  ..
Ha ha ha ...

And now "I can have my cake and eat it too" ...
Is that not the coolest ...
How many of you can do that ...



So I cut  some banana and some mangoes, and arranged it onto this very healthy yummy brownie-cake, and poured some organic honey onto it...

So here's presenting my concoction of , " I can have my cake and eat it too" ...
Fresh and made without a recipe...
Filled with dried and fresh fruits and full of healthy goodness , for the ones who are nuts about being healthy and fit ..
Only from " Maria's Kitchen"...

Monday, July 9, 2012

WHAT I WANT ......

I walk with you ..
I talk to you ..

I give you my smile ..
Because I seem to smile most when I'm with you..

I give you the songs that sing in my heart ..
I dance with you all the time, to moves ,that are as familiar as the mountain paths....

I give you my laughter..
I give you my bashfulness..
I give you my impulsiveness too..
I give you all the words that cease to flow, when I look at you ..

I waltz through your dreams with you, through my adventures ...
Of places and peaks..
And all the wondrous creatures I meet ..

I send you the feel of the sand, grainy and raw..
And tell you of fish that swim in two's, as I dive towards the ocean floor...

The touch of flowers..
Wild and free..
The freshness in the air, as it passes through me...

I send you the dew, that's rests on my face , as I lie down into the earths embrace....
I send you the green, that's basking on the trees ..
And soft showers that pass by me...

I send you the aromas of the earth ..
I send you drops,  that sparkle out of my eyes , as I squint at the blazing sun, in azure skies..

I give you hugs , that are meant, only for you...
When my day is done ..

I send you my heart beat ..
It's not that you don't have your own..
But just so that you know how it feels ..
When I sit with my thoughts, sipping green tea alone ..

I give you my mornings..
Filled with rain and the sun peeping through ..
I send you twilight, when all is so golden and true..
My evenings, have your name scribbled on the setting sun ..

I send you my sky..
Where at the moment , no stars I can see..
Because I sent them all to you ..
And left none for me ..
I share with you the moon..
Who knows it all..
Who speaks to us when all is calm...

I send you my dreams filled with skies so blue..
And fields of gold..
Where I sit and talk to you

Maybe all that I have sent you ..
May be too much ,for you to hold ..

But take it all..
It means nothing , if not shared with the one, I adore..

And if you are wondering ..
What I want from "You" ..

Well ..
Nothing ...
You just be you ..

And so,take my heart..
If you want that too....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

SHADES OF GREY...

On a day like today..
When the sky is so overcast
Laden with rain ..
In shades of grey ..

I look up and finally see..
A hue ..
That I never acknowledged...
Because it never ever figured in my palette...
Whenever I painted the sky so vividly....
In my shade of blue...

But life is really not black and white...
Though I always thought so ...

Night or Day
Rain or shine...
Hot or cold...
That's not how it is ...
And I now , see the truth...

There is an in-between.
A twilight zone ...
That I think we all sometimes ignore ..

The grey..

It's not such a boring colour to me anymore ..
Because I realised that it has opened possibilities, like never before ..

Have you ever really looked at a grey sky..
It has hues of a pink , in the palest of pale...
That could easily be ignored , if you were looking through a veil..
Looking is not "seeing" ..
And that's where the secret lies..

And so I missed this shade of grey...
I think...
Because I ignored it ...
If it was not a sunny day ..

But now, while I stare into the myriad sky...
That lay vast over me. in all it's glory ..

I was transfixed with all it said to me ..
It was a heart to heart like never before..
A gentle breeze started to blow ..
At first just carrying little leaves doing a dervish dance ..
And then as if on cue..
The skies opened and there was a flash of reality ..
That I was forced to see....
And then it thundered like never before ..
And told me things ...
I already knew , but probably did not want to hear ..
I looked up into this sky so grey..
With eyes all moist with falling rain ..
That now beat down upon my face..
And just pulled me into its whirl wind embrace ..
I stood still ..
I did not move ..
I needed to hear all ..
With all the truth within..

Is this how grey feels ...
Is this the truth..
Is this why it stay's behind the blue ...
And only visits, when it's needed to...
Carrying with it , clouds laden with reality..

I look at the grey sky..
And just bowed my head ..
And let it pour over me..
And wash my soul , with all it's sensitive depth..

It's beautiful this grey..with hues of pink ..
It washes away all ...
It cleanses ..
It shows you , everything , like it is ..

No pretty shadows..
No half-truths..
No laced words..
Or golden skies..
Just me and my mirror in the sky ..

Sometimes ...
Inspite  of reality ..
We see what we want to see..
We weave a reality , that was not even a dream ..
We make heroes of men ..
We have not even seen ..

Unlearning all I thought was true..
Learning never to assume ..
Never to judge.. till you walk a while ..
Never to label..that's for jars, not man-kind..
To look much beyond someone's smile ..
That sometimes it better to leave things unsaid..
And sometimes , just wait and see if anyone comes to meet you instead ...

Grey .. It's beautiful ..
It's actually has that silver tinge ..
My lining to any cloud..
That decides to rain all around ..

It brings with it, life giving miraculous drops to quench us all...
To cleanse us of everything and make us strong ...
To wash our hearts if tears there have begun to belong...
To reach out and drench our souls with love...
To send you blessings from above...
To fill the earth with grass so green..
With flowers we have never seen..
Bring creatures both great and small...
And spread smiles to one and all...

So you see..
Now when I look up and see the sky ...
All strewn in shades of Grey...

I smile my heart out..
Because I know it's going to be a beautiful day ....



Monday, July 2, 2012

DAY 76 : UNPREDICTABLE MANGO JAM...

UNPREDICTABLE MANGO JAM...
Oh yes ...
And after Spain won the UEFA 2012 last night beating Italy by 4 fantastic goals..
I just had to celebrate...
Why???

Because I love Spain..the place, the people , the food , the language , the Sangria, the beaches..the mountains...Xabi Alonso..(who is yummy...)
And how amazing that place just makes you feel..
Sun-kissed and very happy...
I was there last year on holiday with my girl-friends and made memories that are gonna last me till I do'nt lose my memory ...ha ha ha .
And so what I made actually reminds me of the golden in the Spanish flag..

And so ,here I'm at it again...
Can't help it ...
Trying to keep the flavour of mangoes with me for a longer time than possible..
And so I have been devouring them like they are zero calorie ..
Using them in salads, dressings, desserts and even put some in my face pack...
And it was "Deeeelicious"...
I don't know if it did anything for my skin...but I was busy licking my lips...
Because the honey, lime and mango combination was just too yummy...
And Taz was looking at me, like I was his dessert....wagging his tail, ready to lick my face ....
Ha ha ha...

And so I made something , I saw my mummy make every year ..
And store in huge glass jars in the fridge...
And for a very large part of the year..
We had yummy mango jam , mango ice-cream, mango chutney etc...etc..

INGREDIENTS

Fresh Mango pulp-1.2 kg...(that's because, I had quite a number of Alphonso mangoes at home)
Castor sugar- 1 1/2 cup
Sour limes -3 squeezed..

Method..

In a non stick pan..
Stir all the ingredients together on a medium to low flame...
You have to keep stirring it, till the consistency changes to thick and very glossy...
It took me approximately an hour , fifteen minutes and a little more...
You know you are done , when you run your spatula through the pulp and it parts like how Moses parted the waters of the sea to save his people..
Err but not till all the horses had run through..
Just count 1...2...3... And you can then take it off the fire..and let it cool completely before transferring it into a clean and dry glass container or Tupperware of your choice...
You are done ...

That easy, probably my easiest recipe till date , and one that is really deeply satisfying ....
Now keep a little out, for daily"  greedumption " my version of greedy consumption..
And the rest store in the fridge..

So while I was stirring the mango pulp and inhaling the aroma, of probably the last mangoes this season..
(Because now, on account of the rains, the mangoes in the market are not upto mark...)
I was just thinking , that this. is just an ideal way of keeping with me .all who I don't want to let go off...

So are there more like me..
Making jam of what they want to keep with them...

Longer than a season ,for a reason known best to them...
Simply because who has really seen a life-time....

How nice , if we could also add lime and keep with us ,the people we love..
So when we miss them..
All we have to do is go to the jar ,say marked "Betty-boo" or "Ninja", my golden-retriever and my Boxer...
And there ,they are with me, all over ,again...
Jumping , bouncing, wagging their tails ...

Unfortunately life is not as easy as making Jam...
You cannot put anyone in a bottle, or hold on to them...
More than they want to be held....

We were meant to be free,  that is our true essence...
And it is that fragrance that permeates through our very being...
And the choices we make in "complete freedom" are the only ones we can truly stand by...

In my opinion , how a person behaves with you while exercising his complete 'free will', is directly proportionate to where you stand in their life and vice versa..
It's easy to ask for what you want , or put limitations or expectations onto any relationship...
But for me, free will is the "clincher" the deal " maker" or" breaker"..

There are no "genie's " in any bottle...

And no amount of preservatives can keep anything forever...
But while it is with you, if it brings you unboundable happiness, then it's worth it..

As you know, everything in a bottle comes with a shelf life...
But thank fully some relationships don't...

And the ones that do...
Well....I don't know...????

And I'm sure that's why God gave us "memories" ...
That we can visit , each time we are missing someone ...
All we really have to do is visit our memory of that person, and smile again...
All the little moments, you shared everything that made you laugh, giggle, cry, fight, scream, sing, eat, cook, argue, talk, stay silent, run, walk, travel, drink coffee, have green tea, get drunk with champagne, swim, jump, dance, whisper, play in the rain, drive...everything...

Or then sometimes we keep photographs...
Because photograph's do not change , even if the person in them has...

So yes while I was busy stirring this very rich mango pulp, that was soon starting to look like a beautiful sun shining , satiny  quilt , that you would like to drape around you on a rainy day ...
And the aroma of which was driving me slowly but surely insane ...

In my head, I had a number of people that I would have liked to make into "Jam" ..
So that I could hang on to them longer than what life intends...

But since thats not possible...
In this crazy kitchen that exists in my head....
I have these little bottles in different colours...
And they have smiling photographs on all of them, of the ones that I love...
And inside I have a corresponding spice or ingredient...

Ha ha ha ..
And I just cannot share the names or what ingredient each one stands for...
Because I don't want to get beaten up...
The whole exercise then ,would be counter active...

But in my head at the moment I'm having a mad laugh fest...
And all these bottles are walking around and I'm having a wonderful tea party with all of them...
And yes, Mad-hatter , the Cheshire cat and the Rabbit are very much part of it ...
And the man on the moon...

Bottom line..

My mango jam is really nice ,wholesome, and very basic,has the flavour and essence of fresh mangoes..
It has a beautiful rich colour and an uneven texture..(I left pieces of mango in it, for ....unpredictability)
There is nothing artificially flavoured or coloured..
What you see ,is what you get..
Or rather what you put into it, is exactly what you get back... ha ha ha ....

Blue pancakes

Settled 1/3 of my cookery books..


And it's , just going to be a pleasure biting into a slice of toasted multigrain bread with  Mango Jam, smeared generously on it..
When it's pouring cats and dogs here in Mumbai , and there are no more mangoes available in the market ...

So here's presenting wholesome , flavoursome , simple ,"Unpredictable Mango Jam" inspired by my mum...
Made with tons of old and new wonderful memories..
That are lying in bottles marked with smiling faces in the kitchen of my heart...

As I'm busy licking my fingers only in , "Maria's Kitchen