The 3 Cs

Cleaning, Clearing, Cooking

It would be no exageration to say that the last few days have been crazy for me. I have been cleaning, clearing, cooking, hosting a party, and cleaning, clearing all over again.I do have loads of left overs to not have to worry about cooking though ๐Ÿ™‚

It was daughter’s birthday last week, and I decided to do a small get-together, with our close friends, at home. And also ambitiously decided to cook. Of course, better sense prevailed, Or rather husband prevailed. He refused to even let me think about it. He knows me. So I settled on cooking a few things and ordering the rest – just to make me feel less guilty about not cooking entirely. You see, I have some friends who cook for massive parties, and I feel so inadequate. Husband, of course, believes that we should outsource everything that is not our core competency, and we should enjoy the day rather than go crazy cooking. Which I agree with, most of the time.

Thank goodness, he drilled some sense into me. Even with the little that I had to do, I was running around like a headless chicken. Shopping for everything we would need, cleaning, taking the opportunity to clear out clothes and toys that we needed to give away. Which just made it crazy, because I just ended up doing things which I could have easily done another time. The only way I could pull it off, was by staying away from the laptop. I allowed myself the phone(but of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

To cut a long story short, in the few days that I cut off myself from the laptop, my efficiency doubled. My cupboards are lighter, my carpets are cleaner, I wish I could say that I was lighter as well, but after a party, that would be a small miracle ๐Ÿ™‚ It won’t take too long for my carpets to go back to their earlier state, but I seriously plan to keep my cupboards light. I’m going to have a tough enough time trying to pack things into boxes without adding to it by shopping some more.

Now, with the party and the mess out of the way, I’ve got to get ready to go to Venice ๐Ÿ™‚ We are off to Venice next weekend! And I suspect that I will have to go on another blog sabbatical to get everything ready to go.

So I’ll get back next week and comment, reply to comments, read, etc, etc, etc ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll try to sneak in when I can, but I might be better off staying away from the laptop. Oh, and please do wish for us that we get good weather this time! AND by good weather I mean, HOT weather!

PS: Leaving you with a picture of one of the things that I made, and luckily, turned out to be a huge hit ๐Ÿ™‚ especially lucky, because it was a first time experiment ๐Ÿ™‚

Just a little randomness..

Just as the title says, this post is full of random nothings.. Please feel free to skip!

– I was suddenly reminded(out of nowhere) of the time when we were first introduced to Statistics. My Maths teacher told us that we are going to start Statistics the next week. He made it all exciting by telling us that with Statistics, we could figure out the probability of India winning the next one-dayer. In those days, when I was cricket mad(I must be the only wife who wishes her husband watched cricket!) – that was all that registered and I was waiting with bated breath, to figure out this amazing subject ๐Ÿ™‚ Needless to say, I was a tad disappointed – but still ended up loving Stats ๐Ÿ™‚

– My thoughts seem to be going back to my school days quite a lot these days! I am reading Gavin Menzies’ The Lost Empire of Atlantis, and couldn’t help be bemused. Twenty years back, I was so happy to see the last of history lessons.. I would have never imagined that I would enjoy reading history so much!

– Sometimes, husband starts experimenting with the camera, and comes up with shots like this ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure makes my everyday cooking seem exotic ๐Ÿ™‚

– While on pictures, I love the way my house looks ๐Ÿ™‚ Far prettier and neater than in real life. If only I could pretend that that is how it looks in reality ๐Ÿ™‚

– I had a first today – my car refused to start! Thankfully it started when I tried it again after 2 hours. It did have me in a state, I have to admit. The thought of not having the car made me feel – more than a little helpless.

– I love reading Daughter Roald Dahl books – they are so much fun! We are on ‘The Witches’, and me, being the evil mother, I am, have been scaring her while reading it. If you have read the book, you’ll know why ๐Ÿ™‚ If you haven’t go get the book – it is so much fun!!!

– I am now in a quandary – I ‘m not sure if I should publish this post, or the review of The Lost Empire of Atlantis’. Yes, I completed it by the time I reached this part of the post.. And now want to declare how great that book is ๐Ÿ™‚

So publish, it is!

Help needed, please!

I am at my wits end!

I used to make perfectly good dosas when we were in London. Ever since moving to Leeds, my luck has dried up.

These days, every time I make the batter using rice, urad ratio of 3:1 and using a tsp of fenugreek seeds – it just does not work. Either the batter does not get fermented at all or it rises splendidly, only with a rotten smell! Just does not smell the way fermented batter should smell.

Just to be extra sure, I even tried making a dosa out of this smelly but fermented looking batter – but it tastes un-fermented too! My friends have advised putting the batter in a slightly warm oven, in the boiler room – but nothing works!All this used to work in London, by the way..

Then I thought that maybe my vessels needed sterilizing – tried that – and that failed the test too. Same result.

Then, I found some dosa mix which I had to whizz in the blender and then leave to ferment – exact same result! I have searched high and low on the internet – exhausted my mom’s tips.. And am now hoping that one of you will have some solution!

Any and all suggestions welcome!

Undomestic (un)goddess?

Deepa had tagged me quite a while back to list out my ‘domestic horrors’. ย Well, that should not be very difficult for me, should it? That’s what I do ๐Ÿ™‚

The only tough thing, would be , to ‘choose’ what to list out here.. I do have a bunch to choose from, you know ๐Ÿ™‚ What can I say, domesticity and me were(are) poles apart. The only reason, I think I am enjoying being an SAHM is thanks to my busy blogging life ๐Ÿ™‚

1. I actually started to cook by myself around the time that I started work.. Most of it was restricted to Maggi ๐Ÿ™‚ One time, a bunch of us decided to ‘cook’ properly. We put rice and dal into separate containers in the pressure cooker and waited. After a couple of whistles – according to one of us- we opened it , only to find that the rice had overflowed all over and it was a right mess! That was the end of our ‘proper’ cooking ๐Ÿ™‚

2. The only thing I could profess to cook reasonably well was aloo paranthas.. I love them and was quite good at them. So the first time, that I was in the US, I decided to treat my friends to aloo paranthas.. Well, I had no idea that the smoke alarm could go off, with all that cooking in oil and when it went off.. I almost jumped out of my skin! I was not sure if the police had landed on my house or what? Thankfully, one of us had an idea and managed to calm down the smoke alarm with a wet towel.. That was actually quite scary – for me – at that time ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Well, they do say that when you get really competent at something – you will be able to repeat your successes without much ado.. Well, it is quite clear that I have not reached that level of success in cooking, at least. I am someone who can mess up even the simplest dal – and not have a clue as to what went wrong! The other day, we had some friends over for dinner and I made my tried and tested Dum aloo and Baingan ka bharta – only to realise that both turned out totally non tasty! And I have no idea what went wrong! Thankfully, we had some delicious starters ย – store bought and delicious cake – made by yours truly as well as some homemade strawberry ice cream, to save the day. Needless to say the leftovers had to be thrown in the garbage – it was salvageable ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

4. We have had a lot of unpalatable meals that have been turned out by me. But the one which took the cake was a meal by our cooks – we had decided to do ‘core competency outsourcing’ ย as cooking was not the ‘core competency ‘ of either of us ๐Ÿ™‚ . In the stream of cooks that we had, one time, we had a couple coming to cook for us. The lady used to do most of the cooking and her husband would give her company. She was a vegetarian but he told us that he could make a wonderful egg curry. ย And since it had been some time since we had it, we asled him to make it for us. Normally, I tell them how I want things cooked. Most of the cooks we had were Gujaratis and cooking without sugar was anthema for them. While I cannot stand sugar in savory dishes.. So I used to give them strict instructions as to how I like things cooked. Now, this time, he was totally insistent that he knew how to make it -‘ just let me do it – you will love it, everybody loves my egg curry’ sort of thing.. So I let it be. We got home that evening – starving, only to open the dish and almost pass out.. In the name of egg curry was a gooey mass with some signs of onions and tomatoes ! He had broken the eggs – 6 eggs into the onion and tomato gravy ย – and it looked horrible !!! That was the most horrible disastrous food that I had even seen! He surpassed even me in terms of cooking fiascos!! We did a takeaway that night.

5. ย Another time, another maid, another disaster. Now, no matter how bad I am at cooking, I am quite paraniod about making sure that all the burners and hotplates are turned off. One time,on my way back home, with daughter, as I entered the corridor leading to my flat, ย I could hear the fire alarm ringing away.. I remember thinking – oh looks like somebody’s left something on! The fire alarm in our apartments where quite sensitive – it used to go off when I iron clothes! And as I entered into the flat – I was greeted with thick black fumes! I almost had a heart attack!. Here I was with my 9 month old daughter and the house is all black! Husband was out of country and for a minute I did not know what to do. I somehow managed to leave the door open, and ran inside to check it out. My cook had left the hotplate on with the pressure cooker on it. The pressure cooker’s safety valve had gone off and the contents where charred black! Thank fully as we did not have a gas burner – nothing was on fire. The black smoke was coming from the pressure cooker! I was so so angry with my cook! That was the last time she worked for us! It was just pure luck that the only thing damaged was the pressure cooker!

Listing down domestic disasters just reminds me that I have to lot of work pending – in the ‘ domestic area’, so I’m off to do it now. I am not tagging anybody – mainly because I am too lazy to get all the links and put it here.. So consider yourselves tagged ๐Ÿ™‚ All of you ๐Ÿ™‚