Author: Vidya Sury

Thens and Nows Again

Thens and Nows Again

Do you remember the days when we thought eating ice cream in the rain was exciting, Mi? And we did, too. We walked out in the drizzle, even if we got drenched eventually, to the ice cream parlor some distance away and enjoyed that casatta […]

Butterfingers

Butterfingers

Today was one of those days, Mi. Solid butterfingers. Right from making the coffee. See, as usual, I had set the milk to boil on one burner. Then the pan of water for the coffee filter. As usual, while this was happening, I cleared the […]

Back to the rottine

Back to the rottine

You’ll find it so funny if I admit this, Mi. I was happy to make rotis today. Hence the rottine–you know. (Courtesy Sury of course). I asked him if he found it amusing that I enjoyed making the rotis today and he quickly said of course.

We woke up this morning listening to kis tarah bhoolega dil by the lovely Noor Jehan. Oh, what a voice, what a melody, what lyrics. Do your remember Vidur singing it perfectly? Yep, got the video still.

Yesterday I spent all day semi-bullying him about checking clothes, pants, etc. Today is the 4th of July and quickly the next 20 days will whizz by with me juggling work, filing IT returns (ugh!), housework, outings, and the other mundane stuff we cannot avoid. Already I am taking stock of the pantry and have made meal plans so I can cook accordingly without stressing over this aspect.

And yeah, I ripened two totapuri mangoes to make the mango burfi again, Mi! Oh gosh, I am laughing now to think of how, when I said I was curdling the milk, you’d ask me if I was lacto bacillus! Hehehehe. Remember how we always make extra rotis for roti vadakkal? I still do it. Makes such a yummy snack or even meal. Last week it became Vidur’s dinner and he enjoyed it. I think fondly of how Gopmama and I would fight over the tadka – the crisp urad dal! You know, mor-molagai makes a fab taste enhancer. Which reminds me, I really want to eat more-koozhu one of these days.

Did I tell you I made it a couple of weeks ago and U dropped in. Of course she had cooked a three-course menu at home but hadn’t had lunch. I forced her to eat a bowl of the koozhu and she was fascinated by how tasty it was and said she would make it. She couldn’t get over how easy it was.

Got a bit distracted there with the doorbell and all. Paps doing her duty. And our ex-pentamma saying hello. She had wanted that old utensil basket–told her she could take it any time and she looked happy about it. She is also interested in that old vinyl carpet of ours which is rolled up in the garage. Hmm. But to take that she needs transport so whenever that is.

Talking of the garage, I really have to go clear out some stuff there. Sigh. It was so much easier when the Honda Activa was in my life. Also kept my arms cool, I think, pulling and raising that shutter eight times a day. What? That’s solid exercise, you know. Even if I put “giriju” (grease according to my Paps).

I am sitting with a tumbler of kaapi now. Just ate three marie biscuits. And am a bit muddled about what I can realistically finish today, Mi. I wish you were here to prod me on, encourage me, motivate me, make me laugh. Sometimes it’s a lonely journey you know. Because there are things only I am worried about simply because I am the author of all that mischief. Oh well. I guess what will get done will get done.

I feel slightly ranty today but I think I’ll zip it up for the moment and get going with walking the miles to go before I sleep. I’ll save the venting for tomorrow.

Please watch over me.

Here’s the song.

So – pic above the post is from Vidur’s campus. Marigolds- rows and rows and rows for as far as the eye can see, Mi.

Catching up

Catching up

We are back home! One week in the Andamans was wonderful, Mi. No internet. Phone calls barely going through, with us saying “hello, hello, voice is breaking, can’t hear you” most of the time. Yet we had a good time, the three of us together, […]

Nostalgia on demand

Nostalgia on demand

Does that even make sense? Yes, it does, Mi, because that’s exactly what we tried to do. And succeeded. But let me begin from the beginning. So as usual, U and I, during one of our marathon phone calls laughed our heads off over how […]

Never the same

Never the same

So, based on the success and the happy reception of the besan-coconut-almond burfi, I decided to do a “repeatay”, Mi. After all, who doesn’t want to replicate a good thing? Also, the first batch left a craving behind, after its abrupt disappearance.

Thus, yesterday morning found me measuring out the ingredients rather smugly. After I finished cooking lunch, I thought, why not quickly make the dessert as well. As it is, I was still going at the housework as if on steroids. I packed two huge bags of disposables and stuff and simply left it outside, heaving a sigh of relief as I shut the door. And feeling rather pleased to see the empty space created by them.

But back to the sweet. So I roasted the cashew and the besan. What a fabulous aroma that is! I added the coconut, tossed it around the “shwee” pan and then added the syrup. Then I added the almond powder. All good so far. Except, on continuous folding, I found no signs of it becoming burfi. Instead, it suspiciously looked very much like besan halwa. Pondering over it, and continuing to fold it in, I seemed to hear your voice telling me to turn up the flame. I did. And vigorously handled the ladle. Ah well. I could see it was done, but it was halwa, not burfi. As the Americanos say, my bad. I realized I had goofed up the proportions of the ingredients. How hilarious. I switched off the flame, and poured the sweet on the waiting greased plate. This time I had chosen and smaller, deeper one. Well, it settled nicely, moist, very halwa-like. I scooped a little off the ladle and rolling it to cool it, asked Sury to taste it. He said “great!”. Ditto with Vidur. I know when to hold em and when to fold em – so I left it at that, smiling away.

Because you see, they assumed that I had made halwa. I did not advertise the fact that I was going to make burfi–or anything for that matter. Big life-lesson, Mi. Never disclose your goals publicly. Right? So all is well that ends well.

Somehow, this made me think of my paruppunjaam. You know how I’d relish it, and then try to mix another round, but complain that it was never the same? Even though I made it exactly like the first time? Heh. I remember how you would mix lots of paruppunjaam and only serve me half the first time and have a second serving ready – but even that wouldn’t seem quite like the first. Which makes no sense. That’s the thing with replication. I think the logic is, we’ve already tasted it once, so we are in some sense, already satiated. The anticipation is less the second time, and therefore the appreciation, I think. Well whatever.

Maybe the paruppunjaam is not the ideal example except the replication not meeting our expectations part. Ah well, as I said – all was well. The halwa was much appreciated and viewed as a different sweet. Also, with all of us in different stages of the cold–, it was the ideal throat remedy. Talk about a win-win, eh?

By the way, I have to tell you this. I am enjoying a lot of buttermilk, in a quest to reduce my coffee consumption. And every time I blend it with the water, I think of you–how much you enjoyed the buttermilk. And how I’d always have a running commentary, telling you how we must first whip the curd before mixing the water so that there are no lumps. And you’d keep smiling, not once getting annoyed over my yadda yadda yadda.

I have nobody like that now, Mi. I am blessed to have memories of you to keep me going. Thank you.

The photo above is the campus of IISER Mohali in winter. I usually waste time looking for images. I have now decided to use my own photos. What am I going to do with all of them anyway? Yes, I know you approve, Mi! Better late than never with wisdom, right?