Disaster and dessert later

Ok, I’m done.

No, really. I’m close to giving up. Learning how to cook, I mean.

(And yeah, I’m still learning…I haven’t baked any cinnamon rolls yet, or barbequed chicken or anything….)

A heated up kitchen, the smell of fish defrosting, one huge kitchen knife and a fork.

I spent quite a significant part of Friday evening trying to slice fish evenly, to make fish chiplets. And ended up at my wits’ end and hurling profanity at the poor fillet.

And I only learnt to boil water a little more than a year back. I mean, c’mawn!

Remember the Ghol fillets I got last week, and I had kept one of those aside to make cakes? Well, I got it out and behaved like myself, that is, I got bored to wait around letting it defrost. I dunked it in simmering water till it was workable….or so I thought it would be. Ignorant and a sad lazy-ass, that’s what I am. Armed with a knife too dull and a flimsy fork, I set on cutting thin finger-like pieces from the monster of a fillet. Why does it have to be so damn big!

By the end of it, profanities aside, I slumped on the couch drenched in sweat and fishy water and made up my mind to forget all about cooking, food, recipes and all the stupid hoopla I’ve been doing since last year over them.

A little while, notched up air-conditioning and a few scenes from Charlie’s Angels later, I was reluctantly ready to go back to frying the damn chiplets. I’m decidedly not sharing the recipe with you, because its beyond worse and a total mood-kill. I tried salvaging the rest of my Friday by eating panna cotta.

OK, I have to confess – I’m not a big fan of panna cotta. Mostly because I’m not comfortable with gelatin. I get this weird feeling every time I have to use it in some jelly or panna cotta recipe, that I’m taking a shortcut. Shortcut from what, don’t ask. Its like you add gelatin and it sets. No technique, not much physical effort, no timing or rules, like its a magic ingredient.

White Chocolate and Mint Panna Cotta

I still prefer the dark-chocolate and mint combination. Always refreshing and surprising every time. White-chocolate has never been my style, although change is good.

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Sugar High and Tipsy

My blood sugar levels have hit the roof.

Well, no…not technically. But it seems so obvious considering the fact that I can’t come up with food that has absolutely no sugar in it (or honey,or molasses, or syrup, or…well you know the rest). And I’m not even talking about desserts.

I’m currently in a phase where I get fits everytime I see the sugar jar…and automatically give in to the temptation of dumping a spoonful of it into anything that’s stewing, or roasting, or boiling, or frying in the pan. I have started craving for sugary sweetness, which is unlike me in totality, after lunch, after dinner and even before bedtime.

Forget about being terrified of turning into my mother, I’m practically turning into all the women in my family. They love their sweets, believe me.

Now, I feel like a traitor after just blogging about how I stay away from ghee or syrup-dunked sweets. No excuse. I’ve even, to my own horror, found myself wondering how recipes are only totally and completely 100% savory, seasoned with only salt and pepper!

So, this is what the family GP had warned me about….hmmm.

And the rate at which Fauri keeps replacing the empty jar, all the while wondering where exactly was all the sugar magically disappearing to, is almost obscene.

Well, what can I say…I’m trying.

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What the fudge…?!?!

terrace_floor

The first droplets of rain in Mumbai, left streaks across the tiled terrace floor, almost washing away the dirt my gardener leaves behind every alternate afternoon. You could hardly call it “rainfall” since the drizzle was nothing compared to what Mumbai usually faces.

We’re all gearing up for the washout due 23rd or 24th of the next month. How lovely.

Meanwhile, I’m getting deliciously absent-minded, day by day.

I released the wrong set of drawings to the wrong consultant yesterday and then made his assistant drive back to the office and collect the right set. Not to mention the madness with which I cursed at myself while he was paying full attention to my instructions. His spectacles almost fell off the edge of his nose, I swear.

I typed a fantastically raunchy text message meant for the Lieutenant and then sent it to his best friend. Don’t ask me how that happened. I’m only thankful that M. is a very understanding guy and wasn’t really scandalized by the message.

I got inspired by the new book on chocolate that I bought and decided to try out the orangette recipe….I know, I know its technically not orange-season in India, but the tangy green ones are out. I just couldn’t help it.

It was destined to get all fucked fudged up really. Sorry Mom.

And hurriedly read through the directions, and instead of letting the peel strips cool in the sugar solution for 6 hours, I strained them out and left them in the open. By the time I came back from office, red ants were yelling out “Thank You Amrita!”

I know, I’m smart.

And if you’re wondering, then no, green peels don’t work as well as orange ones…they’re just not as sweet or easy.

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From the Depths

Shreya, Foram and me

Shreya, Me and Foram

ZONASA 2007 : Synesthesia

(slumped on the swanky porch of a five-star hotel at 1:00 a.m. in the morning!)

Coming across an old photograph is such a great feeling!

It digs up so many memories, sweet and sour and hazy, but stuff we remember and will, always.

The photo above was clicked by either Azaz or Aakash, don’t remember. We were crazy tired, up from a full meal, sleepy and our legs were hardly helping. We actually slumped out on the porch of the Welcome Hotel, Baroda, leaned against the glass wall of the lobby, and grinned to glory!

What on earth are we wearing?

Those are patiala-style harem pants we got stitched according to colors needed for the college cultural performances. Its a good thing we removed the face paint before heading out for dinner.

I remember, the day had been one of the most hectic ones. A whole day of running around getting college bands lined-up together, arranging the music in order, arguing with the sound operators, giving another 1500 students the stink-eye, handing out schedules, handing out re-made schedules and getting into heated debates with fellow batchmates, miscommunication, broken shoe straps, misplaced lists and botched-up announcements! What a time we had hosting NASA 2007.

Its been nearly two years since then and still feels like yesterday. Just thinking of what we’d been through together for five years of college, makes me tingle. And oh, how we’ve changed. I’m not even trying to think where we will be in another couple of years.

Now, I don’t need my colleagues to see me crying….