Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finally, The Strawberry Shortcake

I think I am coming to terms with this blog. Maybe, very soon I will stop ranting about how I didn’t want to really write about what I cooked and how I needed to take that step to get up and actually write. I just realised that every few weeks, when I haven’t managed to write something, I find myself thinking of trying something new and writing about it. My life has transformed into something new- a new routine, and a lot to do. Winter is also here, along with the wedding season- I love this time of the year. The meeting people- sometimes pleasant and sometimes not so much, the music, the dressing up, the highly celebrated traditional Indian wedding ceremonies, sometimes over the top- I love it all. Although it just means, that we are hardly eating at home. Therefore, the opportunity to cook is reduced tremendously. I think, very soon, I will do a simple post about regular dal-chawal; comfort food that I always find myself turning to, after a few days of eating out.

         Coming back to the blog, today’s post however, is the much talked about and the 'repeatedly mentioned on this blog' strawberry cake. I have permission from K aunty to share this recipe with others and she really wants other people to enjoy it too! So here it is; I hope to perfect it soon…
“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did”
William Butler

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Magnum Opus- guest post by Ak

I often wonder what sort of background music would be appropriate for the bits in life where we are doing really awesome stuff. Maybe you should let this music play while you read this post about the awesomeness yesterday.

The reason why T is not writing this post is that she writes this blog for the joy of cooking. She loves the process, the mixing with hands, the transformation of ingredients. She enjoys the thousand little subtleties that make her cooking different from everyone else. It is a relaxation, a therapeutic release that results in something beautiful. Something that can be taken up at will and at a convenient time.

Yesterday, though, was an event. It called for good food, to be prepared in large quantities, for lots of people. The people mix was reasonable eclectic - a little less than half were vegetarians, some of whom would not even have eggs - some would enjoy their drink and eat later, some would want to be fed as soon as they entered. It also called for birthday cake, which we could have easily outsourced along with the rest of the food - a recommendation of mine that was put down almost immediately - There would be cooking - lots of cooking and T would do it.

So we fixed a menu for 20 people and here it is:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Lazy Chicken (Grilled Chicken in garlic and herb sauce)

I have recently discovered how a lot of my posts have this one quote from Ak, which is the motivation behind the post. This is almost always- presumably a good thing, because on numerous occasions, inertia could get the better of me. Today’s was; “Just because it was easy for you, does not make it ‘not worthy’ of a post. I wonder, what is it that makes something worthy of talking about it. This makes me rethink of what this blog is intended to do.
As much as today was a downer day- when a post would have been out of question, with me not feeling well, and not having slept for a few days now, I thought I would do something quick for dinner. Since Workwise, the momentum is at a different pace completely, efficiency has taken a completely new meaning and this, like always, would reflect in my cooking. The dish for today was going to be Grilled Chicken accompanied with some veggies- (grilled, because I wanted a try a new multipurpose grill pan, that I had been recently gifted by a thoughtful aunt, who is aware of my love for new technology in cookware!). The Grilled Chicken Breast has been one of my favourite dishes for over 10 years now. There was a time, when I would blindly order the Grilled Chicken Breast, wherever I went. The recipe below was invented on the go, recreating my memories of a mildly flavoured chicken that is not overdone with spices; the recipe is simple, not too fancy, extremely healthy and a meal by itself, if accompanied with bread and a little salad (optional).  Maple is optional (I love the sweetness it adds), and so is wine. I call it lazy, only because it really takes no effort, and is perfect for a lazy winter night.
p.s. I think it looked appetizing enough for Ak to pour some wine to accompany it J

Monday, November 7, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

I remember watching an episode of Masterchef, where the contestants were asked to recreate the one food memory that they had. If I had to ever do this, there would be numerous; but if I had to ever think of that one moment that initiated my fondness for cooking, it would be the strawberry shortcake. While I was in school, birthdays were big. And each year, K’s birthday (one of my very old friends from school) would bring along a wonderful strawberry shortcake, which was her favourite, and her mum would bake it year after year. It really was the prettiest cake I could imagine, gorgeous and sinful. Maybe my obsession with pink also has its roots there. I would see that cake and wonder if ever in life, I would  be able to bake anything remotely close to 'the strawberry shortcake'. As years passed, I did start baking myself, but never found the courage to try it out. It would cross my mind each year, on 23rd Jan J and each time I would see strawberries, or when I would speak to K, I would determine to muster up the courage to try it. In fact, even when I met K’s mom a few years back in the US, I remember discussing the memory of the short cake. Like many other things in life, Fear of failure prevented me from taking the plunge.

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