Plum pickle

When ever I see PLUMS ,the first person comes to my mind is my mom. She loves plum. I had few plums at home which no one were interestd to eat as it is so just out of blue I decided to make something out of it. The idea of making a pickle (southern india style ) seemed weird but gave a hit in google and Wala!!!there were lots of people like me so writing up how I made mine .

Ingredients:

7 to 8 big pitted plums (also chopped in bite size pieces)

Sesame oil 1 tbs

Dry red chillies 4 to 5

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp Sugar/1 inch of jaggery

1 strand of curry leaves

Salt to taste

How i made it: 

1.Heat oil in vessel and splutter the mustard seeds

2.Add fenugreek seeds ,crushed curry leaves,red chillies

3.Add plums and cook till oil separates

4. Add salt and Jaggery/Sugar

I enjoyed this with yogurt rice and also hot rotis .20141209_094008

 

 

 

 

 

Ojas turns 3!!!

There is one little person in my house who is not mentioned much in this blog. I have said the same thing in every post about this fella. Yes!!he turned  3 on 20 oct 2015 and I’m publishing a post 5 months after that because I am a lazy person ,OK! super lazy person.

Its easy to pick up gifts or things I can do for Jaanu but for Ojas I struggle ,we both struggle a lot.As I have noticed this boy has very less favourites which he clings on very dearly to .For example cars,anything with wheels and yes his dirty blanket aka blanky/blankie

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One of our cousins met Ojas after an year and the moment she saw him the first thing she says “Oh my God! You still have this blanky ????” Our blanky is Famous now!!!!

Here, I was running out of gift idea but Jaanu came up with idea of buying a scooter for him. Sometimes it’s right there and you still look for the thing like a crazy drunk person ??? Yah I was like ,really ?? Now my brain has stopped thinking so much that I need to get gift ideas from a 5 year old but that was indeed a very good idea and we went with it ,I have no shame in it. We got a helmet too if that’s anybody’s concern .The helmet reminded me of a thought we used to have when ojas started walking  ,myself and Vasanth always  considered putting a helmet (or like the one Magneto (X-men) wears )permanently on Ojas as he banged his head every day for one reason or other.

Recently Ojas started enjoying connecting things together ,pairing same patterns together so we thought may be building blocks ???

Jaanu made a special card for her brother with a superman in it.

I made a three layer cake finally !!! Half vanilla ,half chocolate and decorated with Ojas favourite Oreo and gems and a small car.
The car had a number 3 written on it which made it extra special but the most fun thing to watch was  Ojas blowing candle and cutting the cake with a big helmet on his head .He was more excited about musical candle than cutting and eating the actual cake but I noticed later while serving the guests that an Oreo was missing .I chuckled ” I knew it!!!!”

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I’m always scared with this fellow standing around cakes . In spite of my several failed attempts to make him understand that birthday baby cuts the cake first he always takes that cream n licks it.Once he  kept his hand ,right in middle of cake (really lucky the girl didn’t make a big deal )

But off late he is patient enough for the birthday baby to cut but he still takes the first bite . I normally restrict him from going near the cake but all his friends want him to stand closer to them (ohh !!you don’t know him poor girl/boy )

He just keeps me on my nerves always and everyday .he also knows that if he gives that lovely little smile wen I’m upset with him I’m floored. The most fun part is he feels people who get angry are funny. One day I was really upset with him and he says “amma you look funny “and guffaws . He very well knows when I’m really really upset ,poor fellow starts crying ,apologising and requesting me for hugs- neither I can resist my urge to hug him nor crackup .

He loves his sister .Im not supposed to get upset with her ,he asks me to make a smiling face and asks me to hug her .He still says sorry like thousand times to her and they patch up in a jiffy. He copies every act of his sister and some time reverse scenario happens and he keeps asking her not to repeat what ever he says. He really gets upset with that. When Jaanu says “see copying is not fun !?” Ojas :”I’m sorry Jaanu ” and they patch up again ,cycle goes on.

I wish for many many things to write but certainly this blog will not be enough for that .lovely moments to share and cherish is all we need . As I always say I am truly blessed with a possibility to soak into these moments .

Happy birthday son !!

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around -and why his parents will every time wave back . ” —journalist William D Tammeus.

Love you always .

 

Eggplant Parmesan

The first restaurant I went in US is Olive Garden.I just love their food.They serve hearty soups /breads/salads and the mains and dessert, OK !!! I agree nothing new but just like any other restaurant. All I wanted to do was begin with a story of how and why I liked this particular dish  and I have nothing but where i ate it But I did try that recipe at home.

Ingredients :

Cooked Spaghetti 2 cups

Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 cup

For pasta Sauce

4 Chopped Plum tomatoes

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 tbs tomato puree

1 tbs Olive oil

How I made the pasta sauce

Saute garlic ,onion and tomatoes in olive oil then add Tomatoes (canned) ,tomato puree,basil leaves.

Mash them into thick gravy

Season with salt and 1 tsp sugar

For Eggplant crisps

1 big Eggplant (Cut into thick discs)

10 cheese slices(I used pepper jack cheese)

2 plates

   1st plate :

1tbs All purpose flour(Maida)

Salt to taste

Mix them in water to make batter like consistency

    2nd plate 

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tbs chopped parsley

1 tbs chopped oregano (I used carom seeds(Ajwain) instead but used only 1 tsp )

1 tsp chopped thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Mix them all very well

Oil to shallow fry eggplant crisps

How I made the eggplant crisps

1. Take one eggplant disc ,dip in 1st plate then in second plate

2. Next  keep cheese slices on each side and dip it in 1st and again 2nd plate. Repeat if you want extra crispy.

2. Shallow fry discs one by one after prepping the eggplant in above method

Assembling 

  1. Take little pasta sauce on plate
  2. Place spaghetti and eggplant crisps
  3. Pour generous amount of hot pasta sauce
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley and generous amount of  Parmesan cheese
  5. I also drizzled little chilly infused extra virgin olive oil

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Jaanu turns 5!!

Birthdays of my children are one of the best inspiration for me to write.It gives me a chance to wish them ,have a record of their day as they are not going to remember as and when they grow .Another obvious reason is to boast off what I did for them.

Jaanu wanted a bi cycle for her last birthday but we thought that’s not the right time and told her that she will get a bike for her 5th birthday.She said ok with her sad little voice but never cried or threw tantrums. When ever she used to see her friends riding bike at school she used to look at me and re-assure that she will be getting bike for her 5th birthday.I absolutely adore this gesture of hers. She showed complete trust on us and waited a year with above and beyond patience.

So we thought she must be rewarded for that and it’s gonna be obvious gift for her but she earned it herself. Vasanth had a official visit to London (btw ,we are back to our motherland )and when he asked what she wants she gave a big explanation” I want a pink bike which has a baby seat at the back and training wheels on sides along with pink helmet, pink gloves,knee and hand protectors and don’t forget the pink ribbons on the handlebar ”

Vasanth took a short break just to be with her for her birthday and brought the cycle along. Kids were sleeping when he arrived ,we hid the bike under our bed so that it will be a surprise for her. The moment kids woke up they were swarming him like honey bees, asking for chocolates..Vasanth told Jaanu that he has a surprise for her but will be shown only on her birthday.

While I was talking to Vasanth my little girl had a sneak peak in Vasanths luggage and I think she kind of knew what was her surprise after seeing her helmet in his suitcase. We had a good laugh when we saw her looking around for her bike. Curiosity eats you Isn’t it ?? What surprised me was She never asked about her bike.

Her bike didnt come with pink ribbons which was one of her requirement .Luckily I had a pink ribbon at home and tied them to the handle. We arranged everything for her morning surprise. As usual by the time we were done it was mid night and we whispered happy birthday in her ears ,this time daddy wished her first.

On her D day we woke her up and to our surprise our little prince got up and started saying “happy birthday” along with us. He showered jaanu with hugs n kisses and we asked her to get out of the bed and come out. She came out of the room with a smile like she already knew .she looked at her gifts and wanted to ride the bike. It was real pleasure and relief to see her getting on that bike and have a little round inside home.

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I made a tiara cake for her and gulab jamun. Showed her all the lovely gifts her grand parents sent  exclusively for her.we also gifted her with a small table rose flower pot so that kids can water them everyday .The flowers bloomed the next day:-)

Evening had a little party with her friends and virtual family (grandparents were watching online) she loves Frozen movie and luckily the place where we ordered had a cake with the same theme.

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It was really lovely to watch kids scream,fight/cry for balloons ,enjoy cake .It made my blowing balloon task all worth while.To my surprise kids were more keen on eating enough cake. They liked spicy stuffs more than sweet.
I gathered small party favors for kids .It was absolute delight to watch them open it the very same moment with utmost curiosity on their faces..After everyone were gone Vasanth made jaanu wear all her gears and took her out  for a ride. There are few moments in life which are totally worth it and I would certainly say this was it. Vasanth went back to London the very same night. The next day I woke up and felt like I had a best dream felt happy and content that we were able to be together on Jaanu’s special day. We are blessed.

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P.S . Jaanu likes Gulab jamun thats the reason I made them specially for her birthday but this girl tastes it and threw up the very next moment and FYI ,they were very yummy ,she just didn’t feel like eating them. After 2 days she asks me the same thing when it’s almost all gone.There are times when I wonder whether I know my children or they are unpredictable. I think I can say they are unpredictable.:-)

Love u my dear girl,God bless you

A Greek touch

We went to Greece last year and had a wonderful time with luckily good food.
Though not much time to explore we had a good food in a king size quantities along with lovely salads

My favourites from the trip were the view from our balcony and the beach with clear turquoise blue water. I enjoyed watching my kids splashing and running in shallow beach

Jaanu was excited to see the transparent little fishes and she kept chasing them trying to catch at least one. After long try, she started getting tired and stopped chasing them  saying the fishes are actually looking for their mommy and they are running away from me ,what a beautiful way to say she is bored of chasing them .I just nodded , amused by her perspective.
My little boy was happy with sun bathing .He refused to sit under shade and preferred smothering himself in wet sand just like elephants put mud on their body to cool off
I must admit that this was quiet a long explanation for the reason behind me trying to make a Greek salad

Ingredients
1 English cucumber (medium size) chopped into bite size
3 plum tomatoes deseeded And chopped into bite sizes
Half red onion sliced thin
25 g feta cheese cubes
15 to 20 olives (of different variety)
Capers 2 tbps
Chopped parsley
Olive oil /oregano infused olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How I made it

Mix all ingredients other than feta cubes as they crumble a lot (I like mine to retain their bite sizes)
Add salt,pepper, olive oil , chopped parsley and feta cheese

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Ojas is 2 !!!

I know I am 3 months over due this post but frankly speaking i had this post in drafts for quiet a long time. and it just ran over my head that I have not published it yet.
I have to accept that planning Ojas birthday was difficult. I literally didn’t have options on how I could make it more memorable. His likes are selective,he kind of sticks to those.Till date his favourite is car and its wheels,probably the next thing he likes the most is strawberry.
So this time I decided to make a strawberry tart for him and a family day trip to a farm(Pick your own)

Jaanu decided to give a PUPPY made in Build A Bear Shop (named it fluffy,Put a red heart after giving it a life by kissing it) and a family cake cutting time with our grand parents and aunts watching it online from India. After that gift from Jaanu, Ojas named every toy dog Fuffy

The most adorable thing about him is his hugs If I ask him one he always comes to me with open arms saying “Huggy” out loud and takes my head in his tiny arms and gives me a kissing sound “Ummmah”.He sometimes wants me to carry him just for the heck of it.He dislikes if momma is talking to some one over the phone. He likes cuddles and all sort of mushy things but he hates this all when i have his food in my hand, All he needs at that moment is food. He reminds me saying out loud “Ammaa Mumum(food)”
If he wants hug or kisses from Jaanu he just grabs her tightly and pulls her towards him irrespective of what Jaanu is doing ,sometimes ends up bad but most of times Jaanu likes the way he gives her cuddles.She really appreciates and understands the love beyond all roughness.

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He is still a proud lover of his blanket (blankie) .Every morning a trail follows him just like a king with his cape. He indeed likes calling himself a king by grabbing his blanket under his chin so that it wont slide off his shoulders. Its super cute to watch him.
He wants to be appreciated too if we appreciate his sister. He tries to do some of his own difficult stunts and shows off saying “amma Look!!!” and we have to obviously give nice pats on his shoulder.

The more I think about it the more nostalgic it makes me ,How these kids grow so fast?? I try my best to keep a note on this blog (failing miserably at times ok!! Most of times) but I have everything in my thoughts and memories and I know no one can take those away and I dont have to keep a tab on those things .I am glad and thankful every day for making me enjoy this simple pleasures of my life.

Apple jam

We had a visit to a farm as one of the gift for Ojas’s birthday.Generally our birthday celebrations are spending time together as a family than partying if you want to put it selfish perspective,I don’t want to take a hassle of managing more people right on this special day and as long as kids don’t wish for it we are not going to think about it.

So we thought may be visit to a farm will be something which my kids will enjoy and it will be nice personal and private moment as a family . In london, how much ever you plan a trip in advance ,it all depends on rain and luckily, that day was clear so we got ready in fractions of second and were there in the farm within 2 hrs.

Ojas ran into sticky dirty fields of apples,pears,spinach,broccoli carelessly splashing into puddles and wanting to put his hands in soil. Few passers by were encouraing him saying “soil is tasty ,common put it in ur mouth and trouble mommy” Jaanu, on the contrary made a fuss about getting dirty initially but somehow the red apples lured her and she started enjoying getting dirty.Ojas picked up everything he could see and threw them into basket.kids were really happy to do this . I know i cannot give them this big farm often to run around everyday and its best feeling when these moments falls into right place at the right time of our life .The gratification of silent observer despite being a part of it made my day and more importantly made my kids happy with big smiles.

We had two big bags of merchandise worth few £. The eldest in our family agreed for this farm trip with a bribe of making jam of what ever i buy over there hence it resulted in a post about me bragging about the apple jam.

Ingredients
5 big apples
1 to 2 cup sugar  (depends upon how much sweet one prefers )
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

How i made it:
1.Peel and chop the apples in small peices and put them in icecold water to stop them from browning
2. Drain water and transfer them in a hard bottom pan
3.Turn on the heat and let them cook for 10 minutes
4.Add sugar,salt cinnamon and keep stirring
5.let it reduce till it becomes glossy (may be for 40 minutes to 1 hour in low flame)
6. After its completely cold transfer it to sterilised jars.

It was a success indeed.

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