Tag Archives: bakes

A chocolate frosted peanut butter cake and what is to feel trapped in a time capsule

5 Apr

Some of the best books  grace my book shelf but I have no time to read them. I look at them with guilt and they look back at me with a lot of contempt. They don’t say much, mostly because I don’t give them a chance. I turn away to tend to some of the more ‘urgent’ things that need my attention. My bedside table has some of the lighter reads and some cook books. Nigella’s cookbooks are always at my hand’s reach. I flip through some recipes and read a line of two from the novel who’s name I forget until I close to book to look at the title.

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I am drifting. Again. This happens when I get too busy in my busyness. I read a post written by Saheli called Floating and I knew I was feeling the exact same thing. What’s reassuring is I know its just a phase and it will pass, so I am not despairing.

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Initially I used to fight it but it never helped. Now I just drift along only because I know it will end. There are few things I know make me feel better and one of them is baking.  So I baked a chocolate frosted peanut butter cake. It was a friend’s surprise baby shower. I poured myself into it and even before I prepped for the cake, I hadn’t a shred of doubt that it will be wonderful.

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The pictures are pathetic because they were rushed, but who cares! The cake was fantastic. I didn’t need anybody else to tell me that and I didn’t even have to taste it. I just knew it. There are a few things you should know about the cake before you try it.

– Its barely sweet and that allows the peanut butter taste to shine through.

– It uses no butter. Only oil and the cake is soft as a baby’s bottom.

-The sweetness is from the chocolate frosting which if you avoid, you’d be doing the cake a lot of disservice.

– The recipe has been adapted from here

For the recipe, click on the recipe card below.

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Before I end this post, there is a video I would like to share here. It is a Ted talk by one of my favourite writers – Elizabeth Gilbert of the Eat, Pray, Love fame. She talks about the creative process and of managing our own expectations that we have from our creative selves. It made a lot of sense to me. I watched it twice and each time it felt like she was talking to me. Here you go.

Happy Weekend!

Apple tarts for ordinary days and a poll

12 Mar

All of us remember special days – birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and personal triumph days such as promotions etc ( its been long since I have celebrated that one!). I try and celebrate the ordinariness of each day. It gives me a special high. I try to have a special sort of breakfast or dinner or snack since its super fun to share on instagram, Facebook and twitter. People respond to my attempts to celebrate ordinariness which makes all the effort well worth it. That is why I am so glad that social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram are around which make our daily routine stories sound fancy thereby giving us the strength to get past each day.

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There is a lot of criticism concerning these social media platforms where several people (including my husband) think that this culture of over-sharing is overbearing.  I agree to a certain extent but all in all I feel it has brought us closer as a community – of like minded people, friends, supporters etc.

Digital Media has got me so interested that the pros vs cons war doesn’t bother me. Like they say, you can love it, you can hate it, but you cannot ignore it. Social media is here to stay and its evolving and adapting to real life as I write this post. Soon there will be a time when there wouldn’t be any distinction between the real and the virtual life. Scary? Exciting?

What are your thoughts on it. Social media – love it? hate it?

Take this small poll for fun and it will tell me how many of us think social media is amazing and the single biggest invention after the world wide web and how many think that it is a high risk infection that needs to be stopped via a new antidote or vaccine!

Well apart from all the digital media debate on this post, I have a warm and a sunny apple tart recipe to share.

AT2This recipe is the easiest and absolutely no-fuss. The last traces of the good weather are leaving Bahrain and summer is setting in. I am not exactly ready for summer and continue to hold to my fall/winter/spring mode. The baked apple tarts is my way of expressing weather -related withdrawal symptoms.

AT3What is it about the cinnamon and apple combination that is so heavenly! Pair it in tarts or cakes or muffins with strusel, it just creates that quiet corner of heaven when you are eating them. I served warm these tarts with simple and the understated vanilla ice cream – symbolic of the receding winters and the entering summers.

The recipe has been inspired from here and the recipe card for the detailed recipe is below.

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Now bringing the discussion back to social media and the impact it has on our lives these days.I feel moderation is the key. I feel we have control over what part of ourselves we want to put out there for the unknown world to see. Ofcourse that balance comes through trial and error. As a blogger, I have realized that like – minded people connect when they read what I post is relevant to their lives. For that I post stuff about my life which I don’t mind sharing. It is also heartening when people come and validate that they feel the same, given a situation. For me personally, being a part of such an online community has been inspiring and each day I learn a lot which I then apply to my real life. Hence, I do not mind declaring that I am social media- happy and would continue my trysts in this medium.

Do you feel the same?

A very rich fruit cake – Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays

16 Dec

It is still a few days until Christmas, but the nip in the air makes you feel like it is here already. Christmas is a state of mind. It’s about tinsels, gifts, families getting together, mince pies, eggnog and all kinds of indulgences. I believe indulgence is absolutely necessary and special days like Christmas are just for that. My fondest memories of Christmas involve sampling pieces of fruit cake – laden with almonds, walnuts, glaced cherries, candied fruit and raisins.

 

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Every year on Christmas we decorate a Christmas tree at home. My daughter waits anxiously for Christmas mornings to see what Santa has got for her this time. This year she has wished for a Ballet dress and shoes because she has been a good girl throughout the year. Let’s see if Santa thinks so too.

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The fruit cake is seriously quite rich and a small slice really goes a long way. My recipe for this fruit cake was featured in the Decembers Christmas Special issue of the Bahrain Confidential 

_Christmas Confidential BC Dec2013 (1)The recipe is as follows:

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The preparation is a bit time consuming with all the chopping of the dried fruits and nuts but the result is absolutely worth it. Since it stays good for 2 months, this indulgent fruit cake can be enjoyed for a very long time.

The spirit of Christmas is very addictive and sometimes I wish we could bottle up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every now and then. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mimi’s chocolate cupcakes w chocolate ganache & her favourite sunny spot

20 Sep

Though the summer holidays are long gone, it would unfair, if I didn’t do post on Mimi’s baking projects. The blueberry swirl cheese cake,  ginger -orange cookies (whose pictures I do not have), Mimi -special marshmallow brownies and these chocolate cupcakes have been Mimi’s baking trysts. From an objective standpoint, I have to say, she is quite good and loves to get her hands dirty with flour, sugar, butter trio. It is a joy to see my 4 -year-old taking interest in baking. It makes baking extra special.

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There are many things that Mimi says which don’t register at that precise moment. Several days or even months later, an epiphany would come and with it such clarity.  Mimi stopped going to school long before the term was actually over. Probably that school wasn’t right for her. Anyhow, the moot point being Mimi spent a lot of time home being pampered silly by her nanny ( when I was away at work) and by us (  when my hubby and I got back home from work).  Not going to school had in no way stopped Mimi from learning new things, tricks and tactics. It is amazing how children are learning continuously without really being aware of the process. Somehow, it is us, the smart adults who think we know everything, thereby stalling the glorious process of learning.

CM5While she was at home, Mimi threw herself wholeheartedly into the solving her puzzles; starting from 10 pieces, 20 pieces, 50 pieces and now 100 pieces.  This was her main activity during the day, from there on she would do some reading, pretend played with her stuffed animals, a tea party in the afternoon with her stuffed animals again, rode her bicycle in the house ( scaring the nanny by whizzing past her at lightning speed) and then finally waiting for us to come home from work. She would then run to us, all excited and happy and cling around my husband’s neck persuading him to take her swimming. On most days, she would already be in her swim wear eagerly looking at the door.  Weekends were mostly about spending time playing and reading. At times we baked together and quite recently, Mimi has been baking all by herself. She took my help only to measure her ingredients. Otherwise she was handling her show quite confidently.

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The chocolate cupcakes and the marshmallow brownies were completely her baked treats. They were scrumptious and delightful.  I helped her melt the chocolate in the microwave and then finally pushed the cupcake tins into the oven.

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I have observed her enjoying the mixing and adding of ingredients. At times, she even tasted the batter and nodded her little head in approval. The batter -test is something that she is used to as I would always let her have a lick of the batter whenever I baked. Her reaction to the taste of the batter gave me a heads up about the end product.

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During this cupcake baking session, as I stood and watched her from a distance, she looked back and smiled at me. I smiled and gestured to her, if she needed some help. She immediately said, “No mamma, I can do this all by myself.” I beamed for I was a proud mamma of an ferociously independent 4 -year-old. Then she looked at me and I knew  a question was coming my way. She asked me,

“What is your favourite sunny spot , mamma?”

In that moment, I took some time to understand her question and then remembered feeling stumped. I did not have an answer. She continued with the buttering of the cupcake liners and then said, ” Mamma, cupcake is my favourite sunny spot.” That is when I understood what she meant by  a ‘ favourite sunny spot’.

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I pushed it to the back of my mind and it did not come up until the day I was at sitting the porch of my parents home (India, Kerala), sipping on a late afternoon tea and watching the thick sheets of rain pouring around me. It was a moment perfect because of its stillness. There was nothing preceding or succeeding. Just a thought- less few minutes of listening to the rain falling on the roof and on the plants. A moment where I wasn’t thinking, analyzing or guessing. Only listening. And then I remembered Mimi’s question and now I knew the answer to that.

This was my favourite sunny spot. A moment of perfect stillness. Nothing to cloud my vision except for the blanket of rain drops falling from the skies. Ironically, it wasn’t sunny. Far from it.  But this was decidedly my favourite sunny spot – on my parents’ porch, sipping my warm tea, watching the rain. I called out to Mimi, who was busy watching “Chotta Bheem” on the telly. She came out to the porch, slightly annoyed with the sudden interruption.

“What is it, mamma?”, Mimi inquired.

“Mimi, this is my favourite sunny spot!” , I replied. She looked at me quizzically and then took off to continue to watch Chotta Bheem.

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“As for the cupcake recipe, this is the same as Nigella’s old fashioned chocolate cake that we baked as cupcakes. The only difference was the batter was poured into cupcake liners to fill them to 3/4 so as to not let it overflow when they are baking. We baked it at 180 C /350 F for 15-20 minutes until the top feels firm. For the  dark chocolate ganache – 

150ml cream

200g chopped dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Set aside. Bring the cream to just below boiling point in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, then add the melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Allow to cool until thick but still pouring consistency.”

It is as simple as it gets but like all of Nigella’s recipes, these cupcakes are big on taste.

For Mimi, baking these chocolate cupcakes meant being in her favourite sunny spot and for me it was that exquisite moment of watching the thundering rain.

What is your favourite sunny spot?

Ushering the New Year with a Cranberry Upside down cake

31 Dec

How can I leave my blog untended on the last day of the year? It would very insensitive of me to do so. The very space that gave me an outlet to all my creative pursuits and my random meandering thoughts needs an acknowledgement on the last day of the year.  If you refer to my last post, it was bit pessimistic in its tone and pessimism isn’t the essence of my blog. I created this space to celebrate all the beautiful things and relationships in my life; my beautiful family, food that I love, my beautiful memories and in midst of that just to balance the mood, a few not-so savoury memories as well. When I think of the New Year, I want to feel optimistic and hopeful and happy. And so it was important that I write this note as the last one for this year and celebrate it with something absolutely spectacular like a Cranberry Upside Down Cake.

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Before I get into the recipe and beautiful thing that this Cranberry upside down cake is, I need to mention something. My previous post got plenty of mixed reviews both online and offline. The post was about what the things I could have done differently in 2012.  One person in particular whom I admire a lot pointed out that I needed to also look at what wonderful things have happened in 2012. There are plenty of wonderful things that happened in 2012.  I shall list out each and every milestone of 2012 with every intention of celebrating it in this post.

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1. I GOT A JOB!!!! – After searching for more than a  year, I was growing despondent with each passing day. I couldn’t see a single ray of light when each interview or job opportunity fizzled out. Nearly 3 years of being out of work can do a lot to damage one’s confidence. I didn’t feel up to it and doubted my abilities. I must also add I am extremely self-critical and for that reason I beat myself down more than anybody in my place would normally do. I had taken a break to raise Mimi and when it was time to pack her off to school, it felt like a great time to get back on the job front. Finally my prayers were answered and I found a job with a very reputed firm. This I would be the biggest milestone in 2012.

2. My baby started school – It was with great trepidation that I let Mimi go and attend school. To most with whom I shared the news told me that she was too young to go to school and to this date she is one of the younger kids in her class. But something told me that she was ready. Mimi has always been extremely independent, eager to explore and not scared of the dark or dinosaurs( I am letting you out on a lil secret here; the only thing she is scared of is ‘silly gilly gambo’ and I haven’t the faintest clue who or what that is. It is her own invention but the very mention of it leaves me in splits). She adjusted quickly and loves going to school every single day.

3. My brother’s wedding – My little brother ( not so little anymore), got hitched!!  His wedding was just a fantastic affair, that the entire family shall treasure the beautiful memories forever. It was a joyous occasion and everybody who was near and dear was able to participate in it. I wish him and his beautiful wife a wonderful and a prosperous New Year.

4. The launch of My beautiful Bahrain – A mesh mash of stories of, from and about Bahrain came together in a single book. Another awesome milestone of my life and not just this year. I can proudly tell my grandchildren some day that I wrote or atleast I was one of the co-contributors in a book. I have harped about it so many times on this blog already and I can’t have enough it.

5. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary – Unbelievable!! Seven years of being together and it feels so effortless. My hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on Christmas day ( there is no excuse to forget this date). It was a working day in Bahrain. We managed a lunch together midst our busy schedule and planned to stay in for dinner. It was a quiet sort of day but it meant so much just knowing that he is around and he hasn’t changed ( not much atleast) over these 7 years. It was a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that we celebrate our precious daughter every single day.

6. My parents built a beautiful home – My wonderful parents displayed such fantastic project management skills when they spent day and night planning their new home. The end result was nothing less than spectacular. We had the opportunity to spend about a week in their beautiful home and I observed how the smallest details were taken care of. I am immensely proud of my parents who carried out this mammoth project with enormous patience.

7. Mimi is the cutest kid in Bahrain –  Mimi won  a Facebook contest called the cutest kid in Bahrain. This contest was hosted by Summer Weeks who is  a professional photographer in Bahrain. I had to send Mimi’s picture to her and Summer uploaded that on her page. And all that was needed was to get maximum number of people to ‘like’ Mimi’s photograph. My family and friends (grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles and aunts, friends and their friends) gathered forces and helped Mimi win this contest. The prize as a part of winning the contest was a professional portfolio by Summer Weeks herself. We went to Summer’s studio on the 22nd of December and Mimi was photographed for her portfolio. It was exciting to win a contest and the competition was tough. It was more thrilling for the parents than the children themselves and Mimi hadn’t the slightest clue what was going on. But it feels great to be the mum to the cutest kid in Bahrain.

There have many such beauteous occasions throughout the year that brought such joy and happiness. I am thankful to God for everything that I have in my life right now and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

To mark the end of 2012 which has been wonderful to us and our family, I made a lovely cake from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. I love Nigella because she never ever lets me down. Her recipes are simple to follow and her no fuss attitude infuses confidence. A little crack here or a slip up there in following instructions doesn’t disappoint. Au contraire, the result is very delicious and extraordinary.

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I made the cake in my new food processor that my hubby gifted me for our anniversary. It was such a non fussy recipe to follow that I know it by heart now. My recent trip to the market had me buy a big bag of extremely bitter and sour cranberries. Since I had never tasted cranberries before, I got tempted and bought an entire bag for an enormous price. I soon realized that I couldn’t ever finish those cranberries and popping each bitter berry felt like a punishment. Finally I flipped open my favourite cook book – Nigella’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess” and fell into the preparation of this magnifique cake.When I flipped the cake upside down, that sight that greeted me filled me with great joy.

The crimson cranberries laced with syrup looked like melting rubies on a crown. 

Food makes me very happy, and beautiful food, even more so. My day was made when it got an exciting response from my family and friends. I hope you try this recipe as its extremely easy to pull it off. It requires just about moderate effort and the outcome is fabulous. I love such recipes and that is why Nigella is my guru.

I did not have a tarte-tatin pan so I used a spring-form pan and it didn’t affect the outcome at all.

I wish each and everyone of you a fantastic New Year. Hoping that all your dreams come true in 2013 and let the New year  fill you with the passion  to follow your long cherished dreams.

See you in the next year!

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Things that I would have done differently in 2012 + a hot chocolate pudding

16 Dec

It is that time of the year again, when I feel like taking stock, recounting the sweet memories and the not-so-sweet ones. Deliberating and understanding, prodding and ignoring, reasoning and retracing and finally packing them like the clothes I am never going to wear again. In this case, I can’t even give them off. I have to pack and arrange them in a way that when I want to call on them, I can. Well, in most cases the memories come rushing in without a prior warning; quite similar to  when I am feeling nostalgic and I just feel like looking at my old clothes and attempt to slip into my old jeans. Ofcourse all attempts result in utter disappointment. Old clothes are a definite reminder of what was right and what was utterly wrong in the past.

So I decided to compile a list of few things in the last one year that I would have differently if I had a chance. Just wishful thinking yet I thought penning it down would be fun.

1. My ensemble for my brother’s wedding (Feb 2012) : It was short notice and I was far away from the Mecca of traditional apparel – Ahmedabad/Delhi. I had to do with whatever my mum bought for me which was gorgeous; 2 kanjeevaram sarees. No complaints on that front. But I still imagined that for my brother’s wedding, I wanted to take that extra effort to make each outfit look special. Sitting in Bahrain, there was little I could do in terms of preparation. I am most thankful to my parents, to have managed 2 gorgeous sarees for me. If I had another chance, which means, not that my brother would have to get married again, but if I could go back in time, I would love to plan my outfits for each ceremony/event for my brother’s wedding. But for now all I can do is to feel content about the fact that I was able to attend it and it was such a memorable event.

2. Sangeeta Khanna’s diet plans ( March 2012) : I sought Sangeeta Khanna’s help to guide me into better eating habits. Sangeeta is one of the most inspiring people I have met in my real and virtual life. There are no dearth of examples that I can quote, where I have learnt a life lesson from this incredible lady. Ever hopeful, encouraging and infinitely patient, Sangeeta accepted my request to help me lose my post pregnancy weight. She veered me slowly and steadily from my random food habits to more systematic, wholesome food options. Her recipes are healthy and tasty which to everybody’s mind is as good as an oxymoron. It was the best opportunity for me to lose weight, had I focused on the exercise part more seriously. I just got lazy thinking, that by managing the right sort of food would produce miracles. Far from it. The weight didn’t budge and it depresses me that I didn’t capitalize on the wonderful diet plan that Sangeeta shared with me week on week. Also, I didn’t make the most of the encouragement she showered on me to go and exercise and in effect lose weight. If I had a chance, I would go back to March this year to begin her diet plans and exercise hard to lose weight, so that when I type this post, I wouldn’t feel the need to include this point in this ‘if -could-do-this – again’ list. But all said and done, I would recommended anybody who wants to follow any kind of special diet to seek Sangeeta’s help because this amazing lady knows her food well and would guide you in the right direction.

3. Book launch speech (May 2012): In May, I had the opportunity to be a part of  Book Launch – My Beautiful Bahrain. I was one of the co-contributors and was given the honour of making a small speech at the launch. I thought a speech would be like the easiest thing to do. I would just say a few lines on what my article was all about and then my customary thank yous to people who made it happen. Tada. But when we reached the venue,  we found the place was abuzz with photographers and media people. It was nerve wrecking. I went dry in my mouth and words starting flying all around my head. I realized I made a fundamental mistake in public speaking; I didn’t prepare well to deliver my speech. I stuttered and forgot my lines. I was sweating profusely and it was embarrassing when I got stuck at one word which I cannot still recall. It was one of the biggest events of my life but I took it for granted and went unprepared. If I had the chance, I would prepare a small and an effective speech that I would have the confidence of delivering without any confusion

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4. The fasting challenge for Ramadan (July 2012) – I even did a post about this and felt like a fool all the same. In my desperate attempts to lose weight, I went on a fasting spree for 3 weeks straight during Ramadan. It backfired and I actually ended up putting on more weight which I am still lugging around. CRASH DIETS DON”T WORK. My metabolism slowed down and I wasn’t burning anything. On the contrary, my body stored everything that came its way. If I could go back in time to convince myself about what a dimwit I was being by fasting and starving, I could have kept that weight off.

5. Corporate diplomacy (September 2012) – I thought I had seen it all in my 5 years of being in the Corporate. The senseless politics and the unnecessary stress was all experienced and well rehearsed. Yet the magnitude of this level of politics took me by surprise. . September and October were the toughest two months of my life. Work wise I felt I had given my best but it was all swept away in a single stroke into nothingness by the machiavellian ways of the Corporate. It was a tough lesson learnt well. But in hindsight I feel, I took everything on face value and was very trusting. Given a chance, I would have changed a few responses and hence the outcomes thus changing how I feel today about the months of September and October, and the people who ruined those beautiful months for me.

6. A hot chocolate pudding (December 2012) – It is common knowledge at my work place and with my friends that I really love entertaining people at home. Cooking for them and ensuring that everybody is having a good time while they are at my place gives me a big high. So a few days back we asked one of our colleagues to come home for dinner over the weekend. I was excited and wanted to plan a good menu since the person who was coming over was a big foodie!! But at the last moment I had some urgent work to finish over the weekend and I couldn’t cook as I had planned. So I compromised and decided to order some food from outside. Having done that I needed to atleast serve my food loving friend, a good dessert that he would enjoy.

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I decided to go ahead and make this delicious looking, easy to put together pudding from David Lebovitz’s blog. It seemed like a no brainer and looked absolutely stunning in pictures. In the past, I have tried a few of his recipes and with due respect to him and his culinary expertise, they did not come out well for me. Whether they were cheesecake brownies or cookies or anything, they didn’t just cut the mark for me. And I would never even imagine that the recipe that David would put out that everybody loved so much was the issue. I always assumed that the problem was in the way I made it. My amateurish baking skills were the key problem area. Anyhow, I gave this pudding a go and I thought how wrong could this go? Well it didn’t!! It took very little time to prep and bake and when serve with toasted almonds and ice cream it looked like it was  a shot out of a gourmet magazine. It cheered me instantly because I was in the mood to compensate for not being able to cook for my guest.

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But, but, but  the pudding (in my opinion) did not taste good at all. It was just meh! I was shocked. It looked great, I followed the recipe to the tee and then this!! It was really shocking. I was very sure my poor guest did his best to not hurt my feelings and swallowed the bitter, tasteless pudding. But he swore that he loved it. So did my hubby. I am sure they were just being very kind to me. I guess again it wasn’t David’s recipe that was the problem and for that very reason I am giving it out here for everybody’s benefit. I would earnestly urge that anyone who reads this blog should try this recipe and tell me if the pudding is really good or am I just very fussy?

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I love David’s blog, his written work, his book ( Sweet life in Paris) and his incredible insights about the City that I would love to visit one day. But I guess his recipes are just not for me for some strange reason. I read his blog regularly and wonder why his recipes don’t work for me. Just chance I suppose. But for the sake of this list, I wanted this pudding to be here because given a choice, I would have made my dessert loving guest a raspberry brownie with an icecream so that he could have gone satiated and with wonderful dessert memories.

There are many more such bloopers that I would like to go back in time and correct, but then I wonder, if I did have a choice to do so, how will I have the chance to sit back and muse about it. It was a good thing to write this post and get it out. There is much more that I want to but for the sake of the people reading this blog, I would stop here and spend time contemplating some more.

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Jammie Dodgers

21 Sep

Memories are funny. At times they come rushing like some avalanche; unstoppable, overwhelming and powerful. But many times, it feels like that blank in an objective test that you can’t seem to fill despite your best efforts. Like for eg. I have always believed that I have never learnt swimming. It was only on a vacation in Goa that my hubby taught me how to swim in the Hotel’s swimming pool. It took me precisely 2 days to learn. My friends on the same trip refused to believe me when I told them that I have never learnt how to swim. I admit that I am not the most graceful of swimmers but now I can swim enough to keep afloat. To put the matter to rest once and for all, I asked my mother if I have learnt swimming as a child. My mother without a moment’s hesitation, replied that I had been to swimming classes and have learnt swimming. And I have no memories of this at all!! How was that possible? She claimed that I had learnt swimming at an age when one would remember everything – probably when I was 8 or 12. Incredible!

All photos courtesy – Namit Bhatia

I recall very clearly going to dance classes, learning how to ride a bike but I have nada recollection of ever going for swimming classes. Anyways, moral of the story: This is just one severe example of a memory gap that I have encountered. There are many more which I can’t recollect right now( no surprise there!). It is ironical when I have admitted more than once on this blog of mine, that I am a permanent resident of the island called Nostalgia while my memory is one of the worst sort that one can have.

But what I won’t ever forget is how much I loved jam biscuits. I have vivid memories of my mother putting away packets of jam biscuits after  her weekly bout of grocery shopping. She made sure she had them stowed away on the highest shelves in coloured, yet transparent plastic tins ( dabbas). I must be say 5 or 6 back then. I was allowed to have biscuits and chocolates in rationed quantities. Actually, they were given mostly as rewards for being good or less naughty. I devised fool-proof schemes to reach them on afternoons after school hours. My mother worked full time and my nanny would doze off for a little while sometimes. Taking advantage of that gap, I would push the tallest table against the wall shelf  as quietly as possible and climb up to slide the biscuit tin towards the edge of the shelf, let it drop and catch it at the nick of time. With much effort I would then open the tin and hurriedly open the jam biscuit packet before my nanny woke up from all the crunching noise from opening  the  plastic biscuit packet. It wasn’t the biscuit, that fascinated me but the jam and cream in between the biscuits. I would neatly lick the jam-cream and place the biscuits back in the same order like they were never touched. During one such time, we happened to have some guests at home and my mother rushed to offer them some jam biscuits with tea. The unwitting guest enjoyed their tea and biscuits and it was only when my mother tried to have hers, that she realized that the jam and cream in between the biscuits was gone.

(photo courtesy : http://blog.anekdesigns.com/2010/12/simple-pleasures.html) The store bought jam and cream biscuits that I had the pleasure of licking clean

Ofcourse I got the scolding of my life.

All those naughty memories came gushing in when I was making my own batch of the Jammie Dodgers  for my daughter. Mimi’s not particularly fond of jam because she finds them intensely sweet. But she loves short bread/butter biscuits. I thought maybe if I could combine her favourite biscuits with some jam, there’s a chance she might like jams and develop a taste for them. I got the recipe from the Guardian and result was spectacular. The biscuits looked so pretty in the glass jar that I found it painful to see it vanish so quickly. The butter biscuits were melt in the mouth sorts with a hint of salt in them. Addictive to say the least. I took them to office where they were applauded and the recipe was asked for.

Unfortunately, my objective of making Mimi love jams was not met. She did something completely unanticipated. She cleared the jam by rubbing it off on a plate or a tissue and gobbled up the butter biscuits. So history gets repeated (sort of)!

It would be interesting to see if she would agree to try home-made jams where I can control the amount of sugar and make it to suit her palate. Jam making is definitely something I am considering to do at home pretty soon. So watch this space!!

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