Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Of Chalks and Chopsticks: The Round Up
Here goes the round-up of the first edition of 'Of Chalks and Chopsticks':
"Little girl still amused , decided to hang out in kitchen some more time and saw her baba so enthusiastically assemble the pulao.She was assigned the job to peel onion. While peeling an onion, tears started flowing down from her eyes easily. Her father quickly came to rescue and wiped the tears coming out."
Yakhni Fish Pulao @
Spice and Curry
"She saw the packet of bread again and suddenly remembered that her hen had laid one egg in the morning that she had collected and kept in her refrigerator. She has a pet hen which is now her only supply of eggs. She rushed to her fridge and took out the egg. Then she took the bread packet and made herself busy in the kitchen."
"Given her years only a visit to the doctor, or to a family marriage, was proper. So who would go to the mutton wallah? How could she get the mutton? A flight of stairs stood angrily between her and the road to the market. A distance which counted for nought in square feet. And yet tormented her. The demons of fear were fierce. The consequences of a fall scary. The fractures her childhood friends had succumbed to shook her.
Then she thought of the little girl. The way her face would lit up as she bit into the kebabs lost in potatoes."
Crispy Potatoes @
"She wanted to talk to someone-mom,a friend-someone who would make her near to her hometown.Tears welled in her eyes and slowly rolled down her cheeks.She did not want to wallow in self pity so she made her way into the kitchen."
Oriental Curd Rice @
Seduce Your Tastebuds
"Finding the dark corner she was looking for ,on the other side of the huge tank in the courtyard, she ate the fish , hurriedly but with relish , watchful eyes darting here and there . It tasted like manna , it was exciting , it was glorious . She closed her eyes as she licked her fingers and ran her tongue around her teeth and it was then that the fear overtook her and the sheer magnitude of her act overtook her ."
"The little girl tip-toed closer to the cake, brushing against the white voile curtains that billowed softly with the afternoon breeze. She straightened her red cotton dress and leaned closer, inhaling the heavenly scent of the chocolate and vanilla that wafted from the warm cake. The smell was intoxicating, and some of the little white flakes that dusted the cake stirred and whirled around, dancing to the wind."
"The next morning I knew what it was.I was surprised and happy.I never realized that I had actually started liking the person so much.And French toast.It somehow reminded me of our classes and of him.I said a silent prayer."
"So it became a ritual. Inspite of C always hesitating a little before taking a glass, summer became synonymous to glassfuls of watermelon juice that both girls had many an afternoon all through their junior college days, sometimes when cramming for exams or when just yapping away about nothing. :-)"
Watermelon Juice @
"Mala Maasi's mother-in-law didn't live with her, she mostly stayed with her older son, but when she was due to visit, Maasi would hide all traces of the onions she normally cooked with, as her mother-in-law was old fashioned, and would not eat in her house if she knew that 'taamsik' food was being cooked there. Her grandsons would wait for the old lady to leave so that they could have raw onions in the salad and gravies redolent with onions and ginger."
Peanut Brittle @
Of This and That
"She shivered again, and wrapped her beige coat tightly around her. The air was heavy and stale. The chill cut through her, even her tough exterior could not provide her respite from the bitter cold.
She was tired. She had been up for days. Wondering. Waiting. When?"
“It has to go on the blog this time at any cost!” She thought. She had made them a lot of times before this, but somehow never went around to publish it on her blog. The excuse being the classic one – lack of good photographs. But today she was going to make sure she had snaps, in fact she was going a step further & taking step by step pictures. These were always a hit on the blog. "
"By then, mom brought us the Gulab Jamuns. I was worried that mom would have heard what Sonu said. So, I decided to change the topic. On looking at the jamuns I said "Wow! Amma, no one can make Jamuns like you. They look so perfect and yummy. Please tell me how to make this"
"She added the eggs into the boiling jhol and checked if the potatoes were almost done. She was browsing through the cookbook that Kumar had got her from his tutor’s income at the book fair 8 years back."
"She opened the gift with all enthusiasm but only found a cute barbie doll. She started crying and told A that she really expected her to bring marie delight which is her favorite."
"I did not hear my new husband return. It was only when I felt my hands pressed against the warmth of a corn on the cob that I smelt his signature cologne mixed with the earthy smell of bhutta. Heaven."
"She looks up, and smiles. Her sparkling eyes catch him looking at her, with hope and affection. She nods, 'Yes'. He smiles. She puts the note in the empty drawer. She knows what she is going to bake for their first date :)"
Starry Chocolate Brownies @
The Variable - Crazy Over Desserts
"Meanwhile, Renuka was sipping her coffee, and nibbling on the most delicious biscuits that she had ever eaten. The chef informed her that they were Galettes au beurre Normand, sucre, a speciality of the region, that also came in a savoury version. Renuka told the chef that as a keen cook, she would be researching a recipe for the scrumptious biscuits so that she would be able to make them herself."
"Aaaalu roll!!!!" Tutltul made a face and exclaimed. "I think the heat's got to you. These guys make the best mutton rolls. Shiraz and Nizam standards. Why alu roll? You are the one who keeps complaining about the roti, dahi, daal and subzi dinners at your P G every night. Why don't you eat some real food tonight?".
Sabina smiled indulgently and said, "I'll have an alu roll".
Alu Rolls @
"He didn't want lunch. Tea was all he wanted, tea was something he survived on. A cup of strong black tea was his lifeline. "Khali pete cha khas na, omlette kore dichi (Don't drink tea on an empty stomach, have an omlette)", Ma would say, trying to rejuvenate her young brother in that half day every week."
"That night, at dinner, she ate rice and tamata chaaru to her heart’s content, the grains floating in a thin, red river. There was some spicy cabbage-channa dal to keep it company. The cabbage was a mixture of fiery red and yellow, the channa dal undistinguishable from it at first glance. Had Ammamma got it wrong? It was usually a pale green, why did it look almost orange today?"
Coconut Milk Payasam @
"She cracked open a couple of coconuts and started scraping them. She was old and her movements were slow, but her hands steady as she worked on the scrapings to extract some coconut milk. When she mixed the thinnest of the coconut milk with some uncooked rice, I realised she was making – or rather, teaching me to make payasam, a sweet not quite unlike rice pudding. You see, Anand had been tutoring me on the basics of Tamil cuisine for quite a while!"
Served With Love
There you have it - 22 stories to read! Now, isn't that quite a collection?! Do take the time out and read them all. Weaving a story into a recipe isn't quite as simple as it sounds and as readers, your words of encouragement and appreciation will do a lot to boost the confidence of us budding writers!
In all honesty, when I announced this event, I was on tenterhooks. Given that the event idea was quite different, I wondered if I would get a 'decent' number of entries.
I shouldn't have been so nervous. After all, I had awesome co-hosts - Sra and Sandeepa - it is their support that has made this event so successful.
A huge THANK YOU to all of you who not only sent in their entries (and re-worked them as well, in some cases) but also boosted my morale by appreciating the event idea per se.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!