It does seem like I have dropped off the deep end. With these very occasional posts there is definitely a risk that this blog might start to resemble the beautiful end-of-year notes that some of my American family send. A busier work schedule directly translates into reduced blog activity. The sharp increase in assignments happily coincided with the son leaving home for college. It made the empty nest that much more easier to deal with. Internet and mobile phones also provide a sense of connection. Facebook does have its uses!
The free time I do get I spend watching some recorded TV (the current favourite, after going through all the seasons of Castle, is House), reading some of my favourite blogs (design as well as food related), and getting inspired in the kitchen or at work.
I and my friends have had a wake-up call and are making an effort to make the time to meet more often. We remember her and celebrate her; in her death even, she brought friends closer together. On the one month anniversary of her being gone we got together to cook her favourite food (Mediterranean cuisine) and listen to her favourite music. I made falafels and hummus using her recipes.
Last month we all met again, this time with the son’s birthday as the excuse. She was always the first person I would invite. Her daughter is gracefully stepping into those shoes. I am grateful for the friends who joined us and made it as special as she used to.
I have cooked with new ingredients recently. The most recent one was gelatin (if I overlook the Wakefield packaged flavoured jellies that I have used). I used it to make Manisha’s mango panna cotta using fresh kesari mangoes and substituting cream+whole milk for the half-and-half in the recipe. After a very anxious night (for me and Manisha), I was relieved to find a perfectly set panna cotta. But, truthfully, I don’t know what the fuss about the dessert is. Also, cream+whole milk does not half-and-half make.
This week I have received newer ingredients still: a bottle of toddy, and spicy and aromatic Goan sausage! I am keeping the toddy to make appams with. In this soggy weather, with a limp appetite, I am in the mood for some oogre food. Anyone out there with recipes for how to use the sausage? I have also been hanging on to these salted, dried, small sea fish for a while…What all could I do with those? I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends...