And my most embarrassing moment was when we went for Lipid Profile test and had to fill out the family health history; to my embarrassment, there was not a single column where I did not say ‘NO’ to all those questions to check out my family history on Diabetes, Breast cancer, ovary cancer, High blood pressure, TB and what not! For a second, I wondered, ”Does this mean I am susceptible to all these diseases …Am I a mobile disease bomb???” also wondered why they did not have a column for ‘Mental Illness”, atleast in that section I could have ticked ‘No’ !!! It was not fun any more when someone from my doctor’s office called up to say, “Sweetie….everything is normal except for your LDL which is a bad cholesterol and have crossed the border line a bit….you need to be a bit careful on your fat intake and also exercise regularly”. Hmmm…..does it mean that I should think twice about adding more alfredo sauce to my pasta or avoid taking my favourite beef fry or mutton curry ? I guess the answer is an ‘YES’ as long as I don’t want to end up at the age of 40, eating 1/2 cup of rice with a large bowl of green salad, 2 glasses of bitter guard juice and ½ cup of multi-colored tablets and at the same time resist my cravings for a slice of heavily loaded cheese, beef and pepperoni pizza when that tempting advertisement comes in between a television program !! Instead, I don’t mind moving to low fat milk or skim milk, so I can enjoy my favourite dessert once in a while….or considerably reduce the intake of red meat, so I can relish a rich chicken biriyani once in a month……or I can stop eating those hard-to resist Pazhampori (banana fritters) or any deep fried snacks regularly, so I need not sit with a long face when we go to our favourite restaurant.
These days more and more youngsters are diagnosed with high blood pressure before they reach 25 and cholesterol and diabetes, before they reach the golden 30’s. Our parents would like to blame it on our life style and food habits and work pressures. It’s true to an extent but it makes me wonder why our parents were not having all these diseases when they were our age! I feel it’s mainly because nobody used to go for a Lipid Test 25-35 years ago….my father seemed to be enjoying perfect health until he collapsed one day due to high blood pressure leading to a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 52; thats the day we realized that he was having high blood pressure. Times when we blame ourselves for not doing a regular check up !! Now most of our peers are having the same problem but this is our prime time in life and how can we say no to all those food cravings?? Answer is practice moderation and stay away from all that artery-clogging food. Now nobody knows where the moderation begins or ends !! But having an idea as to what goes inside is really good, unless and until one does not want to end up at the age of 40, eating 1/2 cup rice and ½ cup multi-colored tablets and still resist the cravings for a slice of heavily loaded cheese, beef and pepperoni pizza :)
Wondering if blueberry bread can trigger so much of evocative thoughts? :) Not exactly, but this recipe is something we can eat without feeling much guilty. When you are in a mood to eat some baked goodies but can’t think of adding all that butter and chocolates, this simple blueberry tea bread comes for rescue. “Tea-Breads are sweet quick breads (breads made without yeast), that are traditionally enjoyed with your favorite coffee or tea. Don't let the word "bread" fool you however. Tea-Breads are really cakes --- similar to pound cakes but moister, richer and fuller and they come in a variety of delicious flavors. They are just right for breakfast, a light snack, or for dessert!” I got this recipe sometime back from my friend, TM who is an excellent host and a total foodie. I have tried this recipe 3 times with certain basic variations, and each time it has come quite well.
- 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
- 2tsp grated orange rinds
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- A pinch of powdered nutmeg (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the loaf pan with parchment/wax paper and grease with butter and dust with flour and keep it ready.
- In a pan, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir in the berries and orange rinds. In another large bowl, beat the eggs ,add milk and oil; Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the dry ingredients in small batches, making sure that berries are not crushed and at the same time the dry ingredients should be well combined. Stir very gently until it's all moistened and combined well, if not, flour will appear as small dots in the bread. Finally add a pinch of nutmeg and mix well.
- Pour on to the greased pan and as per the original recipe, a greased 9 * 5 * 3 loaf pan takes about 1 hour for baking and my 8½ * 4 ½ * 2 ½ takes about 2 hours for baking. The baking time differs depending on the pan size and the oven and hence, towards the end, if a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean without any crumbles, then that means the tea bread is ready.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once it is completely cool, cover with a plastic wrap and serve the next day as it allows all the flavours to set in and it tastes really good the next day :)
- Replaced skim milk for whole milk and added 2 tbsp heavy cream and still comes out tasty and I do not find any marginal difference.
- Tried mixing sugar with the wet ingredients, instead of stirring with the dry ingredient, still I do not find any noticeable difference.
- Original recipe calls for only 1 tsp orange rinds but since we like the smell and flavour of orange more, I add an extra tsp.
- Since we both like the aroma of nutmeg in baked goodies, I add a pinch of nutmeg too, which is again not there in the original recipe.
A simple tea bread with tiny velvety fruit and infused with the refreshing smell of orange rinds...A perfect snack for any brunch or teatime parties….also a great gift for all your Cholesterol & High Diabetes factory owner friends :)