Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hellooooo.... :)

It’s been more than 7 months since my last post!! I don’t know where to start.....it would be an understatement if I say, I was overwhelmed seeing your messages on my last one and the bunch of emails I received…..those thoughtful wishes, messages loaded with words of love and prayers, kisses and hugs sent across for our little boy, that bit of happiness you felt for us brought a lump in my throat…..At one point of time, I even wondered whether it was my post-delivery hormones playing pranks on me…….but even now when I read those messages, they evoke the same intense feelings…….the feeling that someone in some corner of the world, who have known us just through this little space and the words I pour out here, care for us and have given us a place in their hearts!! The realization of the same was more than touching and I had no clue how to express those emotions and feelings. I kept pushing the idea of updating this place not knowing the right way to express my gratitude……..and soon it happened…I fell in love, again!!!!

Yes, I have fallen in love ..... with those winning toothless smiles, those tiny toes that remind me of the flutters and soft kicks I felt around the same time in last July, those itty-bitty fingers reaching for my ringlets, and those ‘ bulb eyes’ that beams up as he smiles……aww, I never imagined parenthood is such a blissful state! Little King sure knows how to charm me with those innocent batting of eye lashes, his continuous jabbering and squealing. His squeals have become so loud that, few weeks back, I had to close the windows and doors for fear of our neighbours getting wrong signals!!

I must say we re greedy parents; we create opportunities to see the twinkle in his eyes and the glow on his face. Every now and then we deliberately pass the picture wall with his framed portraits and it just fills our hearts when he blushes and gently falls on to my shoulders with a tinge of shyness in his eyes and then with hands around my neck, he hugs me tighter and tighter :)

When I am exhausted, I take him to the balcony and Mother Nature seems to be happy to take him into her lap. He watches leafy branches of apple trees and pines and maples dancing to the soft music of mother natures’ lullaby, without taking his eyes off. He smiles charmingly as the breeze caresses his soft cheeks as though She whispered something sweet to him. She also sends out feathery friends to sing songs for him and his eyes follow them quickly as they flutter and fly away. On rare occasions, She amazes us with a special treat by letting the clouds embrace the sun for a while, to create a dreamlike setting where bunny rabbits happily move around chewing on leafy weeds , baby squirrels run in between the lined pine trees and birds walk freely on the green carpet…. Absolutely surreal!

As much as I enjoy this absolute parental bliss, a part of me miss writing here! But, as I read somewhere recently, my brain at this point is a tabula rasa, a completely blank slate. At times I feel I have lost self motivation and that’s probably because I do not have the time and energy to get inspired by a dish , collect and compile my thoughts and taste memories revolving the same. Yet, there ‘re days when I find myself sharing a moment with CJJ in the kitchen and bursting into laughter reminiscing the follies of my early years in kitchen. At that point, I remind myself that I have to record and capture that particular piece from the past here in my online journal and even before I know, it is buried under a pile of top priority stuff. And there are times when a fresh new comment leads to older posts and wading through the comment section, I rediscover those affection in your words, the appreciation you showered me with……and at that moment, all I want to do is start writing and connect with the hundreds out there who helped to get this place going on even when I didn't have a clue as to where I was taking this blog. And exactly at that time, I am either reminded of my must-complete-basic essential- list or I hear a hyper-active squeal from the baby monitor!

Lack of time, energy, and self-motivation, poorly captured photographs, recipes without any exact measurements and moreover, a completely empty brain…..I know it is not an ideal recipe to run a food blog or perhaps, a perfect recipe for a blog-shutdown, Nevertheless, as someone who believes in the old wise saying, “If there’s a will, there’s a way”, I have decided to give it a try !! I owe it to my mother who cooked up many of my favorites during her stay here, saying that I can feature those items later when I am busy with the baby …I owe it to my mother –in law who got excited learning about my blog and shared some old rustic fare from her kitchen, even one from her grandmother’s favourite list, though most of those recipes lack accurate measurements ……I owe it to a bunch of readers out there who sent me long forgotten recipes from their families which are still waiting for their turn in my yet-to-post folder……and last but not the least, I owe it to you for your continued support and affection.

And let me say THANKS with this quick and easy dessert I picked out to cook and blog just for you, as it fitted perfectly into my tiring schedule.

Roasted Apricots with Honey-Vanilla Crème Fraiche

(Recipe Source:Bon Appetit Magazine – Issue: June 2010 – Pg:44)

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 12 small apricots (about 1 ½ pounds) halved, pitted ( I again cut them into small wedges)
  • 3 ½ tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • 8 oz crème fraiche or sour crème
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix brown sugar and cardamom in 11*7*2inch glass baking dish. Add apricots and pour ¼ cup water and 2 tbsp honey over fruit. At this point, I mixed very gently with a spatula. Now, dot with butter and roast until apricots are tender, occasionally basting with syrup in dish, for about 12- 15 mts.
  • Let it cool 5 mts after taking out of the oven.
  • Whisk crème fraiche , remaining 1 ½ tbsp honey and vanilla in small bowl.
  • To serve: Divide warm apricots and syrup among small 6 bowls; spoon honey –vanilla crème fraiche over and serve.
My thoughts for a quicker version: You may dip the stone fruit in butter first, and then in the cinnamon flavored brown sugar and grill for few minutes , until fruits are tender and serve with vanilla and honey flavored crème fraiche or just some good old ice cream…perfect for outdoor grilling parties or a late night dessert craving.

This dessert and wild flowers are FOR YOU as a token of our heartfelt gratitude for being there for us and for being patient and keeping this place alive in our absence…

Thank You!

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