Long & Busy TFS!

Before I yap yet again, let me confess first. Meena’s story was simply brilliant! It was totally intriguing and I m glad to have contributed tiny writer’s aesthetics to it. I m honored for life that she chose to share her journey with us.

And, perhaps now you can imagine the leave of absence for last three days J.So, let me summarize the last three long and extremely hectic days of the week.

We planned a “satyanarayan puja” at our place on Friday evening and had invited cousins for dinner. Being a Brahmin, we do it ourselves here. But unlike the traditional procedures followed, we keep it short and simple. Actually, I m going to try and share a copy of the stories recited during the puja from a designated book. The stories are so real and believable. People cloud too much of “religion” around everything and forget to value the essence of the concept itself. What matters is the faith and conviction. We follow our heart. Our puja is more scientific in nature (heart held :P).So, the offering that I make-my son can eat it before its offered to god! I see eyes rolling! Don’t mind, children are the purest version of the almighty. I cannot refuse to offer them. My friend was home and was surprised when I offered her the Sheera (prasad/offering) to her hours before the puja. Thanks to my humble upbringing, my concepts of religion are much more refined instead of blindly tradition bound.

Thursday morning we (my son and me) woke up and after the usual round of daily chores- brushing, cleaning the dishwasher and drinking tea I started cooking for Friday dinner. Made an authentic “Misal” (curry of sprouts) and “tarri” (slow cooked, coconut based spicy curry sauce served along side). I was done in an hour and cleaned up the whole house including the toilets. Felt energetic through the day! I have dropped 2lbs in last 10-11 days and feel bright and energized.

By the time Udeet slept, it was 4pm already! I drafted few posts for recipes and started working on Meena’s story. Wasn’t it phenomenal? I know (not again right? :P). But, there is so much to learn from everyone. Only if we (women & men alike) decide to look past the appearances & material words, there is more substance to be inspired by.

Husband came soon after and we had our usual Chai followed by a round of cricket with Udeet (Whoa, he slept only for 30 minutes today! He is growing into a big boy!).

Btw, my mixer died on me a month ago. But, I managed to do well without it. However, needed a fine paste of the coconut shreds in the “tarri” stew (gave me a tough time:P) so we decided to march into Costco. Thanks to my husband, I made my first priciest purchase after marriage (6 years of it!) and purchased the 11cup Cuisinart food processor along with the Philips Air fryer that arrived on Friday!!

(Yeah, that’s my birthday gift) 2 expensive gadgets in one week! Cannot ask better, could I? What a precision instrument to have in my kitchen! Bye-Bye tacky blenders and mixers, the champ is here to stay!

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Anyway, lot of excitement for a weekday, isn’t it? Had a quick dinner at Madras Café. My husband insisted that I eat my favorite Medhu wada (fried dumplings of a combination of grains)-the guilty pleasure! But, that was it!

Came home and three of us cuddled up to each other and slept peacefully! Sometimes, after an overwhelming day of work and excitement this is all you need, don’t you? Rohan’s side of family started this tradition of hugging all the members of the family (all at once) and enjoying the moment of our own. Rohan, his parents and younger brother Ashwin did this for years. In 2009,I joined the gang as well. Once Udeet came along, we were happier to have him take the centre stage! This is one ritual that we have carried forward with pride into our little family. There are imperfections everywhere. There are arguments and bickering, but we are one family at the end. That’s all that matters. Nothing is right or wrong enough beyond the love of /for your family. Most of us would nod and smile at this, won’t we? J

Friday began with quick wrapping up of morning chores because my friends Me & Ru were taking me out for lunch (because it was my birthday this week, aww!!). I realized that yesterday in all the excitement I forgot to make Sheera (Semolina pudding made with sugar/jiggery adorned with cardamom and saffron) recipe coming soon)! But, that’s one thing I know how to make well J Mom’s super recipe helps always!

We (Me+Udeet) were all dolled up, set to be clicked! There is a beautiful Italian café in Palo Alto, CA (Café Riace-a review would follow soon!). All three of us are on our respective diet regimens based on portion control so we opted for a warm Salmon-Spinach Salad and Pasta with chicken. We ate in moderation and laughed more! Both the dishes were amazing and so was the mixed platter of appetizers. Udeet relished on the Cannoli, bread, mozerella and pasta! Fancy palette for a 3.5year old, isn’t it? I bet you are wondering how tough it is to please this Alton Brown of mine :P.

Me came home for tea while Ru headed back to office! What a fun experience!! Cannot thank Ru for introducing me to this place and both of them for the gifts!

It was 5 pm when Rohan arrived! Udeet skipped his nap completely! Makes me hopeful that he would sleep earlier! I see mommies saying “Sure, may be a movie to look forward too”! But, he was up until our guests left close to midnight.

Ahh, and this was my fourth week of saree pledge so wore my black georgette saree! My talented friend Meenu Madan designed it for me. Picked this piece from one of her exhibitions! That reminds me that I have to wear the set she gifted me for my anniversary this year! She is an artist, totally transforms beads into precious necklaces. There are so much interesting talent around that it’s really overwhelming. I feel so timid in the midst of such talented and intellectual people.

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 The Puja made us feel extremely serene. We have lived in this apartment for a long time. We have special memories associated with this apartment complex where we conceived and got the best gift (Udeet) into our lives. So, we wanted to perform a small puja here before we move into our new home.

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I think for some months, I m going to miss this place. I will feel this is where we built a home and a family together. Here is where I started my cookery blog, catering career and photography as a profession! This apartment in Santa Clara brought me tears of joy and sorrow both. It shall remain very special to us.

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After a serene Friday with family and friends; came a rush-run Saturday. Had an early lunch munching on left overs from yesterday! The healthy sprouts curry tasted even better! We went hunting tile stores and stone quarries for our new house restrooms and kitchen. It could take up to 5 hours for this ordeal! Cannot believe that the stores were full of prospective clients on a long weekend! And to our surprise, we came out of the last store without finalizing on a tile. The tiles/stones we liked weren’t available in stock or were very expensive or weren’t available in the size of our choice :P. Funny and true we were tired shuttling and came home to ginger tea.

Exhausted we wanted to have a hearty dinner. I made fresh whole-wheat rotis and Dhaka Dim Curry! That is one tasty curry! I grew up amongst Bengalis thought born and brought up in Bombay.This recipe comes from a bengali neighbour of ours in Bombay so aptly named it after my lovely Panna Aunty 🙂

While working on Meena’s story in the evening, I realized that there is so much each woman has to offer always.

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She nurtures the family selflessly. The father obviously provides for the emotional and financial security always. I am in debt to such lovely people around me. Continue to inspire me J The hourglass diaries will be back with another inspirational story next Saturday!


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