Introducing the Food Blog

Posted August 31st, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Food
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(not really)

fblog7There are two kinds of cooks in the world. One that can serve any food with élan and the other kind who serve even gourmet food with an air of apology. Unfortunately, I belong in this second category.  You must have met people like me. Whenever they serve food, they mumble about how the dish is not really that good, they constantly point out deficiencies that the guest has probably never noticed (this would have tasted better if I used real coconut instead of frozen coconut, this dish should be a tad bit creamier than it is, the koftas should have been golden yellow rather than yellowish gold…).  The ability to confidently state “this dish is yum” is probably the biggest challenge that I face in writing a food blog. Well that and the fact that I am too lazy to cook up original recipes regularly. But I wanted to see how complicated this process is. How do people manage to assemble ingredients, cook, take photographs of the food and then write about the same —what is it that they do?  I resolved to write at least one recipe. That was about six months ago. Continue Reading »

Its all coming back…

Posted August 20th, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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vyjayantimalaashaparekh6sharmila_tagoremadhubala

Notice what is common in the photos for these actresses from the sixties and seventies?

All of them have similar earrings.  I know that fashions come and go and then come right back again.  I was still surprised when I saw similar earrings that were for sale at the local Target.  I dismissed them initially— but then was surprised to see several people at work wearing these styles.  And then I saw similar earrings at several of the top departmental stores here. A quick search on google revealed that the chadelier earrings are extremely popular and in fashion right now.

amazon trendy chandelierearring2

Fashion is strange. It is stranger to see an American lady wearing a Sadhana style jhumka sitting in the bus next to you!

Chill and Grill Time

Posted August 10th, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Food
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Isha is their daughter. Unlike her parents, she is the quiet contemplative sort. She enjoyed the party very much – so much that she adopted our house as her house. She especially liked this chair and sat there for a long time rocking away and watching the other kids play from a safe distance.
I am sorry I don’t have a better picture for Ajit. It doesn’t convey Ajit’s booming laughter and his cheerful personality. Ajit & Seejo have been working together for about 7 years. He is from Trivandrum originally. Laxmi & Ajit are our token Mallu friends and we like them inspite of that.
This is Aditya— he is a little hellion and doesn’t stay still enough for me to take a picture. He has the highest pain tolerance of any person that I know. He once fractured his hand and nobody knew about it till the next day because he did not even whimper. He is also extremely smart. I saw him one day with a lollipop clutched in both hands. He would alternate between licking one and then the other. So I asked him why he had two lollipops. Aditya looked at me as though I was a moron and replied “Because I have only two hands!”
For Aditya, the highlight of the party was playing with his friend Ismail. They climbed over the furniture. They climbed over each other. They climbed on Ashu and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Aditya and Ismail were born on the same day in the same hospital. Their dads became friends when they met in the hospital where their wives were having the babies. It is a unique friendship. When Bimal, Ajit and Seejo needed a fourth while playing tennis, Ajit thought of Anez. Now Anez joins them for tennis when he can and they have all become very good friends.
Anez comes from Muvattupuzha — the same town as Seejo’s father. He works in the US patent office here in DC and told us about Michael Jackson’s patent for the forward lean motion using specially designed anti-gravity shoes which he employed in his music videos. I don’t think Anez is demonstrating that here, though. No idea what he is doing but it looks like it is important. Anez’s wife Farzana was bought up in US but speaks Mallu very well. It is somewhat disconcerting to notice her accent when she switches to English. That is her with their second son —Amir. Amir distributed his time very generously with everybody— and went eagerly into any arms that were held out for him. He was cheerful through the whole party, even though all the other kids were tumbling all over the place
Dennis & Sherron came from Virginia. They decided to postpone sodding their lawn to attend the party— an act of intelligence for which they are to be commended. Dennis ,Seejo & Ajit work together at Hughes. Sherron pointed out very quickly that the word “work” is to be interpreted very loosely. So now I introduce the topic by saying that Seejo, Ajit and Dennis go to the same place to work. Sherron is a lawyer and works in Washington DC. Last year, she let us on the terrace of her office building so we could see July 4th fireworks from one of the best view points. She is originally from New Orleans. We attended their wedding in New Orleans at it was beautiful. She also makes wonderful red velvet cake. After eating that for the first time, Seejo liked it so much that he made it for two weeks consecutively.
Shweta and Ashu are newly weds. They got married less than a year ago. Shweta works in Siemens /voight Hydro. She is a true “classic “ engineer and helps in building dams across rivers. Ashu & Seejo have been friends since undergrad in Pune. But I like Ashu & Shweta so I have adopted them as my friends rather than Seejo’s friends.
Ashu’s parents came all the way from India to attend this party. Well that and to spend time with Ashu and Shweta. But the party was definitely on their list of top 2 reasons to visit USA.
This was Robin’s last free weekend before he starts graduate school at Johns Hopkins. He is excited about Hopkins but is apprehensive about the unsafe campus, especially after he got mugged last month near Metro station. He didn’t lose any money but lost his front tooth and had to replace it. Here he is showing off his new pearly whites. He is also worried about getting a girlfriend, completing PHD in less than 5 years, finding the right advisor, selecting one research area and global warming. Well may be not global warming but I am right on everything else!!!
There was plenty of food. Laxmi got some fish-sticks. We had semi-homemade chicken wings and we had satay chicken with peanut sauce and spicy jerk chicken on skewers.
For the vegetarians we had some tangy corn chaat, fresh caprese salad with baby tomatoes, mozzarella and my homemade pesto dressing. I also picked up some spankopitas with spinach and cream cheese filling.
For the main course we had delicious turkey burgers that were Seejo’s created recipe and some vegetarian cutlets. We had an array of sauces and burger toppings including sautéed onions, mushrooms, cucumber relish, homemade pineapple relish, avocado slices and other fresh vegetables. For dessert, I made some rum-cake, Farzana brought a cheese cake (no picture) and Roshni baked some awesome cherry-pineapple cobbler that was accompanied by vanilla icecream. That was so tasty that I almost forgave her for not making undhio for me.
I had made sangria for the alcohol philics and some orange strawberry fruit punch for the non-alcholics. Both proved to be extremely popular and I could only photograph the last dregs. I have however kept another pitcher of sangria in the fridge for me to enjoy in the next few weeks!
All in all it was a great party….and it was past midnight when the last guest left. Here is little Isha saying Bye Bye to all of us.

We hosted a small get-together at our place this Saturday. Here are some pictures of the party. I will start by adding the disclaimer that I have taken these photos with a friend’s point & shoot camera without adjusting the settings for the indoor photography. The photos are not professional & Seejo has not touched them. That also explains why you are seeing the photos within 2 days of the party!!

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