* Monsoons are officially here. * Lovely downpour today afternoon. * My balcony was a great place to be. * Water droplets were having a race down each fern leaf. * The potted plants were happy to have a great shower. * Trees danced to the tune of the wind. * Earth quenched it's thirst. * The fragrance of wet mud was intoxicating to the senses. * So is the ginger tea boiling on my stove.
Enjoy the pictures while I enjoy my Ginger Tea :-)
I love cooking. I am a complete foodie, but I was never the kind of person who would bake. Like I mentioned in my previous post, it's a new found hobby. With cloudy skies and rain being our constant companions...we ( Mallika & I) decided to bake. But what to bake? Cookies? Cupcakes? Cake again? It had to be chocolate-ee, nutty, non-diet type, so it had to be Brownies! I searched the 'world wide web' for the perfect recipe. If there exists such a thing! My search was very interesting..I came across some very nice food blogs & sites. * milk and cookies * 101 cookbooks * once upon a tart * Dessert First The brownies did come out well and quite chewy, not cake-y! The way I like it!
I am a summer person, I like clear blue skies & bright sunlight. but, There is something about~ * The cloudy skies. * Raindrops on green leaves. * Eating hot charcoal-roasted corn smeared with lemon & salt. * School children in colourful raincoats waiting for their school buses. * Jumping into muddy puddles. * Making paper boats & sailing them off in small streams of rainwater. * Having hot onion pakoras with ginger chai. * Sleeping in warm bed while listening to the thunder outside. * Drinking endless cups of tea. I just finished my hot cup of coffee and I plan to bake away while it steadily rains outside. Have a great rainy day!
* I adore silver jewellery...period. * I also like oxidized, hand-crafted jewellery, glass beads... * I like stuff from Maya Bazaar, Sukra, Amrapali, (though I can't afford them!) Dariba Kalan- The wholesale silver jewellery market in Delhi & few shops in the by-lanes of commercial street. * I have picked up some amazing stuff from craft exhibitions, roadside shops, gypsies on the move & also from the lambani's from Hampi ;-) * My husband once mistook my bead necklace to be a bullocks neck piece.
(earrings from Dariba Kalan) (image from Maya Bazaar Site) (image from sukra.com)( crafts fairs) ( pendant from Dariba Kalan) ( image from Amrapali.com)( image from Amrapali.com)
I also make my own jewellery by stringing together stuff that I like~
*The left side of your brain controls verbal ability,attentionto detail, and reasoning. *Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others. *If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic. *Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
*The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility. *Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way. *If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art. *Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
I googled 'Kala Jamun' since I didn't know what this fruit is called in the rest of the world...
I learnt that Kala Jamun or the Black Plum is found in India, Sri Lanka & the Andaman Islands and is a seasonal fruit which floods the markets during May to August. This fruit holds a special place in my heart, probably the chamber where childhood memories are stored. Well, was that the heart or the brain? Nevermind...!
* I recall eating loads of them and then running to the mirror to see if my tongue had become purple.
* Drinking water after eating Jamun and landing up with a sore throat.
* Picking up the berries from purple coloured foot-path, under the huge Jamun trees lining the roads...
* Listening to one particular bedtime folk story about a monkey who lived on a Jamun tree and a crocodile who lived on the banks of a river..(Does any one recall this story??)
We had heard about homemade fruit wines made in a place called 'Beulah Farm'...so one day while we were holidaying in Kurumba Village, we decided to explore the hills and drove down to Kotagiri.'We saw a narrow turquoise blue iron gate with Beulah Farm written on it. As we rang the bell, a lady came and welcomed us inside. * An elderly gentleman was feeding beautiful white pigeons. * Exotic looking flowers & plants lined the place. * The windows & doors were painted in lovely turquoise blue colour. * Yellow marigolds on planters near the windows.We introduced ourselves & he welcomed us inside his cute little cottage.* Then came a tray filled with bowls of homemade jams- Rhubarb, Pepino * Yummy delicious jams & preserves. * Homemade fruit wines or nectar as he calls them- dry rose, plum, pears, fig, strawberry, mulberry, peach and list goes on. * A small tour of his lovely herb garden & small sprigs of the herbs were given to us while he explained the various species of herbs...fennel, lemongrass, basil, chives, oregano, lemon balm, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint (phew!) * All the jams & wines are from his garden..he showed us his fig tree, pear, kiwi... * Apart from that we entered a rose garden with amazing roses, black rose, green rose... * Felt transported to a Neverland. Amazing. Mr Eapen Jacob- an octogenarian, engineer turned agriculturist( says his card!)Fan-tailed pigeons. Exotic Black Rose at Beulah Farm. The delicious Strawberry Preserve we picked up at Beulah Farm.
Marble Cake- Inspiration ( Martha Stewart Recipes) Chocolate Chip Cookies- Inspiration ( Flickr!!!) Year: Early 1980s As far as I can recall our refrigerator used to be stocked with eggs, butter, McCormicks food colours, silver balls, multicoloured decorations and bottles of vanilla essence and the store room filled with baking dishes, moulds, cookie sheets, weighing scales et al.
The reason: My mother is a fantastic cook and baking her passion. The cakes for my birthdays were always baked by her and what cakes- digit cakes, chocolate cakes, yule logs, marble cakes, jam rolls, layer cakes with mouth-watering icings & decorations.
Strangely I didn't show that kind of passion for baking while I was growing up. But, I am sure my mother would be happy to see that I have developed a new hobby - Baking!
*Sigh* I am completely at a loss for words. Erin Villa is located in Upper Coonoor. Nestled in the lush green tea estates of the Nilgiris.We entered the place through an old wrought iron gate and were immediately transported to another world. Never in my life have I seen so many colours together in one place. *Sigh* *Sigh* *Sigh* *Sigh*
We were in ..'our dream'. A dream where...
* Pink bougainvilleas were drooping down to talk to their neighbour the white pansies.
* Lovely butterflies fluttered in the garden.
* Red, Orange & Peach hibiscus framed the doorway.
* Beautiful green benches lined the garden.
* At a distance the clouds were descending on green hills.
* My husband & me also became Mallika, and three kids wandered around the garden in excitement.
Needlecraft in Erin Villa is a place where the very nice lady Naaz sources & sells beautiful lace, embroidery & cross-stich bedspreads, doilies, tablecloths, towels, handkerchiefs and many gorgeous things from convents around the place.
To sum it all we came back with memories filled with colours, flowers & lace...:-))