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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Of Swords and Guns and Cheesy Garlic Bread

So the Ram Navami Holiday started with a distinctly worded complaint from the man.
“You never make puris” he said accusingly - wolfing down the puris that had made their way to our house as part of the Kanya Pujan Prasad from an assortment of neighbours.
Now I have to tell you, I am a meek and submissive wife almost all the time. I never object to the racket he creates when he gets up early in the morning to make bed tea. I don’t even murmur when he burns the toast. And I am very accommodating when he leaves a minor job undone from the long to-do list on Sundays.

 But when I am criticised – my hackles rise.

“Watch it Mister” I warned him sternly. “Your bulging midriff and that allegation you just made is the material for a deadly blog post.”

He gave me a wary look and a goofy smile. He apologised for his reckless remark and sang lengthy praises of my cooking abilities.

 I then deigned to forgive and forget.

Ah! The joys of being a blogger………..

Well my blog celebrates its first anniversary this month and I must admit I have found that the pen (the keyboard in my case) is mightier than the sword.

In the eleven years that I have been married, I have often wished for a sword. Unfortunately it is a wish that hasn’t come true and I have never been able to lay my hands on one.
 My friends in the kitchen - the frying pans and the rolling pins have been privy to my yearning as I have muttered and mumbled about the wrongs being heaped on me to them. In their own sweet way they have done their best to make up for the absence of a sword in the house and have allowed me to use them for purposes they were never created for. Unfortunately however they have never been successful in denting the six footer at whom they were hurled (and have often got dented themselves in the bargain).

There is still no sword in the house but my husband claims that there is an AK47 somewhere. He insists that he is often peppered with bullets from it especially when he arrives home late.
 I have spent several hours looking for that gun because it would certainly make up for that sword I have been pining for - but I have never found it.
On the rare occasions when I have subjected my impeccable persona to introspection I have wondered if perhaps the bullets he has been referring to are my words of wisdom that are frequently directed at him.

 Whenever this has happened however, I have noticed that the introspection has suddenly come to an abrupt end.

 Anyway my trustworthy kitchen has finally ended my quest for a weapon. My innocuous cooking blog intended to share shortcut recipes has slowly morphed into the ultimate weapon.

Long live – Shortcut Indian Weekday Cooking!

On my blog's birthday I want to thank all you guys who have been reading my posts over the last year. Many of you have actually followed me as well and that has made me feel fabulous. All you guys who kindly comment on my posts - I really don't know how to thank you enough.
On days when the words dry up and the clock ticks away menacingly trying to pry me away from the key board - it is you guys who keep me going.

The lovely Rajni Sinha has tagged me for the Leibster award. I dont know any German but I Googled the word and discovered that it is an extremely complimentary word and implies 'sweetest kindest endearing and most valued'. Thanks Rajni - that has made me soooooooooooooooooooooooo happy.

Well Rajni tagged me in January but I still haven't got around to tagging anyone else and so I think Ill just let it go now. I'm sorry Rajni its not that I don't value the award but this year has been a little tough on the family and I truly haven't been able to pin down the bloggers I wanted to award. Thanks again.

Here are 11 facts about me - 
  1. I am not even 5 foot tall
  2. I love to live life
  3. Amazingly I love to move cities which I do frequently with my husband who is in a transferable job
  4. I am a 3rd generation doctor in my family and my husband is a 2nd generation one in his.
  5. I am a trained kathak dancer
  6. I love to read
  7. I hate watching television but I like watching movies
  8. I really like driving
  9. I love to cook and entertain
  10. I am passionate about throwing kiddie parties
  11. I love being a practicing doctor but funnily enough I am really enjoying my sabbatical where I am doling out a lot of medical advice anyway
And now to answer Rajni's questions -
  1. My favourite flower is the Sunflower
  2. About my favourite period in History - actually I am really bad with history but I do find the Mughal era fascinating
  3. My favourite woman politician would be the late Mrs Indira Gandhi.
  4. My favourite Indian singer is Sunidhi Chauhan
  5. My favourite Indian sports person is Sachin Tendulkar
  6. My favourite food is Aloo ke pararthe
  7. My favourite book is 'Gone with the wind'
  8. I think I would prefer to listen to the sitar over the violin
  9. My favourite ghazal singer is the late Jagjit Singh
  10. No I don't suffer from stage fright. I love the stage in fact. Public speaking is something that comes naturally to me
  11. Yes I certainly prefer to read the newspaper over watching TV
  12. Yes I think blogging does relieve stress. I think the wonderful people you meet in the virtual world actually relieve your stress. You feel great when you find that the world is still as wonderful as you imagined
Since I am not tagging anyone I am not including any questions.

And Oh! I am almost forgot! Last but certainly not the least I want to thank Indiblogger. Love you guys! you're the best.

Garlic bread with Cheese
I love garlic bread with cheese. Over the years I have tried a lot of recipes for this dish. The results have been great but the procedure has always been too cantankerous for me to handle.
Recently my daughter has decided she likes it too and has requested that it grace one of her snack boxes in school. After the first few times of doing it in an extremely complicated way (and getting really really late) I have figured that this is the method the works the best (and is the quickest).
1.       Buy a loaf of garlic bread. There are ways to make regular bread garlicky by mixing crushed garlic in butter and lathering it on the slices, but that is certainly not for rushed mornings. OK so slice up the loaf. A knife with a serrated edge always makes the cleanest cuts and I love that.
2.       Meanwhile set the oven to the grill mode and set the temperature to a 150°C. The oven is empty at this point. For the uninitiated this is called preheating. Set the timer for ten minutes and let the empty oven heat up.
3.       Now on a small plate sprinkle a little bit of olive oil with a spoon. Let the oil coat the whole base of the plate.
4.       Now pick up each slice of garlic bread and mop up the oil on the plate with one side of the slice. Do this for all the slices.
5.       Once you have oil on your bread, take out a cheese slice or a cheese single. You know the ones available from Brittania and Amul and other brands to put between sandwiches. Take the cheese slice and tear it up into four squares. Put one square each on the oil soaked side of each garlic bread slice.
6.       Wait for the oven to ‘ting’ and tell you that your ten minutes of preheating are over.
7.       Put the slices in a baking dish and pop them into the oven immediately. Once again set the oven in grill mode at 150°C – this time for 5 minutes.
8.       When the oven tings again, take out the bread.
Mmmmmmmm…………….. garlic bread with crisp edges and a soft centre with cheese melted onto it. Heavenly.
I am always tempted to dig in but just in time I remember that I was packing my daughter’s snack box.