This and not really that

Unsweetened peanut butter (protein rich, the box says), with powdered jaggery. Self-justified indulgence.

The end of your daily run, when you have stopped the tracker on your watch, and are walking slowly back home, sweating heavily, while other runners who are still on their rounds pass by. Exhaustion and victory.

End of the day, when you settle with your mug of tea, and switch on the most comforting show you are watching these days, while your brain is planning the next day. Peace and anxiety.

Friday evening, when you have filled your beer mug and settled down with some amazing music, and the phone notifies you that a meeting to discuss ‘issues’ has been set up for Monday. TGIF and IDGAF.

Monday noon, and you have a had a good lunch, and you think a nap will help, but the Monday meeting is in an hour’s time. Ok, I’m off to sleep and see you on the other side.

Numbers girl

How many steps did I walk today?

I am 8 books behind schedule already, how will I reach my reading target!

Should I do the 45 minute workout routine or should I try the whole hour?

How is one Tbsp of peanut butter more than a 100 calories?

That was 3 drinks, should I be having a 4th?

If I don’t sleep right now, I will not get my 7 hours of sleep.

Damn, I hope I can maintain my running pace at less than 6:45 per km.

I have to finish 5 rounds of the community before I head home.

I need 30 minutes to get everything ready for dinner, so should head home accordingly.

How can I be 3 kilos up just like that!

I am sure I can have that extra square of chocolate if I walk for another 1.5 km.

How did everything add up to 1400 calories, I hardly ate a thing!

Who ordered this smart scale and what are all these numbers!

Gifts

Someone gift me

  1. A white chikankari kurta in georgette, preferably full sleeved, or sleeveless. Which I promise I will wear for the next 4 flag hoisting ceremonies – 2 Independence and 2 Republic days.
  2. Cute planters for succulents – minimum 2, maximum – I leave it to you
  3. Succulents for these planters
  4. Tips on how to not let your succulents die.
  5. Fairly lights – would be good if you have tried the brand or something. I don’t want them conking off too soon.
  6. Unfinished – a memoir – it’s available on Amazon, and I don’t want the Kindle version. Because I am not able to get myself to buy it, but I want it, I want it!
  7. Wide, large coffee mugs. Something like the ones I got in Ikea last month (there is a picture on my Instagram feed on the right) – but not the same. I would like prints of some sort, or basically anything, but it has to be with large rims. I leave the rest to you, you can surprise me.

Yeah, that’s about it. Let me know if I should send you my address. Thanks in advance.

Kodubale

When the Dude and I got married, one of our favorite things to do was grocery shopping. We had been living on independently for a while, and had sort of managed homes with flatmates etc., but it just isn’t the same as your own home I guess.

So come Saturday, we would set out to the nearest Food Bazaar and stroll around with our cart, and fill it with the essentials for the week. And some non-essentials. Mostly in a 20:80 ratio. But without fail, we would return with bags full of stuff that made us happy and put big smiles on our faces.

We thought this was a phase, you know, the whole ‘playing house’ thing, which would eventually become an annoying chore – just like laundry and dusting and cleaning up after dinner (true story). But, surprise! 14 years this year, and this, is still a ritual.

The stores have changed – from Food Bazaar to Spar, to Hyper City, we moved to Star Bazaar and Pune and back to Hyper City in Hyderabad, before it got changed to Big Bazaar. Now, we have a new place – Star Hyper market, which has established itself as our bi-monthly mecca for home supplies, and most importantly – deals. Because when you enter this store, for the entire length of the wall to your right – from when you enter, until you reach the vegetables, you find deals, and really good ones.

So not unlike before, we spend a good part of our stroll next to this wall, peeking at everything available at a marked down price, and wondering if we need it. If we do, we pick it up. If we don’t we sigh and let it be. And when in doubt, we pick it up anyway.

Given the items in this rack – these days we are always well stocked with dried cranberries, apricots, superfoods like seeds and mixes, unsweetened peanut butter, organic jaggery, millets – all items that we might have overlooked in general, but now that they fit the pocket (and our belief that look! Healthy stuff!), they find a place at home. Then ofcourse there are the chips and fries, and chocolates (oh, the deals on chocolates!), soan papdi, mysore pak (you get the drift) – stuff that we would have picked anyway, but now do, just in bulk, because, come on, why not?

At the end , after billing, we stand for a couple of minutes, and look through the list, feeling so smug, so smart, at having gotten all these ‘deals’. And then we push our heavy cart, over flowing with stuff (the ratio of essentials to non-essentials still the same) to our cart, with big smiles, and a bigger credit card bill. But trust me, the joy is real.

By the way Rice Kodubale is this crazy tasty snack, I think from Karnataka, that we have been picking large party packs of every week – only, there is no party. But it is at 50% off. So.

Hot Chocolate

Zo has been reading a book series called Recipe for Adventure these days. It basically follows two kids who travel around the world after trying a particular food/cuisine and then continue their culinary adventure through the place. The first book she read was Naples, and then came Paris.

In a particular scene in the book, the kids ask for hot chocolate, and just as the mother reaches out for the powdered Hot chocolate we all are used to, their aunt, the culinary expert mentions about how the French take their food too seriously to go for the ‘powdered nonsense’. And then proceeds to make her special hot chocolate following her special recipe.

Since then Zo has been asking me to make it the same way, so we did. Our version – which was one mug of hot chocolate, required

  • 1.5 cups of whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon sugar
  • 85 grams of semi sweet cooking chocolate

The process was simple. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg in the milk and bring it to an almost boil. Remove it off the heat, add the sugar and chocolate and stir until it is all melted and one smooth paste. Reheat on low flame to keep it warm, once done.

The result was delicious. Though I took only a couple of spoons (trying to keep my calorie intake controlled on weekdays!), Zo relished every drop of it. And we decided we would make this more often.

And next time, I will make myself a whole cup and have it all.