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Happy Pongal 2021

அணைவருக்கும் இனிய பொங்கல் திருநாள் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

Happy pongal to all my lovely readers!

Our platter today featured

Sakkara pongal
Broken wheat ven pongal
7 kari kootu
Medu vada
Sugarcane of course

It took just three hours to prepare this platter. Phew!! The clan openly appreciated Sakkara pongal and Medu vada. This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time they are appreciating my food in last 10 months of pandemic cooking marathon. Adi said she usually doesn’t like sweet pongal but the taste today made her like it! M said the vada is perfect, crispy outside and soft inside. So, I did grow an inch taller with pride**. What they don’t know is that I burnt the Sakkara pongal, had to change it to a different dish and fix it with more milk and ghee *evil laughter*

**(this is lyrics from a tamil movie song)
மகிழ்ச்சியில் எந்தன் மனம் மலர்ந்திடுமே (My heart will be filled with happiness)
ஏன் உயரமோ இன்னும் கொஞ்சம் வளர்ந்திடுமே (I will grow an inch taller due to this abundance of happiness)

As usual, LHB was my carrier to share the delicacies with neighbors. He wore veshti/sattai and visited them 🙂

I ate, ate and ate till my tummy cried loud to burst. Pulled off the second half of work day with dozing off here and there. I am super tired and just want to go to bed but LHB’s homework session is still pending!!!

//Copying below from previous year’s pongal post. I will continue to copy this every year as every single word in this will hold true forever and ever

Pongal brings back so much of childhood memories. I am glad to have recorded it all in this blog.
My paternal grandpa, my village, home full of elders, relatives visiting every other minute, coffee/tea boiling non stop, pongal cooking in front yard on new mud pot with turmeric plant wrapped around it, mango leaves thoranam, chithappas, periyappas, anna, akka, mama, maami.

Paal pongiyacha?? heard one thousand times in this day, endless eating of farm cut fresh sugarcane. I am glad to have experienced and lived a rich childhood.

Once again, a very happy pongal to you all !!

Pillayar Chathurthi – 2020

Better late than never. I wanted to capture about pillayar chathurthi in this space for posterity.

This year chathurthi was awesome as

  • I made the world’s most softest kozhukattai and M praised the sesame seeds filling kozhukattai so much that Adi noticed it and said she has never seen him praising my food so much!!
  • I made 3 versions – sweet sesame seeds/jaggery filling, sweet channa dal/jaggery filling and savory version.
  • The best part is I made everything from scratch like soaking rice and grinding it to make outer layer. It just took about 7 hours to wrap it up end to end as I made it with 4 cups of rice. Shared it with neighbors and friend’s family. Totally worth the effort.
  • Visited friend’s home for Ganesh Visarjan. They did it in big scale with their entire dining room decorated. We sang bhajans and had good food.
  • Neighbor kids, Adi and LHB made their own Ganesha’s so I had 4 Ganesha idols decorating my pooja space thiis year.
  • We dissolved our eco Ganesh today (Day 7) in the sink. I don’t know if there is a better way to do it. We usually dissolve it in sink as they are made of salt dough (wheat flour+salt).

Hope all of you are staying safe and good.

Kids making Ganesha
Do you see all 4 Ganesha and my 3 version of Kozhukattai?
Melt in mouth savory Uppu urundai
Bidding adieu to Ganesha until next year

Happy pongal-2020

அணைவருக்கும் இனிய பொங்கல் திருநாள் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

Happy pongal to all my lovely readers!

We don’t celebrate Pongal this year as my FIL passed away less than one year ago. However, I made all pongal dishes today evening and offered it to FIL. It was a platter of sweet pongal, ven pongal (spicy version), sambar and 7 kari kootu (coconut based stew with 7 type of veggies).

My back is breaking and head is spinning now. Wish I had someone to press my back to ease me into sleep!! Back breaking is because of the sink full of dishes I had to wash after all that cooking and head spinning is because of the study session with LHB after all that cooking.

Digressing a bit! This boy brings out the beast in me every single time I sit with him in the hope to teach something to him. Sigh!! Is school mandatory for all growing kids? I dread the study session with him and don’t even feel like teaching anything new to him given the kind of hatred he holds for it especially Math and English as those are the main subjects for him now. I never felt cooking so many dishes on a work day evening would feel like an easy task comparatively.

The entire clan gave me a very hard time today evening but I managed to pull it all and feel satisfied now but is this satisfaction really worth it? Which is better to handle guilt with not doing the work or mental satisfaction with physical pain? It’s better I stop here.

Honestly, writing this post feels therapeutic and I need it very much at this moment. There is only one more hour for the day to end and its better if I really stop here.

//Copying below from last year’s pongal post. Guess I will copy this every year as every single word in this will hold true forever and ever

Pongal brings back so much of childhood memories. I am glad to have recorded it all in this blog. My paternal grandpa, my village, home full of elders, relatives visiting every other minute, coffee/tea boiling non stop, pongal cooking in front yard on new mud pot with turmeric plant wrapped around it, mango leaves thoranam, chithappas, periyappas, anna, akka, mama, maami.

Paal pongiyacha?? heard one thousand times in this day, endless eating of farm cut fresh sugarcane. I am glad to have experienced and lived a rich childhood.

Once again, a very happy pongal to you all !!

P.S: Here is the picture of the gifts LHB bought for all of us in this year school holiday shopping. Trust me, that pendant really changes color and freaks me out. If anyone knows how it works, please enlighten me.

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P.P.S: I am considering to change my name as Jinxer or Jinxie. Stay tuned to know the not so good reason for that!!

P.P.P.S: I am behind with catching up on my reader. Will soon get to all your posts.  Keep writing.

Thanksgiving – 2019

Better late than never has become the motto of this blog. Recording Thanksgiving 2019 in my very own little space for posterity sake.

A friend family spent thanksgiving with us. They stayed with us for a night and we cooked a storm for thanksgiving spread. The friend wanted to try turkey roast but we settled on chicken. It didn’t come out perfect, not everyone liked it but I would say it turned out decent enough for first attempt.

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From left to right:

Lasagna (I burned it little in broil mode) – Adi’s and friend’s daughters made this
Corn muffin
Baked cauliflower in white sauce
Challah bread – Adi brushed the bread with garlic/butter and baked it
Mutton fry
Biriyani (leftover)
Chicken roast pan dripping gravy
White rice
Whole chicken roast
Rasam
Moong dal Kosambari (garnished with pomegranate)
Ghee rice
Stuffing mix with onions and celery

We started cooking the feast at about 1pm after a heavy breakfast and had dinner at 6:30pm. Each of us shared what we are thankful for before the meal and had a great chat at the table.

I am thankful for too many things to count. Family’s good health, kids, safety, friends, job, extended family and many more. It is a wonderful life and let’s be thankful for all that is offered to us every single day.

Happy thanksgiving to all my readers!

 

Pillayar Chathurthi 2019

We are not supposed to celebrate any festival for one year but as Amma is here and this is the first festival after we moved to this home she wanted to do a simple pooja. She made all the delicacies and kids made Ganesha. We had 3 types of Ganesha this year. The standard salt dough Ganesha that Adi makes every year, Hanging craft Ganesha that LHB made in a craft workshop with air dry clay and Lego blocks Ganesha made by the duo, actually Adi made most of it and LHB gave final touches. He made a ruckus before they could finish it. This little one of mine can start anything but its close to impossible to make him finish the task (rolling eyes heavily). The lego Ganesha is an inspiration from Toka parent newsletter.

This is my pooja corner in this home. I am yet to find an east facing space in this home to set my pooja space.

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Happy pongal-2019

அணைவருக்கும் இனிய பொங்கல் திருநாள் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

Happy pongal to all my lovely readers!

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My 3 hours of labor:
Sweet pongal – check
Ven pongal – check
7 kari kootu – check
Mini medu vada (I tried normal vada but the batter consistency was messed up and I couldn’t make the donut hole so made then as mini vada’s)

New additions this year – banana leaf, sugarcane and breaking of whole coconut while praying. Usually, head of the family does coconut breaking and we wait to drink the coconut water.

Started with preparation around 6pm after work and we prayed only around 9pm. I forgot to do the rangoli!!! My head spins by just looking at the after storm kitchen!! It has to wait till tomorrow.

Just when I sat down, Adi asked if I can test her on vocabulary. The only academic help that I do to her is to question her on synonyms and antonyms for vocabulary test. It will mostly be like a rapid fire round. I have to say the synonym/antonym and she has to say the original word! We make a note of all the wrong ones and she uses that list for revision before the test. Glad to be of some help to her!

MY eyelids are refusing to stay open but how can I miss to post!

//Copying below from last year’s pongal post. Guess I will copy this every year as every single word in this will hold true forever and ever

Pongal brings back so much of childhood memories. I am glad to have recorded it all in this blog. My paternal grandpa, my village, home full of elders, relatives visiting every other minute, coffee/tea boiling non stop, pongal cooking in front yard on new mud pot with turmeric plant wrapped around it, mango leaves thoranam, chithappas, periyappas, anna, akka, mama, maami.

Paal pongiyachaaa?? heard one thousand times in this day, endless eating of farm cut fresh sugarcane. I am glad to have experienced and lived a rich childhood.

Once again, a very happy pongal to you all !!

Happy diwali 2018

Just sneaked in to wish you all a very happy diwali. Reminder to self to get back to this lovely little space of mine very soon!!

How are you all?

Happy Vinayakar Chathurthi 2018

Its almost going to strike 12am and I woke up at 4:30am today. Still just couldn’t go to bed without publishing this post.

Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying to all your lovely comments and wishes in earlier post. I will get to them very soon.

Happy Vinayakar Chathurthi to all my readers.

Thanks to Amma for making the Kozhukattai and sundal so I could focus on making of Ganesha. Adi the high schooler is already busy so I made this Ganesha.

Inspired from me, LHB made this Ganesha and decorated almost same as mine 🙂 To me it looked like a pillayar resting with his hand as support to his head on the right and stretching his legs to the left 🙂 And I have no idea what he drew on that paper. Will ask him tomorrow morning. The kids were off to sleep before I returned from Adi’s back to school night. Oh that deserves a separate post 🙂

The little boy’s tantrums has definitely come to a control with parent’s presence. Big thanks to them.

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Happy pongal 2018 – Day 65/14

அணைவருக்கும் இனிய பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

Happy pongal to all my lovely readers!

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 3.52.28 PM

Sakkara pongal – check
Ven pongal – check
Avial – check

Surpise visit by a friend – check

Pongal brings back so much of childhood memories. I am glad to have recorded it all in this blog. My paternal grandpa, my village, home full of elders, relatives visiting every other minute, coffee/tea boiling non stop, pongal cooking in front yard on new mud pot with turmeric plant wrapped around it, mango leaves thoranam, chithappas, periyappas, anna, akka, mama, maami.

Paal pongiyachaaa?? heard one thousand times in this day, endless eating of farm cut fresh sugarcane. I am glad to have experienced and lived a rich childhood.

Watching Aruvi with Adi now. A much watch!