Work, Clean, Cook

There is never a day that goes past without these three tasks. Today is no different. Woke up to a work call, cooked lunch (brinjal subzi), wrapped up organizing rest of the closets, sorted clothes, made oats nuts bars, beetroot paratha and sat down to draft this post. Shared some of the food with neighbors as its their wedding anniversary today.

Back to grind from tomorrow. Hardest part is waking up early! 2023 is going to be different for us. I hope to have strength to handle it. Adi is moving out in few days. She is moving to a different state that is 800 miles away from us to pursue her college. You will witness how I am handling it before this blogathon ends (warning: lookout for more gloomy posts).

Wise people say, “No matter how much you prepare, it will be very different experience when the situation actually arrives”. I second that. For past 10 days, I have been crying while cooking, showering and at all random times of the day! It’s going to be a big adjustment for all of us! The little birdie is ready to fly out of nest!

Oats nuts dates bar (Shape didn’t come out great but trust me it’s all healthy)

Oats (roasted) – 1 cup
Nuts of your choice (roasted – I used almonds and walnuts) – 1 cup
Dates (pitted) – 1 cup
Maple syrup – 1/4 cup
Salt – very little to enhance sweetness
Peanut or almond butter (I skipped as I didn’t have it at home) – 1/4 cup

Pulse the dry ingredients coarsely, mix them all with warm maple syrup, peanut/almond butter, spread them in a parchment paper, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then cut into slices

Alternatively, you can also blend them all together until they come together and then make balls.


Food day

Almost 8 hours was spent in kitchen today! So, today’s post has to be about food. Agree?

Started off with making of pumpkin sambar and arbi fry to Ammavasaya offering to in-laws. Then, made Onion uthappam, Cauliflower peas kurma and Veg clear soup to share with neighbors as its their anniversary today. Took a small break to sip some coffee and then started with prep work for Almond cake. The entire clan helped with cake making and we made 3 batches to share with neighbors.

The best part of today was the chit chat we had while doing the marathon cooking. Adi and M cracked some really good jokes (of course I was the target) that cracked me up and I was laughing hard for a long time like a lunatic!

LHB and I spent some time in exercise room later in the evening. That’s when we heard school is closed tomorrow and its going to be remote for rest of this week! More fun times I guess *rolls eyes*

So there is officially one more day of winter holidays before we get back to grind and the best part of I don’t have to cook tomorrow! yayyyy!

Almond cake is a simple 4 ingredient guilt free cake, I will be happy to share the recipe!

Chicken Parm

Adi made this for last night dinner. All I did was slice the chicken breast and she took over all other work including washing half of the dishes used and presented it well too.

It tasted much better than what you get in restaurant and she is super proud about how it turned out. It was her very own recipe. She made two batches as the first batch was over before we could blink our eyes. Best part is how all 4 of us dug into that one plate and polished it off in seconds 🙂

Special plate

We had friends to stay over on Sunday and as it is the new normal, I marinaded chicken, veggies and M grilled them for dinner.

M started grilling and items were disappearing in lightning speed as everyone was hungry and hot fresh grilled food always tastes better. I was busy in the kitchen preparing tomato thokku for the one day trip planned for next day.

Adi observed the whole scene for a while, then came near me and whispered that I should take a break and have some food as I will not get any if I wait till the last. I nodded my head but continued with kitchen work. Few minutes later, she handed over this plate to me and asked to save for myself to eat later.

That divine feeling of someone caring for you and thinking about you took over me instantly and I wanted to just preserve that plate of food for eternity.

I grew an inch taller that day because of abundant happiness. This is my the favorite phrase from a tamil song.

Quarantine time has brought us closer than before and I count my blessings.

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

Heaven is

the salad your daughter makes for you when she gets home around 2:30pm and you are starving as you skipped lunch attending back to back calls since morning.

Bonus – she serves it to you 🙂

Now I am craving some masala chai and troubling her to make some but she is not budging!!! It seems her quota of help is done for the day!!!

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Today’s dinner

What happens when you watch too much of Master chef? See below

Adi made this dish for my dinner today and presented it to me as

Enjoy the Cheese ravioli on a bed of sweet kale salad topped with roasted potatoes, dried cranberries and a dash of feta cheese 🙂

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Food connection

Today’s lunch box for kids:

Ladies finger fry rolled in roti and clementines. I am happy to have started packing lunch for LHB too from this school year. This journey started in 2010 when Adi started her kindergarten and continuing for a decade now, it will continue for another decade till LHB graduates school. Nothing can make me more happier than seeing an empty lunch box. It is an everyday discussion during bedtime about the lunch option for next day and I make up my mind about what to cook the next day morning. Somedays, I also do some prep work in the night like cutting veggies or soaking pulses.

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And I suddenly got this urge today to make my all time favorite puli kuzhambu with drumstick, potatoes and mochai (lilva beans). This is one of Adi’s favorite too and somehow it has been ages I made it. So, made it today and Adi was super excited to see the kuzhambu and fryums on the table when she got back from school. She kept repeating “Today is her best day”.

She kept visiting the table all evening to scoop the kuzhambu with fryums and pop it in. We went down my memory lane about how I did the same at my grandma’s home where I spent all my summer. I would make frequent visits to my grandma’s kitchen to steal the potatoes from kuzhambu and come lunch time my cousins would hardly get any potatoes 😀 😀 I can see myself in Adi today with this action.

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Food can make everyone happy and I am so glad to have established this connection with kids.

Just for laugh:
LHB’s tidbit: Akka, stop complaining! You will be done with school in 2 years!!! Do you know how many more years school do I have? We calculated and its 11 more years *Adi and I bursted out laughing* and both of us said in unison that we would give anything to go back to elementary school. Actually, Adi said elementary school and I said any school or even college is fine with me.

Kosambari salad

Sunday is reserved for food post

A easy fix salad filled with protein and nutrients that has become a recent favorite at our household.

I ate it at a friend’s home and instantly liked it.

Moong dal – 1 cup (Soak it for 2 to 3 hours)
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1 (optional)
Cucumbers – 1 big or 4 cute cucumbers
Carrot – 1 (grated)
Lime juice – to taste
Salt – to taste
Pomegranate – 1/2 cup (optional – to garnish)
Coriander leaves – to garnish

Urad dal
Curry leaves (Optional)
Jira (Optional)

Mix all of them, do the tadka with items given under Tadka section, add it to the salad and healthy wholesome meal is ready!

I avoid tomatoes and you can go creative with the vegetables to add based on the taste of your family.

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