It’s been forever since we talked
shop kitchen, right? Practically three whole months! That is practically sacrilegious around these parts. The last update happened right before we moved homes, and it got me thinking how things have gotten so out of hand here. Infrequent posts, not too many updates, innumerable drafts, pending notes jotted down haphazardly. No time to spare for my blog.
And I realised why. If you’ve been reading the infrequent posts, you already have a vague idea of how things have unraveled. This is just a tying-up-all-the-loose-ends kind of post. It’s a long story, so if you’re in a rush maybe it wont interest you. But if you are the kind that wonders about how quickly life changes, and how so little is really in your hands, grab a chair and read on.
When we first decided to move homes, I had it all chalked out in my head. I am the Uncrowned OCD-ed Queen of Organising Things, after all. I planned the move over a week, the big stuff over the weekend, gave myself a week to set the basics in place, two more to get the bigger things ironed out, and thought that would be the end of it. Or so we thought. And of course nothing went to plan. Not even close, in fact. Events panned out as and when they wished, throwing us off schedule, catching us off guard and leaving us very very disoriented and trying hard to fall into some semblance of a routine. Harder still when you are a stay-at-home-professional, because worker-people pick up on that and think its a convenient way to show up unannounced and prolong work over days on end. Because, hey! you’re always home!
Falling into a routine is harder still when your average day is packed. When you have a killer (and by that, I mean the kind that kills you) fitness regimen going which means you’re out of the home for close to two hours every morning, rushing back to quickly throw together lunch and deliver it to the hugsband at a sane time.
Add to it the slightly mammoth task of building a website, which should ideally have taken a couple of weeks, but which throws up numerous technical glitches and takes close to three months of tedious following up. The kind that takes up more time and energy than doing the task yourself.
And just for fun, you choose to keep your freelance gigging on right through all this madness. For painters and carpenters they may come and go, but we must power on with the words dashing out of my mind, trying to find their way on to paper. Not the best idea. Especially if Murphy decides to throw at you some of the choicest freaks you could possibly have chosen to work with.
As if all that was not enough, we also traveled a bit. VC, more than me, on work. And then a medical emergency took us to Bangalore. And when we weren’t traveling we’ve had a steady stream of folks visiting us. SO MUCH excitement to have my parents for a whole week, and then the sister a few weeks later, and then MinCat, and Jo-jo, and several other in between, ending with my father who vistied last weekend. Now we a friend who will be with us for a long-ish period of time. All the entertaining, the multi-tasking, the driving around, the eating out, the seeing sights, the do-everything-you-wouldn’t-otherwise-do bits of living in Goa. All of it was awesome while it lasted. But what it also means is your own personal schedule, routine, tasks, your life basically falls off track, temporarily. And picking up the pieces is often harder than you would imagine.
My days have gone from the easy-going, lazy, slow-moving kind to the packed-to-the-brim, don’t-have-a-moment-to-spare kind. I have to struggle to make time to read, prioritise my work, my social life is kind of dying a slow death and you know what it’s done to my blogs. Much as I wanted to come, sit, write, I like to give it more bandwidth and mindspace than making rushed, random posts. I’ve really struggled to keep things alive here. But I’m still trying, and I’m almost afraid to jinx the good blogging run, by admitting that I think I’m slowly coming back to normal.
Through it all, the cooking has persisted. The days I was crazy busy, making dinner calmed me down. When the house was bustling with people, cooking brought us all together at the dining table. When friends came over, we cooked together. When I wasn’t cooking, I was planning things for the blog. Then making things, shooting them and letting the incomplete drafts pile up. Ever since the launch of the website, I’ve baked upwards of 15 cakes. So basically my kitchen has seen a lot of activity, despite the rest of our lives being a little out of whack. In the interest of filling the blanks, tying in all the loose ends and finishing this story, here’s what I’ve been up to. From my kitchen to yours.
From the top!
The first comeback with a spicy, sprouted moong sabji.
I cooked with fellow-kitchen-crazy buddy Y, and made this layered chicken biryani.
Insane combinations still reign around here, as you can see with this beet and carrot kheer.
The sister came to town and I went to town on a nostalgic spree and made this homely potato bajji (raita).
And because she is lemon-obsessed and because it was her birthday we made these egg-free quickie lemon tarts.
A trip back home gave me the chance to learn how to make this Sindhi classic — sai bhaji.
I had to complete it with bhuga chawra too.
Almost-dying bananas are still a regular feature in my fruit bowl and it was the prime reason I made this banana sheera.
And for on most of those crazy days I have described above, when I didn’t feel like cooking elaborate meals, I resorted a few variants of to this simple clean-your-fridge-out veggie curry.
I’ve been busy, scattered and spread thin, but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a good kind of crazy, and the good news is things are finally really settling down. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been more frequent here in the last week, than I have in the last three months! The food blog has seen much the same action over the last week too. The kitchen is the one place that breathes life, even when all else goes batty. It gives me a sense of peace and calm just thinking about it. The day my kitchen shuts down, I’ll know I’m in trouble. Everything else, I can deal with.
Just finishing this post has made me feel complete again. Maybe I am finally bidding this insane time of transition adieu. Maybe this is the closure, from a crazy period. And maybe, just maybe, I’m getting my mojo back.