Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Polite Conversation

It isnt the done thing to ask ladies how old they are. So, in India people ask you the year you graduated. Doc, did the same. I said, "2000". He said very sadly, "1989." Then he drank 2 glasses of wine very, very quickly.

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Being The Skeleton In The Closet

So, we're looking for a bride for my brother. My five year younger brother. In fact, I've even started buying clothes to wear in my brother's wedding and we havent (he hasnt) found the bride yet. Mother was telling me about a meeting she had with a lady with a daughter who could be the suitable girl. And she says, "Before anyone else could tell her, I told her - my daughters are very independent minded. The elder one got married to a Bengali man and the younger one is not going to."

So, world, meet plumpernickel - the skeleton in my family's closet.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

In Memory Of Meals Gone By

And what a meal it was!

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Always Makes Me Laugh

Mom: Will you miss me when I'm dead and gone?
Me: You'll have to die for that first.

No one else in my family gets it why I and Mom collapse helplessly with laughter at this. Every time.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Muffin Is Not Cake

Whenever I return from the US, the only thing I miss are the muffins and the bagels and the..., well, lets not get into that, but a good muffin is not easily available in Calcutta. By a good muffin I mean a muffin and not a cupcake, which passes off as muffin at most establishments. The places that do good muffins seem to use too much butter. I want my muffin to be cinnamony, have a crumb and be a little dense but not too much and give an indication of what went into it. So, desperate in need of a good muffin, I decided to bake them on my own.
I checked my recipe books, scoured on the Internet and ahem, chose the easiest one. It is as easy as making a pack of ramen. Seriously.
I tweaked the recipe I found a little to get me the exact muffin taste I wanted. Here is the recipe, just in case...
1 cup Quaker Oats (the 3 min cooking ones)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (I added 2 tsps more to the 1/4 cup)
1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1 egg
1/4 cup oil (I used saffola - did fine)

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease muffin tins. Mix the oats and milk and let it soak for 15 mins. Best the egg and oil. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the raisins and nuts to ensure they are homogenized. After the egg and oil have combined, add the oats-milk mixture and mix well. Add the flour-sugar-baking powder-cinnamon mixture bit by bit and keep mixing to ensure no lumps are formed. Add the raisins and almonds (I plan to add cranberries and walnuts next time) and mix well. Pour into the muffin tins/ cups uotil the surface. This is important or you wont get a muffin shape. Bake at 180 deg C for 20-25 minutes until done. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it is done.
Once out just knock out of tin and stuff in your face, like I did. I blame it to the smell. OH the smell of baking wafting is enough to make your brain say "muffin! muffin! muffin!"

A close up. This looked much better than the pic.
This is after knocking it out of the cup. Shape held well even after cooling. So, Yay!
Just look at that crumb! Seeing the success of my first baking experiment, I will be baking A LOT now.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Another Day

Walking around aimlessly in NYC is always guaranteed to entertain. From out of nowhere, this parade stopped all traffic in Little Italy.

This really amused me, because if I was a part of this parade, I would be dragging the water bottles/ refreshments.

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