a walk

After dinner clearance, I asked Virat to come for a walk.

“Mummy, 2 minutes!”

Knowing that his 2 minutes will take forever to finish  I went to the park alone.                 Despite the pollution and the cold, the park was busting with life.   Everybody loves winter,  I suppose. Taking in the comforting perfume of Honey Suckle coming from a house nearby, I began walking alone.     There is a certain pleasure in the solitude, but I love every opportunity to spend time with Virat.    Every day on our walks, we have details of our day to share. Today, if he came I would tell him about bougainvillea and rose I bought today;   the little shuffling I did in the cupboards; the bookmark that has finally moved 8 pages further; and how an eagle came dangerously close to me when I was taking rounds in the park (in the morning),   a detailed report on what I love in a new cookery show (Paul Hollywood City Bakes);  and how much time I wasted over phone ….while I memorize more that I would tell, a young girl passed by me.     Her loud conversation over the phone gave no prizes for guessing that she has been traveling to Goa next week.    “There is nothing like driving a scooter over there…..” I heard her saying.  Making a mental note to write about  Goa in my next post, I picked up the pace, leaving that girl and her plans behind.

The new year is coming, I do have a few hopes that includes taking a professional course in baking or to attend a few baking workshops. A couple of days ago a girl called me to know whether it would be right to leave her present job and pursue with her childhood dream of starting her own bakery (just like you, even I was wondering why she thinks I am the right person to talk to?)? Anyways,  I gave her my most sincere advice,  I suggested her that before taking any such decision she must take some professional advice;  joining a baking school is also a good investment, if, she really is serious about opening a bakery.

I think my conversation with her, that day, encouraged me to think about taking my baking journey forward.   Although I do wonder what my future life would look like if I will take some course.    I don’t have any big answers but thinking about it seems a good first step

Before more time has passed, I gave the park one last look.  A  newlywed girl, sitting with her mother, caught my attention.  When I looked around, I realized it  was not just me, but others were also staring at her (I think her bright red suit and the Choora were the reasons).  Totally unfazed by the gaze of the onlookers, she looked completely calm and absorbed in the company of her mother.  Seeing this, I imagined myself doing the same, more than a decade ago.  Over the years, nothing has changed I still talk to my mother in the park, every day, at times for an hour, sometimes even more; but yes,  now nobody notices my ugly presence.

Back home, it was a surprise to see him studying.  I hugged him and commanded him to sleep.

The last few months have been extremely difficult for the family.   My father’s declining health was the reason.  But whenever any difficult situation arises, I like to remember what my cousin told me once that if we have love and support of the family we can sail through any difficult circumstances. Due to his strong willpower and the love and care of the family he has started showing signs of improvement.  I hope that the coming year brings him best of health and abundance of happiness and peace. I wish the same to you all my readers.

And before I leave, here are a few random images of the last few weeks.

That was the cake I baked on my parent’s Marriage Anniversary.

A few Christmas cakes samples sent somewhere.  But unfortunately, I didn’t get the order.

I baked this gingerbread house without reading any instructions. And, as you can see the result is an ugly looking gingerbread house.

For the very first time, I, my sister and my SIL went to IITF alone.  We really had a great time and I look forward to going with my this gang again and again.

Recipe for the cake above

courtesy Ricardocuisine
Serves 10

• Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
• Baking powder – 1 tbsp
• Salt – ½ tsp
• Eggs – 4
• Sugar – 2 cups
• vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
• oil – ¾ cup
• Milk – 1 ¼
Sugar syrup
 Boiled water – ½ cup
• Sugar – 1 tsp
For frosting
• Whipped cream – 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Butter two 20-cm (8-inch) pans and line the bottom with baking paper. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an hand blender for about 10 minutes or until thick, pale and triple in volume. Drizzle in the oil and milk while beating. Now fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Divide the batter into the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from the pans and let completely cool on a wire before frosting.
For syrup
Mix the sugar into the boiling water and let it cool until it comes down to room temperature.
For frosting
Whip the cream mixture by hand or with an hand blender until it holds a firm peak. Place one of the cake layers on a cake cardboard or platter, sprinkle some sugar syrup over the cake and then spread a little less than half the whipped cream. Top it with any fruit of your choice. Invert the second layer onto the cream, sprinkle some sugar syrup over the sponge and spread the cream outside of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.