Saturday, 25 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Varieties of Cheese
The four day weekend went by so fast and i had loads of fun. In UK, we have something called Bank Holidays where they club a weekend and give the Monday or Friday off so people can enjoy their Spring/Summer. We have four or five i think every year. So the Easter weekend was also a Bank holiday weekend, where we got Friday and Monday off. Last year we never knew this Bank holiday deal and so stayed at home when the whole of England was on holiday elsewhere. So this year we decided to plan way in advance and make use of the holidays. But as usual getting the whole gang to decide on something and plan turned out to be a mess and i gave up. I had Europe in mind and by the time Ro got his company to approve etc., it was too late to apply for the Schengen Visa. I lost my interest by then. Some of our friends came up with the idea of Dover and Isle of Wight. I did my research online and found out there was nothing awesome about the place other than the scenic beauty. Now, dont get me wrong here, i love the nature and the beauty and all that. But I think, here in UK, if you have seen one you have seen it all. The castles, the coast, the hills...I have been to Wales and Scotland and have seen some of the most beautiful places on Earth. I know, i know, it may not be the same, but seriously an overdose of nature kinda makes me bored. There is a limit to how much ohhh’s and wow’s you can do. Also, it worked out a bit expensive and i didn’t think it was worth spending so much to see the same thing again. Of course we argued about it (we never let anything go without an argument!). Ro wanted to see the White Cliffs of Dover, but he didn’t and now blames me for it!
Anyways, coming back to my Easter lunch, it was a success, atleast i thought it wasJ. Ro helped me out a lot. Seriously, i would have lost it way before if it wasn’t for him. So a friend offered to split the cooking and i had to make pulao and chicken roast and she, prawn curry and dessert. Ro cleaned the chicken and marinated it the previous day itself. So it was a cake walk the next day and it turned out absolutely gorgeous (although i think we could have made a bit more, since it was just about enough for all of us) and was a good combo with the pulao. By the time everyone left it was about 8pm and we watched a movie for the rest of the evening. Revolutionary Road is a nice movie. Women stay away from it, men folk..watch it so you’d get an idea of what women really go through even todayJ
Day 2 was laazzzyy. Had leftovers for lunch and was watching a mallu horrible flick when a friend called asking if we wanted to meet up. So off we went to South Bank- a beautiful riverside stretch. Restaurants, markets, theatres, movie halls dot the river side and there are these free events like jazz concerts, dance workshops, art programmes etc open to the public. We walked around a bit and headed to the Jazz concert. I’m not that into jazz and so didn’t really get it. But it was a pleasant experience..some sipping wine and chilling out, some requesting songs and some soulfully into the music oblivious of their surroundings. Dinner was at Phoenix Palace, a Chinese joint. Ambience was good, a bit noisy though..but extremely child friendly (im not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I personally like it quiet). The tables were an inch apart from each other. You had to make sure you wouldn’t bump into the table behind you when you were taking a breather in between your courses. The pretty stewards running around in short skirts, who didn’t really understand or talk proper English, were obviously the highlight. Beers and wines followed and pork ribs and garlic chicken which were starters were nice. My aversion towards seafood was persistent and so didn’t enjoy the prawn dish (i forgot the name) but the duck in black bean sauce was just out of this world. I am not that adventurous and usually don’t try out meat that is not too familiar, but this was really really good. Ro was darn surprised about the fact that i atleast tried it out. The service is really quick, which is something i really appreciate while eating out. I found it a tad too expensive for a Chinese joint but, what the hell, when the food is good and the company even better you tend to not mind the exorbitant bill sometimes. Well this was one of those days. On our way to PP we passed by a Belgian waffle van and decided to come back and have that for dessert. Unfortunately they had packed up by the time we were done and so missed the chance. Now since the idea of having dessert was already in us, we decided to get some anyway. As usual none of the places were open (they close at 6pm, leave alone 10pm). So we headed to M&S, picked up a chocolate and fudge mousse and headed home. I wanted to catch a movie but Ro and this other friend who was staying with us were too tired and so chucked the idea (This is what happens when you marry really old men!!!). We however ended up watching Cliffhanger on TV, munching on the fudge.
Day 3 and 4 is way too long for me to write about. So il post that later.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Ro bought me a really nice calamondin orange tree or rather bonsai and i am pretty kicked about it. Well i think he basically wanted to test me.. whether i could look after a plant before i have a child or somethin:). Usually people start with a dog (hint hint!!), but in my case first a plant, then a dog and maybe then a baby if all goes well. More than anything it looks very oranmental with the miniature oranges (which are very sour) and the fragrant white flowers. Take a look..
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Picked up some really pretty tulips from the Greenwich market yesterday. I need my house to look presentable when i have guests over:)
I just hate cooking and everything after and before that. Right from searching for a recipe online, to shopping for the ingredients, to cutting and marinating, to cooking, to cleaning up after my mess, to washing the utensils, it is too tiresome and by the end of it all you hate what you have made and don’t want to eat it. Ro is an absolute foodie and loves anything from anywhere. I am fussy, extremely fussy when it comes to food. I hate seafood after a bad experience of a fish bone getting stuck in my throat when i was five years old. I think i will carry that experience to my grave. I don’t mind prawns as long as it doesn’t taste prawny (seafood haters would understand what im talking about). So when i make a prawn preparation, i masalafy it so much it hardly tastes of prawns. I like chicken but not the legs (i don’t have an explanation for that). I don’t like the liver, gizzard and the like. Ro loves it but since its too yucky for me to handle i don’t, and if he wants he does the needful on his own. I am also not a big fan of Mutton or Pork. So that leaves me with very few options. The irony of it all..i used to do food reviews for a living. The first review i ever did was at a Chinese restaurant and they served me lobster. You really don’t want to know what i did!
Well, the reason im writing this is because, after a huge argument at the super market the other day, we bought cod fillets. Ro was supposed to make his signature dish but then i thought i would give it a try and made this really awesome fish curry. I was so proud (obviously i used the ready-made masala for it). But i improvised it a bit after tonnes of research online. It’s come to a point where i can’t survive without the internet. I need to even check how much water to put in while making rice (laugh all you want..but i manage to mess it even after all that). My first experience with rice was not so pleasant. This was right after we got married. I used to call my mom every other day and find out how to make dishes (i was trying to be the good wife who cooked for the husband). Anyways, i asked her how to make rice in a pressure cooker and she explained it to me. I have this habit of switching off after a while (a habit i have now excelled in after listening to endless conversations on IT security, data privacy and the like..courtesy my bestest half). I made the rice in the cooker and tried to open the lid immediately after it was done (yes, now you know why Ro insisted on a maid). The pressure weight went flying all over the place and there was rice on the ceiling. I freaked out and i have a phobia about pressure cookers ever since. There is a joke that goes around in my family, ‘if you go to Nisha’s for lunch, you need to take a ladder with you, cos you need to scrape the rice off the ceiling and have it.’ So now i just boil it on open fire. Takes ages, but i’d rather do that.
I cant do stuff off-hand. Ro on the other hand just needs an outline of the recipe and he will go on his own trip. Its like watching Rachel Ray enjoying her cooking. At the end of it all, he will have this satisfied smile and would enjoy the meal so much. I, on the other hand, would crib while cooking, after cooking, while eating and then hate the mess i have created and pray a genie would appear out of nowhere around this time and grant me a wish (a wish would be too little..many wishes).
Sometimes its irritating that Ro knows so much about cooking, that the one time i actually get a bit pepped up, he gives his suggestions and ideas and gyan about what to do and what not to, i get so pissed off. The same happened while i was making the fish curry and we argued about it (yes our lives revolve around arguing). But it ultimately came out really well and i read somewhere (thank you lord for google) that if it stays on for another day, the better it is.
I bragged about it to my mom, but she didn’t believe me. I brag about the stuff i make but she’s never tasted any of it. She says she’ll believe it when she sees it. Fair enough! I have guests for Easter and now I’m a bit tensed. I am not sure i can carry off a whole meal on my own. Back in Chennai i used to entertain guests every other day. I had a driver to go buy grocery, a cook who was just out of this world and a maid to clean after the mess. But this time its me alone and hope i can do a good job. In case i don’t catch you guys in a couple of days, it’s because I’m slogging it out in the kitchenJ
Happy Easter to all of you.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
I woke up on Friday with this extra oomph and was up and ready by 10am (it is an achievement for me because these days i don’t even bother waking up till 11 or so). Headed to Oxford Street- the busiest shopping area ever. There is this energy when you get into Central London. It’s bustling with tourists and shoppers and what not. It was comparatively a warm day and it was colourful for a change. Otherwise all you see are dull black and grey coats and depressing umbrellas.
I have a friend who works in Oxford Circus and so decided to catch up with her for lunch. She took me to this really nice Thai Pub called Masons Arms. I had the chicken Phad Thai noodle and Olivia had the Thai red curry with rice. The food was awesome and we thoroughly enjoyed it (the gossiping and the catching up was even better). Dessert was at this French bistro. I picked up a fig and peach tart and Olivia, a blueberry cheese cake. Continued our yak yak session and then i pushed off to galavant a bit more. Checked out quite a few stores on Oxford Street but didn’t buy anything. After a while i got sick of window shopping. That doesn’t interest me much these days you know. Whats the point when you cant buy anything. Also i have decided i would only shop when sales are on. Last year i bought this really expensive leather jacket and two months later it was on sale for Christmas for half the price. Felt pretty stupid.
Had to pick up some grocery from M&S and so hung around there for a while and then headed home. Fridays are pizza nights so i didn’t have to cook anything (not that i otherwise prepare a feast, but still). A movie and pizza was perfect, when we both had this urge to have wine. So off we went to the nearest store and picked up a 3litre can of wine (yes absolute drunkards). Watched Vicky Christina Barcelona and i thought it was just watchable whereas Ro thought Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson made it worth (you seriously need to see the movie to know what he’s talking about..sigh!men..I say).
Saturday was good fun too. We headed out to Londons desi area called Eastham to have mallu food. There’s a restaurant called Thattukada and we hogged everything from soda lime to karimeen to full meals. We had friends who joined us there and so decided to catch a movie afterwards. Saw ‘Knowing’ which was an utter disappointment. Two and a half hours in the theatre without ‘Knowing’ what the hell was happening was torturous. We are on a membership card and so we pay a monthly amount and watch unlimited movies. Otherwise watching movies, that too in London, is super expensive. Anyways, we decided to head back to ours, drank up and called it a night at about 12. Sunday was laaaaaaaaaaaaaazyyy. Stretched outJ. Did absolutely nothing. Well, I did absolutely nothing. Ro went on a cooking, cleaning, tidying, ironing spree without complaining. Now that’s a good husbandJ