At last, at last, it’s garden time! And at long last, it seems I can use WordPress again — oh, how I have missed sharing my little corner of the world with you all, dear friends! Hooray!
To celebrate, a few photos from the yard this holiday weekend…
female ruby-throated hummingbird ~ taking off at an astonishing 53 wingbeats per second!
…and baby swiss chard ~ soon it will be ready for ISG’s chard sambhar!
During this little break, I managed to fix most of my computer issues. Happily, I am finally able to properly thank two wonderful blogger friends for a bounty of goodies! These fabulous packages came to me through the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. As I am sure you know by now, Arusuvai was started by lovely Latha and Lakshmi of The Yum Blog and two more dear ladies, Bharathy of Spicy Chilly and Bhags of Crazy Curry. It was introduced in the US by still another special lady, Latha of Masala Magic. Once more I send my thanks to you all! 🙂
beautiful Rajasthani-style handbag full of treats from Bhags!
This exquisite bag was filled with treats from all over India. Imagine my delight at this amazing assortment!
From Pune, soft and tender kokum, the likes of which I have never seen in any store. From Chennai, *real* filter coffee. And from Bhags’ own hometown of Nagpur, genuine varhadi masala. Fragrant doesn’t begin to describe this wonderful blend of spices.
Thank you so much, dear Bhags, for your kind generosity! Your package of treats from India means more than I can really say, and I can assure you each of your thoughtful gifts will be savored for a long time to come 🙂
package full of surprises from Pel ~ including one ingredient that was a big mystery to me!
From dear Pel, fellow Great Lakes afficianado, came this wonderful package full of surprises. It included homemade light-as-a-feather chaklis (and just because I am late Pel, don’t think I won’t be hounding you for that recipe!); homemade metkoot, to sprinkle over hot rice with ghee; giant white fungus for a yet-to-be-discovered Chinese-inspired dish, and lastly, music to cook by and incense to relax with after the last dish is washed.
Of course I musn’t leave out the obligatory mystery. It’s the bag at the front of the photo. At first I thought it was something to do with methi. I will leave Pel’s hint to see if anyone can guess: “It’s actually a single spice…..related to cardamom……the Thais use it fresh, Indonesians use it dried and powdered, like this…”
Thank you so much, Pel, for sharing your homemade delights with me 🙂
Last but certainly not least — I have three more friends to thank.
Firstly, talented Eskay of A Bon Vivant’s Chow Chronicles so very kindly sent me this “Nice Matters” award way back in February. I hope you don’t mind the late acknowledgement, Eskay, and know that it means alot to me, to have this passed on from you!
Then today came another surprise — “You Make My Day” award from Jigyasa and Pratibha, two more talented ladies I feel honored to call friends. I am sure you know them as the co-authors of Cooking At Home with Pedatha. It just so happens I made one of Pedatha’s recipes tonight — the third time I have cooked this dish, actually — and here it is, pictured in all its glorious simplicity. I was never a fan of black-eyed peas ’till I tried this recipe, and I hope Jigyasa and Pratibha won’t mind if I pass along the general idea:
Cut and cook fresh brinjal with turmeric and salt in very little water. Mash lightly. Cook some black-eyed peas until just tender but not mushy. About 2-1 ratio, brinjal to peas.
Do the tadka with urad dal, mustard seed, dried red chillies, curry leaves and a bit of hing in very little oil. Add fresh grated ginger, slit green chillies and salt. Stir in the mashed brinjal and the peas. Simmer 10 minutes or so.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, and then I dare you to wait ’till the rice is cooked before you try 🙂
Brinjal Pasty Vegetable (brinjal with black-eyed peas) from Cooking At Home With Pedatha. Do try this, dear Bee! — since you discovered Pedatha’s vaangi bhath, you may find you really love brinjal after all 😉