Encouraging frugality is rewarding in my kitchen. I’ve never been one to waste food, let alone toss it away. I always scour recipes to prevent such a thing from happening in my kitchen. This particular baking session happened because of that opened jar of Lemon Curd which has been residing in the refrigerator for less than a year.
I set out on a sojourn to a land of buttery delight and despite carefully preparing, found myself veered away from the course. You see, failure found me in my last few miles and insisted on chaperoning me the rest of the way. I grappled, determined to lose him especially with my destination in clear sight. I then met disappointment and worry and was held back with force, not allowing me to take any steps further. I’m surprised that a failed cake recipe would yield such emotions but this was being made for my family Eid gathering. Truth is, what was left of it tasted wonderful. So I sought after redemption and it has never been sweeter. Doesn’t these pouffy loaves say so?
Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I thought to myself what a pretty galette. Instantly I wanted to make one too. I started looking at a few recipes to see how feasible it would be to bake one and blog about it too while managing Ali. I was going to spend the weekend at my folks place and figured I would have a few hours free from chores. I wanted to make my Pate Brisee crust from wholewheat. Most recipes I read said that it could be made unto 4 days in advance. So all I had to think about was fresh seasonal fruit.
It feels wonderful to be blogging again. We welcomed our precious baby boy Ali a little over three months ago. This tiny human being has changed our lives forever. Ever since he’s arrived time is being defined by him. His first smile, his first laugh, grabbing our fingers for the first time. His arrival has also brought new relationships – two doting sets of grandparents who are going to spoil him silly no doubt, an ecstatic father, a plethora of aunts and uncles and cousins and then there’s me. Ali has made me a mother. It’s made me appreciate my own Umma ten times fold. All her sleepless nights, satisfying our endless requests, cooking and feeding us with nourishing meals with no fanfare. The emotions and responsibilities that stem from the word mother cannot be accounted for. This post is for my Umma, for everything she has and continues to do for me and for all the mothers who devote their lives raising children. I’m sharing a recipe my Umma enjoys every time I bake it. A simple banana bread.
What’s your favourite season of the year? Is it spring which welcomes a bevy of flora in its brightest colours? Is it the summer and its golden rays that translate to impromptu ice-cream parlour visits? The fall with wilting leaves that provides a respite from the warmth of previous months? Or the winter which has you wrapped in layers and nestling a warm beverage in your hand?
The blessed month of Ramadan has is nearing to an end. It is a month of restraint, reflection and submission for one’s heart and soul. Being visited by the altering weather flu, coupled with a severe sprains, my wavering health had my blog going more quiet than usual. I started fasting at a young age.
I feel blessed life has given me yet another reason to cherish. It was a Friday Family lunch but not with the usual members. The gathering was the same, family trickling in after the Friday prayers, Umma’s fabulous Biriyani wafting through home and the little ones running amuck in the lawn under cloudy skies. It was my mothers family, her siblings and their children all gathered to welcome my maternal grandmother. Veramma has finally joined her family in the UAE.
Pick up the English alphabet book and the chances you won’t see a bright red gleaming fruit are unlikely. I steer away from Green Apple being too tart for my taste. A variety I love having is the Fiji Apple. Its skin has faded tints of red and yellow and look quite large for an apple. The flesh crumbles in your mouth like shortbread and it’s mildly sweet.
A few months earlier this year, I received an email from Reem Falaknaz, an Executive Producer from Noor Dubai TV. To date, it is the most exciting email I have received from a visitor of my blog. She was planning on producing a series of cooking videos under 3 minutes, featuring desserts. These series were to be aired during the Holy month of Ramadan and the theme was desserts with a Middle Eastern take. I was boiling with excitement and called my husband at work right away. With his green signal, I promptly replied saying I would be thrilled to be a part of her project. I started devising ways to spin classic desserts the Middle Eastern way focusing on ingredients integral to Arab cooking. Walnut, tahini, rosewater, honey, figs – the list was endless. I proposed three desserts and Reem had the final say. She chose the dessert I had hoped she would – a dessert with dates.
Ramadan is in its last few days. This month has been testing with the scorching summer and long daylight hours. It also meant that there was more time for contemplation, building faith stronger and prayer. Thirst and hunger makes us grateful that with the luxury of food that satisfies both our appetite and fancy cravings while living in a world where hunger and malnutrition exist. What is heartbreaking is the wastage of food not only during Ramadan but throughout the year. Earlier this year, a women from Bihar, India sold her four-month child in hopes of feeding her family. A physically challenged husband meant that there was no income for this family of five. Having deep attachment and affection for my nieces, I cannot imagine the depths of despair that would have surged this mother that would force her to sell her child to satisfy hunger. A thought that multiplied gratitude in my heart infinitely.