A few days ago, one of the crossword puzzles that I was solving had this clue – “Tea and ——-“.
It took me a while to figure out the solution as I tried English habits like scones, sandwiches etc before I struck gold and made it “Tea and Biscuits”
This one little event that morning took me on a long nostalgia trip to my field selling days when, customers would insist on getting tea and biscuits for me. It was not unusual for me to end up having perhaps around eight to ten cups of tea and around twenty biscuits during a day in the field. Youth took care of digestion problems but the memory took me to this particular brand of biscuits that somehow seemed to be the only one on offer everywhere.
It has been many years since I had the pleasure of having tea with Parle G biscuits and so I decided to try that combination again and requested my son Ranjan to get some Parle G biscuits and, he very generously got half a dozen packets. Since then, I have been revisiting the good old days every afternoon with my tea. Every time I do so, many forgotten memories come rushing back of people and places.
Do you dip biscuits with your tea? If you don’t please try. It is bliss!
There was a bit of a domestic problem yesterday and we had to outsource home delivered lunch. I was alone at home and was entrusted with the task.
It has been a very long time since I ordered for any food to be delivered at home and the place that I wanted to order from, apparently had closed down a long time ago. The telephone number that I had with me was useless as it had been discontinued.
I therefore had to use an app on my phone to get it but was unable to. Luckily for me, one of my resident geeks, my son, landed up and was able to order and I did not have to starve.
I however had to be at the receiving end of some gentle ribbing for being so clueless and undergo a tutorial about how to order online using an app on my phone. Phew!
Just as the Father’s Day was winding down, I received a cartoon from a friend which cheered me up quite a bit and which I promptly shared with my daughter in love and son who too cracked up.
My regular readers will be aware of one of my physical limitations that has bothered me for a dozen years now. It is called Right Ulnar Palsy and it makes it difficult for me to hold things tightly in my right hand. This caused two problems for me earlier today and the second one is this. That is me with a stained white t-shirt unable to take a better selfie with my right hand.
The first one was what caused the yellow stains in the first place. I was eating mangoes as dessert for lunch. Since our cook was off on holiday today, our char cut the mangoes. Had the cook been there, she would have cut the mangoes without the skin and the stone completely scraped off and I could have simply had the fruit from a bowl using a spoon.
With the mangoes cut differently, I had to eat the mangoes like this:
After seeing the first slice being eaten if you go to 1.40 minutes, you will see how the flesh from the stone is consumed.
My ulnar palsy played up and the stone slipped out of my hand and fell on my t-shirt. That is the stain that you see on the first image.
During my school days, as soon as the mango season started, the first classmate with a stained vest under the uniform shirt was given a badge of honour by the rest of the class. One of course had to deliberately stain the vest to earn this badge! I never did get the badge of honour though as, I could not afford to get the vest stained for fear of punishment from a martinet for a father!
Have you had some mangoes lately? How did you eat them?
That is when nostalgia kicked in taking me back to my childhood when my mother used to ask the four of us siblings to shell the nuts. We used to call that a picnic as, while shelling for storage, we used to keep popping some as we went along. I did not pop any while I shelled because I am still recovering from a tooth extraction but, am looking forward to doing so soon enough from the shelled and refrigerated stock. Apart from the picnic nostalgia another memory of a late friend kept coming up. That of VB, a dear friend who used to get the snacks for our parties. He used to specially get these boiled groundnuts for me and inevitably say, “Nuts for a nut from a nut!” It has been a long time since I remembered him. Here is a stock photograph from Alamy showing Indian village children having a picnic like we used to have in our childhood.
For those of you who do not know, I am an Indian with roots in Tamil Nadu. Yesterday was Tamil New Year Day. Rather than go through the hassles of making a traditional sweet to bring in the new year, I decided to get something that my daughter in love would not have ever had before. Since my late wife had her roots in Andhra Pradesh, I decided to get something that she had liked very much and had ordered for it well in time. The goodies came from a village called Atreyapuram and are called Putharekulu. The rolls that you see inside are not tissue paper but, look like it. They are sheets made out of rice and this video will show how it is done.
The version that I procured contains different types of sweet stuffing and one of them exclusively dry fruits.
Incidentally, as I write this, it is Bengali New Year. My daughter in love is half Bengali and half Maharashtrian. The Bengali half, her mother, is with us to celebrate both the new years. She in turn has made a traditional milk / vermicelli sweet dish called Payesh for the occasion.
These are the most satisfying treats that I am having after a very long time. Brings back many memories including one of actually seeing and helping in making putharekulu being made at my late wife’s maternal home. And the Payesh is the icing on the cake too! Total bliss.
In Nick’s post Food For Thought I had commented as “By now you would have gathered from my blog posts on food that I simply follow my instincts and do not bother about the quality of the food or its nutritional value.”
The Japanese keep surprising me with their language and humour. Two days later, I received this image in my WhatsApp page.
A day later, as though to bring me down to earth, I received this image in WhatsApp. What a journey!
Where do you fit in such a ladder? The first, second or the last image?