The Jack in the jack fruit is derived from the Malayalam word Chakka for it. It is one of my all time favourites and I gorge on it whenever it is available. I love to eat the fruit as well its seed after boiling and removing the hard cover from the seed. One of the reasons that we don’t get much of it in many homes is the mess one makes while removing the outer cover to get at the wedges.
During the lockdown, our help were not coming to work and I thought that I would at least get the seeds from a dear friends and ex colleagues from Kerala who has a few trees growing in his garden in Kerala. While they were ready and only too willing to oblige, the courier companies and the post office unfortunately were not willing to accept packages for destinations in our state. So, I had to inform them that I shall bug them next year by which time hopefully the lockdown would have been removed everywhere.
I still craved for the seeds in particular and I think that this is where the Law Of Attraction kicked in. My daughter in love’s mother had procured two fruits and today, one of them was cut open by one of the maids who has been allowed to come to work. The surprise was that the fruit was from a tree in the garden of my daughter in love’s maternal home in Pune. I got my wish fulfilled and these seeds shown here are about to be boiled and covers removed so that I can have my favourite snack.
When I got up from my recliner and turned around to go to my room, this is the sight that greeted me on the staircase going up to our upstairs bedrooms. For a moment I was zapped as I thought that my son had gone berserk buying toilet paper rolls as I was reminded of photographs like this one below that were doing the social media rounds when the coronavirus first hit the West. On closer examination however I found that these were cans of dog food that he and my daughter in love had organised to stock up and distribute to volunteers feeding stray dogs in our neighbourhood.
Due to the lockdown, collateral sufferers are these strays who otherwise would have found food by scrounging around restaurants and stores selling edibles. The volunteers are doing yeoman service looking after these strays by not only feeding them but, also by arranging for bowls of drinking water for them in this summer heat.
This is the dog food being given to them. Thankfully, our local administration has made arrangements to make this available in these shut down times.
After a very long time, I had the experience of a fabulous lunch with people who I love in a great restaurant under spectacular weather conditions. we were celebrating the sixth wedding anniversary of Manjiree and Ranjan and everything was perfect.
Except for an in-house singer with a guitar and very loud amplifier/speakers combination whose music kept coming in the way of my ability to listen to the conversation around me. After trying to get the volume down and having failed, I simply switched off and tried to put on a cheerful face while the others apparently had no difficulty in shouting over the noise to hear each other.
While I enjoyed the food and the ambience I ended up with a very rare head ache and have vowed not to go to such places anymore.
My daughter in love who is the boss of the garden at home had gone off to her mother’s place to mother-sit her mother recovering from a minor ailment. Her assistant and companion Mangal who is more or less the second in command at home also was absent shifting residence and I had a brilliant idea of having pudina (mint) chutney for lunch. The other help Shweta was duly deputed to purchase a bunch of mint leaves from the market and fortunately, the bunch remained unground due to a series of unplanned for developments.
Today, both the ladies are back on duty and when I requested that the chutney be made, I had the mortification of being informed of my ignorance of the mint leaves growing in our own garden. This is the patch in which both betel leaves and mint leaves are grown. I had known about the former in the garden as I have a few every day after lunch. I was blissfully ignorant of the latter also being grown in the patch.
The DIL got the garden mint leaves to show me when I was amazed at the size of the leaves. I promptly got the market bought leaves out from the fridge and you can see the difference. The home grown ones are on the left. Mint chutney to my liking cannot be made without a generous addition of green chillies and lo and behold I was informed that they too are grown in our garden. Rummuser is mighty pleased that he can now have his favourite chutney whenever he wants by just accessing the major ingredients from his own garden!
Last week, I spent a very pleasant few hours with a young friend, KS who dropped in and stayed for lunch with us. As he was leaving he suggested that I come over to his place this week for another meeting and perhaps lunch at his home. I readily agreed and saw him off.
Later the same day, a cousin rang me up to chat and we were reminiscing about our respective mothers who were sisters. Among the discussions the topic veered to favourite food made by each other’s mother and I recollected a combination food that my aunt used to make called Thiruvadirai Kali and Ezhu Kari Kootu. . This is an unusual combination of one sweet dish accompanied by a savoury one. One has to eat the combination to appreciate the unusual experience one has with this combination.
I mentioned to my cousin that the last time that I had this particular combination was sometime around the late nineties of the last century. This combination is usually made only during that particular festival once a year but, my late mother used to make it specially for me whenever she visited us or I went wherever she was camping. My cousin promised to come over and cook it for me one of these days and we went on to talk about other matters.
It suddenly occurred to me that KS’s mother was visiting him and she would be able to perhaps come up with this combination and I asked him if he could persuade his mother to make it for me when I came over for lunch. He checked with his mother and confirmed that I would have it for lunch and fixed the date as today.
With much anticipation I trooped off to their place earlier today and lo and behold, the dishes plus a few other goodies had been prepared for the occasion and I had a feast. The LOH had taken a great deal of pains to make both the dishes to perfection and frankly, I over ate. To cap it all off she had also made a sweet dish with pumpkins which again was out of this world. I regretted having over eaten the main attraction and could not do justice to the dessert.
While I was busy eating and also enjoying the visuals of the lunch, KS took this photograph to save the occasion for posterity.