Topli Na Paneer.

My son Ranjan is a foodie and when he goes shopping for one item he will end up buying half a dozen or more items on display in the shop. Last week he had done exactly that again and,  brought something that was in the fridge intriguing me as I normally would not try anything until I make sure that it is vegetarian. This is what he had brought.
I discovered later that it is Burrata Cheese and I quite enjoyed some.

This cheese however, reminded me of a Parsi speciality over here called Topli Na Paneer.

The last time that I had had this was some years ago when a young friend’s mother in law used to make them on order for collection from her home. I had to drive some twenty kilometres to and fro and that eventually killed my appetite for it.

Since I remembered those times when I had relished them, I tried to locate the lady again only to find that she had in the meanwhile gone off to meet her maker. I therefore contacted two Parsi friends in Pune to seek their advice on how to go about procuring it and was sent this flier by one of them.
I called the number and was treated to a highly satisfying response from the responder and I have placed an order for delivery tomorrow morning.

I shall post again after I receive the paneer with my experience of the customer service as well as a review of the product itself.

Itching Palm.

I am not at all superstitious but something unusual happened to day which has led me to rethink my stance.

“It is believed that the itchy right palm foretells the possibility of unexpected money or wealth coming in. You will receive money from new sources or your lost money will find its way back to you.”

I was reading my kindle and waiting to be called for lunch when suddenly my right palm started to itch. I stopped reading to scratch and also mused about the old superstition and wondered from where, at this stage of my life, money will come to me.

The doorbell rang and it was the chauffeur of a friend of mine who handed over an envelope to me. I opened it to find some crisp currency notes. I then remembered that my friend, who is not very computer savvy, had requested me to procure something for him from Amazon which I had done quite some time ago. I had even forgotten all about it when out of the blue the reimbursement landed up.

I had hardly sat down again to read when the doorbell rang again and a courier delivered a parcel from another friend in Chennai who had sent me some gifts that I had long ago expressed to him as not being available locally.
Should I become superstitious?

Poor Customer Service.

On Monday last, I received a message in my WhatsApp from a home based food entrepreneur offering to supply Churma Laddoo on Thursday. Thursday, ie today being the first day of our Navratri festival, I placed an order for half a kilogram of the laddoos for delivery this morning.

I waited till 12 noon before I rang the lady up and the call was not answered. At 1230 PM, she called me back to advice me change of plans and said that the laddoos will be delivered tomorrow morning. No apologies, no explanations, nothing. Since I had already paid for the laddoos, I had to lump the change and simply accepted the situation instead of prolonging the agony.

Having written about the Japanese Customer Service Omotenashi just this morning, I decided that I shall send her a link to my post after the laddoos are delivered. She had also offered to supply some other goodies on Sunday evening by a separate message and I have now decided that I shall not ever order anything again from her.

Am I being too rigid?

Dream Come True.

Way back in the early seventies of the last century, someone very dear to me came to stay with us for a few months till he could find his own digs in a strange city.

Having just acquired a degree in Chemical Engineering, he had got himself a job through campus recruitment and was quite thrilled to be independent after many years of being a dependent.

During those times of talking about his future, he would repeatedly tell us that he will one day buy himself a Maserati. Those were the days when India produced three brands of cars none of which would compare anywhere near a Maserati and in any case, unless one bought a second hand Indian one at a higher price than a brand new one, due to long waiting periods for delivery after booking, such dreaming was rather unrealistic.

Unrealistic that is for others but, not for that young man.

Fast forward to forty years later to 2011 and that not so young man, bought himself a BMW. I had not known about his purchase and had gone to visit him when he suggested that we go for a drive and took me down to the garage where the BMW was waiting for him.

I have known that man from his childhood and had never seen a bigger grin on his face than what I saw that day. He said, “No, not a Maserati but, I have settled for a BMW.”
I got this image this morning from another friend in WhatsApp. I promptly forwarded the image to that man with the comment: “You did not. ❤️ “

Collateral.

This quote forwarded to me by a friend, reminds me of a story that did the WhatsApp rounds some time ago.

Our Public Sector Banks have been aggressively taking their banking services to rural India and publicising their offers widely.

One day, one weather-beaten farmer comes to a rural banker and asks for a loan to tide over the problems faced by him due to the failure of the monsoon that year.

The snobbish banker asks the farmer what he can offer as collateral and the farmer wants to know the meaning of the word. On being explained the process of taking a loan against a collateral, the farmer says that he has a couple of cows and small plot of agricultural land.

An agreement is reached, the farmer pledges his parcel of land, takes the money and leaves.

He returns much sooner than expected, clears the entire loan amount with interest and takes back the documents of his collateral. The surprised banker asks him how he managed to do that and the farmer says that he invested the loan in getting a pump to take out subterranean water to irrigate his field, successfully planted and sold a crop and has now come back to redeem the documents.

The impressed banker in turn suggests that the farmer deposits the surplus cash with the bank and has to explain all the benefits that the farmer will get out of such deposit.

The farmer looks up at the banker and asks him – “What collateral will you offer?”

Nostalgia 2.

My friend DM who lives in England posted this on his Facebook page:

“We went for a walk this p.m. and were reminiscing…. got to comparing our childhood with “These days”…. We came up with a list of things that were not available to we mere mortals back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s….
Aubergines
Papayas,
Chinese Gooseberries (now called Kiwi Fruit)
Kumquats
Lychees
(all sorts of things…)
Funny how I can recall the fruit..
So…. what didn’t you have when you were growing up? What was only available in tins (cans)?”

I had responded with:
“The only thing that I remember coming out of a can was a cooking medium called Dalda. Everything else was bought and consumed with hardly anything being stored other than rice, pulses and flour. We did not have refrigerators. So everything perishable was bought at need and used up immediately.”

And DM’s response was simply mindblowing and brought back other memories with which many of my regular readers will connect.

“My parents bought their first ‘fridge in (about) 1958. The mechanism started to leak gas two days after the warranty expired….. other wise we had a stone shelved larder in most of the cottages we lived in.

A lot of foodstuffs were preserved by bottling (canning), beans were salted …. we even salted runner beans in the 1970s when we were first married….other tricks were used… eggs were preserved in isinglass (from sturgeons’ swim bladders) and milk was kept cool buy dint of evaporating water from a cloth covering the bottle or can.
We were never rich enough to afford the land to build an ice house…

 

To reflect back on those days without refrigerators and other modern conveniences has been quite a nostalgic trip. It took me to many other thoughts some of which can be found in this blog post.”