Saturday, December 29, 2007
BEST OF 2007, MY 100TH POST AND A SURPRISE!!!
I reminisce how I came into being a blogger. It started off from my visit to Kerala, n my strong urge to learn more of Kerala Cuisine, n then my fervent search on Google for Mallu Recipes, n then me stumbling upon a world of mallu bloggers who maintained impressive blogs & blogged not just about Kerala Cuisine but also various other Cuisines.
The world out there was mesmerizing. Food - a subject which has always been soooooooo very close to my heart, is a fiery passion within me - is so loved by many others, who share the same passion & zeal. Ladies (…& some Gentlemen too!!) who are from all walks of life – professionals & homemakers - n from all parts of the World, coming together in the Cyber World, with one sole aim –raving about their passion – FOOD. I was completely gripped by the world there, n there was this strong urge inside me – if only I could also be a part of this wonderful world ………then there was another voice inside me – " forget it Shella, do you think you could be like those girls, are you out of your mind, don't go on to make a fool of yourself". The voice asking me to be a part was more compelling than the one which hindered me from doing so…..n so with inhibition in my heart, I browsed the templates, thought of a name to give, thought of an address, carefully chose my words – there was a lot of caution considering the sense that I have to at least look decent, if not "wow" in the Blog World, but at the same time, somewhere I had the feeling that this is not going to last much longer……..its just going to fade away.
My first post on 9th Aug' 07 was a random one, n my visit to other blogs led visitors to mine. ……n so started my journey – one post followed another. And I would check almost every hour to see if anybody had visited and left a comment. A comment on the blog meant a feat during those early days, and believe me they still mean a lot.
I have to whole heartedly thank Anita of "My Treasure My Pleasure" who was the first one to hold my hand n add a link on her Blog to mine – it gave me such a sense of joy, then there is darling Seena of "Simple & Delicious" who showed me the way to the Food Blog Desam, and then there is Cynthia of "Tastes Like Home" who added me to her Feeder & left a comment that she wouldn't want to miss anyone of my recipes – she really made my day, n is a sweetheart.
The concept of taking a pic from my mobile camera did not appease me, n hence 2 /3 of my earlier pics were downloaded from the net – which reminds me that I have to mention it on the relevant posts, but slowly I began using my humble mobile to click those pics. As of date I have mastered the art of making the best use of it. Believe me, 99% of the pics on my blog are courtesy my friend – the Nokia 6630.
For about 5-6 posts no-one in my real world had any idea of what I am upto, then one evening very diffidently I opened the page and let Rajeev lay his eyes on what I had so lovingly created. The joy on his face was more than a triumph. His exuberance filled me with so much courage & he said that he was so proud of me & encouraged me to go on. That was the final push that I needed.
To my utter delight, I was gifted with a very beautiful Sony 8 Mega Pixel camera for this very purpose from my husband, its another thing that owing to the pressures on my time, I still continue using my Mobile due to its utter convenience, i.e. availability at all times n all places, ease of downloading thru the boons of technology (Bluetooth).
I have always wanted to be a good baker, but my earlier catastrophes in the oven lead to me to believe that baking is not my cup of tea – but the Blog World had such tremendously talented bakers that my inner baker struggled to come out & give it a shot once more. Since then, I have been giving a shot at a few cakes n muffins, n though there have been disasters yet again, but I am getting more gutsy by the day, to not let it go so easily.
The most embarrassing incident was when I had Rajeev's friends over at my home working on a Project late into the night, n I had a request from hubby dear to bake a cake for one of them Kunal (we all call him KP fondly) who was celebrating his birthday the next day, n it would be past 12 a.m. by the time they would leave. As luck would have it, n something for which I really wanted to kick myself, I tried my hand on a new recipe, n my inexperience with the oven n the ingredients that go into it, resulted in an awful bake – the cake tasted good, but refused to bake from the inside. Poor guy, he nonetheless cut the cake, n everybody was gracious enough to pick on the sides of the cake n yet say "the cake tastes good bhabhi"!!! I so adore them all for that night……but that made me resolve on one thing for sure, half the ingredients before trying your hand on a new recipe. I am so sorry KP, n I will surely make it upto you one day (hopefully your next Birthday) with a more edible cake. I was terribly sorry to waste so much of stuff, but I managed to cut the cake n microwave it to cook it fully & passed onto a needy boy on the streets – who I am sure must have enjoyed my disastrous baking.
I am yet to try my hands at more non-vegetarian cooking owning to the fact that my hubby is a preferred vegetarian, but he is very sweet to gulp down a chicken or a fish here n there only to please me. I love him for that n much more – for waiting patiently to lay his hands on the food (however hungry he might be) so that I could test his virtue of being patient, while clicking at various angles & lights of the food. Being a witness of all those disasters while baking, n yet maintaining a muffle over the food that went waste (he is highly averse to wastage of any kind), for sensing the need and surprising me with the camera, for being a walking advertisement for my blog, for being my critique n helping me with valuable suggestions – the list is endless, n I love him n thank him for being there and bearing with me.
I have to thank my mother-in-law for being such an excellent guide & truly teaching me how to cook. Sharing her age-old secrets, n at the same time constantly learning new things and passing them onto to me. She always inspires me to try something new. She is the best mother-in-law a girl would ever want to have. If I ask for more, I am going to be a greedy pig. I also miss my father-in-law so very much. He would have been really happy to see my blog & surely make his wise contributions. May his soul rest in peace.
I have to thank my mother, who is an excellent cook, but has been constrained because of both her own & my father's dietary restrictions. I totally owe it to her for passing on her skills to me. I still remember days when she used to bake excellent cakes, she could never go wrong. She would let both me & my brother lick the remnants of the chocolaty batter from the dish in which she'd mixed it. As a youngster, I remember sitting down with her late into the night, preparing Christmas goodies, ghujia, namkeen, rose cookies, donuts, murukku, ginger wine, in a span of a week or so before the D-Day!!! Those were really fun days. I miss them sooo much, n know that they will always remain engraved in my heart, n really hope that I shall be able to pass on these traditions to my children someday.
I love my Dad for being there with a "bahut acha banaya hai mere bete ne (my child has made this excellently)", n always nodding with approval, be it a piece of s#@$ in my perspective. He would never ever discourage me by saying its bad, n I love him for that.
I have to thank my friends who have borne the brunt of my experiments time n again, especially my friend Diji who has given her honest opinion from time to time, n at the same time encouraged me to try my hand at new things.
In 2008 I plan to make my blog look more presentable, organize it a bit & do more and more of newer cuisines & newer dishes n most of all – make new friends n build a better relation with my blog buddies.
Finally I have to thank all of you for your utter patience in reading this long post (i.e. if you have read it…..n not wandered away in the midst) & for all my blogger friends, without whom I probably wouldn't have reached this 100 th Post. Yes this is my 100th Post. If it wasn't for your love & encouragement & your comments I would have long ago strayed from the blog world to my own diminutive world of cooking.
And on the final note – ahem, ahem – I had sent my entry of Chocolate to the Hotel Chocolat recipe competition & it has been selected as the most appetizing recipe!!!! Yipeeeeeeeee. I have won myself a copy of their 101 Chocolate Recipes and a box of exotic chocolates, n most importantly they shall be publishing the recipe on their official Website. I just received a mail from them, n the goodies are on their way. I shall be posting pics of the goodies received when the packet gets to me (that's the least I can to share my goodies virtually with you wonderful girls), n a link to the recipe when it is published on the site.
On that happy note I take this opportunity to wish each one of you – ALL OF YOU – I am not taking any names lest I leave anybody out, n I would hate to do that – a whooping New Year filled with love, joy, peace & prosperity. God bless!! And a biiiiig hug.
I am also sending this entry to Nupur's for her Event "The Best of 2007". I really dont have any dish to swank about, & I hope Nupur will accept this nonetheless!!
ACCOMPANIMENTS (1) APPETIZERS / SNACKS (21) APPETIZERS / SNACKS - CHICKEN (1) APPETIZERS / SNACKS - VEGETARIAN (3) Awards and Newspaper Coverage (1) BREAKFAST (11) CAKES AND BAKES (18) CHAATS (2) DAALS (5) EASY PEASY (1) FOOD FOR THOUGHT (8) GENERAL (13) HEALTHY WEALTHY AND WISE (1) KERALA RECIPES (1) LIQUID DREAMS (2) MAIN COURSE - NON VEG (5) MAIN COURSE - NON VEG (EGGS) (6) MAIN COURSE - VEG (39) PARTY MENU (3) PICKLES AND CHUTNEYS (1) RICE (6) SOUPS (1) SWEET TOOTH (7) THE FUNNY BONE (1) TIPS AND TRICKS (1)