There are some posts when there is nothing much to be written about the dish at hand.....the pictures do all the talking. This one feels like that.... Who needs an explanation on hot and sour soup?..I just loaded it with lots of mushrooms and added some noodles in it to make it more filling. Another regular in my refrigerator are these pickled chilled cucumbers. Peeled and cut cucumbers simply marinating in a sour and sweet chilled water. Really refreshing and very satisfying with some store bought schezwan sauce. Every time you want to snack on something these yummy chilled cucumbers can be really filling.
Preparing for Ganpati Bappa's Birthday : So I was having this piping hot soup and making a list of things that I need to get organised for the celebrations coming this Monday. What's on this Monday? It is Ganpati Bappa's birthday as my son puts it and innocently questioned me about our plans to celebrate it.. That got me thinking..Why not? I have never been into idol worship (except at some vulnerable points in my life) but I have some really wonderful memories of this festival from my childhood. It is one of the important Maharashtrian festivals and has been an important part of my growing years...an annual reminder of my "roots" so to speak. So I thought it would be a great way to create some happy memories for him too and a great way to share it with all our near and dear ones. My Dad would have been highly amused by this endeavour of mine and would probably be smiling right now..:) Ironically he and this festival never meant anything to each other. It was always celebrated at my mother's side of the family and she was highly involved in it. And so I don't want to forget the purpose of this festival and I don't want to get into the rigid fixations of traditions...Its not about the correctness of rituals... It's all about creating happy memories and getting together with friends (who actually are the extended family for us nowadays) with some bit of traditional clothes and food added in this time.. ;) and probably a great opportunity to make some modaks and the lovely project of doing up the place for Bappa to keep in. My son is highly excited by all this..and excited about having all his friends over .. That's what its all about... isn't it??
Sometimes I think.... these little kids are so in tune with their needs and desires and even their bodies. It's really not funny. There are times when they will come up to you on their own and declare.. I think my body needs to eat some kind of fruit now. Everything needs to be explained with full explanations and conviction. There is no room for discrepancies. They'll catch you on that. Sometimes there will even be questions and suggestions like.. In which book did you read that, Maa? Maybe you should read some other book....It may tell you different things!! . And it leaves you completely flabbergasted. And all this is in a very innocent vein and not an ounce of cockiness in the tone... Most of these little ones are really bright, extremely vocal and have a mind of their own. Absolutely technologically friendly since the day they could sit and just tap their fingers happily on the Ipads. I am blessed to be living in a huge wonderful complex, a great place to raise children and has hoards of growing kids of all ages. It's really fun to watch these little ones interact with each other. If one observes properly, all they need is a bit of guidance and creativity in directing their high energies in a constructive way. Each one is unique and gifted in their own way.. Feeding the brains of these little ones and keeping them occupied is the biggest challenge we all face. I don't want to get into any colour coding and labelling but it is important to be aware and appreciate as parents what's been given on our plates and what have we actually signed up for at this point in time... And if our own understanding of this world we live in doesn't evolve spiritually ... we won't be able to do justice to these wise souls on whom the future depends on... Profound right?? :) It truly is... :)
(Very soon I think I will have to move on to another blog or something to pen down all these thoughts which consume my mind..till then read on....)
So..at the behest of my 4 year old son, for the first time we will be celebrating the festival with all our friends and I will try my hand at some modak making. Will post that recipe if all goes well..:) Till then enjoy some piping hot soup and chilled pickled cucumber...
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp finely choppped ginger
1 tsp chilli garlic paste
1 packet white button mushrooms
1 sliced capsicum
1/2 cup hakka noodles
1 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups water
1. Take a wok and put oil in it. Add garlic and ginger and saute.
2. Add chilli garlic paste, mushrooms and capsicum..
3. Add water, soya sauce, vinegar, red chilli powder, sagar, salt and let it all boil.
4. Then add the noodles and simmer for 15- 20 minutes.
5. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if required.
Pickled Cucumber :
1 cup water
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
1 star anise (optional)
1. Peeled and slice the cucumber in wedges.
2. In a bowl mix water, sugar, salt, vinegar and star anise.
3. Mix cucumber in this water and chill for atleast a couple of hours till it gets marinated and serve.