Pension Day and Thair Vadai.

Rovereto grand ivy casino My maternal grandfather, Nana Caro’s husband, of the Royal Indian Engineers, was during World War II, stationed in Siam. On New Year’s day, a telegram was delivered that officially declared Nana a War Widow, grandpa having being killed on the 27th of December, the previous year. She was 29. With three young children, none over the age of 8, Nana Caro’s world was turned upside down. To add insult to injury, it was three long years of constant petitioning before Nan started receiving a paltry pension, because neither the “Royal” nor the “Indian” could decide whose responsibility it was to extend this welfare assistance to the bereaved wife of the Engineer. In the first week of every month, Nana had to present herself at the Pension Office to draw the amount and when I was old enough, decades later, to accompany her, it became a morning to look forward to. Our first stop would be at the said office after which we would take a walk down Dupleix Street (later rechristened Nehru Street) to a small hotel called Mathru Café for a treat. The standard order was ‘Thair Vadai’ (Curd Vadais). This dish was something Nana never ever made at home and so the thick curd covered vadais were relished with glee each month. When Mathru Café closed down many years later, I learnt to make the vadais myself, but did so infrequently. Last evening, when once again brainstorming on what to rustle up for dinner, the lost memory of Mathru Café and Nana’s regular monthly treat resurrected itself. So vadais it was; however, sambar replaced the curd as it was late in the evening and I didn’t want to deal with ENT issues the following day. (P.S.: I am known for this peculiar tendency of making breakfast dishes for dinner. My family forgives me for this and I love them for that).

Comfort Food!

diplomatically ivomec p Thus far, the lockdown had been sitting pretty well with the family. But now, all of a sudden, the delight at being at home and of having so much of time on their hands, has waned. Last evening, long sulky faces expressed cravings for pizzas, biryani, and long bike rides on the deserted streets. The older members wanted strolls and better T.V. programmes. I sat half listening. I had my own problem that had recently become perrenial – what to cook? Dinner was due in a couple of hours and I hadn’t yet figured out what it was going to be. As the complaints droned on, a ghost of an idea took form. Many a time, as a young girl, I had to listen to my grandmother admonish me when I expressed disappointment at not being able to do something or not being allowed to go somewhere. Her sharp retort would be, ‘There will be many more disappointments in life. You’ll just have to take them in your stride.” Harsh words to a young heart but Nana was never known to mince words. Hurt at not being understood (yes, I was at that point in my youth) I would sulk very much like my morose group here. And then, as a salve to my wounded ego, Nana would place a whole plate of comfort food before me. With each glorious mouthful, the imagined injuries gradually dissipated and by the end of the meal, the spirits were once more raised and eager to embark on another crazy endeavour that would be denied and subsequently appeased. The cycle went on. Of all the food that soothed the despondency of my impetuous adolescent youth, panrolls were the best. Sugared grated coconut wrapped in crepes became panrolls and a few drops of lime juice squeezed over them, just before consumption, was heaven in a roll. At home, by the end of the evening, the mood had lightened considerably, but for one complaint . ‘Ma! There are eight of us. You should have made more panrolls.’

Curd rice, spicy fried potatoes and omelettes

Abony buy ivermectin for humans usa Every morning, I peer into the refrigerator willing it to give me ideas for the day’s menu. Prior to the lockdown, if no suggestions were forthcoming, I would rudely slam the door shut on itself and suggest we order out. There! Serves you right fridge for not being inspiring! Today, that brazenness has all but disappeared. I now humbly peer into the cavernous interiors of the frosty machine and it stares back coldly. It’s getting back at me. Braving the frigid reception I venture further. Endurance pays. I spot a whole pot of home made curd biding its time in the corner and all at once I know what we are going to have for lunch – curd rice, spicy fried potatoes and omelettes. It’s a combination that was birthed in the past. It took its form when we, as children, had to be bundled out of the house at 7.15 every morning, school bag in one hand and a ‘tiffen bag’ in the other. The tiffen box was normally packed with tasty, easy-to-make meals which my grandmother had woken up, earlier than all of us, to prepare. Packing lunch for the grandchildren was as new an experience for her as taking a packed lunch to school was for us. Curd rice, spicy fried potatoes and omlettes often found a place in our lunch carriers. A huge circle of friends always sat together for the afternoon meal. Very early in our friendship everyone knew which house made what the best. Today, as adults, we continue to make food demands on one another. Our friendships have endured and so have fond memories of food shared under the wide spreading canopies of tamarind trees. So this day I raise a toast to good simple food, long and true friendships, and to Corona disappearing! Together with this, I whisper a word of caution to my chilly friend. Pay-back time is round the corner!