We are fortunate to live in an age where sugar has become such a commonplace household ingredient. For something so sweet and pleasure giving, its history is wrapped up in every human facet of ingenuity, entrepreneurship and oppression. It has shaped political landscapes and divided the masses. The expense of sugar in former times dictated the occasions at which sweet treats would make an appearance and such consideration still holds today. Once the reserve of only the wealthy, we now add it to the trolley without a second thought; if only to sweeten our tea. Read More
Commitment to a project for the long haul wasn’t a skill dished out while I was in the queue. My past seems to be peppered with half finished cross stitch patterns, incomplete piano exams and general abandonment midway; my parents despaired. I could almost chart my life, autobiographically, on the projects that have fallen into oblivion, once the heady dose of rampant enthusiasm started waning. I’d bolt, ostensibly onto the next shiny, sparkly idea never to see completion. Read More
The things you discover when you reorganise you pantry; in my case, Jaggery. Big, huge, nuggets of dark brown, unrefined, cane sugar. I don’t recall when I bought it or what I intended to use it for, but with a looming expiry date, it had to be put to good use soon. Read More
I am perfectly aware that my last post announced my need to consume anything other than sugar. Do not trouble yourself with pointing it out for me. Like any relationship that comes to some sort of end, there is always a rebound. I have no excuses or apologies; sugar was always waiting in the wings, barging into my kitchen with it irresistible presence. I flutter and find it hard to say no. These Blackberry, Passionfruit and Ginger Pastilles are worth saying yes to. Long name, for such a sweet little thing. Read More
Tradition and I have had an off and on relationship. There were grudging compromises, but more often I parted victoriously from its company. Going against the grain meant that I got to do things my way for a bit. I lived alone, that is, out of my parent’s home. That’s huge. It does not happen in most of Indian society unless you are physically separated from your parents by countries. I cut my long, thick hair ultra short, much to the disgust of an offended uncle. Turning tail on tradition meant that I married differently to what was generally expected (but all my family were wonderfully supportive, mainly through relief, I think). These were all positive, reinforcing outcomes, for basically, being disobedient. I think I did well, considering. Read More
You could say that when it comes to candy, my childhood was deprived . Sure, I had halwas, ladoos (sweet lentil balls), gulab jamuns (fried sweet milk balls, soaked in a thick, rose water flavoured sugar syrup) and the like but…no candy. I didn’t know what a dolly mixture was, much to the amusement of British mates. Or pastilles, toffee and fudge. Caramel was a dark, burnt, chemically sweet tasting, thin sauce that sat on top of a conical creme caramel made out of a Foster Clarks packet.