This evening, the sun will go down for the last time in 2013. As far as this blog is concerned, 2013 will go down as the year with the least posts. And I hope to keep it that way.
When Sig resumed the project 365, I was very tempted to join in. My attempt to do the same in 2010 got derailed for a bunch of reasons. This year, if there’s one thing I have taken to completion, it would be this project. A smartphone, good connectivity and an abundance of subjects resulted in my ability to stick with the project till the end.
On the cooking front, I also signed up for baking 12 breads this year with Aparna. I baked two breads with the group. I did everything with the third “bread”, except post it on the blog. Several things happened in the next three months. Some good, and some not so good. Moments of immense happiness were followed by moments of immeasurable grief. And many plans were derailed. But as I type this, I know that this, too, shall pass.
2013: The year in which
- We rang in the new year in the company of friends, as always.
- We took A to India for the first time.
- We celebrated my parents’ 50th anniversary.
- We traveled, on work and for fun.
- We made full use of our Annual membership to USS.
- I attended a cookie decoration class.
- I signed up for a cake decoration class.
- A and I baked and cooked together.
- We were able to spend a lot of time with friends.
- We shall welcome the New Year in the company of friends.
I shall be thankful for what I have, and understand that what wasn’t mine, was probably not meant to be. One of the things I will be eternally thankful for is this blog and everything it has given me. If I may say so myself, I am a much better cook today than I was 7 years ago. My interest and enthusiasm for all things food related have not waned, but have, in fact, grown. Today, I am equally at ease making vegetable pies or bisi bele bhat, ricotta cakes or ribbon pakoda. And while S has been a major pillar of support by being the one who appreciates as well as criticizes, I need to acknowledge all of you too. Fellow bloggers and readers have taught me so much and have been so instrumental in expanding my repertoire.
This post is monumental. It is my last post for 2013. It is posted on the last day of 2013. And it is the 600th post on The Singing Chef. I have always said that this blog grew much bigger than I’d ever intended for it to. I’ve caught myself going back to it for inspiration every so often. And it will always be a part of me. And I will always be grateful for that one hot afternoon in May, in sunny and dry Gurgaon, when on an unexpected holiday I started this blog on a whim. From not expecting to put up any photos, to getting an SLR just so I can take better pictures, to ditching everything and clicking photographs with my phone, it has been one heck of a ride. I remember how eagerly I participated in blog events, how excited I was when I got a blogger award and how I even went shopping for pretty plates and bowls just so I could take pictures for the blog. Now, I just take a photo of my plate (the hand me down melamine ones we eat in) before I eat and use that for the blog. At least, that is the intention.
In attempting to keep up with tradition, I leave you with a sweet recipe. One that has been a super duper hit in my family and friends’ circle. While I have yet to master Indian mithai, I have been rather successful in recreating the same flavours through my first love: baking.
1 cup Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Sugar
a Pinch Salt
¼ cup Butter
¼ cup Ricotta Cheese
½ cup Milk
2 tsp Milk Masala Powder (I use Everest)
A few strands of Saffron
Sift all the dry ingredients together.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the mini muffin pans by lining them with paper muffin cases.
In a bowl, beat the ricotta cheese with the butter and sugar. Add the milk gradually. When the mixture is well blended, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just well blended. Add the saffron and the milk masala powder.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
This recipe beats slaving over the stove to make the perfect Indian mithai. No more worrying about one thread or two thread consistency, no need to stir until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Just mix, bake and get ready to eat a melt-in-your-mouth piece of goodness.
Make these, pop one in your mouth and reminisce the year that just went by. Dwell on the good, count your blessings, and surround yourself with friends and family. May 2014 take you one step closer to whatever your goals are. Thank you for following this space. Thank you for missing me. Thank you for helping bring this blog back on track. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!