People do long for weekends. Don’t they?! TGIF and Monday blues are the trending talks! Proof : Social media! But a weekend is no different than a weekday, at least in my case! I know for sure, I’m neither going to get some rest nor get a minute of ‘me-time’, but I’m happy that I’ve added new (green!) members to my family and I will get to spend my time with them this weekend!
Did I tell you Neela (my aunt) is home today? She ringed the calling bell when I was mixing the lemon rice for lunch! I’m going to spend some quality time with her, too! She’s a teacher and today is her last working day of this academic year! And she’s very happy about it! (An escape from a class full of kids!)
A quick morning selfie!
My New Plants!
I got these little green buddies from a local nursery. I’m not the best person when it comes to gardening but I love EVERY bit of it! (I sometimes try to talk to my plants. Weird?!) Since childhood, I’d always loved growing plants and trees. As a kid, I remember maintaining a garden full of plants, a big mango tree, a custard apple tree.. a papaya tree and few other fruiting trees! (Of course, with the help of my dad). It was fun to water the plants everyday. I had a rooster named Rosy who would accompany me to my garden every evening after I return back home from my school (I was 10!). Only two things I remember about Rosy are – he was the calmest rooster among the three my aunt had; (means he won’t try to attack me!) and he loved eating potato chips, the cream and onion flavor in Lays! (Roo will not eat a it of it! He’s also 100X aggressive compared to Rosy!)
Coming to my garden – my mango tree used to yield at least 500 mangoes every year. My grandpa once told me that he made me plant the tree (from a seed!) when I was a kid. According to him, anything that I planted grew well. I miss both my grandpa and the mango free for all the memories I’m left with today!
Okay. Now that we unfortunately do not have a garden space, I managed to buy some earthen pots; and found out there are too heavy for my liking. As the next step, I’ve already ordered some grow bags! They are yet to reach me. (If you’re wondering, I’ve ordered the grow bags along with potting soil, manure, vermicompost, neem oil, seeds etc from SK Farms, Chennai!)
I so want to know the name of these flowering plants! Any idea?
Same plant! But with orange flowers.
Bush Jasmine! (I also got the vine variety)
New Hibiscus buds! (I’ll be using the leaves and flowers in my hair care recipes!)
Lemon tree! (Dad got this almost-dead stem from somewhere; surprisingly, it’s all green now! New life!)
Tulsi! (I shall be preparing a homemade immunity syrup for Mr.M using the leaves; so, this plant!)
Other than the flowering plants from the nursery, I’ve also sowed a bunch of vegetable and spinach seeds last week. (The okra plant’s cotyledon leaves are already up! I missed to click it!) You can see the spinach seedlings below! I bought each spinach seed packet for Rs.5 from a local market.
The first one (on the pink plastic tub!) will be ready for the harvest in another 2-3 weeks (It is amaranthus!) whereas the second batch (which is sowed on my plastic sheet-cum-grow bag!) will continue to grow forever, bearing lovely white flowers and small dark fruits. The leaves and fruits are both edible. It is the black nightshade plant; called as ManaThakkali keerai in Tamil! I remember growing it as a kid but I don’t remember the taste! (Anyhow Mr.M wants me eat it since he feels it’s very good for health! I guess he’s turning into my mini dietitian these days!)
I never thought they’d germinate so soon!! (Pure happiness!) Mom promised to come to the mini-garden space and spend time with us (me and the plants) as soon as she feels more better. Surprisingly, she doesn’t say ‘No’ for my plants as she does for other pets! (Aren’t plants your pets too?! I do think this way!)
Spinach – Amaranthus
Black Nightshade seedlings (Sowed before a week!)
Sowed vegetable seeds in disposable tea cups! (Chilly, Brinjal, Bitter Gourd, Broad beans etc!)
Again, dad’s plant! A coconut seedling! I’m still in two minds whether to grow/re-home this tree!
This is the biggest pot of chicken biryani I’d ever cooked in my life! I love cooking biryani; there are many varieties available when it comes to this spicy rice-dish. The preparation time of biryani ranges from as less as 30 minutes to 3 hours or more depending on which the flavor will differ. The dish never fails to impress me as I’m addicted to its taste ever since my childhood! (I remember the days I used to have a delicious plate of biryani at Neela’s place, as a kid! If I don’t get a drumstick on my plate, I used to fight.)
So I made this biryani for 15-20 people who are Babble’s (my elder sibling!) colleagues, for a treat last week. They weren’t visiting us as not to strain my mom, who’s under rest after the treatment – but still Facebooking 24/7 (I hope you’re not reading the post, mom) But she carried the food to her office in her cab! I must admit that it was very tiring to stand in the kitchen for long hours but I was super happy about the outcome. I managed to cook a fail-safe biryani even in larger quantities.
I spared at least 4 drumsticks for myself (and mom!) before packing the stuff! :)
Chicken Dum Biryani!
Peas Pulao! Vegetarians at my place won’t spare me If I don’t cook this whenever I cook biryani!
She’s Julie and I named her that! She lives in my street and Tommy never shouts/growls at her. Except for her, everybody else (in the dog family) are Tommy’s rivals. (Read enemies!) He cannot stand a sight of them! He rushes to the porch and shouts till he gets a sore throat if any dog appears in front of the gate! (Except for Julie though. It’s not like he has a crush on her; but a soft corner!)
So Julie hates summer, as much as I do! Whenever I step out to check my baby plants, she comes running towards my gate; wags her tail and tries to say something to me. I offer her fresh, cold (refrigerated) bread along with milk and water. Sometimes, she gets milk rice and chicken. I was surprised to notice how she preferred the clean, cold water more than the food. Blame the summer! I wish the weather subsides very soon. If you’ve a dog near your place, please offer her/him water.. at least water if you cannot offer food! It’s a kind request from me and Julie!
P.S : Do you remember Muffin? Muffin was hated by this Julie, the most! The reason is still unknown. By the way, Muffin is a flood survivor (Chennai floods last year!) She’s one happy adolescent girl living in a loving home now! I can’t be more happier that she got a new family. She’s doing hale and healthy. I wish I could visit her.
That’s it for today! I just realized I’d scribbled more than 1000 words which is really a LOT! Talking to you all after a long time, I lost the count! I’ve many more pictures and stories to share with you! I just did not want to start with too many food photographs. My mom strongly believes posting about my food on the internet affects my already-bad appetite. Do you agree with her belief? I’m not sure though but I can’t resist writing and talking about food. Do wait for the pictures!
So what did you do today/this week? Do share your daily happenings below! Let’s have a small chat. If you want me to write on any particular topic, suggestions are most welcome!