Friday, March 31, 2006

Flop Week

I'm not a great cook but I can cook, decent. Or at least that is what I used to think, till last week.

It all started this Monday, Shekar had a small cold and I volunteered to make Rasam. I've never made Rasam so I googled, read couple of recipes, but wasn't satisfied and I finally called one of my aunts, (my mom - who I usually call, is in east coast and it was like 11.00pm there) and she gave me the recipe.

So I go and start cooking. Aunt told me to put fresh pepper instead of ground pepper. So I made rasam and tasted it, it was not hot enough, so I added more pepper... still not hot enough so added more pepper, so I kept on adding pepper till it reached my expectation. Then my rasam had now become a think paste of pepper. I added some more water to dilute it, so it looked all good. Little did I know the hotness of the pepper increases as it stays longer. So when we started to eat, the Rasam was so hot that we could barely eat. On the bright side, the overdose of pepper cleared all the congestion Shekar had.

Couple of days after that I made Moru Curry (for all non-mallus, this is a curry made with yogurt- something like kadi, and is a very common curry in every mallu household) and this is the first curry I learned how to make. We add jeera powder to it and I accidentally added Garam Masala to it. It was too late before I noticed it. So we had Morru Curry with Garam Masala.

Then last night around 9.00 pm I was making Double ka Meeta, thank you ROS for the Recipe. I rarely make desserts other than cake and cookies. So I start warming up half and half and then I'm supposed to add sugar to it. So I put 2 huge scoops and then I realize, damn this is salt (My salt and sugar are in 2 entirely different looking containers, and they are placed on different levels of the cabinet). Nothing can be done to undo this, so without disturbing the mixture I tried to slowly drain my entire half and half. Then I tasted the half and half and it was so salty. So around 9.30 I go confess to Shekar and beg him to go to the grocery store. Not having another choice he went and got me a new quart of half and half (I also bribed him with couple of extra pieces of double ka meeta).

As I was stirring the half and half, I started thinking how come I messed up so many times this week? May be I've become more confident that I do not pay attention as before. Or maybe I just am not a decent cook.

Jo bi hai, my Double ka meeta turned out very well and makes me happy and brings my confident back (a little).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vroom Vroom

I have always had a fascination with two wheelers. The only two wheeler I know how to ride is a cycle and when ever we are traveling, we make sure to rent bicycles and ride them around the city. I love driving a car but I never feel so close to things outside as on a two wheeler. I moved to US during my mid teens so never got a chance to learn or drive Scooty/Sunny/Kinetic Honda (these were the two wheelers that were there in India back then).

Back when I was in college I wanted to own a motorcycle and my dad would never let me so I used to drive around in my car envying all the biker that went Vroom Vroom right by me. As I grew older my dream to own and ride on a bike seemed to vanish. Not because I did not want it anymore but, I did not have the guts to go out and take lessons anymore. But, I wanted it so badly.

Now I'm married and Shekar has this avid love towards bikes and we finally got one last year. Over the weekend was my maiden journey on a bike and it was just great, we rode for 3 hours. One of the great benefits on living in California is that the weather is so great that one can go biking in early months.

So Sunday afternoon Shekar and I geared up and drove by the mountains and the sea. It was so beautiful and any words I use will never do justice to that sight. Since we were on a bike we did not take a camera with us else I would have posted pictures. The road by the mountains we so curvy and steep, but it was thrilling to ride. After riding for almost two hours we stopped on the side of the mountain and pacific sea was at the bottom of that mountain.

This was my first ride on a bike and I can not wait for more. But, for some weird reason it seems like it rains every weekend. We are expecting rain again this Saturday and Sunday. On the bright side, spring is just starting and I'll have lot more riding days. Hopefully I'll find a way to take my camera with me the next time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Awesome Memory - Or is it Awful?

Of all the thing I take pride in, memory tops the list.

I have great memory for all sorts of thing. I just started realizing that in the last few years.

Bhavya called me the other day and she asked if I knew the name of our TA (Teacher's Assistant) for our math 3012 class. I replied back Austin? For which Bhavya replied, "Oh Yeah, Austin"

I took this math class at least 3-4 years ago, and that is the kind of memory I have.

Other day I met one of my friends after a while and told him an incident that happened like 3-4 years ago. This was our conversation:
Friend: Wow u remember that
Me: yeah..I have great memory
F: (Sarcastically) Oh yeah what was I wearing
Me: A white shirt with black trims on sleeves and neck
F: What kind of neck
Me: V-neck
F: (Jaws dropped, eyes popped out)You are crazy.

That is the reaction I get from all my friends. I also remember lot of things from my childhood, and I tell mom and she goes, "You remember that, you were a little kid". I also have great memory for faces and names. I remember street names, and so I’m known for giving the best directions ever. Now that I have started reading blogs I remember almost all my blog pals, every post.

But then there are also days when I forget to bring my purse to work or can never find my keys. And that my friends, makes me Normal

Friday, March 03, 2006

Small but Scary

Other day Shekar and I were watching TV and this ad of a cat comes up. I immediately turn my face away from the TV, Yes that is how much I dread cats.

In my younger days I used to be scared of cats. We have never had a cat, but my grandparents always had a cat. Every summer when I used to visit I used to be very scared. My grandmother would always shoo the cat away when it came close to me. I remember one episode where all of us were dinning together. I usually sit with my feet on the chair (because of the cat), but that day for some reason my feet was set on the floor. The cat came and rubbed against my feet and I jumped on to the dinning table yelling cat. I was probably 6 back then, and even to this day my cousins remind me of that incident.

Like everyone says the way to get rid of one's fear is to face it and so Veena thought the best thing to do is to get a cat and chase me with it till I give up. So she grabbed our neighbor's cat and ran after me, through the house, around the house and finally throughout our street. All this while I just kept running. I had more stamina than Veena so she finally quit after she got tired.

Last year when I went to India that was the first time I was meeting Shekar's family. So we were visiting one of his uncles and aunts. The new bride that I was and not knowing his uncle and aunt I was very quiet for most of the evening till I saw a cat in their house. I jumped out of my seat and ran into their other room yelling "“CAT! CAT!"”. All this while everyone in the house is shocked and Shekar tells them she is scared of cats. Hearing that, they were shocked more. "People are scared of cats?" I actually heard someone say that. I was so embarrassed for the way I acted that evening.

The place we live now, our neighbors have cats and we see them walking around all the time. When I get home and get out of my car I see a cat, I just stay in the car for few minutes for them to go away. If they still don't move I get out, say a prayer and take a different way to walk to my house. If Shekar is with me I send him first to drive away the cat.

I do know that cats are harmless and they do not attack people, but there is something about cats that I'm not only scared of, but hate and consider it gross. Its not just cats kittens too... Please don't tell me they are so adorable and/or cute.

I think I need help...