And I hardly notice.
It is only late in the evening, when I am finally free, that I realise how fast the day has passed.
And this has been going on for the last close to one month.
After the hectic days of Durga puja, preparations for Diwali have started.
Whatever little I can do, I am doing.
I can't do heavy duty cleaning and cooking like I used to do in the past.
Neither can I whip up huge amounts and varieties of snacks and sweets for Diwali.
Still, I'm trying.
The weather gods aren't helping either.
Most days are cloudy, sometimes it rains too.
Still, I am almost done with most of the cleaning.
Quilts and covers and sheets and linens washed and stored away.
My huge stack of books and curios cleaned and are shining bright.
The kitchen is cleaned and all the bottles labeled. Just the curtain on the kitchen window needs to be changed.
The fridge and the MW shining like new.
Ok, the fridge is new. But still, I did clean it all over again. So ...
I am now planning to make some sweets and savoury stuff from tomorrow.
I know it won't be much but B says it is good that I am,at least, being able to think of making some ... as compared to my condition last year; so I should be happy.
I however, in my heart, am praying.
And keeping all my fingers and toes crossed.
Earlier, on Diwali, I would make Gulab jamuns, Roshogollas, Moong dal halwa, Mathri, Nimki, Kachoris, Methi ki sabzi, Rassewali Aloo ki sabzi, Dahiwali murmure ki sabzi, Tomato chutney, .... and sometimes some more.
This year I am planning to make do with only a few things ... God willing.
And amidst all this, there is everyday cooking.
After all that gorging during Durga puja, I have turned back to simple comfort food.
Dal, rice, some vegetable fry on the side, a light fish curry ... if I have fish at hand ... on some days.
On other days it is dal, roti and some vegetable dish.
Except for tonight, when I went out of the way and made some Mishti bhaat / Polau for myself.
Also made a spicy Mangshor jhol or Mutton curry ...slightly dryish ... to go with it.
From tomorrow, it will be comfort food in my kitchen ... again.
The very favourite and familiar Aloo bhate / Bengali way of mashed potatoes is sometimes given a slight change in look and flavour by tempering and frying it a little.
Add some crispy fried and lightly crushed Boris / Vadis to it and it is the perfect accompaniment to a simple meal of dal and rice.
The difference between the two is while the Aloo bhate is mashed with raw onions, raw mustard oil, salt and fresh green chilles, the tempered version has all of these but lightly fried in mustard oil.
Also, the potato mash is fried too.
And has dry red chillies instead of the fresh green ones.
Boiled potatoes - 3 big sized ones , peeled and mashed with salt
Onions - 1, medium, sliced lengthwise
Whole dry red chillies - 2 pieces
Haldi / Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Boris / Vadis ( optional ) - 5 to 6 pieces, lightly fried till brown and crushed
Heat the oil in a kadahi.
Add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, break the chillies and add.
Then add the sliced onions and fry till well done.
Add the mashed potato and turmeric powder.
Mix well. Adjust salt.
Fey well, mixing everything well.
Lastly, add the crushed badis/boris and mix well.
Remove from heat.
Comfort food at its best.
We made a sudden, impromptu and very quick trip to Shirdi a few days back.
I am giving a small detail here as I realised I had never made a post on any of our Shirdi trips on my Travel blog.
We left Pune early in the morning at around 7 am, reached Shirdi at around 11 am and went straight to the temple.
Had darshan ... there was no rush as it was a weekday ... and I could spend a quiet 5 to 7 minutes in front of Sai Baba.This time we got some prasad from the temple too, that was being handed out just before the main hall.
Came out of the temple and went for lunch at Shraddha Sarovar Portico, our favourite place of stay whenever we are in Shirdi. Only this time we did not stay.
After lunch and a little rest, we left Shirdi around 3 pm and reached Pune at around 7 pm.
Our marathon trip done!!
In case you are interested, the best route from Pune to Shirdi is - Pune - Ahmednagar - Ghodegaon - Shani Shingnapur - Shirdi.
The highway is excellent all along. But the stretch from Shani Shingnapur to Shirdi is good only for around 6 to 8 kms. After that it is extermely bad, all the way till Shirdi. That is the only dark spot on the otherwise perfect road condition.
The road is filled with crater sized pot holes and loose gravel.
You need to be extra careful on this stretch, especially when there is heavy traffic ... usually on weekends and holidays.
If I am not able to make another post before Diwali, here is wishing you a very happy Diwali!!
Kichu Khonn and I hope that the festival of lights brings much joy to you and your families!!