I remembered so many things about day 1 and 2 after I published my post yesterday. It is just that so much happened it was all quite overwhelming.
Day 3 – Dress code – Pink
Day 3 was kind of a relaxing day for me. Usha was looking relatively free instead of organising one thing or the other for us. So I took the opportunity to pick her brains regarding making videos for the blog. She was so patient and kind and explained it all in great detail to Archana and me. I think I understood what she said though I will know once I actually try making a video. Wish me luck! Usha and Pavani also gave me loads of tips regarding photography and critiqued some of my photos to give me a better understanding of what is to be done and what to be avoided. If I manage even 20% of what their level of photos I should be very happy!!
The dinner menu was Vaishali’s famous pani poori. I had heard so much about it that I was dying to taste it. I helped her with making 5 different ‘pani’ for the pani poori and it was so tempting to have some immediately.
The lunch for the day was Iyengar Thaligai (Iyengar is a sub caste of Tamil Brahmins and thaligai means food). This was done by Veena, Priya Srinivasan, Sandhya, Priya Suresh and Gayathri. They even had Suprabatham playing in the background as they cooked the entire meal. We had the meal on the banana leaf sitting on the floor while the 5 girls patiently and cheerfully served us all. This took me back to my childhood at my grandparents place where we would have such meals on the traditional banana leaf. My grandfather, uncles and father would sit on the table while all of us kids would sit on the floor. (Patriarchy much!) I remember my grand father’s strict voice and glare we would receive if we were either slow or even entertained the idea of leaving anything on the leaf. I realised old habits die hard because put me in front of a banana leaf on the floor and I clear out the leaf in a jiffy! Unfortunately I forgot to click my leaf after the meal. It would have made my family proud to see I still retain the skills 😉
The menu included rice, parupu, kozhambu, sathumadhu, thayir, akkaradisal, beans parupu usili, avial, avarakkai(broad beans), potato fry, cucumber pachadi, puliyodharai(tamarind rice), manga pachadi, vadai and oorga (pickle).
Usha’s relative, Ramaakka visited us and got each one of us gifts and treats from her bakery, The Country Oven. I religiously took the treats back home for my husband and daughter who ate them all up without leaving anything for me! Grrr. She also had lunch and we gifted her a sari. When we mentioned the dinner was pani poori she was so happy and agreed to try and join us for dinner as well.
In the afternoon Amara did a demo on how to make avvakya pickle which I missed but she also got some pickle for everyone to take along. But thankfully I was in time to eat the delicious mango ice cream she made with the mangoes from her farm. It tasted so good without any sugar. She has spoiled mango ice cream for me. I cant have mango ice cream from anywhere else now!
Later Usha’s mother and aunt came along to graciously teach us how to make sakinalu. It is a tougher version of the Tamil Nadu special of ‘kai murukku’. They did it so easily but we figured how tough it was when we tried it. Each of ours was a sight to see! Our original plan was to include it in the September BM but we saw that it required a lot more practice and effort than we imagined and expected. So we collectively decided to drop it as of now.
Then Pradnya had to leave in the evening. I shared a room with her, Archana and Varada and we had spent quite a lot of time chatting and laughing. It would have been so nice if she could have stayed for he entire duration. There was a mini chaos with her cab and we were running helter skelter trying to give directions to the cabbie. But like her message to us “unfortunately she made it on time” because we all wished she could stay back. Then it was my favourite part when we were ready with the sourdough starter and had to mix the dough for the bread. Since it was sourdough we mixed the dough on the previous day and set it to rise in the fridge.
These are pictures of the dough immediately after it was mixed, then after the first and second folds. My ‘work’ for the day was done and I was all set for the pani poori party. Vaishali happily served us all pani pooris with the different flavours of the pani – mint and coriander, dates & tamarind, garlic, fruit punch and jeera. My favourite was the garlic and I had multiple pooris with that. Poor girls who had to talk to me after that!
Then the doorbell rang and I opened the door. Speechless would be an understatement when I saw Ramakka wearing the sari we had gifted her in the afternoon complete with the blouse. I couldn’t believe my eyes because I was sure it was the sari we had got because Archana had showed it to us all before gifting but she had managed to get the blouse stitched in record time. I waited for the rest of the girls to react similarly because I simply had to be sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. She said she wanted us to see her in the sari because it would make us happy. That was such a lovely lesson for a regular procrastinator like me. It left a very deep impact on me and I plan to do things in time henceforth. Fingers crossed!
Usha had planned to go back to her place that night but just as she was leaving it started to rain and so she decided to wait it out till the rains reduced in intensity. Again I took the opportunity to get her to teach Archana and me the basics of Lightroom software used in editing pictures. She again, was very kind and patiently explained it all to us even though she would have been quite tired after all the running around.
I was really tired that day and decided to sleep because I hadn’t slept the previous two nights and I had to get up early the next day to bake the bread. All I know is when my head hit the pillow and I slept blissfully after that for six straight hours.