Day 4 – Dress code – Blue
I woke up around 5 on Day 4 because it was bread baking time!! Usually I like to bake bread when I am alone at home because it is my ‘me time’ therapy session all rolled into one. But this time I was excited because I was baking with people equally passionate about bread. Our bread baking team included – Varada, Archana, Ritu, Ruchi and me. Varada is the most experienced of us all in bread baking and the rest of us had equal amount of passion and varying degrees of expertise. We first started with mixing the dough for the pavs. Then we made the fillings for the two different types of stuffed breads – one was a paneer stuffing with tomatoes and spices. Ritu made an absolutely delicious paneer stuffing. Then we made a cauliflower and peas stuffing with some coriander mint chutney. By this time the dough had nicely doubled and looked soft and fluffy. We shaped them into individual pavs and set them aside. Then it was time to shape out sourdough loaves and we divided the dough into three and shaped them.
While the pavs were baking, Varada challenged us all to do a 1 minute plank. I have never crossed 35 seconds but the encouragement and general enthusiasm of the group pushed me to complete 1 whole minute of the plank. I need to keep at it and get better. We packed the pavs and set them aside for dinner and got ready for the outing planned for the day.
First we headed to Ramakka’s restaurant, ‘The Mint Leaf’. She had insisted we come and even sent us cars to pick us up. We reached the restaurant to have an elaborate breakfast of such wonderfully fresh and tasty dishes. We had – Idli, dosai, pongal, vadai, button idli, button vadai, kara dosai, steamed dosai (with honey) and the very popular Pesarattu dosai and some amazing coffee.
I had mentioned to Usha that i would like to have the pesarattu dosai since any trip to Hyderabad would be incomplete without it. She remembered that and ensured I ate the pesarattu here for breakfast. After this amazing breakfast, we headed to the famous Charminar for some sightseeing and shopping. We stopped along the way for some photos with Vaishali arranging us in multiple ways much to everyone’s amusement.
At Charminar, some of the girls went pearl shopping while Varada, Archana, Usha and me went to the chudi bazar or the bangle market. I picked some bangles for my mother and my daughter just to ensure I was let back into my own home when I returned. I also clicked a few snaps with tips from Usha and they are some of my better ones.
Then we visited the famous Nimrah Bakery next to Charminar. Just as we entered we saw trays of fresh hot cookies coming out of the oven. We got an assorted bunch of cookies, puffs and the classic Irani chai. The owner was very polite and friendly and he also showed us around his kitchen where they make the chai and the wood fired oven.
Then we got back and started baking the rest of the breads. Vaishali had made some bhaji to go with the pavs and we had a sumptuous dinner. Since it was our last night we stayed up playing some games which Preeti had painstakingly organised for us. We had a ‘Foodie Housie’ which had names of dishes instead of numbers and I won the full house. We played some more games and talked about future BM themes and how to manage it all.
Day 5 – Dress code – Grey/ Beige
We didn’t have any activities planned since people were leaving at different times during the day. We started with packing and getting our luggage in order. Then we went to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. I again had the pesarattu dosai which tasted delicious and also made me quite full.
Then we went to Usha’s sis-in-law, Shailaja’s house. She had visited us on day 2 and invited us to her house for lunch on the last day. She has a beautiful house and had made a rather elaborate lunch for us. Unfortunately I did not have time to eat lunch with the rest of them since I had to leave for my flight. So I rushed through a quick lunch and left. Everything looked so tasty and tempting. I wish I had a little more time to relish it.
I got back home with lots of memories and gifts from all the girls. I wanted to get everything together and click a picture but I wasn’t able to. All in all it was a fun and memorable trip. And the enthusiasm levels in the group are so high that plans have begun for the next one two years later!