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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Wicked, Wicked Chocolate

This post is a tribute to Chocoholics (not so)Anonymous because – ummm – you’ll figure why by the end of this post.

The Kitchen is in reality a well concealed battlefield. I am not talking writing off topic here, this is where the story of my adventure with chocolate begins. And so, the kitchen is a rather deceptive battlefield, it ravages war on you when you least expect it; when you are deeply mesmerized in the wonderful dishes that you’re experimenting with everyday.

No brownie points for guessing that I am going to rant about my latest (mis)adventure in the kitchen that involved a character called chocolate. Extra brownie points for guessing that din’t have anything to do with the dish – anything with chocolate can’t go wrong in terms of taste.

I have a serious chocolate addiction – each time I see the word chocolate splashed across the computer screen, I yearn to have some. I am fanatical about chocolate, so fanatical that I can order a large portion of a dessert that is dunk in oodles of chocolate and call it dinner. I specially have a weak spot for sinful brownies and all brownie based dishes. So when Kamini posted her quest for the perfect chocolate brownie and I followed this up with some reading, I had to make myself a sinful chocolatey treat.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for Warm Walnut Brownie Pudding at Epicurious for sometime and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. The recipe was perfect with no need for substitution, I had all ingredients on hand and successfully put them all together into one yummy tasting cake batter that was so eager to be baked. For a change clever prepared me also made the chocolate syrup the recipe required in advance.

And so I took the perfect batter made from a perfect recipe in a perfect baking dish to put into my beloved oven. Splash!!! I have no idea what happened – I have been scratching and scratching my head, but my memory fails me. In an instant, half of the syrup along with half the batter was all over the kitchen. The baking dish with the rest of the batter (now mixed in parts with the syrup) was still in my hand suspended between my bewildered face and the open oven.

When I say “all over the kitchen” I mean literally all over. On all the racks, on top of the oven, near the sink behind me, on the floor, on the fridge, on all the washed and drained vessels and on the ceiling (I am not kidding, I swear there was a spot). Chocolate had invaded my kitchen. It was 11 pm in the night – my perfect baking time and not so perfect cleaning time.

Here’s a left over piece of the Warm Walnut Brownie Pudding. I did bake with the rest of the batter. My other half had dug into routine chunks from the kitchen and was at work on this last piece before I begged him to stop for a precious photograph for the blog.

Update: I have edited the photograph (original is here) for brightness to prove that the object pictured  isn’t a piece of meteorite. See there are walnuts on top.

Not a Meteorite

As you can see the pudding turned out, errrrr, rather flat – though it was the richest, most moist chocolate bake I have ever had.

It took me three hours in total to wash all dishes and scrub the kitchen. It took another two hours to organize the kitchen. But then we all know that the adages around “hard work” are stuff that fairy tales are made of – don’t we? Sigh, I was rewarded with the sight of a few spots of chocolate near the kitchen sink today morning. I am now firmly resigned to my “kitchen with chocolate spots” destiny. It’s been four days since the disaster and I can still smell chocolate in my kitchen – not that I mind, it’s the perfect antidote for my chocolate addiction. I am off chocolates for a while now.

The story doesn’t end here though. Now that I have shared my harrowing experience in the kitchen, I tag Asha (so what if you just did a few memes, please dedicate a post to this one), Hema (trying my friend’s tactic of waking up QTOL), Padma (have you ever ever gone wrong sometime?) and Raaga (tit for tat, you tag me, I tag you) to share their worst kitchen disaster and pass on the tag. The “Nightmare in the Kitchen” tag begins.

PS: Being off chocolate and other such claims are meant to be dismissed as lies – a big bag of lies. Just writing this post makes me want to go have some chocolate.

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My first Cooking experience

Like many firsts in life, this has the unmistakable label of adventure written all over it.

It was a typical hot summery Sunday in Trichy, circa 1970. We lived in a boisterous family, overflowing with severals aunts, uncles and their children – a family so large that often in the conundrum of daily chores people routinely forgot who else lived in the house and what the children were up to. My father, an engineer in the Department of Telecom (DoT) was the supposed patriarch of the house, much feared by many children of the house for being a disciplinarian but extremely kind at heart.

He made it a practice to buy us Chocobar ice cream (which costed just 75 paise in those glorious days) every Sunday.

On this particular Sunday in the summer of 1970, when the Ice Cream Vendor came along with his bell, the whole family suddenly discovered that I had gone missing from home…well, not just home but apparently from the entire locality. I wasn’t indulging in my regular Sunday games.

Meanwhile a couple of kilometers away in a dry thorny forested area, two little heads with twin pigtails each were bobbing over a fire. My friend Gomathi and I had decided that 9 years was a good enough age to venture into cooking and we weren’t prepared to take the “no’s” we’d hear from our family. We were itching to cook – and our mothers and aunts wouldn’t allow us to even enter the kitchen.

So, as I was telling you, on this hot afternoon of a 1970 Sunday, we stole some chutney dal, sugar and a couple of utensils from the house. We built an aduppu (stove in tamil) with some stones and made a fire with the twigs, and made ourselves Kadalai Urundai (Chutney Dal Laddoos).

The laddoos turned out really yummy , though no one has had a whiff of them for all these thirty seven years.

We returned home after a good five hours of relishing this exciting experience. I slowly merged into the large overflowing family – no one really prodded me much – I had a hundred friends and could anytime easily pass off by saying I was with x,y or z.

Besides I was hardly at home on Sundays, except for ice cream (Ah, there are so many more adventures to share 🙂 ).

What about your first cooking experience?

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