Friday, July 19, 2019

Cherry Rum Preserve

This is a sweet preserve I made with the Kashmiri Misri cherries my fruitwalla Sadhuram made sure he got for me before he left for his village for monsoon rice cultivation. These were the reddest and sweetest, the remaining were shades of orange n yellow which I kept in the fridge so I get to snack on them for long.

The recipe is very simple but potent to lift up a regular breakfast or dessert to pleasurable heights. Make and keep some handy.


2 cups Kashmiri Misri cherries, pitted and halved 
1 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 cup water
4 teaspoons rum

In a saucepan put the pitted and halved cherries. Add 1 cup water and cook the cherries till soft. Next tip in the sugar and cook till a syrup is formed. The syrup should coat the back of the spoon. Switch off the gas and let it cool for 30 mins. After this point add 4 teaspoons rum, I used Old Monk. Stir in well and let it rest till use, store in a clean dry glass jar.

The next day I had a bread baking class and I had planned a fruit and custard dessert for the lunch menu. I let the glasses of fruit n custard chill in the fridge and topped the individual servings with 2 teaspoons of the Cherry Rum Preserve. It made the dessert extra-ordinary.

Other ideas to eat it, I had it with fresh homemade Mascarpone and even with just plain butter croissant. You can use it to top a cake too.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Bread Baking with Me

Bread 101
1. Working with yeast.
2. Types of yeast
3. Proofing
4. Effect of liquid 
5. Temperatures
6. Types of breads Sandwich loaf, Mumbai pao, Brun and masala breads.

Assorted breads 
1. Pretzels
2. Foccassia
3. Fougasse
4. Pita bread

Price for these will be ₹3000 per session. Not more than 4 people in a batch.

Day 1: Bread 101
Practice at home for 1 week.
Day 2: Assorted breads class

Confirm seat by paying in advance. 

Bread Baking with me is not just about learning to work with yeast and creating beautiful breads. It is also about sharing a meal together. The class starts at 10 am so as we work we work up our hunger we take a break as the bread is proofing and have lunch of whatever we bake. We talk about menu creation for a party with bread at the center of it. You also take back home everything that you bake so your family can taste and you can show off your new learning. Come join me.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Cherry Chutney

I am posting a recipe after a very long time. After AC its been a very stressful time just collating matters of the home and business, I haven't being doing anything in my own business. The Eshop is totally neglected. However I did host a couple for an #ExperienceWithMe session. Recently I also did a Bread Baking class.

No matter what I do the sorrow does not go away. There are days when I am numb and miss my husband. We were married for a short 2 years 10 months and have been together for a year before that. A total of two months short of 4yrs. We met at a time when I had already had an heart incident in Jan2012 and I had learned to value every minute I have on this earth. My outlook to life has changed completely since that time. So when we met and shared stories on the first day itself we found each other as different as chalk n cheese but we were sure that would balance us is a good way. After swinging between Yes-No-Yes AC finally called on 14Feb2015 and things were different for us. We decide to put ourselves thru the grind. So we started with visiting each other. Then I took him to my village Thal and my family home for a few days to see if we can spend more time together. It was difficult for us because of our age to change our thought processes but still a lot of important things we believed in were same. It was important for me that Arvi did not smoke and drank only to celebrate, may be once or twice in a year. We agreed to keep our own faith and he assured me he will never interfere in my practices infact I was already seeing him participate. He then took me on a week long holiday to Panchgani. He had a very nasty bout of vertigo once thankfully I was visiting him and I stayed till he recovered. It was so hard for both of us. As our decision to get married became final it started being tested by external poisonous factors mostly people and not circumstances. We had a very tough first year. The only way I could make things work for us was assuring him that we are in the marriage as a team come what may. We explored our thoughts on surrogacy, adoption etc. We talked to a lot of friends and our relatives and finally decided that we should not have kids. Through it all Arvi's health issues were becoming more and more complex as we discovered his heart was bearing the brunt of all the medication over the years. Our cardiologist was the same and he had clearly informed us about the challenges on hand for both of us. However we chose to live well inspite of it. We had our year planned out. Summers in my native Alibag, attending all the Parsi baug fests, Panchgani in the monsoons, December for our travels to a new place as it was our Anniversary month and Finally after new year visit to Udwada to thank Khodaiji for the life we have. The two big trips we did together were a struggle for Arvi I realised and last Dec he wanted to take me to his favorite Manali. In the last 2 years we became friends of the heart. Arvi made everything special for me, always the more mushy one. He always said you will miss me when I am not there. He always told me he would not be able to live without me. He also told me to live well. He had come to realise his heart was not going to let him live all his dreams. Inspite of that he promised to celebrate 25yrs of togetherness with me!

After I lost my husband my parental joint family dropped all the existing differences, love won over material matters and continue to hold me in their warm hug. I must have done something right all these years. There was a stray incident when someone I didn't know very well talked to me in a way I still haven't been able to understand. What made that person say the things she did? God gave me strength to bear that too. Only then we learn the importance of family and blood. I am grateful to both sides of my family, Koli and Parsi. Though less than a handful on the Parsi side they are very loving and supportive. Unfortunately they were not in town as they were all travelling when it happened.

I try to pack my day with lots of activities now. So when someone requests for a class I say yes. It fills my day with a lot of good energy. The recipe of Cherry chutney I am sharing here is what I made for one of the class sessions to go with bread that we baked. It is lightly sweet, spicy and delightful. Do try and let me know if you like it.

2 cups Kashmiri Misri Cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan put the half of the pitted cherries. The other half grind to coarse paste and add to the saucepan. Add a cup of water to just cover them. Cook till soft. Then add the sugar, salt and chili flakes. Simmer till you see the cherries look slightly glazed and the chutney is not runny. Let it cool completely. Chill it in the fridge and then serve. 

I served it with the breads during the class and after it I have been enjoying it with different crackers and savory biscuits like in the pictures.

Note : The plate and chutney pot are my Cooper family heirlooms and so is the crochet tablecloth.

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