Spring… almost

Spring is around the corner, here in North America. Though we had some ice rain a couple of nights back, yet I choose to believe that spring is almost here. A tree here and a tree there will tell one that. Set against the bright blue sky, it is difficult to miss the tiny pink buds trying to peek out a bit. The occasional chirping of birds and kids running around in the neighborhood are all indications of that time of the year that is probably the most awaited one. At least weather wise. This is the time when something wondrous begins to happen and one cannot help but feel what can closely be defined as, perhaps, happiness. Far from the bustle of the human world, it would appear, the buds get ready to captivate us, the way they do every single year. And we await that beauty,with as much excitement as if we were about to witness all the glory unfold for the first time.

I skip a bit as I try to keep up with my kid’s newfound freedom. Freedom from being indoors, freedom from the weight of heavy jackets and mittens and the occasional snow boot, freedom from hearing all the many no-s and maybe-s that have sadly become more common in our daily conversations. The joy is undeniable. Mother and son both hum a tune, and make plans for summer that promises, almost, to bring more sunshine. Masked people and the unmasked sun…we will take that for now.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.

Pavlova!

When the wonderful Amanda invites you for a bake off challenge, you jump up and down! May be not you, but I certainly did. Also may be not literally;) Not just because she is lovely, but also because I LOVE desserts and the opportunity to try something entirely new is always way too exciting to pass on. And though my pavlova did not turn out as pretty as hers but it really tasted good…thank you Amanda!

(I will explain where my pavlova went wrong in a bit).

Cakes and brownies are usually the go to desserts in our family but even for someone who has a sweet tooth, that is way too sweet probably, these desserts can feel heavy. Occasionally we add flan too. And so when Amanda wrote about this, it gave me an excuse to make a special dessert when there was really nothing special to celebrate! But then I remembered…for the first time ever, we have a female Vice President- a reason BIG enough to rejoice, won’t you agree? ! The recipe was pretty simple and it did not take a lot of time too. You can find it here.

I had never heard of Pavlova before and when I did, I thought it must be Russian... the dangers of assumption, you see. But Amanda’s post and Wikipedia soon corrected me. I finally managed to bake it yesterday evening, as opposed to the weekend when hopes of baking the pavlova were dashed by the piles of laundry that seemed to have overtaken our bedroom and the entire apartment had started looking like a mine field of Lego pieces and other tiny toys, that while remaining invisible, are capable of causing significant damage to one’s cracked winter heels. You see, the blessings and bane of having mischievous little ones! Now, moving on from an extra long sentence.

As I mentioned earlier, it is an easy and delicious dessert and if you have not tried, you must do so. The mistake I made and the reason it looks different is because it is more flat that it should be. When the recipe asked me to just put heavy scoops of the meringue on the sheet, out of habit I think, I sort of leveled it a bit and realized this misstep only after I had put the sheet in the oven. So the pavlova turned to be flatter than what it should be. And that is also the reason I decided not to do the chocolate dome, and I had really wanted to. But I will be making this soon again and it will most certainly have that delicious looking chocolate dome! For this, I put some shaved bittersweet chocolate on top and along with peaches and oranges and strawberry, the whole thing was so mouthwatering.

Here’s wishing you sweetness and thank you dear Amanda for introducing me to the Pavlova!

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.

Last on the card: December 2020

We are into 2021 and while I always wonder when we step into a new year that how do we set boundaries on something as amorphous as time, yet I guess such compartmentalization brings hope and renewed vigor in its own way. The tumultuous year that 2020 has been is magically not going to disappear since it is 2021. And yet, people around the world have ushered in the new year with muted celebrations cause that’s human nature! We are resilient and brimming with hope, mostly.

For the last 2-3 years on the last day of December, I have been going out to a park nearby in an attempt to take pictures of the sunset/dusk or whatever Nature chooses to let me. It was a rainy day this year and yet I went on out to the soggy field and this is what is on my phone for the last day of last year. There was no sunset to photograph but this tree stood out to me and after clicking around in an almost desolate setting, I took this picture. I don’t know what it is but I do find such trees to be imposing and almost, brave.

Wishing you all a year filled with hope and peace. Posted for bushboy

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.