With the snow finally melted all around me and the cold wave falling to a bearable low, you would think that I’m finally at peace with the weather. But I can only disagree ever so slightly. Now, I’m not much of a difficult person to please, except of course that one particular time when… Ohh, let’s not get into that now, shall we! Sometimes I wonder if change in preferences defines the epitome of growing older. Well, in many ways, I’m quite sure it does. As I write this, calmly seated at my desk overlooking the big windows in my study, I can’t help but feel nostalgia creep up as I watch the rain pour down.

Recipe for Spiced Lamb Pilaf, taken from www.hookedonheat.com

My fondest memories of rain is of this one particular season, when as a rebelious adolescent, I snuck out of my Mom’s watchful eyes, and armed with a bright pink umbrella, tip-toed into our terrace. Terraces are a wonderful gift of many classic Indian houses. With the open space perfect for sun drying large bulks of laundry, it’s also a wonderful go-to for those lovely late night parties with an open feel. Children, and adults alike can easily be spotted lazying on cool mats, soaking in the warm sun on fresh spring and summer days. A boon, those open terraces, especialy for people like me who love to escape with a bright pink umbrella on a rainy day, if only to dance! And dance did I!

That day brings with it the fond memories of me being soaked despite the umbrella, of Mom catching me doing my jig in the rain and pulling me back into the warmth of our living room, and especially of the aromatic comfort food laid out on the dining table ready to be gorged on.

It’s funny how every fond memory I have of my childhood always has some connection to food. But what’s even more surprising is my craving for particular food at any given time. And while I write this post, looking out the window at the rain washing whatever little is left of the snw on the ground,  I can’t help but feel the warmth embrace me through the aroma coming from my kitchen. Yes, it’s almost lunch time, and I hear my plate calling.

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Pic taken from www.hookedonheat.com, visit site for recipe details.

There comes a time in every one’s life when getting into shape takes the top most priority, and eating healthy seems the only thing you can thing of. For Hubby Dear and me, okay, just me, not surprisingly, these times always seem to prefix a big event – the annual vacation, that special dinner party, family coming for a visit, or the slowly creeping summer! This time, same as years past, my will to get into shape (read: lose some weight!!) is strenghtened by the fact that our 2nd wedding anniversary is coming really close.With just over 6 weeks to stick to my plan, things may not be too easy, considering that I haven’t made that plan as yet!As I walked through the fresh produce aisle during our weekly grocery trip a few days ago, taking in all the wonderful shapes and colours of some not-so-crazy-about vegetables, I caught Hubby Dear wincing as I picked up a perky looking cauliflower.

HD: What’s that for?

Me: Ummn, we need to start eating healthy. I need to lose some weight to fit into that new dress I want to buy for our anniversary.

HD: What new dress? Wait, our anniversary is coming? Do I need to buy you a gift?

Me: Of course you do! It’s our anniversary!

HD: Yes sweety, but I just got you that wonderful thing for Valentine’s remember? I thought it would cover both occasions.

Me: Pity, but yea, you still have to buy me a gift.

HD: Okay, but can we atleast not start eating cauliflower? You know you don’t like it either! Besides, I’ll only eat cauliflower if it’s in the form of Gobi Manchurian.

Me: Yes, but I saw some really fun recipes on many blogs that I’d like to try out. And besides, we need to get more veggies into our diet.

HD: But we already do! Look at the tons of tomatoes you just picked up! Now come on, could we just have Paneer Pockets for dinner tonight?

Me: Do you know how much butter goes into that dough? You might as well eat a whole slab of butter! No, I’m making us a healthier dinner.

HD: Okay, but then if we get into this healthy eating binge you’re dreaming of, then you do realize that we have to cut down on munchies, right? That means our Friday night ritual of movies and finger-food is gonna change. Which also means that World Cup party you’re planning to host can’t have those little treats you’ve planned. And that means you won’t be able to blog about them. I’m sure they’ll taste great, but your readers will just have to do without them. Well, I guess they can surely look forward to your boiled cauliflower recipe!

Me: Wait, I won’t be able to blog about them?

An hour later, I couldn’t help but notice the mile long smile on Hubby Dear’s face as he bit into his Panner Pocket. We were nestled on our couch in front of the big screen TV watching our favourite movie. The cauliflower, if you’re wondering, is happily sitting in my fridge waiting to be turned into a lip-smacking snack in coming days.

And the weight thingie? Eh! Who says I’m out of shape? Round is a shape!!

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Coconut-Almond Banana Bread
Coconut-Almond Banana Bread

Early mornings are always a hazardous affair at my household. Both me and Hubby Dear love to hold on strongly to our last few minutes of sleep. The alarm goes off and the snooze button is banged on a few times in a row, until it’s the absolute final second. Weekends however, are a whole other story altogether. We wake up not with the shrill tone of the ringing bed-side clock, but with brightness breaking  into the room through the drapes. No one fights to be the last to remain in bed. We each take our time in dragging our sleepy bodies out if it. What we do fight over though, is the weekend paper. You know, the ones so thick with all those different sections that would take you almost all day, had you the slightest will to read it all. To be precise, the comics section is what gets our undivided, unforgiving attention.

Growing up in a family where my Dad didn’t know how to start his day without his cup of tea and the morning national headline news; a Mom who didn’t care too much about politics but try as she might, found it hard to resist a good gossip in the entertainment section; and siblings who couldn’t care less about what was happening around them except for things that involved them personally; I was all too happy to have the likes of Garfield and Peanuts discarded my way! Aah, good times.

As I grew up and moved away from home, my weekend morning ritual continued. No matter how much of a frugal college student I was, I always saved up enough to get the Sunday paper to devour over with my morning cup. But now, with Hubby Dear and his swift hand, I can only but enjoy my coffee while I wait for him to get done before I am able to get hold of my morning laughs. And if there’s banana bread to keep me company while I eye him scornfully, then even better. Aah, good times!

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