Enchanted by…

Yes, Yes, I know… we have gone missing. Nope, we are not shutting shop, I assure you. Nor have we run out of things to write about… In fact, quite the opposite (too much happening with all three of us) has kept us from Cheesecaking…

Taking it up from where we left you, good readers, Susanna’s left 😦 and that has been very sad indeed. However, she will soon tell you what all EXCITEMENTS have been up with her. Maegan, you say? Ah… I can’t tell you, I can’t 😉

You’ll have to watch this space for when M posts, for it shall be a lot of news!

I for my part, lost two grandparents (of opposite sides), within two weeks of one another. I have been sad, yes. But… wait… hold your breath… I’m leaving Delhi!

Yes!

I’m leaving behind family and familiarity, heat and fog, and a much loved job. And going to  Edinburgh!

Oh wait a minute again… yes, that’s where S is from, but she shall be in China, of course. If you’ve followed the topsy-turviness of these events, I shall tell you more…

I will be doing a Masters course in Electronics at the University of Edinburgh. I will be there for a year, at least. I leave Delhi in September, for the first time in my life, on an international trip. Scotland will be everything that Delhi is not, snowy, quiet, disciplined, slow, and Scottish! I need to buy winterwear and boots! I’m looking forward to this so badly, it will be such an exciting adventure! And since, I never thought much of India anyway, it will be a welcome respite. I hope to be Enchanted by Edinburgh…

The University of Edinburgh

Doesn’t the facade look absolutely breathtaking? Isn’t it so perfectly beautiful? So yes, I will be hogging cheesecake in Edinburgh.

But wait, did S say ‘not the only one?’ or maybe ‘not the only ones?’ Hmmm.

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Cooking up a Storm

From time to time living in India I find myself faced with the question: “Can you cook?”

No, I didn’t make this …

Well, that really depends on what, exactly, you are asking. Following tried and tested recipes from my Dad I can turn out some (if I do say so myself) fairly yummy puddings: treacle sponge, chocolate brownies, fruit crumbles and the like. And while not exactly gourmet cuisine, my shepherd’s pie is pretty passable.

“But”, as my boyfriend’s sister probed me, “can you cook actual food – you know: rotis? Sabji? dahl?”

Hmmmm, perhaps not.

How many cheesecake girls does it take to make a roti? All three!

Part of the problem is my inability to recreate home dishes on Indian soil. With ovens few and far between in Indian kitchens (most of the cooking is done on the stove top) whipping up a pie or a cake just isn’t going to happen. When a familiar dish can be created on a gas ring – treacle sponge (which is steamed) or spaghetti bolognese, it’s often ingredients which throw a spanner in the works. Golden syrup is not on the shelves of any of my local shops, and for pretty obvious reasons I haven’t even attempted trying to find minced beef in the markets near my house. All of this, perhaps, reinforces the belief that foreigners are not very domesticated. “In your place everything is pre-prepared, isn’t it, beta?” a not entirely mis-informed auntie recently clucked.

Well, action has now been taken, and on two fronts: learning some Indian staple dishes, and brining a little bit of the west east. While learning how straight-forward it is to prepare rotis has been a revelation and I have discovered a love of shelling peas, I’m perhaps more excited my recent acquisition of an OVEN! (disclaimer: an oven in the loosest sense of the word as it is about the same size as a standard toaster, and doesn’t have a temperature dial)

One batch of crumble emerges from the tiny oven

Acquired from a charity shop back in the UK for the bargain price of ten pounds, it made it’s debut this weekend as a group of us joined together for a Saturday cooking party. With matter paneer courtesy of my friend Sangeeta, and an apple crumble & biscuits courtesy of said oven it was a truly multi-cultural feast. Just a shame that it took three batches of crumble through the teeny-tiny oven in order to feed five people …

Thanks to Susanna for the lovely photos from Saturday, more of which can be found on flickr.