Friday, February 12, 2010

Moving and Baking Don't Mix

OK, so this is final. I am never shifting without every little thing of my house coming right with me. Why, you ask? Simply because it means I cannot bake decent cakes for like an eternity after a shift. When I was in India, I could just go to the local grocer and tell him to pack me the ingredients in exactly the amount I needed. So it was pau kilo maida, pau kilo cheeni and so on.(*pau kilo - 250 gms). At home I never had to bother with the measuring or weighing, the ingredients were always in right proportions and life was good. Nearing Christmas, the local supermarkets even stocked up baking ingredients in smaller portions.

Then we shifted. In Sharjah, I could find nothing in packs of less than 1 kg. I never bought a kitchen weighing scale, because I just find it too pretentious. I tried to get the proportions right and messed up each time.I did not bake for a year. In fact just before the Christmas of 2008, I desperately tried, every option, the microwave, the pressure cooker, the oven I had brought from India, the gas oven in my kitchen there, and even bought a new electric oven to do it. Everything fell absolutely flat on its face. I got textures ranging from custard to halwa to rock hard, and everything else you can imagine. Then it took an epiphany, and a baker friend's recipe to guide me to try a measuring cup to get proper quantities, and what do you know, it worked like magic. Once again, I had a measuring cup at home, the one with came with my rice cooker. Don't think I would have bought one, because I just find it too 'fancy'. And I was back to baking well.

And then I shifted again. No measuring cup, no local grocer to weigh my stuff for me, and one gross cake is what I make. I hate it, absolutely hate it. This is simply unfair. Each time I move, my baking suffers, and just because I no longer have with me the things that make it work for me. And so I declared to the GP yesterday, that I am not moving anymore. However may I just add, the big ego boosting factor was that the BB did enjoy the cake, and asked for some more. But I for the life of me, don't know why.

And add to that the woes of new, unknown varieties of onions, potatoes and some more. The onions just don't make for the kinds I am used to in my salads, or sides. I like the Indian onions. Maybe they are not of great quality or breed, but that is what I am used to, and I miss them, I miss them so so bad. Atleast in Sharjah, they were available. Why do there have to be so so many types of onions for God's sake? And I miss veggies, you know the kinds that can be prepared as sabzi(curry). Bored with the same set of 4-5 veggies that can be prepared like curries being available, and I am in no plan to completely change to eating veggies only as salads, I like mine cooked, complete desi style, spicy tadka et all.

So well that is what it is out here with my food related woes. Otherwise, the place is treating me well, I am liking it quite a bit. All I need now, is to learn to drive, and if the GP pushes me hard enough, I may just go ahead and do it.

PS - Did I mention how I am managing without any parlour visits so far. The threading ritual every fortnight is not happening, so its all about my own efforts to keep myself presentable. Not a great success, but tagging along somehow.

11 comments:

MRC said...

:D Oh Boy!!Yoo pooo pooo thing ;)Have I got a comment for this one!! Unfortunately ,no time to post it right now, will be back later to commiserate(laugh) some more!!!

D said...

I have relatives in Sydney who come to India with a wish list of karela, lauki, sarson ka saag, bhindi, gobhi and the whole darn sabzi mandi because the veggies there just don't taste the same!

Monika said...

i can't survive without measuring cups, spoons and a weighing scale... i recently bought a digital one too...

important and specially important when u are baking...

let me mail u a basic rec that is always always always worked for me :)

but yes moving is a pain for sure

Smitha said...

I always end up buying baking stuff wherever I move :) Husband claims that I have enough stuff to open a bakery :) I can't resist picking up baking tins either :)

As for veggies - we used to depend on the Indian stores for the Indian stuff. I rely a lot on frozen stuff - like frozen bhindis and things. These days quite a few supermarkets are stocking some Indian veggies too - so I pick up stuff whenever I find them. but I remember feeling like the way you do when I went to the US the first time. It was a little village with hardly any indian veggies available!

Passionate Goof said...


MRC - Aiyyo, why all the laughing???

D - I know... they don't. :(

Monu - You first get well, and then do the mailing. I just bought myself a ,measuring cup today, but how do I know the weight through that???

Smitha - I love them tins! I have just 2 basic rectangular ones for now, but I have plans to collect many many more. You do such nice cakes, you should do it professionally Smi.

I know about the frozen veggies, they have it here too, but they just don't feel like real veggies to me. :(

roop said...

i luv houston. :D has all the veggies. but carrots here don't taste the same. i go to india wanting carrots!!!!

and baking, i never do anyway. too lazy. u are breaking out of the lazy club. me no like. come back to my fold!! :p

Solilo said...

GM, How about you go to fresh veggie markets and then substitute the available ones with our veggies. We live in a small town and don't get veggies like Bitter gourd (Karela) other than that most veggies have substitutes.

Also, ask some Indian people if there is any Indian lady that does threading. If not you can try waxing. I know threading is far better for our Indian face but when you have no options, you find new ones. :) I can't stand waxing but then I can't stand my unibrows either Hahahaha

soin said...

just follow your intuition and you might invent something ..free

MRC said...

GM,

Laughing because this is SUCH a cute post...ahh the woes of living away from comfort zones! You have to see where we live,can you believe not a decent sabzi mandi in town, no supermarkets, no restaurants(worth sitting in), not a decent movie hall,no picnic spots....just a very small,boring,dusty town...

Passionate Goof said...


Roop - You are reading my blog these days, whats with you??? I am lazy as a lump, have been doing nothing of late, house looks like a dump. I cannot be non-lazy even if I try!

Soli - Substitutes? Like what? I want Bhindi, and they don't have nice bhindi here. there is no lauki, no tendli, no parwal.... I am tiered of beans, carrots, cauliflower n cabbage. I want more!!! Karela we get in the Indian stores! I have been to the fresh veggies market, sis not find anything exceptional.:( They do have women who thread here too, but I am managing on my own, so not looking for anyone yet.

Soin - And the GP will drive me nuts till I do that, with his anticipation of having a decent cake to taste!

Passionate Goof said...


MRC - Oh! That is not nice. Where do you stay???