The Chronicles of Miss Shola

The blog's epitaph: Miss Shola came and went as she pleased

Archive for September 2011

Adventures of a Warrior Cook

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She sat on her bed reading her latest pick in apparent rapt attention, but she was hardly following it. Her ears were perked absorbing every wave of sound emanating from the kitchen. They were avalanching towards her – the running water from the tap above the sink, the clanging of the pots and pans as they were being dumped into a large steel tub, their temporary resting place until they retired clean and dry at their usual spots for the night, and of course the continuous chatter interspersed with giggles of the two maids presiding for the moment in that large breadth of space. The TV in the living room was still on and the other women of the house were still in command.

This setting remained unchanged for another twenty minutes or so until the double doors of the house shut in quick succession marking the exit of the one of the maids and a change in scene. The sounds began to wane from this point on. Randomly a kitchen cabinet would shut or the master of the kitchen also her mother-in-law would shout out to the maid-in-waiting  to check if the gas had been put off. Finally she heard the TV die a sudden death and the withdrawal of footsteps behind closed doors, followed by silence; for a minute and then four more.

This was her cue. She put down her book, got up determinedly and walked over to the kitchen that had already been put in the dark. With just a click of a button it came alive, her spick and span workstation for the next half an hour. She had rehearsed the procedure (from the recipe she had found on the www) several times in her head and now it was only a matter of putting it into action, in quick, knowing and efficient steps.

First, she dragged out the biggest cabinet of the kitchen and removed from inside a deep box a 50 grams packet of walnuts (that she kept aside for a date and walnut cake on a wintry day) and cut them into pieces with her bare hands. Next, she went over to that larger-than-life fridge and brought out 2 cups of basil leaves (or in local parlance, tulsi leaves) that she had purchased for just Rs. 20 from the market in the morning. She had spent a good half an hour then to separate the leaves from the stem, wash them and pat them dry. That initial investment of time would help her at this late hour.

She plugged on the mixer and first went in the walnuts for 30 seconds and then the basil leaves with a sprinkling of water for another 30 seconds or so. She cut up two plump pods of garlic and put them in too. The grinding continued, interspersed with pouring olive oil (about 30 ml in all) into it, till the mixture was smooth like chutney. For the final grind, she put in half a cup of cheese (again grated and stowed away in the fridge earlier). She looked inside the mixie jar, quite pleased with the consistency of the mixture, not too runny or too dry, and touched it up with a dash of salt and lot of pepper; never was she a miser with her favourite spice.

She then poured out that pleasant smelling mixture into a big glass jar – that previously held Nutella, but had been washed and cleaned just for this purpose. She ran back into her bedroom and wrote out a small chit of yellow paper and pasted it on the bottle with a flourish. It read ‘Pesto Sauce’.

She could now use the Italian sauce as a sandwich dressing, or spread it on her khakra or even use it as a wafer dip.

Written by Miss Shola

September 26, 2011 at 1:55 am

Posted in Chow, Ramblings

Triptych of Deceit

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“Bastard, you promised you would make me better this time!” The cry echoed back as the pearly gates of heaven stood shut in finality. Left with no choice, the creature of God adjusted its crotch and with a heaving bosom leapt towards the gate. That was the last time He made ‘it’.

*

The knife fell with a clang and splattered the pool of blood in which lay his dead wife. He was remorseful but he loved the ‘other woman’ more. He would carry the burden of guilt all his life; just like she had. Finally he had set her free to reunite with her long dead lover.

*

He stood on his only foot in the queue. One by one the beggars gave in their day’s collection to the area supervisor. Nobody dared to cheat; the supervisors threatened to scoop out their eyes if they did. But he had made up his mind. He smiled as he thought of his daughter reading another book under the street light.

Written by Miss Shola

September 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Posted in Shorts

Move over mouse

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~ A young painter who liked art class in school but eventually gave up his easel and paintbrushes for the keyboard and mouse as the science of the binary code ensnared him.

Written by Miss Shola

September 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Art