Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bachelor's Cooking Guide Version 1.0

Bachelor's Cooking Guide Version 1.0

Disclaimer:

1) None of the dishes mentioned in the blog are easy to cook and they can be perfected only with years of practice and persistent devotion.
3) The recipes are original and any claims of copyright infringement will be ignored and ridiculed with disdain.
4) If dishes don’t look like the accompanying photographs, it means that you are a disastrous cook and I advice you not to cook ever in your life.
5) Short term side effects due to consumption like constipation, wheezing, loss of sensory perceptions and long-term side effects like violent convulsions to sudden demise cannot be attributed to my recipes.
6) And more importantly any vandalizing of my blog after trying out my dishes is not allowed under Indian penal code IPC 4466 article 364 / A. C’mon don’t go and verify it!!


Yeah usually the disclaimer looks good at the bottom of a page, but for a novelty and my own good health I think it’s safer to put it upfront.

I will explain some of the best dishes every made on this planet and anyone who tries to reproduce the recipes in any other blog should acknowledge that those dishes are in house projects of mine. I hope readers will appreciate that lot of pain staking research goes into making these delightful dishes.

For starters I ll suggest some kind off baptism by fire. Some of the toughest dishes every conceived in my laboratory are as follows. By the way, yeah my kitchen is a laboratory. And for those quality tests I do some testing on guinea pigs before allowing human consumption.

Chinese porcelain and green chilly






One of the marvelous discoveries of the 18th century attributed to Late Tomdicnharry. Green chilies look splendid in porcelain. The combination of Green and white is soothing and tempting for the eyes. Let me tell you one of the best kept secrets in my skill set, The green chilly should be placed exactly at the center of the plate at an angle of 30 degree to the vertical axis to have the best aesthetic look.



Flowery tomato crescendo.




Originally from Italy and rediscovered by this humble chef, it involves lot of effort I would say. Approximately 9-12 hours would be sufficient to get the best results. After washing the tomato apply L’Oreal moisturizer on the surface of the tomato to get the best shine.
Applying laws of trigonometry mathematician Lao-Tse-Sung suggested that tomatos are best cut with a knife rather than a hammer. Some of the best people I am obliged to. Still wouldn’t have found a way out of this strategic confusion but for him.



Sparkling water in Venetian glass




This is slightly less strenuous than the previous two dishes though I suggest readers not to brush it aside. The presence of minerals in the water makes it a very precious commodity. The right blend of minerals in water is of primary importance. The percentage of Iron and calcium shouldn’t be more than .023% and .0056% at all costs to get the right flavour.


Virgin bread delicia


I will say this is an absolute masterpiece. Buy the softest bread in the market to get the best results. The slice should be square in shape as per Indian karmic shaastra and should be precisely measured using vernier calipers before carefully placing it on the plate. This is a dish to die for.


White yolk egg with crunchy hard shells




I believe folks might suspect whether I have taken the patent rights from the US patent department for this dish. To hell with it. Let them get the patent from the hen first. Boil the egg in water at a temperature of 93 degree Celsius to get the right taste. Removing the shell is at the discretion of the consumer.


I guess I have explained more dishes than a novice cook like you can handle. Suggest aspirers to practice these delicacies 3 times a day before attending my next class. A good homework is essential for bigger battles in store. And please don’t loose confidence if you are not able to manage these. As I have learned there is always scope for improvement. Infact you can take inspiration from your guru chef who himself took 2 weeks to master the above dishes.


And just like goody new age websites...

P.S. Please donate 1001 Indian rupees to my account if you find the recipes are useful.

P.P.S. No claims entertained if readers find that they wasted their time here.

Neways introducing a new blog with more such interesting and lethal recipes @ http://bachelor-ambrosia.blogspot.com/2007/01/whats-cooking.html

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

kochu kochu mandatharangal!!

I have made blunders. I still make blunders. And I have immense self-confidence that I will henceforth make more blunders. Tough isn’t it to have such consistency these days when our cricket team is the only other thing that has such has splendid consistency…needless to mention of losing with such √©lan.

The other day while having lunch with German colleagues another one of my usual blunder happened. Being a pure non-vegetarian I was having ‘turkey’ for lunch. For gyan the Germans call it ‘Puten’. That was the only thing non-vegetarian, which looks edible to me in the sea of ‘straight-from-the-slaughter- house ‘ beef, pork and other assorted meat products. Neways rather than digressing let me come to the point. While having lunch we have a habit of discussing some global hot topics to mundane home stories... be it about Paris Hilton or Condoleezza Rice. And on this particular day the big senseless discussion was about the radiation poisoning that happened to the Russian spy.

Unfortunately for me on this day, I devoted myself to enjoying the meal and rather than showing off my grasp over all the world matters…Therefore rather ignorant of how the discussion was progressing I was quietly savoring my ‘turkey’ dish. And it happened that suddenly this chap asks me.’ So...What’s your opinion of Putin??’…Hey for me that fleecing moment, ‘Puten’ the turkey had a more significant presence in mind than ‘Putin’ the president. And what do you say when someone asks something like that?

‘ Pute(i)n is absolutely delicious...though is not hot enough for me.’

When I turned sideways after replying, I saw the one of the most puzzled look I have ever seen. Just like how Prez Bush looks like when he is absolutely clueless when asked about Iraq.

Likewise in the first few days in Germany I was puzzled when people used to say ‘choose’ every evening while I was going home after office hours. Dude, if you have to ask someone to choose something…you must offer something. But here I found all of em just asking me to choose something from thin air.
I hurried to my Indian colleague to ask if is some age-old German custom or gimmick to ask someone to choose something from nowhere, just for the heck of it. Finally gyan prevailed that ‘chuuse’ is how they say goodbye in German!!

Next day I had a field day blurting ‘chuooose’ the musical way they say..

It further reminds me of my Italy trip in which a colleague of mine went into a restaurant asking for directions to the town of Pisa. Only to be showed some delicious pizzas in the shelf. This guy has sworn to rely on maps further on…

After many experiences it was decided to rely on sign language to convey when you don’t know how to speak Italian. Some research in some god-forsaken university had proved that gestures could communicate a lot. They had found out that 78.32% percentage of ideas could be conveyed just by good body language. Digressing let me tell you that my employer gives me 1.67 leaves per month as per policy. How sweeter can it get! Maybe 1.67325 leaves per month sounds mathematically sexier!!!Swear on the guy who taught them the decimals?

Coming to the point my friend who was staying in a hotel in Florence went to the receptionist to check whether he can make a call. The skillful and elaborate gestures he made and the receptionist immediately understood exactly what he meant. My friend swears that he saw a bulb lighting up in her head (the kind you see in cartoons when ideas click) when she nodded that she understood everything he gesticulated She came back with a hair dryer and handed over gleefully to this friend of mine. So much for what the research says!

And many things still amuse me here. This buddy of mine who still thinks it is cool to come late for meeting apparently forgets that Germans have a penchant for precision and make sure things happen on time. They apparently grudge if people don’t respect time. They infact get impatient when the train is late by a few seconds. But this chap used to seeing apna Jammu Tawi express running late by days thought things work desi style here as well.

His German boss by now knew how slack our Indian friend was in reaching office on time. And one day he decided to give him a hint. So the conversation goes like this..

Mr. Schulz: Hope you are aware of the meeting at 10.30 tomorrow

Indian friend: With a sly smile. Ofcoz Mr. Schulz.I have marked it in my calendar.

Mr. Schulz this time in a baritone voice and damn serious.10.30 in the morning to be precise!!!

Now apna friend dint look cheerful like before!!!!

And some days back while standing in the bus stop a conversation happened between two guys both heavy smokers. Let say call them Marlboro Kings and Davidoff Wills.

Wills puffing vigorously.”Hey Kings… am concerned about the increasing pollution.esp in public places..”
Kings nodding sympathetically...”Yeah..David..Something should be done to stop this”
Wills..”I hate the non smokers who cough all the time around us”
Kings endorsing Wills and patting on his shoulders...”Bob. I wish the government does something to stop the noise pollution they cause”

neways things running as usual for me.I saw snow for the first time recently..Was so excited about it..I found it odd that people dint go berzek seeing snow..I was all fired up and enjoyed the moment!!

I am having blunderful times here...And I expect even more blunderful incidents to talk about..maybe when I become a old grumpy man I might write a book.’Mein Blunders’ :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life..the other side

He was a tall handsome young lad..22 years old and enjoying the best of youth. Binumon as well call him was soft spoken but with great ambitions and desire to enjoy life to the max…Loving parents and hopes of a simple middle class family.Life was great in its own small ways .He just wanted to live the typical way..study..get a nice job and take care of his parents…



I don’t like telling sad tales..I dont know whether to call this a sad tale because it involves a fight..A fight to LIVE...and to HOPE..but this is a real story of my cousin..Binu was doing a course in allahadabad university in agriculture..Far away from the laid back alappuzha where he hails from..Far away from the coziness of a nice home..and the company of boisterous friends , he was almost near the fag end of his course when those twists of life happened..

Back in trivandrum I was doing my engineering like another kid of the block..For me life was just college , movies, university exams and so many such usual jargons..That day my dad got a call from binu’s dad that his son was having severe fever and that he was leaving for allahadabad…All my relatives thought it was just a over cautious dad just eager to meet his son ..


Binu’s dad called a week later.

A dad who had gone to meet his son who was studying quite far away saw what a parent feared the worst..This nice chap was in a hospital bed ridden..after surving 3 heart attacks..one of them major..speechless..and paralyzed..a victim of a rare disease by the name Guillain-Barre Syndrome ..

A killer disease which starts with a seemingly harmless fever but fatal..and the cure for it is a obscenely expensive injection which can cause a heart attack as a side effect and hence has to be administered in utmost medical precautions..But those government docs in allahadabad don’t know how precious a child is for a parent..A hospital where even the ICU was ridden by rats and coackroaches..Binu’s dad all alone and helpless facing a calamity unthinkable of was shaken and helpless..Binu couldn’t be moved out anywhere coz of the precarious condition he was in and was surving on life support systems..After the last attack he had slipped into coma..Few friends of Binu helped his dad to tide over the inital shock..But that was a shock for a lifetime..His Mom was taken there and a month later when Binu could be moved out he was bought to a hospital in trivandrum..

The last time I saw him he was 6 foot tall ,well built with a good physique(gym crazy he was) and smiling as always..Although elder to me he never carried a big brother attitude in his sleeve..His humility was humbling for me when I reflect back..But now when I went to meet him in the hospital I saw a almost lifeless figure..almost skeletal..bald..with a gaping hole in his neck for all those artifical respiration devices..At first I was shocked at his appearance..infact it was tough to hold my composure in front of his parents for fear of hurting them..I tried to make them feel everything is normal which they obviously knew otherwise…Celinamma aunty was there..I expected to see her weeping and heartbroken..But I saw her at peace with the fate..just eager to get her son back in feets at all cost..She was some one I least expected to put up such a brave resolve..I couldn’t imagine myself standing up in such a scenario..Babychayan was quite relieved to get his son in this reputed hospital for that it gave him a flicker of hope…

I have seen people crying and shocked after the death of a loved one..but this was a bigger battle..To wait day in and out to see there beloved son open his eyes..to see a once lively energetic son lying on a bed alive for namesake…His parents stayed at my place those 5 months..

I remember those days when I drove them to hospital those days ..I tried not to talk about Binumon on those trips just to divert their attention atleast for some time..but I knew for them the world was all about Binu..One month later he regained consciousness ..Though he wasn’t able to speak because of a hole in his throat that was made to suck mucous formation in his lungs..His parents were mightly relieved when Binu was able to recognize them..Bed sores and other problems synonymous with a bed ridden patient was taking its toll..And the parents began to take care of the daily needs..

Whenever I went to the hospital to meet him those days I couldn’t gauge Binu’s thoughts..He just smiles when I meet him..I talk about something happening outside..But he just looks blank unable to say anything..His parents looking out for any signs of reponse from Binu..I was just talking not knowing whether he is listening to me..

After sometime came the second shocker..Docs informed that Binu’s brain could be damaged after the attacks and not to hold hopes of full fledged recovery..But when some one badly wants something..we hope even if the chances are bleak..His parents just hoped liked that..To get back the good old Binu..

Later on he was moved to another hospital where he could be moved to a room ..The previous hospital had only intensive care facilities..In the new hospital the hole in his throat was stiched..Binu began speaking..although barely comprehensible because his muscles had become slack by then..He had lost atleast 40 kilos during those days..from a sturdy 75 kg frame he had thinned to a skinny 35 kilos..I have seen pics of concentration camps ..here I saw my cousin looking like almost one of them..A guy whose presence was towering just because of his physique a few months back..

Intensive physiotherapy and nutrient supply made him gain a few kilos..But he was still bed ridden..He couldn’t stand because his legs were too skinny and calcification had caused the muscles to bind with the bones..Another trouble we found later was that he was having short term memory loss ..So he kept repeating questions..He kept asking the names of the people whom he had just met…It was hard to see how is parents were trying to convince him that it was year 2004 and not 2003 (when the trauma started)…

After countless operations…He can walk now..although his damage to the brain has caused this short term memory loss..He has forgotten everything he studied…He get terrible mood swings and gets angry at his parents..Maybe he himself doesn’t comprehend that he is getting angry at his loving dad and mom…Maybe the brain damage happened because the trauma was too much for his own self to handle..He doesn’t understand the of enormosity of the calamity he has gone through…Maybe it is God's way of sparing pain he was going through...

But I have the biggest respect for Babychayan and Celinamma aunty who had to go through all these..Take care of a son who they might have visualized as a different being now a few years back…They are not physically strong..But emotionally strong than most of us..They are happy too see their son in flesh and blood ,scarred though...

When I had been to there home last time, Binu talked about the time he had been to trivandrum…He does remember the times we spend some 10-12 years back..Sometimes I wonder whether he is coercing himself to forget everything that happened during his illness..maybe…


P.S..He is still undergoing corrective surgery in his legs..Staying with parents in Alappuzha,Kerala..The treatment was enormously expensive..Thankfully funded by relatives abroad and good aid from the church..

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

l'Italia bella

It is often identified by the sobriquet “the eternal city” a place where you can smell history and get drunk in art and sculpture. Rome leaves you in awe with the sheer landscape it posses. Even the insipid hostel where we stayed might fit in as a vintage architectural masterpiece in any other city. Infact after spending four days in Rome I could easily give any other museum in the world an ’uh.. U poor urchin’ look!!.






Landed up in Vatican just in time for the midnight mass on 24th December and the St.Peter’s square is mighty impressive with the endless space and charming arches…Though was surprised that the square never filled up on Christmas eve. Even our church in Chettipuzha would be overflowing with faithful’s on such a big day..


piazza venezia..this mighty building towers over the rome landscape



The best part of day 1 was a quite expensive bottle of wine handed over to me by someone who had a pass to get inside the church. The Swiss guards infact don’t allow anyone in with any kind of beverage. As my friend and myself was pleasantly surprised with the ‘blessing’ from god we couldn’t help but recollecting a biblical incident of the almighty giving bread and wine to the needy.



for a few moments i was a gladiator..........



Next day we spend walking through the streets of Rome savoring the pizzas and ice creams that were being sold like hot cakes!!

There is a fountain in Rome called the Trevi fountain..Legend says that if you throw 3 coins in it you would marry an Italian…And the legend spread like wildfire among our group and all of a sudden we could see people scrambling for coins in their pockets…I have been threatened with dire consequences if the legend doesn’t turn out to be true…Lol!!!


Went to Pompeii and saw the ruins destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano. My friend was complaining that we couldn’t see the volcano explode when we reached the place..

Vatican museum is a priceless treasure house..A place where you can see the full splendour of Michael Angelo, Raphael and Bernini.You can easily spend ages in there if you want to admire each brush strokes that made those masterpieces.A blog entry in not enough to describe all I saw in Rome.




If Rome was chaotic in nature because of the crowds..Florence was graceful.Never wonder all the great artist da vinci…Michael angelo... were born here..Beautiful churches and even more beautiful frescoes painted inside..If rome is the museum Florence is where all the craftsmen work on the artifacts.. Shopping in Florence could be really pleasant if you have a few millions in your bank..Gucci,Versace,Dior,D&G just stand a glass wall apart seductively…I could hardly see anyone going in those shops..Leaning tower of Pisa was leaning more than I expected it to be..But what stuck me about the place was Pisa was a beautiful quite typical Italian town..

Had exotic sea food out there..Veggies in our group looked at us with awe when a few of us were busy dissecting a squid, which seemed to be quite alive due to absence of any garnishing.. Last leg was in Venice…Our group seemed to be quite out of place in the romantic city. I have never felt the absence of a girlfriend more than in Venice.


The trip was tiring but with lasting memories and desire to see more....Italy is indeed a paradise country..

Being onsite gives you the pleasure of indulging in luxuries like buying things you always dreamt..Photography is not my cup of tea..but the new cam i bought gave some quite good pics...



florence...the city is stunning at night........



Pisa is famous for the leaning tower..bought i loved the place for this........





this was taken in the grand canal in venice..




This cute kid never posed for the snap..


Pisa once again...


just outside the hotel in venice..I could have easily stepped into the water..



venice canals..chk out the gondola





the last sunset of the year in venice..