“It’s soooooooooooo… hot!” my usual wail every single day almost for the past thirty years in Madras – the city whose heat never, ever lets up! There come a few moments of a few days in December when you suddenly remember, “Hey, this is what it feels like to be alive” as a gust of slightly chill air briefly touches your cheek… the rest of the year you sort of exist in some kind of limbo – there must be a world out there where aliens wear things called sweaters and jackets!
I come back from my evening walk today bathed in sweat – not from a particularly brisk walk (more like a snail trying to shrink bashfully inside its shell), but from the weather! Straight from the sweaty bath to a real bath and then flop down on the couch. “I don’t think I can write today – my brains are actually frizzled,” I grumble!
My helpful “only younger daughter” as she refers to herself when she wants to wheedle something out of the parents, tells me to write about inspiration.
“What?” I mumble, feeling totally uninspired…
“Write about how we inspired you as kids,” she instructs… whatever else I have given her or not, there is no dearth of confidence there!
“How?” I query further.
“By… ummm… watching me run?” she responds. “Surely you must have been inspired by my running!!”
Phew! Definitely my daughter and my mother’s granddaughter – that thing about finding everything that we do so interesting that we have no doubt whatsoever that other people find it equally so!
The consequences to this of course, are that occasionally one is answered by gentle snores in the middle of one’s most exciting story!
Which leads me to the inspiration for this whole blog thingy… all the stories… mostly inspired by my children and their childhood (as she does not fail to point out in her effort to give me examples of how they inspired me!) Her case ends with a grouse . “How come we haven’t featured in a story for ever so long? You haven’t written about either of us in ages!”
And so dedicating this entire blog to my two inspirations (yes, Kanch, your running did inspire me – even when you were seven! So does your confidence! And to my only older daughter whose sense of fair play is so finely honed that we parents dare not slack off!)… also remembering that this was started to teach them both easy cooking and yesterday’s recipe – the “beautiful apple and cinnamon bread thing” was a bit of a stretch… we go back to simpler stuff!
Here’s an easy salad – inspired by the most unlikely of things – the Madras summer!
CORN, BEAN AND AVOCADO SALAD
- Boiled sweet corn – 1 cup
- Fresh red soya beans – cooked till tender – 1 cup
- Avocado – chopped – 1
- Mango ginger (if available) or really tender ginger – julienned – 1 tbsp
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1/2 sweet lime (mosambi / sathukudi) or orange
- Green chili – minced – 1
- Sweet chili sauce – 1 tbsp
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Fresh mint – chopped – 1 tbsp
- Fresh basil – chopped – 1 tsp
- Fresh coriander – 1 tbsp
Mix the dressing ingredients, except the herbs, together and refrigerate for an hour.
Mix all the salad veggies together and refrigerate.
Whisk dressing well and pour over the veggies. Rest for ten minutes and sprinkle the herbs on top.
A cold soup and this salad – before you collapse from the heat!
Pic coming tomorrow, guys! It’s too hot to make even this!