Scramlette

I love experimenting with food. I very rarely follow recipes to the T. I have had a few accidents and a few interesting experiences. I have had made some really good dishes along the way. Today I was bested my the humble egg. My wife loves the Indian/Masala omelette. It basically is onions and green chilly (Birds eye) whisked with egg and then cooked. I don’t mind it but I prefer the western omelette. I tried to blend both the styles today. It did not work as well as it appeared in my head. It tasted good. It had the texture of the omelette but it did not hold its shape.

There is something special about simple food. Plain rice or bread with egg. Plain rice with rasam (which is a kind of light soup). Rice with dhal (lentils). Tasty simple wholesome food.

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Filed under Cooking, Food, India, Indian Cuisine

The road not taken

Sometime back I put together a collection of my poems in an informal manner and called it “The road not taken” It seemed to epitomise the feeling that I had if I had taken a route more geared towards the arts than finance. My writing has always been fuelled by emotion and feeling. In hindsight I feel now that my work ate my soul up one piece at a time. Thankfully I have not lost it completely. I feel it coming back with each passing day. I am looking forward to this next chapter. Previously my work was inspired by what I can only term as my naivety of love. I was in love with the abstract concept of love and had to discover its many facets. Today I know what love is. This time my emotions have burst out not out of love but out of something primal. I have also discovered the National Novel Writing Month. I think I will take part in it. It is time that I make my characters live on pages than run around in my head.

I have been played around with the character of Raidon for quite sometime. He was a character of my imagination. I have recently come to realise that the backstory of Raiden from Mortal Kombat is very similar to my character. I do not intend that he be resigned to some part of fan fiction. I was also not aware of Mortal Kombat when I created him. I was in a role playing guild in a game called Ultima Online. It was there that I created Raidon Raikatuji. The story I intend to write will be a medieval fantasy novel. I intend to create religions and gods. I suspect that it will not have any weird life forms. I want to keep it human because I do not want to fall into the usual fantasy genre of elves, dwarves and orcs along with humans and halflings. As much as possible I do not want to fall into the trap of falling into the D&D mould of having one warrior, one thief, one magician, one healer and one ranger. Though I think that this will be a difficult one to break. 1,667 words per day. It will not be easy but it should be interesting.

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Filed under Fantasy, Novel, Writing

Farmer’s Market

We went to a farmer’s market today. It was bright and sunny but there was a slight nip in the air. Out of nowhere a huge gust of wind blew in and nearly swept me away. For a moment I was glad that I put on that extra weight. There was genuine panic among the farmers there. For them their livelihood was literally nearly blown away by the wind. My wife grew some vegetables recently and I saw the love and care she put into it and those veggies were some of the best I have ever had. I can only imagine what trouble they would have gone through. Our farmers need our support. This should be done directly as much as possible. There are things there that are really good and is a great value for money. There are others that are more expensive but you can taste the difference. Among other things we bought some pumpkins. I have never liked pumpkins but she says that she can prepare it in such a way that I will like it. I am keeping at open mind. I hope the quality of the produce combined with the skill of wife’s culinary abilities will make me a convert.

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Filed under Agriculture, Farmer, Food, Pumpkin, United Kingdom

Words

Words fail me with every passing day,

Forgotten like the gods of old.

In distant corners of my mind they stay,

Waiting to come forth and be told.

A sabbatical of a shemitah I have taken,

Now I am a debtor no longer,

All my burdens have fallen,

Now the spring starts stronger.

Dark melodies flood my mind,

The water of life flows inside.

Who knows which sea my words will find,

Meandering words again ride.

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Imprecatory Psalms

I came across a beautiful poem by Sneha called Curse to you. It moved me and resonated to me like no poem has ever done in a long time. The rawness of the emotions is just brilliant. I felt guilty initially that I loved it. I felt guilty that there are at least 50 people that I want to send this poem too. I questioned whether I am a good Christian. After all did not Jesus say to turn the other cheek? Everyday when I say the Lord’s pray I sincerely pray that I will be able to forgive those that sin against me. I am reminded of the Psalms. The Psalms is more than a book of poetry. Psalm 69 is a cry for help. Even more it is brutal in the way the curses are made. There is hope in both these poems. Those that vindicate will be brutally punished.

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Filed under Poetry, Prayer

Intercession

Lately I have been trying to reconcile various aspects of my faith. I have been following two different daily readings and prayers. I have found that one focuses more on the personal and the other on the community of Christians. We had a prayer 24+ in our church. We had 30 hours of continuous prayer. That provided a nice impetus for me to start praying daily. I have come to realise the benefits of prayer. It calms me. The more I pray the more I realise that I end up praying for others more than I do for myself.

I have come to realise that it is better to be a good Christian than a good follower of a denomination. To become a Christian you have to believe that you have sinned and Christ died to save you from your sins. You also should be baptised at some point in your life based on your conviction. Everything else is doctrinal or theological beliefs.

In this world there are only four people that I would ask to pray. I believe that they pray in sincerity. They pray faithfully. They have the gift of prayer. I believe that through their prayers God will do what is best for me even if it means that my prayers are not answered in the way that I hoped. They are special people. I have learnt a lot from their life. Each one of them have a different method and style of praying.

I have found myself asking them to pray for me. The more I contemplated and the more I prayed the more I found that I felt comfortable in praying Novenas. The basis of my faith is rock solid. Anything above that is doctrinal and theological. To me there is no difference in asking a friend of mine to pray for me and going to him and giving him a gift and saying a Novena and then going to a church dedicated to that saint and giving an offertory. The only sign of life is change. I like examining my beliefs from time to time. It is only then that I can know where I stand in my faith.

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Filed under Christianity, church, Jesus Christ, Prayer, religion

Prawn and Chorizo Paella

There are a few things that I have learnt from my career so far in investments. Firstly there is no magic formula. Secondly research your investments thoroughly. Thirdly adapt your strategies and investments to suit your needs. Finally trust your gut.

I am allergic to crustaceans. However my wife loves prawns. From time to time I make a particular Malabar inspired prawn curry for her. I know it is really good even though I have never tasted it. I will post that recipe some other time. This is my take on a Spanish prawn and chorizo paella. Once again this dish came out well. The quantity below is for four people.

Ingredients

Prawns: 360 grams

Chorizo: 400 grams

Red Peppers (Capsicum): 2

Onions: 2

Bomba Paella Rice: 250 grams

Saffron: A few strands

Cava or dry white wine: 200 ml

Chicken stock: 500 grams.

Lemon: 2

Dried Thyme: One tablespoon

Dried Bay leaf: 2

Olive Oil

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper powder

Paprika

1) Marinate the prawns using half a tablespoon of Paprika, half a tablespoon of dried thyme, the juice of half a lemon, two tablespoons of cold stock and half a a tablespoon of garlic paste. You can vary this quantity based on your taste. I used cooked prawns with the whole shells on it. My guess is that unshelled raw prawns will give the most flavour. If you don’t like messing up your fingers while eating then please do shell the prawns. If you are using raw prawns then make sure that they are clean and their digestive tract is removed. I used hot paprika but smoked or sweet can be used too. It will of course change the taste. I would say leave it for at least 15 minutes but the more time you can keep it then the better it will be.

2)Use a wide flat pan with a lid that sits firmly. Drizzle olive oil on a medium heat. The olive oil is used to lubricate the pan. Do not add too much oil as the chorizo will release its own oils.

3) Heat the stock. Do not boil. Take it off the heat just before it boils. Pour half of the stock in a separate container and put the saffron in it so that it can infuse with the stock.

4) As the oil is heating delink and slice the chorizo. My preference is raw cooking chorizo. If you cannot get your hands on cooking chorizo then any other chorizo will work too.

5)Once the oil is hot then add the chorizo. Let it cook until it starts to release a golden oil. Make sure that the chorizo is spread evenly across the pan. Close the pan with the lid. This should take between 3-5 minutes. Stir the chorizo once or twice in between so that it does not get burnt.

6) You can either do this step before you start cooking or at this stage. Deseed the red peppers (in certain places they are known as capsicum) and slice them into strips. Finely chop the onions. Finely chop the garlic.

7) Once the chorizo has released its oils then mix the peppers, onions and garlic into the pan. Stir until they are well coated in the oil. This will be more visible on the onions. You will know that it is well mixed when all of the onions have a nice yellow colour to it. Close the lid and let it cook until the onions soften or gets caramelised. Add a big pinch of coarse sea salt. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Stir once or twice after six minutes so that the onions do not burn. Keep the lid firmly closed. This will help it to cook better.

8) Add half a tablespoon of paprika. You can add more if you want a stronger flavour or richer colour. Add the remaining thyme. Stir and cook for a minute. Add olive oil if the pan is too dry.

9)Add the paella rice and fry for about two minutes until it is coated in oil. You can use white basmati rice if you do not have access to paella rice.

10) Add 200 ml of Cava to the rice and reduce by half. Stir so that the rice is mixed with the cava and is not stuck onto the pan. Any dry white wine will also do.

11) Add the plain and the infused stock and stir properly. Ensure that the rice is not sticking to the pan. Taste and see if you need more flavours. You can add salt and pepper at this stage. Do note that it is fine if the salt is a little less as the stock and the prawns will add more salt during the cooking process.

12) Add the prawns and mix nicely. Place two Bay leaves on top and close the lid. Increase to high heat. This will take about 15 minutes. You will know that it is starting to get ready when you get the beautiful aroma of prawns. Cook until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid.

13) Chop the parsley finely. You can use the stalks too.

14) Add most of the parsley and squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon. Taste and add salt,pepper and lemon if required.

15) Garnish with parsley and serve with a lemon or lime wedge.

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Filed under Food