Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fun with family and fondant

I've been super busy with a house full of guests... which is a wonderful feeling I must add :)

Even Chiara is enjoying all the company. She is so comfortable with everyone... which really surprises me cause normally she is quite a clingy baby. Guess the high octave voices remind her of her mama :)

To welcome the family, I baked a chocolate cake and tried my hand at decorating with fondant for the first time. I've been wanting to try this for a while now, but I haven't been able to find ready made fondant. So, when I spotted mini white marshmallows during a recent trip to Carrefour, I was thrilled!

After watching numerous videos on youtube on 'how to make marshmallow fondant', I popped the marshmallows in the microwave... only to have a horrible, gooey, sticky mess on my hands! I was tempted to throw the entire mush in the bin... but I persisted and viola! The trick is to really grease your hands and your work space before you begin.

The design was impromtu. I didn't have cookie cutters, so used Chiara's blocks for cutting out the stars! Working with fondant is really easy... it is almost like playdough and oodles of fun :)

Click here for a simple Marshmallow Fondant Recipe.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Miss you Lathika!

Looks like I am not one of those who updates their blogs frequently. I am currently aiming for once a week update... which I think is a decent enough target. Let's see how that goes.

Anyway, I've been trying to spruce up the house... rearranging and redecorating without investing in anything new! I have managed to make the guest room look presentable. Here is a sneak preview. Prospective guests hurry!!! Offer open only till June 2011!

Today the bathrooms were getting a facelift. So the day was spent scrubbing bathroom floors... that's when I so so sooo missed Lathika - my maid in India, who back then I thought was quite a kaam chor!

My excitement of moving to beautiful Switzerland died a quick death, when I came face to face with this mountain of housework that dwarfed even the Swiss alps!

Unlike my friend May, I have never been too fond of housework. (According to May's husband, her mother has raised maids :))
My mother did her best too. When I was growing up, she made sure that all of us did our bit around the house. So it isn't like I don't know how to do my laundry or roll perfect chapatis... it's just that ever since I left home (10 years now), I haven't had to move a finger! You see, one doesn't become lazy overnight, it takes years of practice!

Way back in 2000, I first left home to go to Pune for my Masters. Those days, we ate at the college mess and made an even bigger mess at home and no one could care a damn!

A while later, I moved to Mumbai and lived as a paying guest for 4 years... there too I did zilch! The landlady (slightly deranged one -  has the potential to be the central character of many a blogs) made me tea, breakfast and even dinner. The maid cleaned the room and washed my clothes, all I did was watch TV in my room and sleep. There have been times when a whole day has gone by because I kinda... didn't wake up! I had even mastered the art of sleeping standing up in the Mumbai trains! ... yea, I am really good at this sleeping stuff.

After I got married, I moved to Gurgaon and there too life didn't change too much. The only major difference was that now there were two of us sleeping till 2 in the afternoon on Sundays! The poor maid would be standing by the bedroom door, chanting 'Didi main kya banaooooon?' and we would be snoring!

So the move to Switzerland was like a heart attack. The horrible 4 letters words... cook, wash and dust, that I'd been avoiding like the plague, had finally caught up with me. Overnight, Sheryl had transformed into Sarla bai! Oh yes, and then I got pregnant. To add some variety to the otherwise dull routine, I now teamed crappy housework with notorious nausea! Cook, wash, sweep, Mop... puke... oops mop again! Oh what-e-fun!

Anyway, it's been 14 months since the baby arrived and I can't remember the last time I got a full night's sleep :( If there is something called sleep debt, then someone owes me BIG time!!!

Dreaming of maids and uninterrupted sleep...
This is Sarla Bai, Sleepless in Switzerland signing off.