Hiatus Explained

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November 11, 2013 is when Zara is expected to join the big sister club. It is also the reason why there has been little to no activity on the blog. I am feeling better now, but still have days when I wish I could lie in bed all day. Not that I can, but no harm in wishing 🙂

I am from a big family and am so excited about us growing our own. If my children can grow up with and experience even half the love and support that I have then I will be a very very grateful Mama. Of course my excitement is nothing compared to Zara’s who has generously offered to clean even the dirtiest of diapers and take the baby to the park. I suspect that when the time comes she may renege on one of those offers!

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Meanwhile here are a few pics of what I have been up to for the last few weeks. Blog posts to follow as soon as I make sure I have the recipes down right. Apparently I thought to take pictures, but not to write everything down which was kinda the point…baby brain?

Gratitude

I often wax lyrical about food, but the reality of it is that cooking can be a thankless labor of love. Especially if you don’t inherently enjoy it. A big part of why I chose to blog in the first place was to make it more fun. What I did not expect – and am so incredibly grateful for – is the joy I feel when someone tries a recipe and is happy with how it turns out. Suddenly, all of it seems like less labor and more love. I just want to say a big thank you to my wonderful friends for their support especially Saima, Laleh and Aalya. You guys make me happy 🙂

 

Beef Biryani

My husband is a good man. Really he is. No bias or anything. I am told that I used to know how to make biryani at the ripe old age of 12, but somehow over time I completely forgot how. And so for let’s say 4 years or so after we got married I served him biryani after biryani that was a 6.5/10 at best. Then, fortunately for him, my aunt who is my go- to person for recipes passed on her recipe for biryani and my husband suffers no more.

Biryani is essentially a meat and spices pilaf. The best biryanis in Pakistan are often found in places which would not survive any health inspection, but have managed to produce the most delicious of biryanis for decades. From the famous Student Biryani to newer (and cleaner) places like Biryani Centre it is definitely a big favourite of Pakistani people. When I was working in Karachi I think I had Biryani at least once a week if not more – clearly eating healthy wasn’t quite a priority back then 🙂

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The Baker Cooks

Baking makes sense to me. There are precise ingredients, straightforward instructions, and clear expectations. You do A and B right and C should taste reasonably good. Especially if you are me and your reading of 100+ reviews reveals that it’s worked out well for everyone else.

Cooking – cooking ‘desi’ (South Asian) food is another ball game. Precise recipes seem to have gone the way of unicorns and fairies and instructions are broad advisories at best. I have been baking since the age of 6 and technically cooking since 13, but not with any real regularity until a few years ago when I got married and moved to Canada to be with a man who often reminds me that for him even average tasting desi food is better than any other kind of food. The last 5 years (almost 6) have seen me try many many recipes and I recently realized that although there have been successes I never wrote them down and over time I forget the things that make each dish sing.

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My little brother cutting the first cake that I remember baking, the pretty frosting was done by my mom

Two years ago I had the kind of baby girl that I always wanted, a tomboy who loves her tutus, proclaims that climbing is her ‘favorite’, cracks jokes (not the knock knock kind), and is generally a feisty little monkey. Now anyone who has ever known or seen a two year old knows that they aren’t always so charming and are somewhat time intensive. Being Zara’s mama has meant several things – for one, I think differently about food and for another, I have less time for it all. Doing the best I can in the time I have has become increasingly important.

So here is me attempting to be the kind of cook that I am a baker. The kind of cook that gets it right most of the time, the kind of cook that won’t giggle anxiously when someone asks her for a recipe thinking “holy crap, what did I put in there!”, and the kind of cook that thinks cooking is fun. So join me as I cook, bake and mama my way through life – not quite in that order 🙂