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Friday, June 28, 2013

Blogging Woes And Egg less Cherry Cake Recipe

Knock knock!

Is any one there?

I would not be surprised if this space is deserted after irregular, intermittent posts and long absence. I guess I have confessed before, I am not really good at managing work, home and blogging. This threesome role takes a toll on me and of course, blogging takes a back seat. Despite my best intentions, I have not been able to blog much of late. Only the book reviews with dead lines have made it here past couple of months and that has somehow manage to keep the blog going for a while. I don't know why cooking, taking pictures and blogging about it seems like a huge task. Has anyone here passed through such a phase? I sincerely hope I am not alone.

I will not make promises here about coming back with a bang because I know not when I might disappear again. So, for all those who still care to listen, I am here, live and well. A recent trip to a beautiful hill station has energized me and hence I am seen tracing my steps back to this space. While I share some pictures from the trip soon here, this trip also reminds me of my baking plans I had before the trip.


I wanted to bake this simple vanilla cake with condensed milk and soda for our journey and at the last moment I realized, certain vital ingredients were missing. No butter, no vanilla and no aerated drink. Well, worry not I substituted ingredients and surprisingly the cake came out good and DH liked it better than the original one. And it was praises praises all the way!

Here is the recipe. You can find the original cake recipe I intended to bake here and find the difference.


Egg less Cherry Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
11/2 cup AP Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup clarified butter/ghee
1 tin sweetened condensed milk (400gm)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup water
A few drops of lemon juice
Handful of glaced cherries

Flour and ghee for greasing and dusting the cake tin.


Process:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C. Line a 9" round.If you choose a smaller or larger tin for the cake, baking time may vary. So, adjust accordingly.

2. Shift the flour, baking powder and baking soda twice. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl whip the condensed milk and ghee. To it add the yogurt and water and beat till the mixture is creamy. Don't over mix it.

4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 2-3 parts. Keep stirring while adding flour mixture.The batter will have a pouring consistency. Add the glaced cherries and stir lightly.

5. Bake at 180 C for 20 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160 C and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

6. The cake is done when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes before turning the cake out of the tin. Slice and enjoy!


Catch up with you soon with some pictures and tales. Stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima

"None of us can match the powers we challenge. It is an unequal fight, but we have the dead on our side."

We have often heard about crop failures, how it affects the farmers and how so many of them, think it better to end their life rather than live a life burdened by debt. Such news had made the head lines some time back, when the suicide toll of farmers in the Vidharva region of Maharashtra had reached alarmingly high numbers. To write a novel on such a sensitive topic is a tremendous task, because the subject is not just social, it is political as well. The author, Kota Neelima who works as Political Editor with a prominent newspaper has done full justice to the topic in her latest book- Shoes of the Dead.

Crushed by successive crop failures and the burden of debt, Sudhakar Bhadra kills himself. The powerful district committee of Mityala routinely dismisses the suicide and refuses compensation to his widow. Gangiri, his brother, makes it his life’s mission to bring justice to the dead by influencing the committee to validate similar farmer suicides.

Keyur Kashinath of the Democratic Party—first-time member of Parliament from Mityala, and son of Vaishnav Kashinath, the party’s general secretary—is the heir to his father’s power in Delhi politics. He faces his first crisis; every suicide in his constituency certified by the committee as debt-related is a blot on the party’s image, and his competence.

The brilliant farmer battles his inheritance of despair, the arrogant politician fights for the power he has received as legacy. Their two worlds collide in a conflict that pushes both to the limits of morality from where there is no turning back. At stake is the truth about ‘inherited’ democratic power. And at the end, there can only be one winner.

Passionate and startlingly insightful, Shoes of the Dead is a chilling parable of modern-day India.


Very often when one read a political novel based on real incidents and when the subject is as heavy as this one, the readers often feel bogged down. But, that is not the case with this book. As Gangiri fights for a cause, the readers heart goes out for him. There is a ray of hope. We hope against hope, that maybe things will change for the better at some point.

"There were many such farmers, different names, same fate. As Gangiri heard the stories, he once again found himself wanting something that was denied to him, something he could not have. Justice."



If you have a keen interest in the politics you can even deduce who is who for some characters in the novel. The book is unsettling at times, at times you might feel you are having quite an easy life and that can fill you with guilt. It takes a great deal to write a book on such a sensitive issue with such aplomb. The writing style is crisp and lucid. The characters are real and they will stay with you for a long time. The book will keep you interested till the very end.

Read this book to understand how politics plays with the life of the farmers when they are alive and even after they are dead.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! Thank you Blog adda for giving me the opportunity.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

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