Nature Conspires

Remembered how you said yesterday that nature was conspiring with you to get things done, decisions made. I think ya…maybe you’re right – coz nature is definitely conspiring…and conspiring AGAINST me!!!!!!!!! everything I do goes wrong – starting from yesterday i went shopping with amma and spent ages picking out tomatoes from a bunch of sad, small, yellowish ones. When we got home – amma was like – why didn’t you take the big red b’lore tomatoes?? They were on the top shelf!! Which I totally didn’t see. Along with the beetroots, also on same the top shelf that I didn’t see. I ended up bending over double and drag an almost hidden carton of extra beetroots out from under the shelves. Then I tried to make ragi dosa and potato. i put the potatoes in the microwave – but the voltage was too low. so they were barely warm, forget cooked! and then i put them on the fire and where they got burnt. And the ragi dosa – instructions on the cover of the packet called Ragi Dosa say add 1 cup of flour, 1-11/2 cups water. add onions and salt. Cook like uttapam. Which is what i did. or so i thought. But not even one dosa looked like a dosa. And most were under-cooked or burnt! i yelled to amma for help. but by the time she came – there was enough mavu for about 2 dosas left. and she said I was just impatient. (Not like her patience-filled dosas turned out much better than mine!) We had left over soup – which is my favourite. so i gulped down a large mouthful, hoping to avoid the pretend ragi dosa. Only to find the soup was COLD. So didnt get very far with that either.
One would have thought that nature would have had enough of screwing me over…but oh no. today has been just as bad. organising going to gandhigram and sivakasi has meant dhruva and me calling each other about twenty five times. Trying atleast. Mostly one fone or the other is engaged – as we are trying to call each other. Finally, dhruvas friend naveen may come from madras. So there will be three of us. And we havent been able to contact barbara’s friend there. So, so far, no one in gandhigram knows we are coming!! Poor appa was feeling bad for me i think. So he has sweetly told his secretary to get our train tkts. And he is also going to try to get a gandhigram number and speak to someone there. i tried to get reji and tha, as they used to be in gandhigram…but is their phone working?? thats a rhetorical question.
So,. after all that, (and calling you and sort of fighting, even though I really dont mean to fight – its all part of nature’s conspiracy!!) I decided that I should bake annakoch’s birthday cake before the current went off or the oven stopped working or the roof of our house collapsed – by now I realised I had to be prepared for any kind of eventuality. Baking is the one thing I’ve been good at for as long as I can remember. I like to think its in my genes! Knowing nature was working overtime, I was organised and got all the ingredients ready before I started off. Like it is in cooking shows, or in posh cookery books with glossy pictures of all the ingredients in pretty bowls. Sugar in the big mixing bowl, flour in another – and I remembered to add baking powder. Eggs in another bowl, essence and the baking tray all ready as well. But I was fighting a losing battle. With nature conspiring, i had no hope at all. And this time, her chief weapon was the butter. i carefully measured the butter and added a bit more from a fresh slab of cooking butter so that i’d get the measurements exactly right. Oh, how feeble were my attempts to stave off natures cruel thrusts. i carefully added the exactly measured butter to the sugar in the mixing bowl, and then started beating them together with a mixie. But to my horror, instead of the rich, creamy batter that i was expecting, the mixture had a remarkably plastic-y look to it. Infact, when I stopped to take a closer look, I could see long bit of some plastic-like thing trailing over the blades of the mixer The butter, as I then realized, had been camouflaged in a transparent plastic covering. And now my cake batter had as much plastic as it did butter and sugar. Determined that if I went down, I would go down fighting, I picked up the mixing bowl and dumped it onto the stove, hoping to melt the butter so the plastic bits would float off. And sure enough, in 5 minutes, the butter was a bubbling mass of golden liquid, with transparent goo-y bits floating around. I’m going to leave out the gory bits, of burnt fingers, boiling butter, strainers and dustbins, but finally in the end, I managed to get a thick syrup of butter and sugar and no plastic. I had not given up; I had stood up to nature and managed to come out on top.

Well, so far. The mixture is now in the fridge, cooling so I can beat it a little bit. But who know, when you are working against nature, anything is possible. While I have been typing this out – the butter could have frozen, or the eggs gone bad or the baking powder could go flat. Endless possibilities. I should stop now and get back onto the battlefield, call for reinforcements if needed (that means call amma and say HELP). But I must admit, whether for you or against you, nature sure is an ace conspirator! And next time, father or mother nature, please be on my side. You might even get a piece of warm, soft and chocolate-y cake.

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