Maid Matters

Hiring a maid aka Domestic help is no big deal in India. The reasons are obvious- labour is inexpensive and widely available here , unlike in many other countries. It is even more so here in the Navy as we are provided attached ‘servant quarters'( I hate the word servant, don’t you?) hence help is rather easy to come by. So many of us here employ a plethora of help- cooks, cleaning lady, baby sitters, ironing lady, gardeners at our beck and call. In short many of us are uhm…..I guess the word I’m looking for is SPOILT!

So when my maid a few weeks earlier I was devastated. I was continuously weepy and irritable. M couldn’t fathom why I was “overreacting”!

But now I must admit that I rather enjoy doing some chores around the house. Its a LOT more satisfying to do things the way I want , rather than giving out a million instructions before it gets done the way I want it done…


But the thing is, it’s all I seem to be doing….I barely get time for my music lessons or my painting..or even to watch my kids fight it out:)….so am contemplating hiring help again…

My dilemma( based on a moral lecture my cousins in Australia gave me) is this..
Do I need to feel guilty about hiring help to do jobs that I can obviously do. Am I an exploiter?..I cant bring myself to feel that way…it is developmental aid applied directly , right?There is room today for the Saki lifestyle, no?
hhhmmmm Am I lazy? Obviously it takes very little effort to go around the house with a hoover and a damp cloth atleast once a week,,,Just because there are people willing to do those jobs for money do I need to use them? I’m sure there will be people willing to carry me around all day in a fluff of cushions but does their willingness to do the job make me any less lazy?Isn’t it just the nature of privilege?
Obviously there are so many things that I hire help for although I could do it myself…I use caterers for Birthday parties, I use the services of a milkman although it is possible to go get the milk for the store directly…I do it either because I can afford it, or I would just rather not do these jobs…But is the idea that it is definitionally wrong to pay for something that you can very well do yourself is almost impossible to contain to maids..it has a blanket morality that intrinsically spreads to every aspect of our life..
What do you think?

My maid woes aside here’s an absolutely super delicious pudding I tried from here one of my all time fav blogs……This pudding is simple, chocolaty and delicious at the same time a perfect comfort dessert.

Chocolate Custard Biscuit pudding

Condensed Milk 3/4th of a 400g tin
Milk 400 ml
Chocolate pieces 150 grams
Egg yolks 4
Biscuits 10
Strong Black coffee as required
Fresh Cream for decoration

Working quickly dip the biscuits in the coffee and line a pudding dish/ bowl.
Using the double boiler method melt the chocolate and let cool.
Mix all the other ingredients and the melted chocolate( except the cream ).
Now carefully cook it over low flame, stirring continuously .If you do have a LOT of time at hand you could take the safer route and just double boil it. I used a double boiler to make the custard and it took FOREVER so the last few minutes I just transferred the contents to a thick bottomed pan and heated on low flame.Voila! it thickened in a flash!
Once thick pour the custard over the biscuits. Leave to set in the refrigerator.
Pipe cream over it.

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Two Creations

A friend of mine had asked for a Tanjore painting as soon as she moved in to Goa 2 years back.

I finally finished the painting yesterday..a few days before she leaves for her next posting in Mumbai!

and now I’m tired!

As someone said “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”

But nothing perks me up like baking so here’s something I made from the Deeba’s wonderful blog…

Gâteau à l’Orange

4 oranges
Zest of 1 orange
100 g of softened butter
100 g sugar
150 g flour
3 eggs, separated
11/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp rum
1 Tbsp orange essence (or Cointreau)
1 pinch of salt
Butter (to grease the pan)

Method:
Heat the oven to 170C.
Grease a 6″ cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment
In a bowl, beat the sugar and softened butter together.
Add the yolks one by one to the butter and sugar mixture, taking care to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next one and beat until you obtain a smooth batter.
Add the rum and the orange essence/Cointreau and mix again.
Mix the flour and baking powder together and add it to the batter by “raining it in”. Mix well.
Cut and juice the oranges. Pour half of the resulting juice in the batter, add the zest and mix.
Beat the whites until firm with the pinch of salt. Add them delicately to the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour, checking the coloration from time to time. It will be dark orange when done.

Pour the other half of the juice into the cake while it’s still warm. Take care not to pour it too fast and not to let the cake cool too much before you do so.

Serves 8.

This Cake goes to the ongoing event Bake-off in Champas blog.

Look elsewhere if its a recipe you are looking for……

The only thing constant in life is change they say. Think about it…is there a truer thing?

Days , nay, months shift by so fast. It already the end of March..yet I (and I’m pretty sure most of you too) still feel like the New Year Party was just a few night ago)

Where does the time go?

Most of my blog posts are almost always lamenting my lack of time ..Maybe its me. Perhaps I need to rearrange my day and eh..smell the roses..and I mean that literally. I would love to go on long walks on the beach and see the sunset, watch the clouds roll by and listen to the wind.

How many of us do any of these?

So where does time go? Where do these
wondrous time capsules go when the next one arrives to take
its place?
Maybe we need to slow down and savour the day…..

When I see signs of aging in my parents and in- it upsets me to tears… Everything is changing..

Then there is the story told of King Solomon.
He once called his wise men together and presented them with a challenge. “Find me a cure for depression.” After much thought they gave him a ring on which the words “This too shall pass” was engraved. The King wore the ring constantly and every time he was depressed he looked at the inscription which always made him feel better.
Yes, this too shall pass…..because change is constant.

What propelled my emotional harangue, you ask.
Well last week…last Wednesday to be exact I lost two of my friends in an aircraft crash. They were amazing people , passionate fliers and wonderful officers . But seeing death at such close quarters and having to endure watching their loved ones grapple with sorrow makes me wonder at the hopelessness of death…and sometimes of life too…

Thanks to all who enquired why I was off blogging for this long…will post something real soon….

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