The last few weeks have flown by as if in a trance. The buzz of excitement and energy has sort of worn me down, the days of basking in the sun are on hold and I am back to dark winter weather, but the
good part is that it is the most wonderful time of the year around here-- Christmas!!. Nevertheless, I had a lovely time rushing from the homes of relatives to those of dear friends, malls to restaurants and
tasting street fare to Mom's home made food. Journeying to few distant towns in the excuse of visiting religious temples, stopping to do some sightseeing at tourist spots taking in as much of nature as I could
in the short time. In spite of the bumpy road trips, the hustle and noise ordinarily found in boisterous streets, it is always lovely to visit Kerala. I can see why Kerala's unique geographical features make it the
most sought after tourist destination in Asia. An equable climate, the long shoreline with beaches and emerald backwaters, sprawling plantations and rice fields, ayurvedic centers, historic and cultural
monuments, divine cuisine and charming destinations make it "God's own country", the best part is that we enjoy all the luxury of modern technology. The rides were a bit exhausting on the road, and finally I
understood why my younger daughter V had once described the bumpy autorikshaw ride as a "roller coaster" experience. LOL! She must have been about six years old when she made that announcement,
and her perspective is true.
|Tropical weather at its best--- the afternoon sun at its peak, the heat balanced by the cooling breeze from the swaying palm trees|
meant a time to rejoice with the entire family! Another reason to meet extended family I hadn't seen in ages. A family re-union accompanied by traditional before and after wedding ceremonies made a real celebration a good way to end the vacation.
Kochi has expanded beyond belief with the inaugaration of the Emmanuval Silks building, a shoppers paradise! The Gold Souk Grande Mall and the Oberon Mall in Kochi have turned into interesting hangouts with a plethora of food at the food court. You get to choose from Pizza Hut, KFC chicken and International food, popular in the area. The whole time I was in Kerala, I opted for nothing other than authentic Kerala Cuisine anything that fell in the category of 'local countryside cooking'. Shopping is the only form of excercise I participated in, mostly walking inside Malls.
Any conception of a good portioned diet is almost impossible to follow when you are faced with real authentic South Indian delicacies!! Amma also decided to cook up a few of my old time favorite dishes. The
ideal meal where all the typical food from my childhood came to life was just heavenly. The joy of indulging in desserts, meals cooked with fresh vegetables and freshly caught fish all hard to resist and ignore................so I was out to dig in and enjoy!!! Now, here's a small sample of Mom's food
|Fish Mappas and Steamed Yuca root|
|Crispy Deep fried fresh Sardines|
|King fish Sections Fried in Spices|
|Shredded Masala Chicken Empanadas|
|A small sized white flesh fish "Netholi" and a local favorite in Kerala cooked in an earthen pot with coconut sauce.|
Aahhh the guilty pleasures, the instant gratification of a healthy appetite and relaxatiion has definitely taken a toll on me. In conclusion I have turned into a lazy cook and gained some extra pounds!! Friends, would you believe me if I said.. I could barely get into my kitchen this morning to get a fresh cup of coffee? While recovering from 'jetlag' and surrendering to carry out pizza and Chinese in the last two days, I am 'charging up' and will be back soon with new recipes.......so until next time Kerala