Being on holiday does gives one permission to binge on food! We had lunch at a fancy restaurant called Can Fabes at Sant Celoni in Catalonia. A good 45- minute drive from our hotel. Grand and lovely seven course lunch (maybe there were more!). Alyona and I could do justice but not the kids. Can Fabes is recipient of 3 Michelin stars. We enjoyed some ravioli and pea soup. Kriti has every reason to burn off all the extra calories with her training that followed in the evening. It was a different venue called Calella (locals call it ‘Caleya’), a seaside town that has an ancient lighthouse overlooking it. Alyona commented she was transported to her Enid Blyton stories looking at the lighthouse!
We were a big bunch of people as there are other kids too training with Kriti and the twelve of us, kids and parents, drove down in a bus. Lovely scenes, lush green, along the way.
Saturday night we finally got the tickets for the famous Spanish Flamenco Show at the Castello Medival. Colourful to say the least…and very energetic dance sequences.
First they had some horse show and fights that were true Hindi movie style, a live band came on to play and last of all the Flamenco Show. As tomorrow Kriti does not have training, so going to Roses ( a place which is about 1 hour from here). We have a hired car and will drive down, lunch at a restaurant and maybe a bit of shopping…
Very proud of Rachita, our elder daughter, for her 93 percent in ICSE 10th board exams. We are in a celebratory mood! It has enhanced our purpose of vacation in Spain.
Started the day with a good breakfast at La Escala, a restaurant in Hotel Empuries. Quite a drive from where we are staying but worth it…a lovely place by the coast and we had the invitation from the chef so got really good treatment.
Kriti, our younger one, is busy with her sports practice, sometimes having morning trainings on the beach that gives us a wonderful excuse to start the day early with a walk along the sea. We are also slipping in some tours of the market while she has her evening practice.
Booked for lunch at a restaurant called Roca, which is Number 3 in the world. Otherwise, we are doing exactly what the kids demand: laze around with them, swim, play cards..be free.
Staff back in office are still in celebration mood. All have planned to go for a newly released movie tomorrow bunking half-day! They are going to make life hell for others sitting in the same theatre. Being in group encourages the devil in you.
Till I write again
The other day I heard Alyona pressing Kriti to have more water to drink. This got me thinking. So how much water is enough for you? Or better still how much is needed on a daily basis? Well, I know for sure that an average healthy individual should consume 1500 – 2500 ml of water per day for proper functioning of the body and to prevent dehydration, constipation, urinary infection etc and this requirement is based on the dietetic habits, climate and physical activities. With meals, a moderate amount will not dilute the digestive juices but do not drink copious amounts. As summer has fully embraced us hydration at the right moments becomes more and more important for an active person. If you are travelling, ensure some extra glasses of water a day before and on the day of the trip. While in flight, keep in consideration the low humidity levels, so have one glass of water for every hour in the air. Summer sears so needless to say, as the temperature outside rises, the water intake should increase! In fact, if you know you are going to be in the warm outdoors for long, spruce up with lots of water. Even summer colds and flus can lead to dehydration. Be careful because it does not help the sickness. Drink more water and fight the germs. You’ll get better sooner. And yes, the cup that cheers, that is tea and for some coffee – these liquids brighten the mood but they are sure dehydraters. For every cup of beverages like these, drink up a glass of water.
Why not also eat foods that have a high water content? Watermelon has the highest content of water (95.8%). Another good food is cabbage. Milk and fruits have around 70 % whereas solids like bread, eggs, fowl, rice, wheat range between 10 and 50 %.
Here are some recipes, clean and light, but brimming with full flavour. So enjoy and know that your body is in the process of hydration!
Those who finish their ICSE finals today will be relieved, jubilant, feeling free! Rachita, my older daughter, wants to party but Kriti my younger one is still in the midst of her final exams! Well, Alyona can best handle the situation I feel. Rachita was also telling me about some of the smses that have already started doing the rounds for April Fools Day…I mean, this is misusing technology but I guess it is the order of the day.
Off to Dubai and as I have already told you about the Zee Dubai Mega Mela let me also tell you that the food demos have something in store for you: something new and intriguing and brand new compositions, something I call zara hat ke, that are of course, easy to do at home but with an exotic finish. Now, I am not going to reveal the recipes here, YET. I am going to demonstrate two recipes on each of the three days April 1, 2 and 3.
What I also want to do is re-introduce the joys of drinking sherbet at home. This will definitely decrease the ‘need’ for aerated drinks and introduce traditional cooling methods at home. In the earlier times medicinal herbs, vegetable extracts, roots and sandalwood were added to enhance the therapeutic and nutritional properties of sherbets. These were truly healthy! But with time the pure ingredients have slowly made their way out. Sherbets are not just sweet coloured beverages. They are high in vitamin content and are rich sources of natural antioxidants. As most of them are sugar syrup based one should remember that they have calories as well. Sherbets maintain and adjust the body’s water and electrolyte balance, encourage the function of liver and kidneys, check vomiting, diarrhoea and indigestion. The organic types are pure syrups of fruits or floral extracts. You can choose from orange, pineapple, carrot, watermelon, rose, kewra. Synthetic sherbets are made with essences and are not high on my favourite drinks list. Moreover they are slightly acidic too. There is no limit to the types of synthetic sherbets that can be produced!
So what to look out for? Gulab or rose sherbet: Highly held as a blood purifier. If it is made from pure gulab jal that has been distilled from desi gulab petals, then you have something that is anti-acidic, anti-flatulent and rich in antioxidants. Khus sherbet is the pure extract of khus roots. It relieves acidity and purifies blood. The khus extract is obtained through a meticulous process and is blended with herbs to enhance the quality. Intake of khus syrup gives instant relief from heat stroke. It has diuretic properties too. Chandan sherbet is an exotic extract of edible chandan derived through conventional methods. Traditionally it was used as a sedative but it is equally efficient as a cardiac tonic, a stimulant and an antiseptic. It has a soothing effect on skin through its blood purifying properties. It can also be used to alleviate gastric irritability. I could go on about zafrani and badam and faalsa and kokum…..but going to catch a flight now.
And now to give foods a twist and increase the pleasures of April 1.
Till later then,
Entire country was watching and waiting to hear the passing of Women’s Reservation Bill in the parliament today, but as has been happening for the last 14 years, today also it met it’s normal opponents and not seen the light of the day. A golden opportunity lost again!
As we prepare to get some food shots done for the book on recipes for fussy kids, let me tell you that the enquiries on how to get the little ones to eat are mind boggling! I am sure this book will be met with open arms…kids love food that looks good and for me presentation is paramount! I always think of the plate as an empty canvas that needs a pictorial representation. Most chefs prefer the classic white or earth tones as these complement all colours of food. Only recently have I started playing with coloured crockery as vivid as turquoise to offset maybe, a rich orange moist prawn preparation. I have also served hot spicy rasam in shot glasses!
It is easy to go overboard in garnishing the food. But the first rule of ‘keep it simple’ helps here. Garnishes are best made with edible items. Recently, we had to garnish a pineapple mousse. It was pale yellow, nearly cream in colour. Cherries are run-of-the-mill so we decided to use caramel art. Well, the sugar syrup went a little ahead than we expected and as the lights were set, the mousse ready to melt, we spun the sugar into wisps of sugar threads. Took a bunch and put it on the mousse. A bit of creativity is very satisfying!
The more popular garnishes like lemon twist or slice, cucumber twist, carrot juliennes, carrot bundle, spring onion whisk, red chilli flower, tomato wings and roses, chocolate and sugar craft can help you create some wonderful looking plates. Play around with two to three colours, never more, for it should be easy on the eye. Sauces also play a key role in dressing up the plate. Sauce can be served around or under the food and if you desire to pour it on top, pipe in thin ribbon form ensuring that the food is not hidden under it.
Presentation is the key to a successful dish. Here are my favourites:
Till I write again,