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Showing posts from December, 2014

Cookies for Santa and Carrots for Rudolph.

Who says you need to belong to a particular religion to celebrate the culinary traditions of their festivals? Growing up, any festival meant that we either gave or received a platter of delicious goodies from neighbors and friends, depending upon the festival, and in doing so, there was a certain bond of appreciation and understanding that prevailed. So unlike the narcissistic, holier than thou attitudes that's being marketed by the 'For Profit' evangelical outfits (and their political patrons) that seem to proliferate nowadays. Santa was very much a presence during my childhood, even if there was no tree. (Bombay is a tropical city and in those days the only artificial trees that used to go up for sale resembled bottle brushes stuck into a wooden pole (not unlike a Festivus pole!). The stocking was my dad's sock and somehow Santa would always turn up on Christmas Eve ~ 8:00 pm, sometime when I was eating dinner in the kitchen and would squeeze in my gift in the sock …

Food52's Secret Santa Swap 2014

I've been a member of Food52 almost as long as I've been blogging. Its a vibrant online community of home cooks, bloggers -- regular 'Joes' like myself as well as some really well known star bloggers, professional culinary experts and its almost like a daily tonic for me to log in and get my daily dose of all things culinary.
Every year, there is a secret Santa swap organized by a member, ENBE who co-ordinates hundreds of members from all over the world for this event. we wait with bated breaths till the email arrives with the name of our mystery giftee around the end of November and then get about 10 - 12 days until we ship out a package consisting of home made food items and other small hand picked gifts.

My giftee this year is a F52 er from Minnesota, Amy Clemensen. Even before the event kicked off, I already had started mentally picking out gifts that I wanted to assemble together in the first week of December.


My box included a 3 pack sampler set of single estate …

Latkes on the Leonard Lopate Show - Vegan Sweet potato Latkes with fenugreek greens

As seems to be the norm these days, I was up last night uploading photographs of Latkes for my Hanukkah post, taking care to transfer some from my camera as needed and then, BAM!, Lady Lethargy struck accompanied by her little sloth of a sidekick, Polly Procrastination. And yet again,  I resigned myself to another session of writer's block when nothing ever seems to flow out of my fingertips to even call respectably call itself a head-note, leave alone a blog post.
And then it happened.. A routine run of errands and a  change of Radio stations, (My kids love to listen to the Christmas music when riding along and I cherish the opportunity to turn back to my staple NPR broadcasts whenever I can this season) and there I was headed to the grocery store and listening to Leonard Lopate interview Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen on Hanukkah dishes. T'was an extra twist of fortune that I was round the corner from the parking lot at Wegman's Grocery. I dialed in to the show and was…