If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 15, 2009

Tea anyone ?

Every day we would rush back from school. With our opening words as we entered the house being
“ What’s for tea?”
Watercress sandwiches and crumpets ? Pate de foie gras or apple strudel ? Ha !
Puri bhaji ! Which went down different ways. You could roll the bhaji in the puri. You could sandwich it between two puris. You could take a bite of puri followed by a spoonful of bhaji. But you ate it fast. Too fast for the mother’s puri frying to keep pace with. But cutting the puris out with an upturned vattee was as much fun as trying to fry the strips of dough left behind . On days when the Mother was stretched it was Marie biscuits for tea. Ten each. Counted out from a big steel box. With a glass of milk. If you haven’t dipped a marie biscuit into a glass of hot milk and then pulled it out soggy, you have’nt lived. It’s an art form. To dip the biscuit. But for how long ? Too short a time and you might as well have not dipped it at all. Too long and the biscuit fell away. Gravity claiming it’s share which you could only recalimingly slurp when the glass was empty. With a lot of practice you could raise the ante. Two biscuits at a time . And if you managed three that qualified for a doctorate.
Sooji. With plums and cashews. Which we would roll into ladoos. And play pool on our plates with. Or dissolve in the glass of milk. Quietly. Because that was disgusting behavior and frowned upon. The crème de la creme was bread pudding. Which was steamed in special containers inside the pressure cooker. Which would be upturned to be drawn and quartered.
“Her piece is bigger than mine”
“They’re both the same and eat it quietly otherwise you wont even get that “ would proclaim King Solomon aka Mummy.
It was always home made. In these pre Candies , pre Andora, pre Frito Lays days. On birthdays it would be cake. On the day after the birthday if you were lucky it was also cake. The only cake you saw on non-birthday days were cake crumbs. That Venus bakery sold by the kilo. Which would be drowned in custard and offered up at the altar of tea. Jelly was another special. With the custard coming into service once more. The Mother preferred soluble, crumbly items. They could’nt be purloined of a distracted siblings plate. Not without leaving a trail to the offenders door. Which made the judgement of King Solomon fast and retribution faster.
Don’t ever look away if someone says “ see crow.”

7 comments:

The Cloudcutter said...

"See crow" Damn! That's how I lost many a breakfast egg to my wicked older brother.
And I preferred dunking Parle G into the tea (couldn't stand milk even as a kid).
But you guys take the cake with dissolving sooji laddoos in the milk! Disgusting indeed!

Anonymous said...

I second CC's comments! :D
Also 10 biscuits? Man, I think we just got 4...

Smiling Dolphin said...

all your posts sound like childhood stories you must be telling aaliya-mahiya!

Saltwater Blues said...

LOL it's like the exact same thing happens in every Goan household! I always hated sweet sooji, still do even today. And you forgot French Toast - when the bread was starting to get stale there was always French Roast to save the day. I wonder if there's anything even remotely French about it!

Keep 'em coming Clem. You sure are making up for that long hiatus.

And you know I'm gonna tell my mum to make puri's tomm. She'll complain about how much oil it takes and all but what the hell! :)

clemde@gmail.com said...

CC yes Parle G in tea. as challenging if not more.
Anonymous becoz you only got 4 biscuits it stutnted your growth. If you were on 10 biscuits oud have grown at least 9 1/2 inches more than you are now.
SWB you're right French Toast. and Banana fritters. Which with bread pudding was recycling at it's best.
BB

The knife said...

hi Clemde...nice one here. My mom was a working one so evening tea meant going to the egg roll guy (Calcutta's Frankie, million times better according to unbiased Bongs) and having an egg roll...evening after evening

Luz said...

Enjoyed reading this. I don't know if any of you had that typical sweet for 'tea' - rice and masoor dal cooked in coconut milk or green moong cooked in coconut milk with whole coconut. Very 'strengthening' we were told.

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