2014-12-17

Happy Baking Happy Holidays

We enter the last 2 weeks of the year 2014. This year I baked consistently at least one or two cake(s) a month and at times little more. I love baking and getting better with it as I practise more. There are few things which you learn about oven to other kitchen appliance and their unique characteristic.  Got a dedicated  simple cake book and hand mixer to experiment more. Some pictures from recent time. 

So far tried 

  • Normal Sponge Cake
  • Carrot walnut cake
  • Mocha pudding 
  • Date Cake
  • Honeyed Apple slice 

2014-12-07

What a Saturday

Woke up at 4:25 AM ; it was supposed it be a a long day for me  as I try to run 39 KM practice run in a easy pace. Though I am not going to participate in the upcoming SCMM (Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon) 2015 I decided to stick with the full marathoner group to see how grueling their preparation can be. 


Assembled at 4:45 in front of the NCBS gate and met an ultra marathoner from our running group who already covered 23KM starting from 02:30 AM. Oh! boy still trying to keep my eyes and mind open and then you see this great guy who is running with a BIG SMILE. Really he is a person with big heart and great smile. He has transitioned to braefoot and was holding a small flashlight as he keeps on running in dark.

Being December we  decided to run only in the lighted area till sky gets clear which is almost an hour away. We started at 5:15 sharp and continued till almost 12 KM. Somehow I was running alone though there were two just running behind me.  I realized  missed the first planned water break after an hour but continued with them. Now sky being clear went for the full round of GKVK and completed 22KM. Had a banana and water and went out for the next  round. Somehow in the mind I was determined for 35KM as was not sure on 39KM. A week before only could do  a 30KM of running around Jakkur lake

As I crossed 28KM I started to feel my calf is burning with pain and I am slowing down.  I kept on saying to myself there is no stopping before 35.  I completed 30KM in 2:50 which was a very impressive achievement in itself. And completed 5 more in 3:22 :)  but  had to stop with my legs.

Good thing now these cramps comes after 30/33K earlier may be 18/20K.

Came home with  a quick shower was back to normal. It was a school day for Pamela as they had big annual day for senior class. While me and Aarush decided to bake a cake (Mocha Pudding) of his choice. Aarush was real gentle he allowed me to take a proper nap in the afternoon and did not touched iPad ;) woke me up on the correct time. 

The cake was second one from the new cook book called "1 Mix 50 Cakes".  All went super smooth, cake came out nice. Pamela called saying she is on her way to home and I thought to clean up few tea cups and glasses from sink and BANG  I realized the glass I was holding slipped & hit the side of the sink and oh! no blood and blood all around. 

I had no choice and  tried to put turmeric powder from kitchen shelf to stop the flow, it slowed down but could not stopped it completely.   I prepare myself to drive down to hospital and luckily Pamela made her entry as an angel in the door. We three went to hospital emergency. Soon it was all about getting the wound cleaned and prepared for the stitch work.  Got four stitches on my little left finger and headed back home.  

Could not stop myself thinking about the definition of accident.... while in road many a times it is because two or  three person taking chance and they met an accident and later blame each other for the same. Here there was not a single soul around me. God knows how many times washed fragile items and nothing happened and today after cutting  so many wine bottles with perfection I am wounded without any anticipation. 

Still this Saturday will be remembered  as one of my best run and awesome cake :) 

2014-12-03

Sharat - when rains give way to the early autumn with blue skies, mid-August to mid-October.



Month of September 2014 was a unique one. It started like just another month of the year.

Honestly it has 17th September which is most times ‘Bishwakarma Puja’ and Pamela’s B’day and that is how I remember it. From childhood Bishwakarma puja has a special mention growing up in Tripura. After Saraswati puja in January/February there was no major festival till Bishwakarma Puja. And there used to pandals and people going out in the evening to visit those pandals. Also soon after Bishwakarma Puja the annual festival season starts where we celebrate Durga Puja and others. And normally the weather would be great where monsoon is over and climate were getting pleasant. 

But you ask about the weather for 2014 it is a mixed bag. The monsoon was delayed in Bangalore there was hardly much rain during June and July. The rain started to pick up in September and October and we had 2014 a one of the wettest year in recent time where there was traffic chaos and what now when it rained heavily for few days in September and October.

Personally was in a training plan to run my first Marathon(42.2KM) with practice with maiden Bengaluru Marathon. But my training came to grinding halt as suddenly things at family took a turn for worse. Pamela had to rush to Durg to take care of her father who was sadly hospitalized after a severe fall. Me and Aarush managed well in Bangalore. It was bit of a driving as I had to drop him early in the west of Bangalore and come to work in the east. 


End of September the price of IPhone 5 started to drop in Indian on-line stores. Last year (2013) I also noticed the same for one phone which I was willing to spend but ten realized the price starts to go up after the initial offer. So this year I made no mistake and booked one IPhone 5s for 33K and there was some cashback offers from leading credit card companies. Ironically the price of 5s now at 42K INR after the Iphone 6 came to market. Not sure who will buy a older product when the newer one is not that far off. A person who is willing to spent 42K Sure will justify a spent of 53K for the latest model. 

I am not an apple fan boy but have to admit the phone is what I was looking for ? and loving it so far so good.

The Durga puja was a special one as we celebrated the same in Bangalore with one of my beloved maternal-aunt and her family. So we have the usual pendal hopping eating outside. The 3 days just flew away. 

Now with all that came my birthday which was a very simple affair as things was not great again in Durg. And 4 days after that was Bangalore marathon. I had to make a hard choice of either run a Half Marathon or crawl a full marathon and after lot of deliberation I opted for the 1st one. It was an wise decision as I was struggling with 26 KM after coming back to running after an month. 

So here is my quick report on Bangalore Marathon. 

1:47:10 @ Avg 5:03!!

Enjoyed the race, did not had any target in mind at start other than finishing strong. Enjoyed the run and went with family for the Charity run after that. Here is my splits looks like if I practice well a 1:45 for HM in a good race is a possible target. Special thanks to Kothandapani Sir and my extended family of PaceMakers. UNfortunately the world media picked one news which was not great when lead pack of runners lost race route. The race organizers were great who shared the price money to these individuals in later days.

Thankfully I picked up long running again on the weekends and back to 30+KM on weekends but still a full marathon looks so daunting task.

Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we...