18 April, 2012

Adventures in Pickle Making

When I was in a mental damadol (slang for dilemma) about whether I should stick the offspring into day care and get back to working full-time, I realized that being at home is a DEMANDING job!
No hikes, no bonuses, criticisms (from self, spouse AND PARENTS) about things not done well and constant awareness of area of improvements etc and the malicious list goes on and on and the cows NEVER come home!

Be as that may, there's usually something or the other that requires to be done at home. And to keep up with all that's a MUST-DO there are somethings I like to do that's just for fun. Like make mango chutney/pickle!

It IS summer, there ARE mangoes and I love the sweet-taut taste of the stewed mangoes with parathas and puris. Ahh puris. 
A moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips and everywhere else :-(

Anyways, I got totapuri mangoes and added all the stuff I thought would taste good. I say thought because this is a maiden venture into this sphere. I am not your run-of-the-mill home maker. I can't sew worth a damn. 
They look like the lopsided creepy stitches Frankenstein put on his monster 
and making sweets is best done from a mix that just requires either water, milk or sugar as my contribution in it's execution.

When I set curd it turns out differently each time. It's either like cream cheese, or an iceberg (floating on a thin layer of water) or sometimes I hit the jackpot and it's creamy, smooth and thick! Of course my son says 'yummy' to all of them and makes me happy. His father goes through his usual gamut of expressions viz eyes open, eyes opened wide or eyes shut in disbelief/annoyance/disgust.

Back to the pickle- I suddenly felt that I wasn't channeling Martha Stewart's spirits enough into my life and started by making mango pickle from scratch. I burnt the jaggery when I went to make sure MLM was sitting on the pot and not watering the bathroom floor instead. And I came back to see... a black, toxic sludge with noxious fumes that were worthy of the title- BIOHAZARD!!

Other goofs? I probably didn't put enough salt. Probably stewed the life out of it but am I still trying to pat myself on the back (and not pull a muscle at the same time)? You betcha!
Because I chucked the sludge into the garbage and immediately set out with more chunks of jaggery that I melted and then tossed marinating mango chunks in.

Next step- embroidery. NOT!

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