Deepavali is here! This is one of favourite festivals! Brings back lot of fond memories, from hiding under the bed when I was 4 to lighting the 10000 wala when I was 16. Now that I am so far away from homeland, I try to keep up as much tradition as possible. So to start this Deepavali, here is the first sweet I made. Thanks mom for the recipe.
Mixed Nut Brittle
Dry toasted Mixed Nut 1 cup (I toased the nuts in the oven at 300 F for 15 minutes)
Sugar 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Caramalize the sugar in medium heat, once it is a golden brown liquid, switch off the stove. Add the lemon juice and the nuts. Mix it well. Pour it in a buttered cold plate. Smoothen it with a a spatula, cut into pieces. Allow it to cool! Voila! Here is your yummy, nutty, crunchy brittle!
Mixed nut brittle
Have been following the Finanacial crisis, the price hike of essential commodities (food, oil, bread). But have never let it bother me. Always have been walking around with a a positive outlook. Saw a colleague of mine who is close to retirement getting depressed and felt for him, still maintained my positive attitude. Then saw Sundar’s series of depressing posts about the economy and was wondering why is he so upset. He is not going to retire now. All this positive attitude lasted until I saw my husband’s and my 401K statement. Between him and me, have managed to bring down our 401K significantly down. Could have bought a small flat in the outskirts of Chennai with the money lost. For the first year at work, I never invested in 401K. I used to invest my money under the mattress. Then at the end of the year, Husband made me invest in 401K. The one time, I listened to him, look what happenned. Now I know why my colleague and Sundar were depressed. I am joining the club!!!
On Day 2 in Florence, decided to hit the Dumo and Campanile as early as possible. After a nice breakfast, headed for Duomo. Decided to climb the Campanile first. There were 417 narrow steps to go to the top. Huffing and Puffing reached the top for a wonderful view of Florence. It was fun searching for the Michael Angelo plaza and finding it from the top. Take a look for yourself.
Michael Angelo Plaza from top of Campanile
Then climbed down and went inside the Dumo and enjoyed the awesome painting of the Ceiling.
Decided against going inside the Baptistery. Just took some pictures of the famous bronze door and walked down to Pitti Plaza. Relaxed for sometime there. Did not go inside. Went to the famous vivoli for gelato. Tasty as usual. Then from there went to this great place for lunch. It is called ZaZa. The food was great. Had Florence’s famous Papa al pomodoro and Fettucini with Pesto. The taste is still lingering.
Then exchanged our Travelers Checks. One thing to remember is to exchange money only in American express exchange office. All other places are major rip off. All other places give you at least 80Euro less than Amex. On the way, we saw some great painters painting on the road, sidewalk, etc. Here is a sample:
Sidewalk Paintings in Florence
Then we decided to leave for Rome a little early. Went to the railway station to prepone the tickets only to find that our tickets were missing. Came back running to the hotel to find our tickets in a different bag. Then decided to stick to our old schedule. So dragged our baggages back to the station and left from Florence to Rome at around 6pm.
Was watching Vaazhkkai, the old tamil movie in Sun TV this week. Vyjayanthimala must have been in her teens when she acted in this movie. It was her first movie. She dances so gracefully and she looks so cute. Lalitha and Padmini have done the opening dance.(Realised that they were Lalitha/Padmini only after seeing the credits. They are so young as well.) It was a decent movie although the character Meenatchi played by Draupadi irritated me to end with the constant crying.
More than the movie, the songs brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. We played a dance/drama in school when I was in LKG. We enacted (The teachers made us enact) the story of the Foolish Lion and Clever Rabbit. And we would sing the song “un kan unnai emaatrinal en mel kobam undavadhen” once the lion gets angry seeing its reflection. Once the lion dies by jumping into the well, we would all sing “enni enni paarkombodhu ullam kondaaduthe,…. kutti muyal gettikaara thanam theriyum” in the same tune of the song “enni enni paarumbodhu ullam kondaaduthe” from this movie. Since no one would ask me what role I played, let me put it down without further much ado. I was one of the 20+ animals/birds who sang in chorus. I was a parrot with a parrot mask and a green maxi! Hmm… those good old days! Thanks to this movie screening got to recall those memories.