I had been to the kid’s school today for the fun day organised for Agastya’s class…(Rengoni has her’s tomorrow). They had a variety of games to take part in…from sack races to having a go at footie…however there weren’t any competitions (read that as no failures, hence no tears)…they were free to take part in whichever they wanted…and as the name signifies, it was a really fun day for them.
Quite unlike the sports days in our school…Oh! I loved them…couldn’t wait to take part in all the games…our’s were competetitive, hence the pressure was really on…but then the atmosphere was great as well…friends and teachers equally cheering and urging us on to reach that finishing line, to cross that last hurdle, and as we did so, the sense of achievement wiped out the sweat…I still have the mementoes of those days…medals, cups, certificates, lovingly treasured…looking at them, I go through all those scenes in my mind…I remember how much rested on us as we had to uphold the honour of our class, and at times our house…I remember how we would practice every free time for the finals where we were going to be watched by a guest of honour whom we had to escort in a slow march before the games started…I remember how we had to juggle between taking part in the school march past, and as we reached the higher classes, the hand that we had to lend towards organising the event, and, at the same time trying to save the energy for the various games that we were going to take part later on in the day…looking back, I wonder at all the boundless energy that we seemed to possess. As for the presentation ceremony, what can I say…that sense of achievement as we took our places on the podium to be awarded our individual medals or, in some cases, the trophy that was won for each house or class…the cheering was defeaning… for once, no one cared to glance at the stern looks of our headmistress as we tended to get a bit hyperactive with all the action…mentioning the podium, I still remember, how, once me and my partner for the three legged race ( that’s where one ties one’s left leg with the other’s right, corresponding arms round each other’s waist and make a dash for the finishing line), came out first, ( that was the third consecutive year, we had done so) and were so excited at the prospect that we climbed onto the podium without even bothering to untie our legs…I can still remember that feeling of embarrassment that crossed our faces as we tumbled over and hit the ground with a thud, more hurt than we’ve ever been during an actual race…needless to say, we did receive a few stern looks from the corners of those important pairs of eyes…but so what, we did receive our award, a bit sheepishly of course…hmmmm, those were the days…
That takes care of the sweet memories(and my tendency to ramble)…as for the recipe, today’s one is a very simple and quick one…tastes delicious and not overtly sweet. My ma always used to have a stock of vermicelli to whip up a quick dessert, especially for the unexpected guest, who are not a rarity in the parts where I come from. I love the simplicity of this dessert.
The pack of brown rice vermicelli had been lying in wait for some time. Having an excess of milk supply, I decided to put it to good use, rustled the dessert and had it after a hearty weekend lunch.
100 gms of brown rice vermicelli
1/2 l of milk
50 gms of jaggery
1 bay leaf
1” stick of cinnamon
2-3 pods of cardamom
a handful of raisins
some chopped pistachio nuts to garnish(optional)
Soak the vermicelli in hot water for five minutes. Drain the water completely.
In a deep pan, bring the milk to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer.
Add the bay leaf, cardamom , cinnamon and jaggery.
Stir till the jaggery melts.
Continue to simmer, stirring now and then till the milk slightly reduces ( approximately 10-15 minutes).
Add the vermicelli and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot or cold.
Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts (optional).