A new class…a new teacher…and a new place to line up. Yes, after six weeks of holidays, it’s back to school for Rengoni and Agastya. They were of course, pleased to be back… to meet their friends and to greet their teachers. As they lined up and entered the school, the anticipation of a new atmosphere in a new class was written large on their faces. More so for Rengoni, as the class to which she has been promoted, is new to the school as well…hence the curiosity is more. But the nicest thing that was reflected in them was their sense of pride in moving one more step up the ladder.
The last few weeks, the house has been reverberating with their boisterousness…their laughter and their little squabbles took up my days. The house has been as messy as ever. It seemed as if I was forever picking up little bits and bobs that were strewn all over the house…cars, superheroes, dolls, craft boxes…they seemed to be everywhere.
On returning home after dropping them off at school, as I entered the house, it was still in a mess. As I tidied up those ‘bits and bobs’, I knew that today they would remain in their proper places for a very long time…(long happy sigh). So , I set about it and the job was done. But, after that, the eerie silence stared to creep in… I’ve always found the first few days after the kids are back to school a bit difficult…at such time even the mess seems to be welcome. But then I realise that although they are now away , they are in an environment in which they are happy…as long as that is the case, I think, I can console myself with that very fact…after all…birds do have to fly out of their nests!
So here’s something that I made to usher in new and sweet beginnings…gooror payash/jaggery rice pudding. Where I come from, almost every happy occasion is usually celebrated with rice pudding…and kids starting a new class is a happy enough occasion to give a sweet kick start to their new academic year. So here goes…
1 ltr milk
2 handfuls of basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 10-15 minutes
25 gms of jaggery
2 bay leaves
1 cup of stoned and chopped dates and cashew nuts
- In a deep saucepan, bring the milk to boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the milk for 10 minutes.
- Add the rice along with the bay leaves and jaggery.
- Stir till the jaggery is dissolved.
- Simmer for around 25 minutes, stirring now and then to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the dates and cashew nuts, and continue to simmer as before for another 12-13 minutes. (By this time, the rice and milk should have come together as one thick whole. The last few minutes are very crucial and should be stirred constantly).
- Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Serve hot or cold.
Another thing…some time ago, Sandeepa found me thoughtful enough to pass on the ‘thoughtful blogger award’. Thanks Sandeepa, and thanks to all of you who stop by my humble blog and care enough to drop a nice word…they all do count. So thanks everyone.
The thoughtful blogger award is for “those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others’ feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for those bloggers who spend so much of time helping other bloggers design, improve and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others”.
And I would now like to pass on the sweet feeling to-