It was in Dec '95 that she and her family came to our house to spend their X'mas vacation with us. My dad and I were promtly at the railway station to recieve them. And I waited to see that face which I have heard a lot about from my Grandmother. I waited patiently as the train pulled in to the station.I could feel my eyes moving in all directions to see who could she be? Then I felt a soft tug on my hand, my dad was tugging me to stop dreaming and go with him to the AC sleeper compartment.
She jumped out of the train, wearing a cute white salwar kameez with some sort of pink print on it. She even had a dupatta on! I envied her so much, because I was never allowed to wear one then! It was only for big girls, so was she bigger than me? No, we were of the same age, 10. And she even had a traveller's pouch on her waist! I must admit I was shy to wear them, but still, I envied her for that as well! After all the introductions, we headed home.
During their stay with us, we grew closer and after our delicious lunch everyday, she used to go to her room and lie on the bed and read! She finished a book , cover to cover, in a days time. I was AMAZED! Me and books , were opposite poles till then. So finally, I asked her about what the story was and who are those people on the cover etc. She patiently explained everything to me in detail and gave me one of her books to read. And that's it...I was hooked onto Enid Blyton!
She was a step ahead than me, she was reading Nancy Drew Files. Nevertheless, I went ahead with the book she gave me...there was no looking back since then!
My Dad had a tough time once, because of me and Famous Five/Secret Seven. Remember , this was back in 90's and no ginger-ale was ever heard in India then. And I used to give him a list which consisted of food items like Ginger-Ale, Sardine sandwiches etc, whenever he went to Bangalore. My cousin sister in Bangalore used to help my Dad in hunting for those stuff :) We still laugh over it!
I must admit, I am still at the Enid Blyton's stage. I have not grown out of it, rather I don't want to! The immensely delicious food items they mention in it...like thickly buttered bread, lemonade, sardine sandwiches,scone,pastries and what not! Ooooh! I want to go camping like them on the moors!
When we were moving from Virginia to Minneapolis, we drove down all the way! And we passed by through many many countrysides and I spotted so many dairy farms and farmhouses! And everytime I saw them, I told Jobin that I wanted to spend a day or two in such a bed and breakfast inn/farmhouse and feel what I felt and I still feel when I read Famous Five. And yes, I am hoping for an adventure to happen too!
I usually draw out the images/houses/landscape that I like when I read a book. I promise you , I can draw out a Kirrin Cottage if you want me to! Gosh! I am still so hooked onto it! I have even started watching the Famous Five serials on the web! :) I am ADDICTED!
OK! So you must be wondering what's with Ria and Famous Five? It's MAC Tell Me a Story at Mac Tweet's this month! So we get to re-create our memories of our fave books with a Macaron! How exciting is that!
ALMOND MACARONS with SALTED CARAMEL GANACHE
Recipe source for the macs : Ottolenghi Cookbook via Meeta's blog
Recipe source for the filling: Aran's blog
For the shells:
Almond meal -60g
Egg whites -60g (I aged them for 48 hours on counter top)
Coloured sugar -for sprinkling
Please refer to her blog for the detailed instructions.
For the filling:
110 g cream
165 g bittersweet chocolate
15g salted butter
a pinch of salt
- Make a dry caramel with the sugar. In the meantime, heat the cream and when the caramel is starting to turn fairly dark, deglaze it with the cream.
- Have the chocolate chopped in a separate bowl. Strain the caramel mixture over the chocolate. Let it sit untouched for a minute. The caramel will start to slowly melt the chocolate. Whisk gently until all the chocolate is dissolved and the ganache has formed an emulsion. When it has coioled a bit, which will happen quickly since it's a small batch, add the soft butter and mix keeping the emulsion. Add the salt.
- Let the ganache sit at room temperature until it hardens enough to be pipeable. Place in a pastry bag and pipe in between almond macarons.
This is my 3 trial and my 3rd successful batch of making macs and I must say I liked this one the best! They tasted better than the others that I have tried. Jobin loved them and I gave a bag-full to our friends and they loved it too! So I guess, this is a winner! The salted caramel ganache was too good to be true! Will be using it more often.
And for all those who have been wondering , who that 'she' was...it's my cousin Roshini :) We are good friends since those hols. We lived far away from each other , so we were pen friends for a while . I was a good pen friend, sending her letters every now and then, but she was a lazy one! :) Nevermind, we are very close friends now! Thank you Roshini, for taking me into a dreamworld, in which I still am!