23 November 2006

Cake recipe as asked for

As asked for, here is the recipe of the cake, which I found on the Net incidentally.
I had to make the applesauce, as it's not available here and as I didn't have a bundt pan, I just used a bowl sort of pan.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark rum 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons dark rum


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray 9 or 10 inch Bundt pan lightly with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter, white sugar, and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Mix in eggs, 1/3 cup rum, and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in three additions alternately with applesauce, ending with flour. Stir in dried cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, and 2 tablespoons rum. Heat until smooth; if mixture is too thick, add water and maybe a little more rum. Drip glaze over cooled cake.

19 November 2006

Today I baked a cake after a long while and that too a new recipe! I got some dried cranberries from the US (care of my brothers) and since I was just eating them, I thought I'd try and find some recipe using them. I came across this recipe which, even just reading the recipe it sounded delicious--lots of rum, applesauce and the cranberries.
I made the cake and it's come out well I must say. Too bad there are no young people around to eat it.

I wrote that on Sunday and then decided not to post it cos I thought what an irrelevant thing to post about and anyway, there are so many of these terrific cooks out there on the Internet. But I realised I wanted to post about it because I was excited by the fact that I had actually followed a new recipe & gone to the trouble to get the stuff for it. I hadn't done that in I can't remember how many years. As I had waded through my depression all those years, somehow cooking was something I just hadn't been able to do; it was a big part of my feeling a failure. The fact that I had done this made me realise how much I had gone forward in the recent past.
To quote from what must be my favourite hymn (since I came across it recently)
"Stand up, clap hands, shout 'Thank you Lord'
For happiness and peace within."

15 November 2006

Got some time to spend on the computer after quite a while. Was out with a stomach bug and then when I did get the free time, either there was lightning & thunder or no current. Besides, our modem burnt out during a bad thunderstorm last Saturday. We got a new modem only on Monday evening and then I couldn't get my computer to start.
So I was busy reading. I read a couple of Georgette Heyer--read before but still so enjoyable. Then I read 'Kite Runner'. Had the time to read at one sitting as I was resting after the stomach bug. It was a lovely book. Only there was little bit in between, where I thought the story was too much like a Hindi movie. (I'm sure I'll bring down the ire of many readers with that!) Then read a book called 'Watership Down', which my daughter-in-law says is a classic, but about which I hadn't heard. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
After so much reading, I'm dying for more and so have decided I'll read through old favourites till I can get fresh reading material.

10 November 2006

a long delayed tag

Dot had asked me to do this tag a long while back & I kept putting it off, mainly cos I find it difficult to talk about myself. Anyway here goes;

1.Something no one else should know:
I won't answer that:) I think many of us would have something like that.
2. Two colours I would never wear.
Fluorescent colours--whatever they may be--and dull brown.
3. Three things I love to eat.
I love to eat! Well, fruits, desserts and our very own Kerala appams with meat curry(pic. below); too many things really, have eclectic tastes.
4. Four things I would never serve a guest.
Anything very sticky--never know what people may like;
Nothing violently coloured cos the colour would probably be artificial then
Lukewarm tea or coffee--yuck
Unusual animal meats.
5. Five things I forget to buy at the grocery store.
If someone asked me to get something while I was talking to someone else or on the phone, you bet I'll forget that!
Nothing else really, except maybe personal stuff for me maybe.
6. Dot's tag says 'six things I like about Autumn'. Since we don't have autumn, maybe I should say six things I like about the month of December, early January--the nearest thing to winter we have!
The light is different then, there seems to be so much clarity. Nights are clear, clear, clear after months of clouds and the sky seems impossibly full of stars. Sometimes it's actually chilly in the evenings--by our standards. It's Christmastime and so usually family's at home. The mango trees start blossoming. The bougainvilleas are in full bloom everywhere. The only time of the year it's not damp.
7. Seven things I value about my family.
I guess what I feel is much like Dot's
That they can always trust each other.
That they know they can always count on each other for sincere help and advice.
That they are helpful and hospitable to others too.
That they are kind to the weaker-whether in terms of health, wealth or personality.
That they all have depth to them--I find this difficult to define any other way.
That they are generally able to be open with each other
and that they are always there for my husband and me, if we need them.
8. Eight things I watch on TV.
Well, to be honest, I never put the TV on if I'm alone. So, if I watch TV, it's whatever anyone else is watching and if I happen to be in the same room, or because my husband or children tell me to watch a specific program. I'd much rather read, be online or listen to music.
9. Nine things I loved about school.
Since I changed schools several times, I'll talk about the last school I attended.
I loved my friends. In hindsight I love the fact that I was responsible for no one but myself.
I loved the vast world of books I got into at that time, both at our school library and outside libraries. I loved my English texts and totally enjoyed Biology classes. We had a very good nun who taught us singing and I loved the singing lessons. I really liked the fact that our school was situated so centrally and walking distance from my house. I have a great fondness for a teacher who taught me when I was maybe in the 8th, who helped me a great deal.
The ninth thing I just can't come up with.
10. Ten things I love about life.
My family,
my friends,
my dogs,
my work which allows me to interact with little children and so keeps my spirit young.
the fact that I have a roof over my head and can eat 3 or 4 or even 5 meals if I so wish.
that I live among so many trees and amidst so much greenery.
that I have eyes to see the beauty around me and ears to hear music, the sound of my grandson, the voices of my family.
that I am also one of God's creations and as worthy of God's love.
that we humans have been given the gift of Hope.
that I am here, a tiny thing in the infinity of the Universe, but still with a mind to be happy if I choose.

I haven't tagged anyone else. Feel free to do this tag anyone who reads this and finds it interesting.

03 November 2006

Today I went for jive classes---yes, actually jive classes here in Kottayam!! Of course I was the oldest person there and the teacher was a young man who was my nieces' age(classmate to one of them). But, what a BLAST I had:D!! It was so much fun to dance to oldies and just generally do something I totally love. I know that tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'm going to find myself stiff in many places. But even so.... I am totally looking forward to the next few classes.

01 November 2006

This is something I've been wanting to post about for a bit, but thought it was way toooo crazy maybe. Anyway here goes, if you pictured your mind what kind of room would it look like?

When I do that I always get this room which is like an attic sort of place, right at the top of a house with 3 big windows (yes 3!) looking out at a lovely view of grasslands and far away a hint of water. on some days it's a river and on others a glimpse of the sea. Sometimes I see the back of a little girl (my inner child?) with 2 pigtails, at the left window, gazing out at the landscape. As I write I can see a squashy sofa in the rightside corner (couldn't draw it). But sometimes it's a hammock hanging there. The back of the room is blue, hazy, but curved. There are floor to ceiling shelves and drawers, all closed. Funnily, the floor is always wood(wooden head?) . Generally a peaceful place. I retreat to this place sometimes when life seems too overwhelming, but retreating there is a much rarer occasion nowadays I realise:)

Actually this imaging helped me a great deal during the time I was in depression or found something too difficult to deal with just then, but when knew I had to get on with my life without carrying over all that for the sake of the children I love and who needed me without baggage. So what I used to tell myself was that all the not so good things happening, or memories that made me upset would be dealt with only later, when I was free. I would then imagine them locked up in the floor to ceiling shelves. At that time though, the shelves were way up front and mostly all the drawers were locked with keys in them. But the front of the room was swept clean and was totally empty, so that I could carry on with my daily life without the messiness of my private unhappinesses strewn about. Very rarely, on holidays, I tidied an occasional drawer.
But now, with time and with having finally gotten over my depression, my mind room has become more spacious (issues dealt with and out of the way) and a more relaxed place but still a useful place to have.

So then what do you see when you picture the room of your conscious mind?