For me, all of it started a long time back, long before I was born. Around 34 years ago, a shy girl dressed in a pink sari appeared before a young man and his family, blushing self consciously as she felt all eyes on her. Their families allowed them a few minutes alone, to talk and get to know each other. He asked her her name (he already knew the answer), asked her where she had studied (he already knew the answer) and what she had studied (he already knew the answer). She looked at him surreptitiously as she answered, but as was appropriate for the time, did not ask him anything. She did see his overly large moustache, and I wonder if she made a mental note then and there to get him to trim it (after marriage, of course) if they were to get married.
The marriage was fixed. A few days before the wedding, the bride and groom to be embarked upon their first shopping trip together to buy the manthrakodi (sari gifted to the bride by the groom's family) and the wedding rings. This was the second and the last time they saw each other before the wedding. They were accompanied by their families and I doubt they exchanged pleasantries, let alone talk to each other.
The big day finally came. Two complete strangers were united for life in the presence of hundreds of relatives and friends. And on that day a beautiful bond was born, a bond forged with the families' blessings and which grew stronger with love, trust and friendship. With time, the kids came along - my brother and I in this order. I feel so blessed that god selected them to be my parents (or maybe he allowed me to decide that?) because a kid born to a happy and loving couple is a happy kid. To him, I am and have always been the perfect princess. She has not only been my guide, but also one of my best friends and understands me better than anyone else. I begin with them, and I am where I am because they have loved and sacrificed, encouraged and applauded, pushed me ahead and never given up on me (not an easy task, I must say).
They celebrated their wedding anniversary recently and here is something sweet to mark the happy occasion.
180 grams milk chocolate
180 grams white chocolate
2/3 cups whole milk + 1 cup medium fat cream + 4 tablespoons almond powder + 2 tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs + 4 tablespoons cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
4 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1/4 cup blueberry jam + 1/3 cup black grapes +1/4 cup candied cherries + (extra for garnishing)
Mix together half of the milk, cream, almond powder and plain flour in a saucepan till the plain flour has dissolved. Heat while mixing well, till it almost comes to a boil.
Break up the milk chocolate to small pieces. Add chocolate and hot milk mixture to the food processor. Let it stand for a minute, and process till well combined and the chocolate has melted. This should take only half a minute.
Add an egg, half the vanilla essence, cream cheese and brandy and process again for about a minute. Finally add a tablespoon of butter and mix well.
Pour into serving bowls such that the chocolate mixture reaches halfway up the bowl. Rest them in the refrigerator for atleast a couple of hours.
Combine the jam, grapes and cherries well. Add a thin layer over the pudding that has almost set and pop it back into the refrigerator.
Make white chocolate pudding in exactly the same manner as you made the milk chocolate pudding by substituting white chocolate for the milk chocolate. Pour it on top of the milk chocolate pudding and let it set in the refrigerator for atleast five hours of overnight.
Garnish with some jam, grape and cherry mixture before serving.
Submitting this post to Cook.Eat.Delicious-Desserts event. Check out the details here or here.
Happy rest of the day!