At the end of 2015, I was determined to do something worthwhile with my time and made a plan – a plan that set forth how I would spend every single hour of every single day of the week and get results. Enough experimenting with what I wanted to do with my life.
So I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish whether it was about writing, editing, paper-crafting or freelance work. I then made a 4-week timetable that included every single activity and I was confident that if I followed the schedule, I would get the desired results.
I even got a planner (Simple Stories’ Carpe Diem Planner in Robin’s Egg Blue) to help me keep track of the things I needed to do. I decorated the planner and was particularly excited about filling in my goals for 2016.
I made some pretty specific goals about writing a certain number of words in a year (I’m sure these blog posts can now add to the cumulative word count), creating a few online courses (I released my first in December 2015, so I had plans to make at least three more during the year) and one that I was truly excited about – making 52 dishes that I’ve never tried before.
I know it sounds daunting, but here’s what I had in mind: instead of making a new dish every week, I would make two new dishes once every two weeks. So any stress, if at all, would be only once in two weeks, because I would need to check out recipes and ingredients, and then source them. Two weeks’ time seemed enough to prepare for two new things.
Unfortunately for me, the first Sunday in 2016 was January 3rd and that meant that on 10th, I’d have to make two new dishes. That gave me only a little over a week to plan. So I decided that on 17th (3rd Sunday of the year) I’d make three new things and do the same in another three weeks before jumping on the alternate-week schedule.
I decided I would make Tomato Shorba (soup), Daal Maakhni and Sol Kadhi (links to recipes below the images). I was so excited that I called my parents and grandparents one Sunday in advance to invite them over since I was going to be making a special Sunday lunch. They were excited too.
Now, keep in mind that two days before I was supposed to cook this, I pretty much knew I was pregnant already. Thankfully, I was at my energetic best that day because obviously it required a lot of energy (and patience, if I might add) to cook for seven adults!
And I even though I burned myself because I was too lazy to do exactly as the instructions said and use a hand blender to puree the hot, pressure cooked tomatoes for the shorba, it all went pretty well. I made the mistake of putting the hot tomatoes in the mixer and turning it on and, whoosh! Hot tomato splatters all over the kitchen walls and floor and some over me.
Thankfully, I was wearing a thick apron and that protected my body, but my arms were fair game. Three and a half months later, I still have a nice, dark patch on the inside of my right elbow. Ah, memories.
Only some of it was wasted, but I was more worried about was the mess and the fact that we were already late for lunch. But my husband didn’t let me bother about the mess, brought the mop out and wiped down the floor and walls. My father, on the other hand, was all chilled out and was like, Don’t worry if it takes a few more minutes. This is how you’ll learn.
Damn right, I learned. NEVER PUT HOT STUFF IN THE MIXER AGAIN!
Although, what’s surprising is that I ALWAYS put blanched paalak (spinach) in the mixer when I make Paalak Paneer and it’s never erupted on me. Maybe because it’s not hot off the stove and I usually puree it after allowing it to slightly cool down. Never mind; lesson learned.
So when we did eat, it all turned out to be yummy! Here’s what I made. I knew I wanted to blog about it, so I especially took good pictures.
Made exactly as mentioned in the recipe
Made as mentioned in the recipe
I also made Aaloo Mutter Paneer Gravy (Potatoes, Green Peas and Cottage Cheese),Rotis (Flat Bread) & Boondi Raita.I’ve been making these for almost three years the way I learnt from my mother, so I didn’t have to look for recipes online. 🙂
Made as mentioned in the recipe except that I used readymade coconut milk instead of straining coconut at home. Just seemed easier. Alternatively, (I found this out later from my sister-in-law, that) buttermilk can be used instead of coconut milk. That’s how my husband’s family makes it at home.
But after they all left, I felt tired and so weak. I thought it was from all the cleaning I did in the morning (mom was visiting! Of course, I cleaned!), and cooking in the afternoon. But then I felt weak and a bit feverish the following day too. And the day after that. It was especially bad in the evenings, so I thought I had malaria.
By Wednesday (January 20), I felt so drained that my husband decided to stay home the following day to take care of me and that’s when we found out that we were going to have a baby. 🙂
After that first bout of tiredness, I didn’t get my energy back for another two months. Combine the first-trimester fatigue with horrible, non-stop cough and you’ll understand why I was unable to find the will to get off bed every single day for the next eight weeks.
Forget trying new dishes, I didn’t even have the energy or the will to cook (or stand the smell of raw veggies). Whatever little writing I might have done in January, stopped. I stayed off social media. My life was focussed on getting through the day and sleeping through the night without breaking into bouts of cough that’d probably wake the entire building.
There’s so much more that happened in my first trimester, but I have a whole other post dedicated to that (coming up next week).
Suffice to say that after that one sincere effort at keeping up with (only one of) my New Year’s Resolution(s), I haven’t had the time to even think about it.
However, all isn’t lost. I still have eight months left in the year (and just five before the baby is here.) Now that I have my mojo back, I can try and compensate for what I skipped the past few months.
Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I’ll keep you in the loop. 🙂
I’ll be back on Monday with details about Week 19. Stay tuned.