It’s been a long, long time, blogosphere. Way too long. Close to half a year of no posting! I am alive. I am well. I just moved.
Both city and url.
On the domestic front: we’ve moved from Bombay to Pune! I miss Bombay, (a city I took a while to get used to!) and the convenience of having everything delivered and knowing exactly where to look for an ingredient. I miss the bustle and energy, and I miss Gajalee and Britannia and Indigo Deli and Le15 Patisserie and warm fresh challah from The Baker’s Dozen.
I also miss my friends!! Though the preceding paragraph suggests otherwise, I do miss people, not just food and drink. Putting it out there since I’ve only spoken about food so far. I miss my friends, the chats and the chasing of children and the sitting at a cafe in Bandra for hours. But thanks to social media and social apps, we are but one sharing button away from what is happening in anyone’s life. (When I read that sentence back- it sounds equal parts reassuring and disturbing.)
But Pune has plenty of positives, too. For one, more space! More trees! A bigger kitchen! TWO BALCONIES! It feels quite nice to look out the window and see this,
as opposed to my neighbour’s clothesline.
We found a home that’s a perfect fit. Lots of space and natural light, quiet neighbourhood, leafy and beautiful all around, and my sister-in-law and her family next door.
We found our son a lovely preschool nearby…and he LOVES it.
I’ve figured out where to buy my veggies from; where look for baking ingredients; finally found organic buckwheat flour and pearl millet that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg; (Dorabjee’s, I love you,) and which number to dial when I need some kitchen staples home-delivered. SORTED. Oh, and the fruits and berries are much nicer- plumper, juicier, more flavourful. (Once again- it all centers around food!)
It wasn’t too bad. This is the first move we’ve made as a family, and I did get a little worked up when I heard stories about losing belongings and breaking furniture and organizing clothes- but it was’t too overwhelming. I guess I owe it to my parents. They brought me up on the philosophy of ‘make it work,’ long before Project Runway was even conceptutalized- so I didn’t get myself all tangled up. The move, in fact, gave me a chance to donate a lot of possessions we weren’t using, and just stick to the things we actually do use and wear. With our possessions now pared-down, I know that there aren’t any ‘cram drawers’ filled with junk I’m scared to open. (A cram drawer or cupboard is the kind of space where you just dump stuff you don’t know what to do with. I am happy to report that I no longer have stuff I don’t know what to do with.)
But the little things can make you irritable. I’m talking about the little things- unloading, cleaning, the nitty-gritty taking-things-out-of-boxes-and-physically-placing-them-in-their-new-space. I found that the kitchen was the one room that took the longest to pack, unpack and organize. I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone, but clothes, books, toys and linen didn’t take all that long to sort out and pack. Which is why when I unpacked, I started with the kitchen. The sooner you get that done, the sooner you can start getting on with the fun stuff. Like baking cake. And cake makes everything better.
The unpacking didn’t take too long, but it took about 2 months to get all the living details down- some new furniture, framing and hanging more art, small repairs, a table for the entryway, a new crockery cabinet for the kitchen…but cabinet or not, I baked.
I do think that cooking is the best way to break into a new home; and baking is the best way to make it feel like home. Even in the middle of boxes and curtain rings and bubblewrap, making something and sitting down to enjoy it is a sigh of relief on a plate. Brings forth a sense of contentment. With a warm slice of cake in hand, the boxes don’t matter and the shelves will sort themselves out.
As you can see, I gave my blog a new look and a new name. Why? Because I just needed to start over. Well…I liked Masala Art, but when I thought about it…I don’t seem to create too many masala-filled recipes here, do I? This blog is less curry, more cake. So I felt that Sugar, Spice, Etc would be more apt. There’s sugar (oh yes there is!!) and ample spice, and random ramblings, which constitute the ‘Etc.’
So as I re-blog my way back in, rest assured, there will always be cake. And chocolate chips, too.