George Clooney and Rainbow Rice-paper Rolls

You may well ask, what does George Clooney have to do with Vietnamese rainbow rice-paper rolls? Does he make them? Or eat them, regularly? Or endorse them? I have no clue….as we haven’t communicated of late :)……but then I haven’t communicated with anyone in almost a month. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Busy making cakes,…

Kubla Khan

Can a poem haunt one? I’ve not been able to stop thinking (I’m sure you guys are thinking- “Here she goes again! One day it’s pigs, another day, it’s poems!”) of ‘Kubla Khan’ written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Kubla Khan Or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately…

Study Group Wednesdays!

I look forward to my Wednesdays! Not just the interactions with like minded people, not only the array of delectable treats, but also the learning that comes from these beautifully pared-down talks. Kabul and Kandahar and their respective roles in the trade along the Silk Route, was our first talk for the day. The story…

Study Group Wednesdays!

The new Study Group has begun! And it’s on a topic that appeals to the romantic, in each one of us- the Silk Route. There was an overwhelming response, and in the space of a mere couple of weeks we had 24 people who signed up to research on myriad aspects of the Silk Route….

Study Group Wednesdays

This week’s presentations were on five women. Three of whom I’d never heard of! Golda Meir, The Soong sisters Sirimao Bandaranaike It was fascinating to hear the story of Golda Meir a Ukrainian refugee whose family migrated to the US when she was a young girl. Who resisted her mother’s attempt to get her married…

A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time!

Study Group Wednesday again! And this time two presentations on two amazing women. Two Persian women, separated by 350 years of history. One who stood by her man through intrigues and the dirty court politics of Mughal India; and the other, whose man stood by her, lending her his quiet strength and support through the…

Study Group Wednesdays

Our presentation this week was on Edwina Mountbatten. Countess of Burma, Vicereine of India! Portrait by Philip de Laszlo. A did a fabulous job of presenting this very conflicted woman with deep insecurities, in a sympathetic light. An heiress with a privileged childhood, Edwina’s early life was one of hedonistic excesses. An early marriage to…

Study Group Wednesdays

Study Group Wednesdays have started again! Our topic this time is Women. Women in a Man’s World. Women who have been players in the Political arenas of their countries or kingdoms. Women who have made a difference. Women who have swayed history! Our first meeting was at my place and the first presentation was on…

Enchanting Malacca and Port Dickson

Malacca! ; Once the busiest entrepĂ´t in Southeast Asia. A melting pot of cultures….Chinese, Indian, Arab, African, European- all jostling for trade and power. ; Godowns and bazaars, cheek by jowl with bordellos and opium dens. A babel of different tongues- Tamil, Arabic, Gujarati, Hokkien, Bengali, Teochew. Shrines to Mazu and the Guanyin, elaborately carved…

Creation Myths

Study Groups are fun. They are a very interesting way of gathering knowledge and presenting it to a small group of like minded people. The keyword being “small”. In the process you learn, you research, you hone your skills at power point, but most importantly you learn to tell a story that enthralls your audience….

Cranberry-Almond biscotti

We are a family that loves all things sweet. While others experiment with cuisines of other countries, I explore the desserts. I’m endlessly fascinated with the history of food. How ingredients travelled with conquering armies and sea-faring explorers. How sailors carried lemons to ward off scurvy and merchants brought with them nutmeg and mace and…