What can you bring to a table when your little one announces "mom.. I've invited some of my friends on my birthday, please call their mommies and tell them what time to come" "but son...ok.. " a shoe string budget vs a mom's celebrating heart ...guess which side of me won? Both! Of course! !
I had opened my kitchen cabinets a several times, although we were through with the dinner, time was racing and my heart was pounding each time I would open and close those cabinets.. my refrigerator too had given up on me. .by midnight I decided to soak the dals and rice.. panniyaram not a common party item and literally bite sized.. yes Panniyaram it would be!
Next morning was spent in grinding and mixing and yes opening those cabinets a few more times.. I see now a few packets with "potential ingredient" I saw a brownie mix pack that calls for an egg in its baking, and we being vegetarians, had shelved it for later use. I said to myself let's see what I could do if I substituted it with milk, and thanks to my risk taking abilities, I managed to end up in a chocolate ganache appearance. Which would ideally work as topping on the cake. For cake I didn't have to think much, I baked a simple vanilla sponge cake.
With two things ticked off, the third came naturally to me, with Panniyaram there has to be chutney...so tomato and beetroot chutney it was- phew! I thought of another pack of ready canapes I baked them with mashed potato, shreded carrots and cheese. Don't ask me how they turned out, I didn't get to taste a single piece!
Time was ticking in sync with my heartbeat ..I thought I could lie down for 20 min to refresh before the gang of some 11 year olds walk in! My conscious mind kept telling me that there was something missing! I sprang up after my 40 wings and shoot!!!. ..I don't have a main course. ..what's my main course. ..!! I went back to my cabinets, more frantically than the last two days...with only two hours in my kitty. .what could I do?
A thought did cross my mind- "Order" and I responded back "Shutup..let me think!" This time I prayed hard and opened my cabinets one more time, I found a pack of spaghetti and a sigh of relief! I left it to boil whisked out milk, garlic paste, pasta sauce and some mayo for the sauce and literally as in literally shoved it into the boiled pasta! All this while supervising my boys, I had asked them to bring out the cutlery, clean and dress up - "We are gonna party!"
And boy oh boy !! Did we party! I was showered with hugs, appreciation, and "give-me-the-recipe" threats from the mothers!
By God's grace I managed, and that too without spending a penny! Rewarded!