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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Nalen Gurr winter cookies

Its 2 days since winter solstice, henceforth the days have started to grow longer slowly and I see it in the sky.  Where I am in, I spotted the change looking at the evening sky from  my work room, almost from a week ago I noticed the lightness of darkness in the colors of the sky where almost a week ago it was quite different and my mind danced a little dance! I don’t know why..Somehow my mind really likes this fact that the days have started to grow longer. Just 2 days from now we have Christmas...And I think of Christmas and I think of raisins soaked in rum, cakes, laughter, candles, cookies, old friends, new friends, the new Nalen Gurr, which is a form of liquid sugar made from the sap collected from the date trees, which we know of Khejur/Khajur. It has such a wonderful flavor; I feel it’s really elegant, deep amber gold- a winter specialty.  I wonder why we don’t have tradition where a young man or woman going on a date or going to meet someone special wouldn't carry a little sweet made of Nalen Gurr or a little bottle filled up with this delicious sugary thing or perhaps little cakes made from it! Wouldn't it be really nice to have a tradition like that! I know most of you will agree with me.
                                                                                         The winter evenings are lovely, there is sense of comfort in them, here where I live in this season I have seen mostly smoky evenings so far, the sky was smoky  and the pale burning orange sun makes you look at it again n again. It is not so cold here, the temp is running around 18 degrees so you can imagine it’s quite comfortable. The biggest attraction of this season of winter is reflected when I go shopping for food- whole new kinds of vegetable have emerged all of a sudden,  some of them were hiding  beneath the earth a month ago- the reddish orange carrots, the beetroot, the white n red radishes, the cauliflower, the bunch of  turnips, the mustard greens, the methi greens, the fresh spinach,  the new potatoes of winter, the slender green spring onions-it’s like the earth was preparing a surprise for months and she was doing it secretly beneath the soil, then she presents us with all those bountiful vegetables. Well it is certainly a sweet way of thinking about it like a story for children.

                                  While 2 evenings back I was eating a tiny little block of  Nalen Gurr I  decided I must make cookies with them, and not just any cookies I wanted to make gingerbread cookies with them, but I had my doubts whether the combination of ginger n Nalen Gurr will work or not. Another thing was in a traditional gingerbread cookie there is use of dark treacle, I did not wanna use that, my star was Nalen Gurr and I have to do justice to it. So there I was after an hour melting the Gurr over blue flame, measuring the flour, doubting dry ginger powder, mixing the egg with the Gurr and then after a couple of hours our whole house was literally filled with smell of Nalen Gurr n butter, imagine an evening like that! When air gets that heavy carrying such smell I’m ready to sink in. The cookies were finally there-they looked wonderful and I think you will be happy and smiling looking at them.
  Yesh I made little elephants, cute tiny hippos, some ginger man and some sweetheart cookies. When I finally bite into one I was literally surprised, they were such tiny cookies but so satisfying and full of flavor! J 
Oh my mind instantly jumped because it is a moment of success for me, indeed it is, the combinations of flavor worked, the bake was fine and the cookies looked so much cute n fun, I just imagined that moment making these cookies with children, it is going to be a time span filled with creativity n fun.

 If you are a parent with small kids I insist you to make these cookies with your children and the rest u will see! After all we must not forget inside of each of us no matter how big we are now, there lies a small kid.So munch on my dear reader…munch like a child.

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