Cloverleaf Socks Free Pattern
Okay, so I charted the cloverleaf pattern and wrote it up, and it’s available as a .pdf download on the left under "free patterns." You can also click here. As I was writing it, I realised, I used Wendy’s toe-up pattern, but you can adapt it to any toe-up or cuff-down pattern. You can just use the cloverleaf charts for the cuffs and feet. This is my first attempt at writing up a pattern; if you do take a look at it or even – gasp – knit it, please let me know how to make things clearer and shorter, and if there are any mistakes. I have a lot of respect for pattern-writers all of a sudden.
After hearing me complain about eating so much junk on the road and missing my kitchen and some decent home-cooked dal and rice, Manisha rightly figured I was feeling nostalgic and tagged me for a "meme", so here we go.
Ten things I miss of my mum’s cooking:
My mum isn’t one of those legendary cooks who can put a fabulous meal together within no time with no effort. I don’t say this negatively; I admired her for freely admitting that she did not like cooking that much, and cooked because she had to. She always said that left to herself she was fine with some bread and butter. Amidst all the women in our colony who wore their culinary skills with pride and fell all over each other at festivals and colony get-togethers, this must have been tough to admit, but also liberating. She can put together a comfort meal like nobody else, though, and try as I might, I can never replicate some of her dishes. All of them are Marathi/north Kannadiga vegetarian preps.
Amti. A Marathi version of toor dal (yellow lentils) with tamarind and jaggery and Marathi "goda masala". I can live on this and rice all my life and indeed, have, come to think of it, for most of it.
Pithla, aka Zunka. Chana-dal (chick pea?) gruel. Very difficult to screw up, but with the right combination of jeere-khobra (ground cumin-dry coconut), heavenly. My dad and sister prefer this with green chillis and I with red chilli powder. Nowadays since I live so far away the latter gets made more often when I’m home.
Sabudanyachi Khichadi. Sunday morning brunch, alternated with Idlis or Dosas depending on how much time she had to soak, grind and ferment everything. The best part of the khichadi (which is a kind of spiced sago with ground peanuts, cumin and green chillis) was the slightly burnt part at the bottom which I got to peel off the pan. With the idlis or dosas she makes this Tomatocha saar (kind of tomato curry?), with a little jaggery and ground sesame seeds instead of the usual sambar, which is heavenly. Also, I like that her dosas are always thin but soft, not the papery restaurant things that poke around in your mouth.
Puran poli, which I had blogged out a while ago. Also, Godi kuttada payasa, broken wheat with poppy seeds and jaggery. Mmmmmmm. Oh, and some Tambittu, which also have poppy seeds and jaggery and coconut and some kind of flour, which are made in the month of Shravan (around August) for Nag-panchami. We’re big on jaggery-lentil based desserts in Maharashtra/north Karnataka, rather than the milk-sugar ones in the north and east, and I love these:
More than actual dishes (there are lots of simple ones, like Gajarachi koshimbir, or carrot raita or Pushpicha kanda, a kind of spiced onion salad named after Pushpa, its creator and a relative), though, my mum is a specialist at using every part of a vegetable, fruit or whatever and creating different dishes out of the same thing. This developed out of sheer necessity initially but now she’s honed it to a fine skill. So the flesh of a gourd goes into a curry, the peels into a chutney, the seeds roasted and salted for afternoon snacks, that sort of thing. If it’s edible, it’s to be eaten.
This wasn’t as traumatic in my childhood as it may sound. Over the years I’ve really grown to respect it and try to follow her example as I use the cauliflower florettes in a curry and chop and save the stalk for adding to the sambar the next day and scour the net or ask some serious food geeks for ideas. I prided myself on wasting very little, but when Aai visited me last year , watching her in my kitchen was still an eye-opener on how much one ends up wasting on a daily basis and how one can do better. I think of her every time I save the dratted peels off something.
All this nostalgia is making me really eager to go home now. Maybe next month I’ll take pictures of some of these things. Thanks, Manisha!