Fruit & Nut Mini Lo(a)ves for Valentines

When I started writing this blog, food was not the center of its universe at all. I wrote my first post just after the Valentines of 2010.  My hubby was away for work and I missed him terribly. It is not your typical lovey-dovey post but just a sit-back-analyse kind of post. I enjoyed writing it so much. But since it was my first post, not many really read it except for my hubby, my mum and a few close friends. Nobody said much after they read it but I knew it made them sit-back-analyse their life and love through different ages.  Here it goes, hope you like it.

Reposting it!

“Its past Valentines and I’m still not able to shake off the feeling… that mushy, tingly, happy feeling. Even after four years of my marriage and a baby, my husband still feels that he needs to surprise me on this day. He sent me a beautiful bouquet of roses and chocolates. So typical, yet so touching. Everything about this day is a cliché and love too, I feel. Yet, its such a difficult feeling to shake off, when you’re feeling it.  While I was arranging those beautiful roses on my centre table, I was reminded of the rose day of my college and also the time someone gave me a rose for the very first time. All those times I felt the same tingly feeling. So is all the love same? It can’t be,  can it.

Just to explore that thought, I tried to dissect the feeling in different ages, when and how I felt it. A true account of it all should be able to help me understand whether all that love at different ages was the same or not.

Love  in  the 10s…

or a little older perhaps. I remember, I was in seventh class, a rebel and a tomboy. I had a group of friends who believed in delivering justice on the spot. Our “targets” used to be mainly boys who misbehaved. One such boy who was in 6th class had come to annoy us a bit.  He would make fun of one of our friends, a girl in my class ( apparently, this girl used to snort whenever she laughed!! ). So once after school hours we rounded this guy up and I pulled at his collar. He just looked straight at me and I kinda felt uneasy. He then gave me a crooked smile and that made me mad and I pushed him to the floor where he skid and scraped his elbow. I turned and I left. The next week was a the sports week in our school and I used to be in the athletics group. I was practising hard and focussing on bettering my timing. Once or twice I caught this guy staring at me from his basketball practice.  It felt strange to be looked at like “THAT”! It felt strange and I was angry at myself for being distracted. Our group won the athletics event and just as we were being awarded the trophies, this guy comes up to me and hands me a ROSE!! I was embarrassed, flustered, angry and PLEASED!! Why was I pleased and I kinda liked it in a weird way. I took the rose and rushed to collect my trophy. My friends looked at me with disgust, so just as to not annoy them, I flicked the rose away into the closest bin. I looked back to see his reaction and there he was with the crooked smile on his face. After that, every time I saw him in school or the ground, I felt my heart flutter and his smile just made me all awkward and tingly. That was love, so much fun, so much curiosity, so naive, so fresh.

(He then changed schools and I never saw him again,but I still remember his crooked smile)

Love in the 20s

Background setup: A Govt. Engineering college, early morning, Mechanical engineering department, new session for the fourth year students, 150 students waiting outside to hear their names being called to get sorted according to the specialization. The peon comes with a trail of paper( 150 students.. what did you expect!!) He calls out Section A Operations X,Y,Z, . . my name’s called too and a name after that. (Now I know who’s name that was, not then).  Then a tap on my shoulder, I look back, a scrawny  boy , barely my height ( and I am not tall, just average), fair and inquisitive black eyes looking at me.  I ask him what was the matter? ( and mind you all this was a non-verbal communication). He asks me for a pen and notebook, and I hand him that( I don’t know why I had any of that spare on me. Maybe it was destiny). He thanks me with a nod of his head and walks off. The next day, he comes to me after class and says he wants my notes and walks of with my book. One pencil led to another, one note led to another and we were talking, chatting and spending a lot of time together and officially we were in love before even we knew we were in love cause the entire college had branded us being the nerd-weird couple ( nerd- me, weird – him). I remember the rose he gave me on rose day, the only one to ( nobody else would, cause I was taken) and how I preserved that rose for so many days in my books. The same tingly feeling when I waited for him to pick me up after college hours, and when we shared a vada pau together, when we selected cards for each other on Valentines, when we studied together for exams in the library. And yes, he used to sketch beautifully and he made me pose for his sketches…some breathtakingly beautiful sketches and some caricatures. I loved them all. He made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. Sigh!! That was love, so mushy, so like in the movies, so transient, so volatile.

(But it ended in a bitter note, so bitter that at times it feels like a mistake)

Love in the 30s

My 5 month old daughter smiles her toothless smile and I forget my tiff with my husband. She resembles my husband. Her nose, her cheeks, her  eyes, everything says  she is her daddy’s girl.  We have been fighting a lot these days which only goes to say how much we miss each other. He is out of the country for some work and am at home desperately wishing him to come back soon. We met at a party, got around talking and the first thing I notice about him is “O! God. He has such a big nose!” But the big nosed guy swept me off my feet and we got married. Everything was so fast that we didn’t even realize we were in love because before that, we realized we were perfect for each other. Guided by our intuition that this will work,we embarked on this lovely, beautiful, tumultuous at times, fun journey together. Its been tough and at times but there were more highs than lows.  Every morning when he plants a kiss on the nape of my neck while I cook in the kitchen, I realize and thank my stars for such a wonderful life. With the birth of my daughter, its picture perfect.  I feel that we kept falling more for each other every single day. More on some day than others! This is love;  so stable, so lasting, so much like I want it.

( Four years and going, I wish that the stars bless us and keep the love forever)

So this has been my journey from a rose to a pose and finally ending with the nose. I always believed in love but the belief kept changing from time to time. Maybe the different people in my life made it seem different but the core, the essence remains the same. The good old LOVE.

This has been my experience with love, do let me know how your journey started and how love has evolved for you”

Sigh!! Whenever I read this post, I feel this overwhelming affection for my husband 🙂 and I know how much he likes his fruit cakes that are mildly sweet but full of flavour from the dry fruits and nuts.  On this Valentine’s there are no heart-shaped chips, cookies or cakes on this blog;  just some old-fashioned fruit cake from The Australian Women’s Weekly.

The Batter

 The Recipe for Fruit and Nut Mini Loaves

Ingredients

Butter – 125 gm ( After making these loaves I feel I could lower the butter content to 115 gm)

Mixed fruit and nut like dried cranberries, golden raisins, walnuts, black raisins and chocolate buttons – 375 gm or 2 1/3 cups

Caster sugar – 150 gm or 2/3 rd cups

Eggs- 2 nos.

Buttermilk – 1/3rd cup 180 ml ( but I had to use 200ml to make the batter of pouring consistency)

Plain flour – 1/2 cup or 75 gm

Self raising flour – 3/4th cup or 110 gm

Nutella for nutella glaze (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 160 C- 140 C or gas mark 3 – 4

2. Grease 8 hole petite loaf pan

3. Stir in all the dry ingredients like flours, sugar, nuts & fruits & chocolate buttons in a bowl.

4. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then crack open both the eggs and add buttermilk. Stir well.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and combine well. Do not over work it.

6. Divide the mixture into pan holes, smooth the tops; bake about 30 minutes but it took 45 minutes for the toothpick inserted to come out clean in my case.

7. Then let the mini loaves cool in the pan after you get them out of the oven.

8. Drizzle melted nutella on top (optional)

The recipe promised 8 but I had only 6 cakes. The depth of the pan making the difference here. Also the butter milk quantity fell short as the batter was too dry to plop into the pans. The original recipe called for lemon glaze icing but I had no icing sugar to use, so I used Nutella instead. It was simply wonderful. My hubby likes them without glaze and I am a glaze/icing person. So I topped 2 of them with a thin Nutella glaze ( almost watery) just for the flavour; while the rest were left as they were.

I wish you all a brilliant Valentine’s Day full of love and laughter!

I am sending this entry to Anzz’s Valentine special event.

37 thoughts on “Fruit & Nut Mini Lo(a)ves for Valentines”

  1. This post does makes me ponder about all the wonderful things that I love about my husband, yea everyone has their share of arguments and stuff but nothing changes,THE LOVE is always there whether said or not. There is something about love that can only be felt, I dont exactly believe in gifts or roses or chocolates 😛

    This is also the day that my husband and myself got “officially” engaged to be married the next day 🙂

    The fruit and nut mini loaves as an ode to the love for your husband look fabulous !!

    love the clicks ….!!!!!!!

    cheers
    Abhilasha Venkatesh

  2. oooh what i cant figure out is does one really have to say about love to make other know you love them …
    And the way you have described the 10’s and 20’s .. loved it , reminds me or gives me some idea of what i want ot write now soon…

    I loved the recipee

    Happy valentines … have a great day

  3. This is so sweet. I love that you missed your husband so much! And I too do it in a sit back and analyze kind of way.

    And I am laughing at “the big nose.” Especially because you say it so fondly.

    Lovely recipe. Happy Valentine’s Day my friend! Hope you have the best one.

  4. Wow… I love this recipe… it is so simple. I am definitely going to try it. Loved the post.
    As for your relationship in college, there were people who were more invested in it and were heart broken when it didn’t work out. 🙂
    But love is unpredictable… no one knows how it may turn out and with who.

  5. I love your ‘through the years’ flashbacks. Being young and having crushes can be so awkward. I enjoy hearing about your affection to your husband as well. So many people have such hardships in their relationships I am glad to know some marriages are so strong.

  6. loves/loaves – good one.. I read this post earlier and these loaves look beautiful… I want that mini loaf pan.. My husband too prefers ‘no icing’, so i never bother with any icing on my cakes. Hope you are having a wonderful time in India. Its getting quite hot here already.

  7. Wow. This was brilliantly written. It made me go through all my bittersweet memories in life too, and all the emotions associated with it. Very thought provoking and beautiful Anita, and I’m glad the rose-pose-nose story ends with you being in a relationship where you still feel like you’re totally in love. Wishing you and your hubs many more lovely years together.

  8. Lovely post! Enjoyed the progression of love…it ended perfectly and that’s what matters. And those mini-loaves loook great. The chocolate drizzled over the top gave me such a lament for cocoa I am eating dry Milo out of the jar. I am being lazy about my Valentine’s post.

  9. Hi Anita!

    I had to chuckle while reading through your post. Thats sooo cute the childhood story with that boy and the rose. I wish something like that would have happend to me. the fruit and nut loaves look so delicious, I wish I could have one (most probably more) of those.

  10. Hi… I tried the recipe twice and both times the cake was left unbaked at the bottom. What do you think is the problem? The 2nd time the butter was floating on top. Help.

  11. Oh what a lovely post!! I got “married” when I was in first grade to a boy in second grade, haha! To this day, I still wonder where he is and what became of him, just a general curiosity because I have fond memories of that time in my childhood 🙂 I had to smile when I saw you using a recipe from the AWW. These loaves look delicious, even to someone like me who doesn’t like fruit cake!

  12. Anita, what a lovely post and so well written and done with humor, from a rose to a pose and finally a nose! Also mighty brave of you to honestly write about it, as Indians we don’t talk openly about past loves.
    To many more years of love together.

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