Exotica

– We will be moving by the end of May to Cochin. The husband’s been transferred. We came here in October 2004. So just over 2 1/2 years in Vizag. Cochin is exotic for me because I’ve never been to Kerala.

– Today I made a curry of the inside of a banana plant’s stem. We call it “doota”. The inlaws call it oocha, but they don’t use it (they don’t use a lot of vegetables we do). I have a photo of the fibre for you.

Banana fibre

It is very fibrous. It is a peculiarly Telugu (or perhaps South Indian) delicacy. The photo is clickable to my Flickr photostream where there is another photo, with my forefinger for scale. I believe yarns made of the fibre are available in the West. I’ve also heard of banana fibre saris here. This particular banana plant (actually a plantain) was in my parents’ house in Hyderabad. It had fruited (!!! what is the right term for that?), and the fruits were harvested, therefore the plant was cut down. They only bear fruit once, you know. The inflorescence is also used in cooking, making a delicious curry.

– Yesterday I made Paatholi which is another Andhra specialty, made of chickpea/bengal gram paste and beans.

– I started making a baby sweater from Australian Woman’s Day Summer Handknits 1986, called Lotsadots, and finished one and a half sides before accepting it was turning out too small. It has since been frogged, but I like the pattern. I want to convert it to working in the round (it’s piecewise now) and use different colours. Will there be a problem maintaining the pattern in the round? I’m afraid there might be a jag. Yasmin will recognise the yarn, she sent it to me. It’s a mix of German and Taiwanese acrylics.

Failed experiment

– Currently I’m reading Pico Iyer’s Falling off the Map and find it less funny than I’d hoped. Also he has some peculiar usages for words and phrases. Unwealthy. Commemorated to. Overbroods. I wonder if being a successful writer gives you the license to coin new things. No fussy editors standing over you, red pencils in hand. Or maybe it’s just me. I can’t claim to be an authority on the English Language.

– Today is a sneezy day. My phus-phus (nasal spray) failed again, despite two puffs per nostril last night. I’m giving up.

– Could someone help me place the pictures so that they are not all lined up military style one beneath the other?

3 thoughts on “Exotica

  1. Swaaaapnaaaaa,
    You’re making me Huuuuunnngryyyyy!!!

    BTW, were your ears burning today? I carried my bright yellow bag today, y’know, the one you sent me and three different ladies commented about how fun it was, though one used the word festive and the otherjust said it was pretty. They asked me where I got it and I said a friend in India. They were so jealous!

    Tell me when you’re ready for another trade and be thinking about what you want!

  2. Good – you’re back – I was beginning to worry. It’s been over 2 weeks since I got my weekly dose of giggles from your blog!

    Cochin is luverly, pet! Best city in Kerala. Thank yr stars it wasn’t Thiruvananthapuram – the narrowminded center of Indian babudom. Thus speaks the native, who returns for a weeklong visit every few years at most.

    Take care!

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