Well finally Lakshmi, Nirmala and I met over for lunch which got extended to coffee time. This meet was finally possible after what I would say a period of planning over 2 months! Thanks to Lakshmi for suggesting this. She mailed me if I would be interested in a Chennai Food blogger meet. I was all for it. I have interacted so much with her mother Latha, that I was sure it will be wonderful meeting Lakshmi. She mailed me saying that she knows two other bloggers who blog from Chennai. Nirmala of Amma's Special and Kamini of The Bubbling Cauldron were the other two bloggers who were supposed to meet. After many long mail exchanges, we finally decided to meet over the weekend. For pictures taken during the meet, visit Lakshmi's blog here.
We decided to meet at a place thats closer by to our offices, in plans to get back to office after lunch. Little did we know that it will happen. We also planned to get something for each other. Nirmala said she would bring pakodas. Kamini said she would bring some Fruit Tarts and Lakshmi said she will make the brownies. That left me in confusion as I haven't blogged on any snacks that much. But had been waiting to prepare the Salt Diamonds that Amma used to prepare during our childhood. I knew this would be a perfect time for them. I have always missed them so much. I was all excited and asked Amma for the recipe. She was asking why I would want to do them now of all the times. I said I will get back with details later. With great difficulty I managed to do that. My daughter, when she saw them was so excited and trilled. She was asking Athamma why she didn't know to make such beautiful stuff. I felt bad and elated at the same time. I convinced my daughter that it was both Ammamma and Nanamma who taught me to cook. She was happy about that too.
I was all excited the whole day, the day we were supposed to meet. Kamini unfortunately couldn't make it, which was very bad but we decided to have one as soon as she can. We decided to book a table in a different name and try guessing each other correctly. It took some time for me to reach Amethyst, the place we decided to meet. It was a wonderful place full of greenery. I was amazed that this place existed in midst of a really crowded and populated place. Yet it retained its greenery and beauty. I asked for the table and was told I was the first. I also ensured that the waiter wont reveal my name to others. I must've waited some 15 mins or so when this smart, chic lady, rather I would say teenager walked towards me. I guessed right but she had difficulty guessing me. It was so much fun. So I was correct on Lakshmi. We spent some 50 mins chatting away without knowing that we were still waiting for Nirmala to show. In all our excited we forgot to get contact numbers. It does sound funny but that was true. Lakshmi tried calling all numbers that may lead to Nirmala but couldn't get hold of one. Suddenly we saw a tall, prim and proper lady with Ironed hair all smiling and enthu, walking towards us. I was sad for a moment that my judgment of Nirmala was wrong. Imagine the merry when the lady crossed us to the next table. I think I heard Lakshmi breath a sign knowing it wasn't Nirmala.
It was getting so late and we were really hungry. We decided to order and called the waiter. While we were still deciding what order after one starter, we suddenly saw a petite girl standing next to us. I was really trilled. It was Nirmala. She was just like what I thought. Warm, bubbly and all excited through the meet. She came across as very witty and nice and between both of them, I didn't even know the whole afternoon passing by. Among three of us bursting with exchanging things that we didn't know that Waiter was still waiting for us to confirm the order. We finally asked him to get what we felt was ok. As most of the items were Non-Veg, had very less choice. But we didn't bother on the food. It was fun hearing both of them sharing tidbits on their life style. We exchanged our snacks and wanted to take pictures of them. We must've spent nearly 5 + hrs but we didn't feel like parting. It was so much fun talking about common passion and interest. Hubby dear called us some three times to get an update but was amused that we were still in the restaurant. Finally we didn't get back to office and went home.
Nirmala was so homely and forth coming. It was fun getting to know more about her family and I feel I know everybody without meeting them. She vibrates the same enthusiasm and energy I feel when I read her blog. Her pakodas were super hit with my daughter. She was munching on them even just before going to bed! I will have to ask her to post the recipe. Even now when I remember Nirmala telling us that once Dad commented on one of her cooking disaster - "Ne ippo samaikalannu yarru alluvura" (Who is crying that you are not cooking?) That was one statement that made me laugh so much.
Lakshmi is a real talented lady. She is a dancer and a painter apart from handling her own firm. All from a person in her mid 20's. Her brownies were simply superb. Athamma was all praises for her, saying such a young girl and she baked such a wonderful dish! We enjoyed them the entire weekend. She brought us so much that I kept eating them through the weekend. I am going to make that soon.
It was a great meet and will want to meet often now. I know this has again become a big post but I have not covered half that happened. Putting a face to the person behind the blog, has made so much difference. I have always enjoyed reading both Yum Blog and Amma's Special. Now the experience has enriched it more. It was a real pleasure and fun meeting them.