The 7 to 9 Chef/ Chapter 5/ Almond and raisin bread pudding

Author’s note: A lot of my readers actually thought I was Cassie…XD….So let’s just make this clear that Cassie is my ficitional character for my story ‘the 7 to 9 Chef …XD..On the other hand I am really glad I sound so convincing….All the positive feedback really makes me feel awesome. Please keep reading and commenting!!

Almond and Raisin Bread Pudding and The Story of a Beautiful Gown

Do you know the kind of people into who’s mouth you would love to shove a hundred bitter gourds until they plead for your mercy…yes that’s surely the sort of person sitting in front of me- my head of department, Mrs. Harshini.

“Miss. Ruth, so what you are trying to tell me is, choosing your sister’s wedding gown is so much more important to you than your work as of now.” First of all I hate it when someone calls me Ruth and second of all who the hell is she to question me like that. I just asked for the second half off today. I should have decently listened to Ananya and lied. What did I think?

“No Mam. Not at all Mam. You have totally gt me wrong. I am done with all my meetings for the day and I haven’t taken a day off for 2 months now and..and my poor sister has to go all alone. Its her wedding Mam. How many times can she pick out a gown like this…” What nonsense am I mumbling. But I know one thing for sure, wedding sentiments work miracles with Indian women. I can sense a relaxtion in her manner.

“Okay Ruth you can go.” She is not so bad after all. “But… “She is worse, of course! “…you have to attend the seminar for Human resources department at Leela Palace on behalf of our company branch day after tomorrow.”

OOOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOO…that was the thing everyone was avoiding since last week.. What have I got myself into for my sister. Its the world’s worst punishment. Every year the company makes and amends the rules for the employees. Of course if it concerns the employees it most certainly concerns us also. OPL holds it at Leela palace every year and a lot of HR consultants join in from various branches in the country. The board of directors play the main part and we are just puppets. Last year it was Ahmed and Anusha and this year its me and ?…

“Raymond will accompany you..” says Harshini as she signs and throws another of the million files piled up on her desk.

Probably it’s not going to be so bad..

My phone beeps.

Cass I’m in the parking area…how long will it take…Did that witch create a big scene..

I’ll be there in a minute- I reply

My sister promised me my current dream shoes for attending the seminar. What she actually doesn’t know is I am not too pissed about it. I don’t know why though..;)

“Cass, I feel something is up with you and Ray. You know you can tell me anything and everything because I am your sister and I care about you.” She is the best ever. We have always been very close probably because she is only a year older than me.

“Nothing like that Vicky. It is just fun to talk to him. He is really funny and I like him as a friend.”

“Why are you blushing then,” she laughs. I don’t understand why my sister and brother make such a big deal about Ray. We are just good friends.

“Hey, I think we are here. This is the Green Wills apartment,”  says Vicky. Thank God we reached else she would have eaten my head. Vicky and I are going to meet the legend of wedding gowns in India, Elsa Parera. We somehow got her number through Ananya and finally convinced her to design Vicky’s gown after a week of pleading and begging. Last month we had visited her with Mama at her office and placed the order and paid the advance. Now we are here to collect it. She wanted us to come over to her place because her office was undergoing remodeling.

I can smell a strong fragnance of lavendar as I enter her house. Everything looks just too pink to me. I have to admit that she has a beautiful apartment though. It must have cost her a fortune and the world a lot of pink.

“Hi Vicky and hi Cassie. So good to see you all.” There is something about her that will amuse anyone. She is certainly not that pretty. She is short but a fit middle-aged lady. Her dressing sense is fantabulous though. After all she wouldn’t be a designer if she had a dressing sense like mine. I feel like a beggar next to her.

Vicky looks so excited. Hopefully the gown fits her and everything goes fine.

“Ronny bring order number 145D,” yells Elsa to someone out of sight. Seconds later a beautiful girl with a more beautiful gown in her hand emerges out of the door opposite to the couch we were sitting on.

“This is Ronny my assistant and Vicky, this is your beautiful gown,” says Elsa as she hands it over to Vicky, who carries it like a new born baby to the dressing room to try it on.

In went a normal workaholic, tired woman and now comes an angel. The door seems more like heaven’s gate way for a moment. I don’t know if words could make the gown sound more beautiful than it actually looks, but I am going to try my best.. Its a beautiful off-shouldered upper piece, into which a hundered zircon stones are sewn thereby completely covering the front portion. Elsa suggested swarovski crystals instead, but that was way out of our budget. These zircon stones are glimmering like diamonds and are surely doing the job. The back has some criss-cross work. The lower piece has layers of tulle one after the other making it look a little bushy and the final layer has few patches of elegant applique work here and there. The final layer is also lengthy something that Elsa calls as a court train. The gown is also off-white and surely brings out Vicky’s complexion better than the white we had suggested.

Vicky looks mesmerized as she looks into a long mirror.

“Cass can you pinch me?”

“Vicky, you look beautiful. Wait till Sam sees you..” I say

“She looks like an angel, doesn’t she Cass?” exclaims Elsa. I smile in reply.

“Cassie, click a pic and whatsapp it to mom and dad.”

“I think I’ll send it only to dad. He can show Mama.” Vicky glares at me as though warning me not to create a scene. I do as told….actually compelled. Mama calls right after a minute. I don’t get it why she calls to my phone always. I give it to my sister. I have had more than enough of her lecture in the morning. She was so worried about how bad that psychopath Neil would have felt after I left Boca Grande, complaining of a headache. She thinks I made it too obvious and have hence spoiled her friendship with Rinky aunty, who she has never met. Rinky aunty and Ma only got to know each other through a common friend and only because they were looking for a match for their kids. I can’t believe a 26 days friendship matters more than a 26 year old relationship to Mama.

Finally we reach home, after travelling 20 kms to and fro, in a miserable state. Thank God Jerry was home and we needn’t take the trouble to open the door. Trust me we are that tired.

After freshening up I get into the kitchen only to feel more relaxed unlike other people who take cooking as a stress.

Today, I certainly wanted to eat something sweet for dinner. I finally decide to make pudding with the loads of bread slices in the refrigerator. I know its weird to eat dessert as main course but I guess we are weird and moreover the pudding is really filling.

Ingredients:

  • Bread- 12 slices, buttered on one side with unsalted butter and cut into 4 cubes each
  • 500 ml milk
  • sugar- 1/2 cup or to taste
  • handful of almonds and another hanful of raisins
  • 1 egg- nicely beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Grease a baking tin with butter. Using six slices completely cover the bottom of the tin such that the buttered side faces upwards. Now sprinkle all the raisins and half of the almonds over the slices. Layer rest of the slices over it. Add rest of the almonds. If we add the raisins on top they get burnt                                                       .DSC05009
  2. In bowl dissolve the sugar in the milk. Then add the beaten egg and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the above mixture over the bread and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 20 minutes.

DSC05010

DSC05017                DSC05019

“This recipe challenge thing is working good for me even if it is not for you Cass. Yummmm….It tastes too good,” says Jerry.

I have to say the bread-pudding tastes amazing with the strawberry sauce.

A get a message from Ray.

Amazing! 25 recipes to go and your surely on the right track…

…………..To be continued

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