Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweeten that "Sour Grape"

... and then contentment set in.


How easy it is to be content? I ask myself this question quite often. Scream your lungs out, but you will still have voices around you saying that "it is" not enough. I instantly shun them aside, all within and say "it is", and that's how its going to be.

Life's too short to worry about the quantum of contentment in others, that's if contentment could be measured. I notice a lot of people who are not yet in their happy zone and it stretches to such an extent that they ensure that those who are content and are within their radar are negatively affected too. A clear cut case of sour grapes. Not attainable hence call it sour and mull over it. No one said life was easy but it's the way you look at things that matter the most. If you call something unreasonable, then it is going to be unreasonable. If you are going to call it sour, its definitely going to remain sour, but only for you.

Reach out to that highest branch to grasp the fruit, smile relentlessly all the way through the climb, ignore the bugs, the pests, the thorns and you will come out victorious. The sour grape story teaches us a lesson, fabled or realistic, it does pay to learn and implement it. A theme well thought out, an ingredient which rules this weeks post, the fruit - A Grape.

Grapes may be astringently acrid and acidic but there's a hint of sweetness in them that enraptures your taste buds. A fantastic fruit which we all enjoy and relish, green or red, they are versatile enough to be used in many ways.

A nice recipe, which I relate to sweetening up the sourness in the grape, it urges you too to look at things in a different way.


10-12 Green Grapes
10-12 Red Grapes
1 cup Hung Curd
2 tsp Mustard Paste (freshly made, not the French variety)
A small bunch of Fresh Mint
1 tablsp Coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tsp Honey
A pinch of Cumin
Black Salt & Paprika to taste

Wash & slice the grapes into thin roundels and keep aside.

Beat the hung curd till smooth and add the honey, mustard paste and spices. Mix well and add the mint and coriander. Toss in the grapes and mix well. Let it sit for a while and serve chilled.

Incidentally, a lot of contentment is achieved whenever I am invited to meet with like-minded people. The bloggers who are now a part of my little world, give me great joy in preserving my contentment and making it a lot more stronger. This time we were invited over to Olive with a couple of new bloggers in our tribe (it's growing and I am loving it) and the event hosted by United Breweries Group who introduced us to their range of wines branded as Four Seasons coupled with Olives carefully selected four course meal. The event planners, Melissa & Tara from Grey had planned out a wine degustation and it turned out quite a handful.

Pairing food and wines is an art. A lot many of us (probably including me) do not know the finer nuances of the right pair, but yes, if you do make an attempt and of course, someone with a fine nose and sensitive taste guides you through it, its worth the experience and it leaves an overall sense of nirvana to your taste buds.

In India, the norm is usually not to have alcohol with food. A lot of us have the drinks before dinner and then move on to the meal. The west usually associates a drink with the food. A clearly wise habit considering you are keeping your stomach and blood stream content with the effect of alcohol dimmed by the food which you eat with it. I love having a drink while eating, not only is it fulfilling, but every sip of alcohol refreshes your taste buds to a fresh new feel and makes every bite of your food tastes like its first.

The Sauvignon Blanc with Wine Cured Grape & Goat Cheese Salad

This wine was served with the salad, I had a bit of Four Seasons Rose to begin with when we walked in and the sweetness of the rose was cutting into the flavors of the sauvignon blanc, but surprisingly, a bite into peppery arugula in the salad brought out the flavors of the wine. A clear case of sweetening the sour grapes, dont you think? sometimes its the food which matters too when pairing the wine, and it does wonders to your palate. The creamy goat cheese had a nice silky finish to the slightly biting flavors of the wine.

The Viognier with Baked Fillo - Wrapped Brie

The next pairing was The Viogner. A first timer for me and described as an intense perfume of blossom, dried apricots and peaches. The thin crusty layers of the fillo was quite a treat with a plump filling of brie (a little too much actually) with a drizzle of honey at the base, but The Viogner had its way around the full meaty feel of the dish and left the taste lingering on much after I was done with it.

Rushina of A Perfect Bite who invited us over, had the char-grilled prawns. I was not much in a sea-food mood, but I could see it did make an interesting pairing with The Voigner.

The Merlot & Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with The Chicken Shish Touk

A double whammy for me, I do have a penchant for Merlot and probably veer more towards this grape variety due to its ripe and deep flavors whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon (Their premium ranged Barrique Reserve) borders with a bit of spice hence I was reduced to alternating between both as they had been served together in front of me. Oddly, the juggle between the two was fun as my Chicken which was marinated with an overwhelming taste of cumin was excellent with the subtle yet dark fruit flavors of the Merlot and the saffron rice with which the chicken came along with went perfectly well with the Cabernet Sauvignon. Alternating between a subtle wine to a fiery dish and a rich full bodied wine with something light, is a good pairing.

The Blush Cocktail with Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee / Wild Berry Cheesecake

Dessert wines are a fledgeling introduction in India, considering we Indians do have a sweet palate to go with, I am quite surprised that dessert wines are not widely advertised or served around here. The Blush Cocktail was a heady concoction of Four Seasons Blush with Cointreau (again my favourite liqueur) and Strawberries and I did catch a piece of melon too?

If all that wine dint leave me content, I think I would be kidding myself into believing that lifes good after all !

1 comment:

Megha said...

I like what you did with the grapes and like your words too :)