The knitters came home for their last session in 2016. Sunlight streamed into the house and found animated chatter, busy knitting needles and preparations for that most delectable ceremony of winter days…eating “NIMBU”. You need to sample this before you can understand my delight and excitement about this.
Winters make big yellow lemons appear on hill slopes. Large, with a thick rind and a distinctive sour-bitter taste, these lemons are used to make pickles, lemon drinks and ( in our house) lemon-drizzle-sponge cakes. Visitors from the plains take these lemons for spicing up their roasts and stews and smart cooks prepare marmalade with a twist.
For us hill-folks however, nothing can compare to eating “NIMBU”!!
Some pre-requisites to eating NIMBU-
Prepare the dish in the shade, and eat in in bright sunlight immediately
Add savoury and sweet seasoning
Remember, however much is prepared, it is finished clean immediately.
Big Lemons are cut , de-seeded and separated into fleshy pieces. Jaggery and flavoured salt ( with garlic, red chillies, coriander) are added in generous measure. Cream or curds, as much as possible, with bits of radish or apple or bananas is mixed into the lemons. Coriander leaves or garlic leaves sprinkled, and everyone then takes their share of this terrific concoction, sits in the sun and slurps heartily..This is on the high points of winter for me.
Winter high points also include the early morning brisk walk to the golf course, feeling the first rays of the rising sun and watching the frost melt on the fences, knitting a quiet afternoon away, and eating delicious winter goodies at every meal.
Of course, with little Mili around, the entire day is a high point of saving my trousers from slashed tears, feeding and toilet training the little one, and yes, knitting her some warm woolies. Its ten days of Mili and she has graduated from a cape ( modified swatch), to a cowl ( another modified swatch) to her first customised red sweater. I will need to knit another sweater soon, and this one will be kept carefully for the next little pup who walks into our lives.
Knitting is happening in fits and starts this month. Guests, website work, puppy love, surprise visits by daughters, sunshine and hot tea….where can I fit knitting into all this?! but then, wait for a few days and I shall have a completed project to share!