• Scottish Highlands, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #2

    In times of the pandemic, the Scottish Highlands have been in the limelight for… well, locals testing positive. And a while ago, there were news reports about an increasingly large number of people opting to live closer to Edinburgh rather than commute daily from far-flung corners of the Highlands. A rather obvious decision, isn’t it? And back in the day (circa 2017), there had been discussions about real estate prices in the Isle of Skye skyrocketing, hotels/homestays claiming six-month long waiting periods and even some mumblings about a tourist tax. Whatever the case may be, nothing and no one can deny the charm of the ruggedly handsome Scottish Highland. As…

  • Neist Point, fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #1

    It had been a cold winter in Ahmedabad, the winter of 2018, the minimum temperature hovering between 10°C-16°C. Huddled at my desk, feet tucked in thick socks, I shivered and bemoaned the ruthless cold over a telephone conversation with my best friend. Imagine my indignation when she burst into laughter rather than express sympathy over my frozen toes! “Rapti, if you are shivering in this excuse for a winter, how on earth did you survive the Scottish Highlands,” she questioned. Good point. But you see, at the Isle of Skye in Scotland, while my teeth chattered in the bone-chilling cold, my face was frozen into a big grin and my…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter2

    Around the time I had been reading about Scotland, especially Edinburgh, I remember stumbling upon the statement “But Edinburgh is a mad god’s dream.” Now I don’t know about mad gods and goddesses but I do know that it is a city of Good Samaritans. Do you remember where we left off in the last post? That bit about me having a near meltdown in the gift store of the Edinburgh Castle? (Read Crushing on Edinburgh Chapter 1) Well, while I do remember that nerve-racking anxiety, I also have a clear memory of a gentleman walking up to me. It seems he saw the visibly distressed me and want to…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter1

    I confess. I have a crush on Edinburgh. I have been in love with Amsterdam from when I first set foot on that gorgeous slice of heaven on earth. But now Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets, mix of old-new structures and a skyline that gives off a broody Gothic vibe on a cloudy day, has found its way into my heart. Having experienced the colourful energy that takes over the city towards the end of the Edinburgh Festival, I want to return to Scotland’s capital – once to devote time (and money!) to the cluster of festivals that light up the ‘Festival City’ and again to walk through the city…

  • #fromthecornertable #scotland
    Travel

    Scotland: Why, When, How

    Looking back, the year 2017 was like the craziest roller coaster ride in an amusement park leaving me, the rider, nervous, exhilarated and other things unfamiliar. But the Gods of Travel were undoubtedly kind to me. How else does one get lucky enough to have checked two places from their travel wish list in a year! Yes! Yours truly went on a three-day trip to Athens (with the elder sister and her husband) and a week-long solo trip to Scotland; the first in May and the second in August. Athens was a special treat because of the… hold on. I’ll come to that later. How about I regale you (I…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, travel, travel journal, travel diary
    Travel

    Gift yourself a travel diary

    A week ago, I did a few interesting things. I (finally!) started work on a ‘history journal’ project that had been gifted to me three months ago. I was supposed to have given it a long time back but then life happened, priorities changed and the project got delayed. That’s the first interesting thing there, finishing that long-pending project. The second exciting bit was attending a “solo female travellers meet” – here I met a bunch of interesting people, learned some lessons from more experienced solo travellers and answered questions of some planning to take the plunge. It was during the discussions here that someone raised the point of “clicking photographs to…

  • Tuck-In

    Korola aloo chorchori | Bengali-style bitter gourd & potato

    We are a family of bitter gourd lovers. Give us bitter gourd in any form and we will love it, especially if it has retained that light bitter taste – boiled, mashed and seasoned with mustard oil and salt; crispy fried; stuffed with spices; stir-fried – we heart this green. So much so that each time I am about to travel to Bristol to visit the elder sister and brother-in-law, the parents get nearly a kilogram or two of bitter gourd and then spend hours cooking it to crispy perfection. This dish is then securely packed in airtight containers which are opened only in the Bristol kitchen. I surmise that…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, recipe, raw mango chutney, kaacha aamer chaatni, chutney, chaatni
    Tuck-In

    Kaacha Aamer Chaatni | Raw Mango Chutney

    One of the best things about summer in India is the abundance of mangoes! Walking into a fruit store these days makes me feel like a kid in the candy store – so many varieties of mangoes to choose from! My father tends to go overboard while mango shopping but thanks to my mother, we don’t end up covering every surface at home with the ‘king of fruits’. The mango crop in Gujarat has been a little unsatisfactory this year, says my father and the newspapers. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped the average Gujarati – and by that, I mean any person living in this Indian state –…

  • Tuck-In

    Pabda Maacher Jhol | Indian Butterfish Curry

    I’ve got to start with a random confession… or confessions. It took me a while to figure out what pabda maachis called in English and with it came the realization that despite having grown up with the privilege of speaking and understanding 4 languages, I am not very good at either. Maa helped me fry the fish because all that spluttering and splattering scared the life out of me! Since I’ve just returned from Sri Lanka, the ideal situation would see me sharing some Sri Lankan recipes with you. I do intend to! I always did! Why else would I pester A into helping me pester accessible chefs into sharing a…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, bengalifood, bengalirecipes, indianfood, fish head, fish recipe, non vegetarian
    Tuck-In

    Muri Ghonto | Fish Head & Rice Mishmash

    One of the best parts of cooking is trying to find a way where there is zero or minimal waste of produce. It’s heartening to watch even cookery shows placing emphasis on the concept of zero-waste in an attempt to turn it back into norm rather than a trend. And I am well aware that I used the term ‘turn it back into a norm’. Over the years, I’ve seen my mother practice the same thought process that she has learned from her mother. For instance, the skin of the bottle gourd does not land in the washbasin. It is washed well and fried till slightly crisp, making it a perfect…