Announcing Serve it Series: Serve it ‘Preserved’

Contemplating the themes for this summer month of May, Krithi and I arrived at Preserved. There is an abundance of fruits and veggies during summer, and most of us are trying to save this extra abundance so that we can savor it for the rest of the year.

It was a summer tradition at our grandmother’s house to make loads of preserved foods. All the grandkids were gathered for the summer holidays and the women of the household were also busy with a preserved specialty of her own. My grandmother was the vathal/vadagam queen – she made so many varieties and of such large quantity – and packed them all for us, as we left her house after a fun filled vacation.

Grandma would elaborately plan the varieties of vathals to be made, with a week long schedule. This would involve murukku vathal, javvarisi vathal, koozh vadagam, vengaya vadagam and vegetable variations such as kothavaranga vathal, sundaikkai vathal, maa vathal etc. The cooking of the vathal batter was done early in the morning and while we woke up lazily during the holidays, we would hear her putting out the vathals/vadagams in large cloths/plastic sheets on the terrace for it to dry in the scorching sun.

While it was vathals for grandma, it was pickles/puli kachal/thokku for my aunt and jams/squash for my mom.While being treated to delicious drinks, spicy pickles the kids were given only one task: watch for crows coming to eat the drying vathals, and drive them away. The irony of it is that the drying vathals were eaten by the kids more than they were by the crows. 🙂 Somehow the taste of half dried vathals, still lingers in my mind.

In memory of  many such good times in summer, we have dedicated this Month of May for  “Preserved” entries.

Do check out our summer theme of 2011: ‘Serve it – Chilled‘ and also last month’s theme of ‘Pressure cooked/Slow Cooked’

Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is  PRESERVED. The dictionary defines preserved as: “to prepare food or any perishable substance so as to resist decomposition or fermentation”. Your entry MUST meet this definition.
2. Examples include Jams, marmalades, Squash, Sherbet (not to be confused with sorbet), Pickles, Thokkus, Puli-Kaichal (ready to make tamarind rice mix), Sauces, Salsas, Sambal, Pesto, Home made ready to fry-Fryums (Vathals/Vadagams), dried fruits/veggies. Recipes for canned fruits/veggies and posts explaining the canning process are welcome.
3. Dry Spice powders are not allowed in this theme.
4. The entries should have a shelf life or refrigerator life of minimum 2 months.
5. Both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian entries are allowed.
6. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Krithi’s page here.
7. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in May 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
8. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
9. Last date for submission of your entries is May 31, 2012.
10. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tool below.
11. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
12. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.

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