Shanthini Rajkumar dedicates this week’s recipes to all paatis

A mother wears many hats — of a chauffeur, cook, teacher, alarm clock, friend and many more. This is part of her job, especially if she has young children, who are still in school. But, this is a part and parcel of motherhood and is by and large accepted and embraced.

In all this, there is another group of amazing women who are a huge source of strength for these busy moms, come rain or shine. They are a favourite member of the family, the much loved GRAND-MOM. The mothers-in-law and mothers of these super moms continue to be, in the most trying of times, the extra backbone the mom sometime needs.

Though grandmoms these days are also equally busy being involved in diverse careers and social causes, it does not stop them from being available when they are needed, to fill the role of a parent. In this instalment of Moms in a Hurry,I would like to thank these wonderful women.

These lovely ladies are always game for a tongue tickling adventure and are very receptive to new cuisines. Soups are a huge favourite with my grandmother, so I give you this simple but delicious recipe, to try out and share over the weekend, with a special ‘grandmom’ who has enriched your life.

Mushroom and Celery Soup

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

Button mushrooms (washed and sliced): 1 packet

Celery: 1 stick (wash and remove the outer fibrous strands and dice finely)

Veg stock: 4 cups

Dried thyme: 1/4 tsp

Milk: 1/2 C (optional, or you can even add more if you want it thicker)

Salt, pepper and olive oil: To taste

Ripe red chillies (sliced thin): 2

Method

In a pan, heat, on a medium flame, half a tablespoon of oil and sweat the mushroom and celery. Add salt and pepper and thyme. Once the water from the mushroom has dried out, add the stock water and let it come to a boil. Check seasoning. Take off fire. Just before serving ,add the milk and heat through. Garnish with a few slices of ripe red chilli for that added zing !

A warm foccacia on the side and the meal is made.

To make vegetable stock: Place in a pressure cooker one each of onion, clove of garlic, carrot and potato. Add a bay leaf, some pepper corns and salt with six cups of water. Let it cook for about four whistles and cool. This is a quick basic stock and can be frozen in ice trays for future use. As an option you can also add leeks, herbs and ginger depending on the kind of soup.

Cinnamon Walnut and Pecan cookies

Tea time, back in the day, was a ritual that the whole family adhered to. Yummy morsels of sweets and savouries would be made every evening to be relished along with that cup of tea. It was a time to stop, linger and reflect on the day. With this picture in mind, I present to you an easy cookie recipe, where the scent of cinnamon and the crunch of nuts, will definitely transport you back to your childhood, of evenings spent with grandma.

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour: 280 gm

Soft butter: 230 gm

Demerara sugar (powdered): 115 gm

Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp

Pecans, walnuts (chopped): 1/4 C (you can use other nuts too)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft and light. Add the nuts.

Fold in well. Sift the flour with the cinnamon and add to the bowl. Fold it in, until it forms a soft dough. Make small balls, place on a baking tray and flatten slightly, you can make any markings using the back of a fork or any embossed cookie marker. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

Allow to cool on tray. Store in an airtight tin, but before that, one important step… treat yourself to one, or even two.

Shanthini is a foodie mom and you know more about her on her blog http://pink-lemon-tree.blogspot.in/