Friday, August 3, 2007

Summer Job

As far as my memory takes me I recall all the summer jobs that we did as a family. Firstly I remember the wheat that we would buy in bulk quantity for the entire year, this we used to get in a jute sack, and it was a huge task to bring them up to our third floor apartment keeping in mind that there was no lift !! We would be parading up & down the three stories with small bags, until the sacks were light enough to be carried up. We then had to clean the wheat, taking out every stone or foreign matter in it by hand. Then we would transfer all the wheat to our terrace where it would spread out in the Sun, the idea was to dry it completely; in the evening we would again collect the wheat & put it in the sacks. This process of drying was carried out for 3 days. Once properly dried we would apply Castor oil to it, this would prevent any insects at bay. Finally the wheat was stored in a huge metal container, layering Neem leaves at the bottom & intermittently. This again was an insect-repellent.
Another thing we did was making different kinds of Papads, Potato Wafers, and my favourite 'shevaya' these are noodles made out of wheat. The process is quite elaborate, but the end product is so good that we almost forget the labor behind it.

We made masalas for the year, washed & dried turmeric, dried the red-chillies, then make Garam masala, Goda-masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dhania powder.

Gosh we actually had a mini cottage industry working those summer months !!

All our mattresses would bask in the Sun, all blankets, rajais, bed-sheets washed & dried in the sun. This ensured their long life.
Basically we did all jobs by which we utilised the available resources of that season i.e. the Sun.

What I love about this entire summer job is that we had all our wafers, chips, papads ready so our fast-food was actually home-made & we were sure of the quality of the product. I still ask my Mom to make the masalas for me, coz they are just great & all food tastes good!!

Wonder if I will ever be able to take so much pain & effort when there are so many options available...but I do know that I am grateful to my Mom for educating me in all things that one can do.....thanks Mom I love you!!

7 comments:

Ketaki said...

Hahahaha! and what a summer job it was! leaf out of my memory. Its been at least 15 years since I used the kisni to grate boiled potatoes for to make batatyacha chivda. Then there were pohyache papad and also sabidanyachi papdi. And and to run up the Gachhi at the slightest warning of rain and quickly get all the plastic sheets inside.

Ketaki said...

Tell you what, inspite of the zillion options available, home-made is the BEST! So don't lose all those hot recipes for masalas and papads. You never know when you get that yen for making everything at home. Next week am gonna learn to make Puran Polis.

Neelum said...

I agree home made stuff really is the BEST !! I dream of having a house with a huge gachhi (terrace)...once that is done the rest can follow..nahi ka!!
Puran poli sounds fun...yummm...do tell us how they turned out

himali said...

Ah! wat memories u brought back. Isnt it wonderful that most of us do the same stuff in summer. We have the same ways...its wonderful. I really appreciate our parents generation. My mom was a working parent ( she retired for Anaiy), inspite of her demanding work schedule, she would still find time and energy to do all the summer chores. I wonder where she got that energy from. HAts off to her! I dont think I can match up with her...but I guess, our generation have our own version of chores:)

Sonia said...

wow neelum you did a lot of work in the summer - reading that i am reminded of the ways i spent my summer holidays - not sure if this comment space can hold all of it - so i am going to put in a new post with all the things i normally did in the long summer holidays

Neelum said...

It was not all work re baba. We did all the things that you mentioned in your memoire of summer vacations...and as a child I could always say 'no' to some chores n errands...I wrote all that just to refresh my memory about how we would do different things in each season

Anonymous said...

yehh.. i think we all used to do same thing in summer... such a nostalgic feeling after reading it.. our moms r gr8... my mom is working and she still finds time for all these things and always gives me masalas and papads..I am planning to learn these.. thanks neelum..
Vinaya