In my last conversation with my heavily pregnant best friend before she had her baby, she confided that she was looking forward to labour. Are you completely insane? was my response. She patiently explained that she felt this was the last rite of passage into womanhood, giving birth and she was excited about it. I insisted that she better take the epidural. She told me for the thousandth time that she didn't want one because she knew her body could handle it and wanted to experience it the a la natural way. Sometimes I don't even know how we are friends, I mean I pop a pill at the hint of discomfort. We hung up and ten minutes later she promptly went into labour. I mean she should have asked for a million dollars while someone was granting her wishes. We would all be rich.
I was chopping a mountain of rosemary for an order when I got the call that she had a girl! Without drugs but not without drama, the natural way. It was so exciting and scary that one of us was allowed to be a mother to a human. I swear just over three years ago, she had set my apartment on fire while we both slept in a drunken stupor.
Its been a year since I became an auntie and I really adore my slightly bald, sweet faced niece. I like how she looks like a mini version of my friend with the same expressions and animated hand gestures. I love that she laughs with her head thrown back, how she rolls her eyes when she doesn't necessarily agree with the adults or how she says my name, Reeechaaa. So when I got the news that they were coming to Bombay for a visit, I wanted to squeeze in as much quality time together as possible and try to win her over to become her #1 aunt (a difficult task when she already has multiple stellar aunts). I would pop over to their place (they were staying at their family home) after work with freshly baked cookies. Aprameya (isn't it the prettiest name for a girl?) and I would play hide and seek while my best friend and I gossiped and polished off several bottles of wine between us. It felt like we were living in the same city and for a little while our daily lives were overlapping. One day, I took my dogs over and we went for a walk on the Worli sea face. They ran, chased birds, met other kids and dogs and we took about a hundred pictures of them. It was kind of perfect and I think Aprameya will agree.
I also found out that A and I have the same shared love for plums and decided to bake these bars up for her so that I can elbow out her other aunties to become her favourite.
Plums are one of my favourite fruits. I love their velvety skin, deep colour and tart, sweet flavour. I can eat a dozen standing up but always save some for baking because they are so good in cakes, pies and tarts. Its such a simple recipe that even an almost two year old could do it, provided you slice the plums, measure the ingredients and make sure they don't eat the said ingredients ;) Deb uses apricots but I successfully replaced it with plums with fantastic results. It was rich, buttery and tangy plus sweet.
Aprameya tried one and then turned to me and said, Don't like! Honestly, knife to my heart. But we demolished three between us and I can highly recommend these for all adults. Kids might sway either way. I will have to find another way to snag that favourite spot in the future.