Blogging Marathon 50th Edition Celebrations ~ Day 2

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A new dawn brings in lot of hope and scope for many things to happen. That’s exactly what we were looking forward too, for the day was packed with loads of activities and lack of a night’s sleep, wasn’t about to deter any of us from enjoying the whole day!
Yes as I said, excepting couple of them, none of us slept for a moment. When we thought we could catch up an hour’s sleep, the drivers came in, as we were so ambitious to plan for an early morning visit to the beach!
Can you really believe, that after living almost all my life, this was the first time I landed so early at the beach? We quickly got into the car and rushed towards the beach, all the time deliberating if we need to have our breakfast at the Woodlands or not. Some said we will cook, while some said we could manage with the snacks already at home, while some said they won’t be able to manage until the time we get back home. So it was decided that we would have our breakfast at Woodlands.
Once this was decided, we let ourselves enjoy the morning breeze and the waters gushing in to welcome us. There was a time when I wouldn’t be able to get myself away, without getting fully drenched. I really don’t know what happened since, I am not inclined to even get my toe wet as well. A silent reverence for the mighty ocean and whatever beyond it, I paid my dues, while trying to mark our imprints on the ever fading waves.

The many castles I must have built, the many nostalgic statements written on the sands, hit me, while I catch my friends doing the same. We had our BM# 50 written, some even went further down and wrote a bigger fonts. Nevertheless, as true to it’s nature waves come forward to carry it along with it. 
However that moment, spent so blissfully with friends, without a care in the world, will always be fresh in mind. I am thankful to my hubby dear, who left me to enjoy my time with my friends. And while he said I am not supposed to think about kids during these three days, I was all the time thinking it would have been great to have got the kids at that early morning time and then for a hearty breakfast after that. Infact this was the first time I got agreed with him to do once we settle down.

Anyway with all my thoughts running around, I was happy posing for the pictures, that would forever remind us of the beautiful time we had together. Frozen forever in time! I was so glad that Veena could join us and then we left for the breakfast. It was a delicious attack to the senses. I am always left with a need to taste all my favorite dishes. Well I am fond of breakfast dishes right, so I made pact to share with Kamalika and we both ended up eating three different dishes. 
On the way back, we again had a change of plan. Originally we had planned for a Waltax road shopping post lunch. However a quick steak of luck made us decide to go first for shopping and then to the hotel.
We landed in the Baking shop and we were lost! Seeing all those baking accessories and chocolates. I know we felt like Alice in wonderland, wondering what to do and what to buy. Finally after a shopping spear, we decided it was time to leave for lunch.
We rushed to the E – Hotel at Express Avenue Mall. Padma’s husband had organised a lunch and a Demo session, specially with the E Hotel’s Chiefs. I had gone along with Padma couple of months ago to arrange the session. We met Mr. Gaurav Gupta, General Manager, E Hotel, Express Avenue, who was so gracious and made us feel at home. He showed us around and introduced us to his team. We met Mr. Balaji, Executive Chef, Pastry Chef Mr.Ramesh and & Sous Chef Mr.Hari Babu. We came to know that they were already doing TV Shows showcases Rajasthan and Gujarat cuisine. Chef Babu was regaling us with his wonderful knowledge on the cuisine. We told him that our visiting friends are from North and we would want him to demo something authentic from South Tamil Nadu.

After agreeing to be in touch, to finalize the dishes, we completely forgot about it. So the previous day I was hurriedly asking Padma which dish was decided. She said Chef agreed to do Ragi Murungai Keerai Adai and Uppu kozhukattai. So we are all so excited to see the live demo by the experts. We were warmly welcomed again by Mr. Gaurav Gupta and I congratulated him on their hotel being awarded “Best Small Hotel” recently. The specialty of the hotel is the fact that it’s completely Vegetarian. They don’t use eggs, and their desserts and cakes are eggless, which just made me feel wow!
So after a hearty meal, which didn’t let us move a limb, we were wondering how on earth we would sit through a demo and not taste it! Anyway the lunch spread was too sinful to get skipped!

Then we were hushed into chambers that dishes out delicious feasts and we were restless to see how it looks. It always excites me endless, to land in the realms of the unknown and get to see first hand how it is all done. I almost feel I am being part of a well guarded secret that spins out lip snacking dishes, with endless flow of goodies from the kitchen!

Anyway lets get down to business, first Chef Babu showed us how he makes Ragi Murungai Keerai Adai. Kezhvaragu Murungai Keerai Adai is a famous, healthy breakfast dish, served both in the morning or as a snack. Imagine being crowded by 11 enthusiastic food bloggers, nevertheless the Chef didn’t lose his aplomb. He even invited us to try our hands at patting the ball directly on the hot tawa! Archana and Vaishali were game for it. then he went on to quickly show us how he makes a spicy onion tomato chutney. Trust me, the recipes were same, yet one can’t beat the taste that comes out of being cooked in a restaurant kitchen!
Then came the uppu kozhukattai/ Pidi Kozhukattai, while I have made these dishes before, still seeing another person do it, was so good. Once the kozhukattai went in for steaming, we were taken to meet the Pastry Chef. He showed us Eggless tiramisu, chocolate mousse, Chocolate Truffles and other chocolate frills. There was actually an overdose of chocolate all over! 

It was soon time to leave, though we must have spent more than four hours at the place. While waiting for our cars, looking at the cute Lord Ganesh, I felt humbled at the wonderful experience we had. We were thankful for the hospitality showered on us by the E-Hotel.
I felt the time was running short and we were delayed beyond expectations. I couldnt’ wait for the evening to come on, were we had another surprise planned! 
I knew my friends would want to meet our families and I knew that my family wanted to meet my friends as well. Ever since I broached this subject of hosting a dinner with family for my friends, Daddy has been so supportive and took me to the hotel to personally arrange the things. Unfortunately he had to leave on a tour and couldn’t meet them. However even on that day he called up to ensure I confirmed it again.

This was a surprise event, known only to the local bloggers as they were supposed to bring on their families. Our Smart and cunning Princi guessed it right and was prepared in advance! By the time we actually landed at Sabari Inn, my family was already there. And one set already met. It was so much fun seeing all of them together. My kids enjoyed the occasion so much, meeting PJ’s son Sid Nandini’s isku, they became thick friends in no time!
The spread was so delicious, only none of us could make justice to the dishes. After our photo shoot in Red, we bid our farewell and returned home. My boys were clinging asking me when I was coming home. I was upset seeing them like that and somehow hubby dear managed to distract them and took them home.

Back home we decided we should catch up with sleep if we wanted the third day events to take place…
Thanks Archana and Padma for sharing some of the pictures!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

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  1. Lovely post Valli. All the food looks soooo yummy and good to read about all your experiences. That dinner with families must have been so much fun.

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