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Hello all,

This is to inform you that I’m taking a writing break. From WordPress. I am not able to concentrate on it smoothly and the pieces I write don’t seem to turn out well. There are too many things running around in my mind and concentration is tough and I am finding it difficult. So I am going on a break. I do not know for how long. But, I will be around to read everyone’s posts. So it’s not a complete disappearance. If and when I write, I will post them. At the moment, I am focusing a bit on photography (apart from other things) so if you would like to check them out, you can visit my photography blog. No compulsions 🙂 But right now, my mind ain’t just working. And I do not want to force it. I do have a small backlog of short poems that I am posting on Instagram. You can visit there too if you like 🙂

In the meantime, I’m going to stick around and just read your posts 🙂

Cheers,

NJ

Keep on Writing

There have been times where

I cannot write no matter how hard I try.

I look for inspiration in everything.

I sit with a pen and book, waiting

for the words to flow but sometimes,

they just stay inside. I’m envious of those

who can churn out words from the word ‘go’.

It must be nice to be able to do so. But me,

sometimes I have to make myself write

a few atrocious ones before I can come up

with something that is remotely decent to my eyes.

What it reads to the readers’ eyes, I shudder to think.

But in the end, one needs to be brave. Brave to

open up a little and let the readers into your world.

They might love your words or hate them.

But that should never be a reason to give up.

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

To Listen or Not To Listen

 

I am quiet

I am shy

I do not talk much

But I try.

In that trying

I am talkative

I am strong

And I come across

As someone fun.

But, sometimes

I would like

To stay still and quiet

And listen.

Listen to the words

Spoken, unspoken

Feel the emotions

Of the other person.

But then people say

I’m cold and broken

Because I don’t give them

Words in return.

I thought when

Someone talked

You need to listen.

Am I wrong?

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

NaPoWriMo Day 30: I Am My Own Defender

Hark! Beware!

Who comes near?

I am the defender

of my own being

To harm my being

you should not dare

If you try, I will strike

you with my razor

sharpened talons

And you will not

survive the attack

for it will be brutal

as I am defensive and

protective towards my

own precious heart.

©NJ

In response to the prompt for Day 24.

Image courtesy:- Google.

Z for Zebra Cake

Zebra cake is another version of a marbled cake. In a Marbled Cake, you scoop up each part of the batter separately and drop them in the tin in various places and then with a spoon or a knife or a toothpick, you swirl around the batter to give it marbled look.

In a Zebra Cake, you drop the batter in turns. So you have two parts of the batter. One plain and one with cocoa. When it’s time to pour the batter into the tin you put it spoon by spoon. So starting with either of the batters, you take a spoon (preferably tablespoon) of say the plain batter and put in the middle of the tin. Then you take the cocoa batter and put that in the middle of the plain batter and continue till you’re done filling the tin with all of the batter. It’s a bit time consuming and you need to be patient to get the desired effect. But once it’s done and baked, it looks perfect. At least, that’s what all the recipes indicate. I haven’t tried it yet. I have made Marbled Cakes but not in this fashion.

I find it extremely fun to try out various designs with the batter itself. You can create funky designs, pretty ones, colourful ones. There’s a plethora of choices available. And if you’re artistic, you don’t even have to worry about it. You can create your own desgins.

This year is all about exploring for me. Especially when it comes to baking. I have been on a cookie baking spree these past few months and it’s likely to continue for the whole year. But I want to venture into other categories. I am planning on making Eclairs this week for a small (about five people) lunch gathering. I haven’t made these before and I am crossing my fingers and hoping they turn out great. My sister has faith in me and hasn’t even thought of a backup plan. So I cannot screw it up. I have been experimenting with my own recipes too but they are not fool proof yet. With this whole month surrounding the topic on baking, I am the least bit exhausted. It’s something I enjoy so I guess I never really will be tired of it.

P.S. Hope you all enjoyed reading the posts. This was my first attempt at the challenge and I guess I did pretty okay. If I do decide to join in next year, I’ll strive to do better. But I want to thank everyone who visited and read and took the time out to comment on my posts too. I really appreciate it and am ever so grateful. I hope you continue to read my posts and enjoy the journey. To all the lovely people whose blogs I’ve been reading and following, my journey with you all does not end with April. You are now part of my ‘blogging friends’ group’ and I will continue to read your posts as and when I can.

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Google.

NaPoWriMo Day 29: Enchanting Encounter

Thunderclaps

Loud booms

Intensely brewed downpour

Bursting of the cumulonimbus

Wetness

Rainbow

Colourful dome

Through darkened clouds

Breaks the monotonous sky

Enchanting

©NJ

In response to the prompt for Day 23.

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

Y for Yule Log

I’ve never eaten or seen a Yule Log. The dessert version, might I add. It’s traditionally served just before Christmas. It is majorly a sponge cake and it resembles or closely resembles an actual Yule log. This dessert is quite famous in Switzerland and France etc.

It is usually baked in a shallow pan, iced and then rolled to look like a log or a Swiss Roll, iced again and then decorated further to resemble a log. There are various combinations but the most basic one is a simple yellow sponge cake with chocolate buttercream.

The logs are usually served with a piece cut from one end of the log so that it can be placed on top of the log or near it to resemble chopped wood. Then some sharp knife or fork dragged through the icing to resemble a tree bark kind of structure. Of course, to make it more Christmasy, one can also sprinkle some icing sugar for the snow effect. If you want to go a few steps further, you can even try other decorations using meringues to show a few mushrooms or berries or tree branches etc.

This year, my sister and I are planning to bake one. We are going to try it out with a chocolate sponge cake though and some lovely chocolate or espresso ganache. The trick will be to make it look like a log. If it were just a simple cake, it would be dead easy. But a Yule Log, we’ll know this year.

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Light Ignite

Shards of sunlight

shatter through

the greenery

igniting the

sleepy forest.

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

X for Xuixo

Xuixo

Finding a dessert that starts with an X was a hard task. I did not realise they weren’t any desserts that start with the letter X! This one took me forever to find. Boy, am I glad I did. Else I would be in an awkward position.

It goes without saying that I have neither eaten nor baked this one. What is Xuixo do you ask? Well, I had to google it myself so here’s what I found.

Xuixo, also known as Xuxo or Suso is a pastry from the city of Girona, Spain. It looks similar to a croissant. But with Xuixo, it is a cream catalana filled pastry that is deep fried and then covered with sugar.

Just like croissants, this too is often had for breakfast with a cup of tea.

Legend says that this pastry was created in a pastry shop that was owned by one Emili Puig. He was shown how to make a cream filled pastry and that was his inspiration for Xuixo.

This delightful pastry is common in popular not only in Girona but also in neighbouring parts of Spain too. At one point, it was one of the most demanded pastries. Now, they are served with a chocolate icing too.

©NJ

Image and information courtesy:- Wikipedia.

NaPoWriMo day 27: Dear Bravery

Dear Bravery,

Why do you hide? Do not be afraid of me. Me being around is not necessarily a bad thing. I am good at times and needed too. But if you hide and disappear and vanish into the darkness, the humans we reside in will see no light. They will forever be a friend of the darkness. You need to show up with your friend courage and help the humans move forward. Take them through it all slowly and help them in times of their need. You see, I am not permanent. But I could be, if the humans allow me to. Do not let them. Do not let them make me a permanent home in their beings. If I do, then I will live in them forever and that’s not good. They need you more than they need me. So, please, do not hide.

Love,

Fear.

In response to the prompt for day 16

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.