Category Archives: summer camps

Summer Fun

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Last summer found Pattu either moping or monkeying around since she was too small for summer camps and those that were willing to take her were too far off. This summer, however, has so far been packed and fun-filled and Pattu is having a great time.
She loves the summer camp and this time I managed to take her to a couple of sessions by Storytrails The Seasons Trail and the Five Senses Trail. On both occasions she had a friend along and they had great fun. Only downside was that the venue was Fab India and I ended up shopping!
She has more friends now and I see her playing better in a group than she did a few months back and I’m glad for that.
We also went to a quieter beach on ECR (beyond Panayur) and got drenched and also collected lots of shells.

Pattu is moving on to a bigger school and she would also be commuting by the school bus. The two weeks in April was smooth – she settled in quite well, liked her class teacher, enjoyed the bus ride and even offered to take care of her friend who is ‘smaller’ than her (making a note to warn his mom about this). I also heard from the summer camp teacher that she is very protective around him. 

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Keep them Buzy…

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Has anyone checked out the workshop on Chrysalis Busy Bee Fun Factory at Landmark, Apex Plaza? It is on till 25th May. Looks like it is only for kids 5 yrs and above.
Dakshinachitra seems to have lots in offer for children – residential camps, activity camps, Glove Puppetry and Leather Puppet making on 5th and 28th May respectively. There are some workshops for adults as well – more details here
I would like attend the Art Exhibition between 1st and 10th May by Rohini Thotta Tharani.
Let’s do something has a Mocktail workshop tomorrow – just what we want to beat the Chennai heat! The Robotics Workshop is back on popular demand and there’s the summer camp for kids 5+ yrs.

Also noticed that Velachery now has Born Babies on Bye Pass road. With Half Ticket, Niel & Nikki and Cotton City (inside Srishti on Bye Pass Road), Velachery definitely seems to be improving!

Tried the Citrus body wash and Papaya Ginger jam from Fab India and loved them! Highly recommend Papaya Ginger …

Have just got some organic groceries delivered from a new vendor – will check them out and give more details later….

Nostalgic…

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I woke up to the waft of Maracheeni puzhukku’ early this morning. Maracheeni’ is Tapioca and puzhukku’ is a gooey chewy paste. We make papads out of tapioca and this is the process: make the paste first and then spread it out on mats made of palm leaves or on jack fruit leaves. The more modern we got, we used plastic sheets for convenience. This is dried in the sun till it becomes brittle and stored for future. MIL made the papads today and they are drying in the sun as I type this. 

This sent us all on a nostalgic journey back to the 80s when vadams were an integral part of summer vacations. The best thing about the vadams is that it offers a range of gastronomic experience at various stages of its making.First the puzhukku, which is as popular as the pappadam – its is a completely different kind of sensation on the taste buds.Then when the papads are half dry and rubbery – quite challenging but that’s the fun! Then the fried and roasted papads…hmmm… The joke is that the women start by planning for a certain number of papads and after losing a few in each of these stages, only half of it will actually make it to the frying pan!

My grandmom used to make javvarisi vadam'(sabudana papad) and ‘arisi vadam'(rice papad). In Tamilnadu, the ‘puzhukku’ is called the ‘koozhu‘. It doesn’t matter what they call it, it is just as chewy, gooey and yummy!

At my grandmom’s place in Kerala, the coconuts would also be dried in the sun for making coconut oil. Chewing the coconuts through different stages of drying was equally interesting. As kids, we used to be employed as scarecrows – extra coconut/ puzhukku for shooing the crows away, for bringing the papds in, for spreading them out again the next day… it required labour you see. Well, some of it ended in our gut instead of the crow’s beak and some of the men would also sneak up for a steal and wink at us kids which meant, ‘Sshhh.. no reporting to the women!’. As though the women didn’t know – while counting, they would murmur amongst themselves, ‘oh, we can’t keep the human crows away, can we!’ 😀

And here’s a pic of the papads that are drying on the terrace… on Jack fruit leaves 
(…and while the pics are loading, I’m licking the remains of the puzhukku 🙂   )

  

Up Close – fresh from the kadai

Come Summer…

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Vacation time is nearing and I’m wondering how to keep Pattu productively occupied. I’m sure there are summer camps in every street corner these days, the trouble however is to identify the good ones.
I see that Kanchana Paati, Sunshine, MAS and a few others around Velachery have announced their summer plans. Let’s do something is also planning a variety of activities. Xseed of idiscoveri, Hansel & Gretel, Vanilla, all have lots going on for summer.

I definitely don’t want to send her to a very crowded place. Would prefer a something nearby. Pattu’s school has some activities planned till end of April, so we are good till end of April.

While doing this round up, also came across a sale at Oxford Bookstore, Nungambakkam – upto 80% off on books and a flat 10% off on all books and stationaries.