This is what we have been up to for the last few months. It started out in January 2018, when the Strawberry season was just beginning, and now we are putting the final touches on our Season Two stocks.
Meet the Rogues' Gallery of this Season. The best, the juiciest, and the nicest that this year has to offer.
Strawberries & Lavender
This was one of the big favourites last Season. We expected this to be a hit with the monocle-wearing, Rooibos-tea-drinking Woosters of the world. But turned out that kids loved it. Ours did. Everyone we know used this as a bribe for kids to get their homework done, clean their rooms, or just stay out of sight. Seriously, who knew? Lavender? But there it is. Parent-tested. Kid-approved.
Strawberries & Nothing
This is the one that started Season Two. Last Season, we made a list of jams we wanted to make but never got around to. Strawberries & Nothing was on top of this list. So this Season, we made that first. Then, we compared it to every type of preserve with Strawberries we could find and post a lot of questionable life choices, we arrived at our spreads being the best spreads decisions. It wasn't a tough call. We made them that way.
Figs & Cinnamon
Another favourite with the kids. We will never understand how they fall for the strangest flavours and textures, but there it is. Figs, they won't touch. But add a bit of Cinnamon and boil it with sugar & spice, and hey presto! Behavioural currency. Pavlov's dog-whistle in a bottle. Pop a spoonful in their plates with a muffin or a chapati, and you have the biggest smiles this side of the Arabian Sea.
Strawberries & Mint
Another one of our Season One's offsprings. But designed for the older kids. Appeals to the sweet-sour side of one's tastebuds. And makes for one hell of a breakfast champion. On toast, in smoothies, with your morning oats or cereal, and in pretty much everything we could possibly conceive of, and much that we possibly cannot. Try it. You'll agree.
Mango & Nothing
This was our big seller last season. Indians and mangoes are like best friends. We can’t get enough of each other. There is a reason Hari Kondabolu talks about a podcast about 3 Indians eating mangoes. This one is simple. Clean. Mangoes and nothing. Not even the added sugar gets in the way. This one is for the purists. Ones who do not add cream in their Aamras. Or won’t even Aamras their mangoes. (You know who you are.)
Mango & Pepper
This one was not supposed to be made. Until Karthik threatened to leave if we didn’t make it. He identifies as a Pepper-tarian. It is both sad and weird watching him add it to everything. To keep him happy, but also to make it seem like we won, we used Sichuan pepper, prevalent in both Tasha and Kedar’s ancestral cuisines, and suddenly, from the spread wasn't, it is now the closest to our histories, and hearts. Goes well in smoothies and with ice-cream. Karthik isn’t wrong. Pepper works with both, sweet and savoury. (If you tell him, we'll deny it.)
Mango & Chilli
This is the spread that put us on the dinner table. Designed to spice up the cold rains of August, it took a life of its own. Folks used it as marinades, in paani-puri, and some even made an infusion with it for their gins and vodkas. We’ve actually seen a Mango-Chilli Long Island Iced Tea (We tried to get it named as Madh Island Iced Tea, but then no one listens to us). We don’t know what it is about this combination. It is both obvious and amazing at the same time.