Monday, 28 January 2013

Meet the Bakers - Girija Menon

A mother of 2 wonderful daughters, one a star baker herself (Nanditha Sashidharan), I am very pleased to introduce to you all - the lady that completes the trio of The Soul Food Sisters - Girija Menon.

Before we read on, a quick note on The Soul Food Sisters - Tasneem Ayub, Sara Koshy and Girija Menon comprise this trio of Hot Mommas (Oh that was the initial name). They are also called KP's Angels ;-) But my favorite name for these three talented bakers / chefs is the name put forth by Sandesh Reddy - Bake Maamis. Why, Oh Why, isn't this name the official one! *grins devilishly*

In conversation with Girija Menon:

D: A star baker for a daughter :-)
G: Quite happy to rest on her laurels.  Yes, this time it is more of a challenge as I cannot piggyback onto Sugar Hut :D

D: So, what are you bringing to the showcase?
G: Quiches, both the classic and a mushroom one, date cream cheese pie, apple strudel muffins, a Mediterranean roasted vegetable lasagna, etc.

D: So, how did baking come into being?
G: After I got married I moved to Ras Al Khaimah, a sleepy emirate (UAE).  It was history repeating itself as there were no proper restaurants or bakeries.So, following family tradition I decided to make my own cakes as the ones that were available constituted a gateau of sorts with the famous 'Dream Whip' and some tinned fruit. So, began my tryst with baking.  My girls used to come up with these impossible demands -castle, train, Disney land, farm , etc. I remember Nanditha crying to me as her friend said that the Dennis the Menace cake didn't look like him. Haha! Planning birthday parties for over 50 people was quite a challenge and since I had to do it all by myself, I had to have a complete schedule. I have to say it was enjoyable as it gave me a chance to try out different things. After the girls stopped having birthday parties , it was more of tarts, pies, etc. But I loved trying crazy things like make my own sun dried (oven) tomatoes, harvested from my garden and making pesto. My idea of unwinding on a weekend was to try different kinds of cuisines, Italian being my most favourite. The taste of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, basil.... has my senses reeling.

D: So, other than baking what do you do?
G: Gardening, reading, amateur dramatics, tennis, and my latest one is dabbling in aromatherapy.


That's the pretty momma with her prettier daughters. Can you believe Girija Menon, in her first attempt at baking, forgot to add baking powder to the cake mix? :) And, she loves watching movies - top of her list being The King's Speech and Barfi!

















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