Before I remembered I was supposed to be 75, the little boy in me became so excited that I dashed into the garden this morning to taste the icing on the cake.

After a few cups of coffee, with lumps in our throats, Jackie and I transported Flo and Dillon to Becky and Ian’s new home at Southbourne, near Emsworth, so that our daughter could drive them on to Matthew and Tess’s at Upper Dicker, for an overnight visit before returning to South Carolina via Canada, flying from Gatwick.

We then aimed for lunch at Westbourne’s Spice Cottage. Unfortunately this was closed. We then enjoyed a meal at the recently opened Darbar in Emsworth. This restaurant describes itself thus:

‘Muglai cuisine was introduced to India by the royal kitchens of the Mugal emperors who ruled from the 16th century onwards. Cooking was elevated to an art form.

Strongly influenced by Persian cooking from Iran, the food reflected the royal love of beauty: sumptuous, complex and sophisticated. Dried fruits, nuts and rich spices were incorporated into meat, vegetarian and rice dishes. Notable Muglai meals included biriyani, kebabs, kofta and delicacies from the tandoor. The Mugals also introduced to India the tradition of concluding the meal with desserts. The result was fragrant, heady and flavorsome, fit for royalty.

Darbar’s team of expert chefs bring the Mugal emperors’ cuisine to Emsworth.’

By and large this claim was justified. There was just one other couple with two small children also eating there. The aroma that assailed my nostrils on entering was rather less fragrant than I had hoped.  I detected a whiff of some rather strong cleaning fluid sending me speculating about what they may have been subjected to the night before.

The menu contained some items marked with a chilli symbol indicating that customers could specify the required heat. I chose a meal containing a variety of seafoods, which featured such a symbol. The waiter explained that one of the ingredients was not available, and steered me towards nilgiri jheenga which had no picture of a chilli. I pointed this out and expressed my desire for heat. The staff member said he could make it spicy. In fact it was not hot at all, but tasty, colourful, and fragrant, as was the saffron and mushroom rice. Jackie enjoyed her authentic saag panneer. The layered paratha was excellent. Our desserts were shahi tukra and shrikhand. Both were delicately aromatic. Service was friendly and attentive. Jackie drank Diet Coke and I drank Cobra.

There was less snow in West Sussex than was still lying on the moors as we drove back into the New Forest,

where snow bearing boughs admired their beauty in limpid pools.

Pretty patterns were traced on rooftops at East End, where ponies played with the traffic and forlorn-looking donkeys shivered on the verges.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

93 thoughts on “Forlorn

  1. Oh no your garden is covered with snow again. I hope the plants will stay strong and cope with moody weather.
    Today is new year’s day according to hindu calender and is very traditional to eat shrikhand 🙂 hope it tasted different than fruit yoghurt.

  2. What a lot of snow! Most of ours has gone now, though we haven’t got above freezing all day. Disinfectant has such a distinctive and powerful smell, doesn’t it? I am glad it didn’t detract from your meal.

  3. What a great opener, Derrick! My Derek was watching a soccer game yesterday, being played somewhere in England, and he yelled for me to come look at the snow. Your photographs are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

      1. They are calling for another foot of snow here in the next two days – this is unheard of around here. March has been nuts. Luckily, only a few baby daffodils have shown their faces so far.

  4. It’ll take more than a bit of snow to stop those ponies performing their traffic control duties. 😀 … Donkey however, would like to be in a barn now, please.

    Having grown up with nary a hint of the white stuff, I’m like you, I MUST go and play in the snow, even for a few minutes. 😀

  5. Snow snow everywhere! I hope it didn’t do much damage to your lovely garden. We have had heavy rains here from past two days.
    Shrikhand tastes best with poori or roti 🙂 just two days ago, I ate poori and shrikhand for breakfast 😀

  6. I’m glad little boy you got some real snow though I imagine the donks will be pleased if it doesn’t stick around. Your photos are a treat to the eye for a snowbird – I particularly like the ones with pops of red here and there …. Christmas Cards for next year perchance?

  7. Your title seems apt–describing gardens, donkeys (those donkey faces!), and your feelings sending Flo and Dillon off. It seems I was just admiring your beautiful flowering spring photos! But you did get some lovely photos of that snow frosting. 🙂
    I’m glad your meal turned out to be mostly good, after that first whiff of disinfectant.

    We’re expecting another nor’easter tomorrow into Wednesday with rain, snow, and wind.

  8. Oh wow Derrick, so much snow again, and here we are in South-West Victoria, experiencing terrible bushfires, so far 100,000 acres has been burnt out.

  9. What a fascinating lifestyle you have Derrick, your changing scenery is enchanting, and your culinary experiences and colourful descriptions are delightful.

  10. Wow, snow! Does that amount cause problems in your area? We’ve had approx 107 inches so far, a few above our average (100”). It’ll be around for a bit with our unseasonal weather.

    1. This amount a couple of weeks ago prevented everyone from getting out of their drives as it froze. The current, wetter, snow is not really a problem. We are, of course, snow softies, Steve. Many thanks.

  11. You had more snow! Occasionally we have snow in April here. We have had some days in the low 70s, and some mornings in the 20s. In general, it is still quite green here, and spring is on schedule.

    Muglai cuisine sounds interesting. I will have to look into that. 🙂

  12. Your garden looks stunning and wonderfully complex under the snow. I, too, feel this imbalance of excitement and concern at the sight of snow. I hope some of the camellias flowers survived.

  13. Beautiful shots, Derrick, Icing on the cake, literally.
    Perhaps you know, biryani, though was introduced by the Mughals, was not a royal food initially. The soldiers, who went out to battles for the entire day and the workers who used to be busy for some reasons for the whole day either, had had little time to cook food. But, to maintain their health, they need nutritious food. Biryani was thus introduced as it as made at that time in enormous “handi” (traditional large earthen/metal pot) in very low flames. All the spices, basmati rice and large pieces of meat were put together in the handi. It took hours to complete the cooking and thus the soldiers/workers could do their work without paying much heed to it. The traditional way of cooking in this way in a very low flame is called “dum” (pronunciation: dawm)

    Much later, when the aroma and fame reached the royal palace, biryani gained its present prestige.

    You’re a true food connoisseur, Derrick. You can easily start an exclusive food blog!

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