When I started Blogging Marathon
, I never imagined it would take me through such a lovely and wonderful journey, of meeting like minded people, a journey filled with so many exciting things, joy and happiness.
This is a group which keeps active through the day, through emails, through whatsapp and if there will be another medium, yes we will surely keep connected through it as well.
The journey of BM# 50 started long back, the discussions for the next meet started when we met two years ago. However not even when we tentatively harped on our journey to Ahmadabad, to celebrate our Blogging Marathon's 25th Anniversary
, did I imagine we would be hosting the 50th Anniversary in our city.
threw open her hearth and home to welcome us all so warmly, with activities that kept us on our toes, we returned with memories enough to last a lifetime. We knew we had to do something in return. We were just contemplating what it was!
The seeds for this BM# 50 meet being held in Madras were sown when a smaller group met at Priya Srinivasan's
house, all so beautifully and cunningly crafted by PJ
with her water taps that ensured we play the host for this event. It was quickly discussed with the group and surprisingly everybody were so much for it.
The arrangements and other plans started way back, yet we were still thinking of where to make the guest stay, when Padma
who graciously agreed to host it at her house. This was the beginning some months into planning and the final dates were set to February 20, 21 and 22. Even though about six of us are locals, it was decided that all of us would stay in one place to get the maximum of the meet.
Here's a short recollection of the Day 1, with pictures that would best showcase what we enjoyed!
The beautiful sugar based bow and 50th mark made the talented baker Gayathri
, who came all the way for this meet. Though I have already met her before, meeting and spending three days with her, made our relationship so much more stronger!
Our official aprons with the BM#50 was specially made by Vaishali and so beautifully done that I don't feel like using it at all!
These notepads were printed and done by PJ
, with unknowingly colour coordinating the dress code!
Our friends even pulled out a special surprise for the two of us celebrating the birthdays in February. Best part was the fact that I knew the cake was for Kalyani
, and Padma guarded the secret that my name would be on it as well!
The day started with a delicious breakfast of Idli, Dosa with Sambar and Podi made by Padma, Lot of background things went into the planning, with Veena
promising to make the Idli batter for us I landed at Padma's house after sending my kids to school and was so famished that I didn't give time to click the breakfast pictures. Only later realized everybody were equally in the same footing!
Though we had plans for the forenoon session, our still unpacked Organizers gifts was pulling us to the room. The above handmade tags were done by Konda and her friend. I only told her that I would need tags with my friends name written on it. Knowing that they were food bloggers, she came up with her own ideas of incorporating the tags with some food elements. One extra golden embossed tag for Padma for all her efforts!
All the packed gift bags, trust me, all of us went bonkers and crazy just imagining how we are going to carry it back. Of course the locals didn't have much problem, we were thinking of the rest! Each of the bag was so custom picked and given. Will be sharing those pictures in later posts.
We had to quickly move beyond our gift packing and some started the lunch preparation.
These were the delicious food cooking in Progress! Pradnya
made the Thecha for us,
made the Ginnu from colostrum powder,
made Bakri and Zunka, Somebody made a Korma, Vaishali made garlic rice with fresh Garlic.
was in charge of the drinks during the meet. She got about some interesting mocktails.
The lunch on the whole was so filling and delicious. Will link back to the recipes once I get them!
What you see above on the display, are the Banana varieties available in Chennai. Our friends from North said they wanted to check out the banana varieties and so Veena got along the different ones, we duly labelled and put on display! Well since I played the photographer cum something else most times, I didn't catch up the contagious giggling and laughter that was resounding most times, however I understood that this session was enlightening.
Post lunch we had a Photography session given by Usha
, she used the korma and took a detailed session on different aspects of photography that we could learn. She was so patient and explaining much in detail for so many questions that kept coming.
Then we had Nandini
demo'ing us on baking a loaf with Whole Wheat Organic Flour.
We had an official BM Photo Shoot with all members dressed in Whites. Then we changed for a traditional Indian attires and yes before that we all had a super delicious Pani puri shots!
Dinner saw us getting all decked up in traditional and we visited Annalakshmi for a feast. Nobody was able to do justice to the whole meal. However it was such a delicious treat still!
With the customary back pose with the flowers!
The meal started with corn fritters, followed by Indian breads. Then came the healthy Ayurvedic ingredients that helped digestion and generally considered to be healthy
This is the mix that's made before eating the mains. Gram dal podi, with ghee, Manathakkali berries
, Neem flowers, and another one, which I seem to forget right now!
The gravies were Paneer makhni, Dal, Cucumber Raitha, Lentil and Vegetable Salad, Beans Paruppu Usli, crispy Potato Roast. With Podi Dosai, Roti and Garlic Naan.
We were served Bisi Bele Bath and Pulihori. The desserts were Avil Payasam and Butterscotch.
We returned home, very tired, not being in a position to move an inch as well. We had early morning programs, however stay up the whole night chatting. Excepting couple of the group, none had a wink of sleep!
For a person who never stayed at hotels, nor overnight at friends place, this was a new experience, staying up and chatting with friends! What we discussed will remain off the records, however it was such a fun topic.
Come back for Day 2...
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM