Blogging Marathon 50th Edition Celebrations ~ Day 1

>>  Thursday, February 26, 2015

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.

When Vaishali 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 and Kalyani made the Thecha for us,
Archana made the Ginnu from colostrum powder,
Pradnya made Bakri and Zunka, Somebody made a Korma, Vaishali made garlic rice with fresh Garlic.
Kamalika 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


Priya Srinivasan February 26, 2015 at 2:31 PM  

After reading your post i m even more JJJJJJJJJJ!!! Love that back pose with flowers!! :) Lovely!!!
yeah i know how me and pj were chatting the whole night and with the gang it must be very hard to sleep!! :)

Gayathri Kumar February 26, 2015 at 3:14 PM  

You have taken me back to the day Valli. My most memorable trip of all. Thank you so much for bearing us for all the three days...

Usha February 26, 2015 at 6:36 PM  

Nice post and had a gala time at the meet. Thanks for organizing it.

Harini-Jaya R February 26, 2015 at 7:06 PM  

Awesome experience Valli. Love that all of you have flowers in your hair..That is something I miss here!!

Kalyani February 26, 2015 at 8:07 PM  

Lovely day 1 captured wit so much detail .. I knew u wd do justice to ur post Valli :)) look forward to the rest of the posts ...

vaishali sabnani February 26, 2015 at 8:10 PM  

Ah some time BM 50 celebrations was! I must say you guys did a splendid job, hosting us. Loved every moment and shall cherish and wait for BM 75 celebrations, hoping we would have more friends joining in. A big word of thanks along with a very big hug to all the organizers. Kudos:))

Nisha Sundar February 26, 2015 at 8:25 PM  

Wow Valli... Such a candid capture!! Wish I could have been there as well.. Lovely to read the post...

Archana Potdar February 26, 2015 at 9:33 PM  

Lovely post Valli I came here for inspiration to write as my keyboard and my mind are running in different directions. I guess I better link it to your post and say ditto.

Nalini's Kitchen February 26, 2015 at 11:03 PM  

Nicely written Valli...feeling more JJJJJJ!!!! now..very well organised and kudos for all your wonderful efforts...

Srividhya February 27, 2015 at 3:28 AM  

Awesome post Valli. I wish I could have been there too.

lavina agarwal February 27, 2015 at 5:38 AM  

Wow must be fun. .wish to join the gang someday!

Chef Mireille February 27, 2015 at 8:32 AM  

What a fab post brought me along for the ride with you. Loved the photos of back shot saris and kondas gift tags also so artistically done

Sarita February 27, 2015 at 8:50 AM  

Great celebration ! Loved reading each and every sentence.Nice pics!

Priya Suresh March 1, 2015 at 3:59 PM  

Wat a great celebration, loved reading and kudos to Konda and her friends for those cute tags, Valli even i want a one for me from Konda, my special request..hope to get it while meeting u very soon.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan March 4, 2015 at 6:21 AM  

How beautiful written and seeing all the fun you girls had, I am so Jealous. I am so glad to be part of this lovely family and hoping to see you all soon some day. Love the pictures, especially the back pose picture of you all with the flowers :)

Pavani N March 6, 2015 at 9:22 PM  

Amazing Valli. Wish I was there with you, but your narration made me feel, I was with you guys. Thanks for the lovely clicks especially the back pose :-)

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