Aug 7, 2011

Reviving Back to Basics

If you are a fan of food fiction then you are aware that between Sra, Sandeepa and yours truly, Aqua’s brilliant brainchild, Of Chalks and Chopsticks has been revived (currently being hosted here). Keeping in line with that spirit of renewal and the end of summer solstice, I hereby announce the new avatar of Back to Basics. If you are new to blogging or to this blog, B2B is an event that I started last year and which fizzled out as my priorities changed and DSM took a back seat in more ways than one.

This event is as much an attempt to keep me current with blogging as well as to collate some basic kitchen tips, tricks and recipes. However, unlike the previous version, this time I am attempting to stay more focused with a theme for each month. I am also looking for bloggers to host the event for a few months. If you are interested, drop me a line at jayawagle AT gmail DOT com and I will add your name to the host line-up below.

For the month of August, the theme will be dry spice powders/ dry chutneys or podis. Here are the rules:

1. Send in your recipe/ tips for making and storing dry spice powders/ podis/ dry (not wet) chutney powders. Think garam masala, coconut chutney, chana masala, milagaipodis, dry rubs for grilling veggies and meats.

2. Older postings qualify as long as you link them to this post.

3. Do specify what recipe or dishes you would use your spice powder in and if possible include that recipe in the post.

4. Send in your entry by September 7 with the subject line B2B – Spice Powder at jayawagle AT gmail DOT com.

5. Link your entry to this event announcement.

6. If your recipe is inspired/ copied from another blog, please give credit and if needed ask permission.

7. Recommended but not required: If you have a story or anecdote behind how you arrived at the recipe, include it in your post. For example, it could be your grandmother’s recipe passed down the family line or you could have chanced upon the spice powder combination when you added fennel seeds instead of cumin seeds.

8. Attach a photo 400 pixels wide.

9. If you don’t have a blog, you can still send an entry on the email address above. I will include it in the roundup.

10. I will do a random drawing before the roundup and the winner will get three links to their blog on DSM.

Themes for the coming months and a quest for future hosts:

September: Basic chutneys  
Host: Siri of Cooking with Siri
In this month we will explore recipes for chutneys (cilantro, mint, mango, tamrind, dates, etc), salad dressings, salsas, katchumer/ koshimbir/ kosambari and the like.

October: Basics breads
Host: PJ of Seduce your tastebuds
October will give us insights into tips or step by step instructions on making rotis, parantha, pooris, artisan breads, pasta, etc.

November: Basic desserts
Host: Aqua of Served with love 
A spoonful of jam on a cracker, a roti smeared with ghee and powdered sugar, these are the simple basic desserts I am talking about, easy to make and ready to satisfy your sweet tooth in a jiffy. Send in your recipes for that favorite jam, jelly or preserve.

December: Basic Beverages
Host: Harini-Jaya of Tamalapaku 
December is the perfect month to learn the basics of making tea, instant coffee and hot cocoa to warm the soul and ward off the cold.

January: Basic kitchen prep tools
Do you use all the gadgets you pick up and bring home from that fancy kitchen store? Or do you keep reaching for that tea pot with the broken handle and the peeler with the wobbly blade while the shiny, more expensive tools lie neglected in the kitchen drawer. I want to see them all. The over used and the under used.

February: Basic batters
Host: Denny of OhTastenSee
Everyone has a basic recipe they fall back on, be it for dosa, idli or cake. What is yours?

March: Basic how-to
I make my own yogurt, buttermilk and ghee at home. Do you? If yes, send me your tips, ratios and recipes. Don’t limit yourselves. Explore making clotted cream, cheese, paneer or tofu.

April: Basic kitchen essentials
If you had to strip down your kitchen to five appliances, what would they be?

May: Basics of freezing, canning and pickling
Need I say more?

June: Basic leftover makeovers
Left over breads, tortillas and rice can be transformed into delectable dishes. What do you do with your leftovers?

July: Basic tips and tricks of the trade
Do you season your cast iron pan or use a fork to make your batata vadas? Send in a tip that makes your job easier in the kitchen.

August: Basic spice rack
Do you keep a masala dabba or a spice rack near your stove? Show me what is in it?

Go on, start roasting and grinding those spices for this month and if you want to host, get in touch with me via email or on my fb page, Desisoccermom.

A final tip before I take leave for the day. If you are hosting an event, whether B2B or any other, don't forget to let Jacqueline of The Food Blog Diary know about it.  It is one of the must read blogs to know about all the food events going on in the blogosphere.


  1. Really glad you thought of bringing it back :). I have some entries for you. Will send them as soon as its up on my blog :).Nice selection of themes too...

  2. Oooh! I love this new avatar of B2B and the themes as well. I am surely gonna participate as already know what I will make for you. :D

    I can pick up the September one, if it is still available.


  3. PJ, looking forward to your entrees.

    Siri, September is yours. Thank you for hosting next month.

  4. Oh wow, sounds like you've got it all figured out!

    I'm struggling with my story, but it should be up tonight if I'm back at a decent time from work.

  5. Sra, I had to figure something out to get more focussed on the blog. With my school starting soon, I may not have enough time to blog. This way, at least I will be able to do at least one post a week.
    Talking about the story, I started mine a few weeks ago and haven't had a chance to work on it. I know where and how it is supposed to go. Just need to find some time and get it done.

  6. Glad to see your post and also the Back to Basics theme getting revived. Loved the theme idea for each month. I will take up the November: Basic desserts.

  7. Hello there!Considering how much I love sweets, I'll gladly take November (if it is still open).

    My story is almost ready, I still need to get check some facts and edit it again ...if you don't mind, I am going to email it to you first for some feedback, hopefully tonight.

  8. Aqua and RC, you two will have to decide amongst yourselves who wants to host Nov since both of you left a comment around the same time.
    Aqua, I don't mind giving you feedback at all. I will also have the pleasures to read your story before everyone else.

  9. oh..ho, just saw that both me and Aqua picked up the same month.
    Aqua, please go ahead and take up hosting November: Basic desserts. I will take up something else.

  10. Supriya, I assigned Nov to Aqua. That was very nice of you. Let me now which one you want to host. I thouht you will be perfect for Basic Batters but I will leave it upto you. :-)

  11. hi ! Wasnt around for the first edition , But would surely love to host / participate in this re-run.. Is December open for hosting ? Do let me know !!
    thanks and cheers
    New Event: Fasting Foods – Vrat ka Khaana Special
    Event: healthy Lunchbox ideas – Carrots – all this August

  12. If February is still open, then I am willing to take batter. Do let me know. Sorry for the delay.

  13. Thats a great line up of themes you have got for the event. I would like to host it too. I will take Basic Beverages, if it is still available.

  14. MomChef and Bhagyashri, Dec is already taken up but you can choose another theme if it appeals to you. :-)

  15. Wow very nice themes-basics ... Will send my entries ... Glad to follow u ....

  16. hi Jaya:

    I can opt for June 2012 if its not taken.. do let me know..


  17. Lovely event.. Will send in my entries soon:)

  18. Hi, there is an event which is being hosted called back to basics- desserts. I don't think jams jellies and preserves are desserts! I pointed this out too, but my comment was not published!! i feel the event shd be relaunched for jams and jellies and it is unfair to call these desserts!

  19. Richa, thank you for letting me know. I will talk to the host. :-)


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