Today, I'm guest posting for one of the beautiful women I've come to know over my two glorious years of dabbling in food blogging, who runs a pretty impressive place at The Big Sweet Tooth. I have enjoyed every minute of self expression through this writing, every crumb of cake left over and every single image taken from my Camera. I have enjoyed it all. But something that is perhaps less glamorous but much more beautiful is the friendships formed throughout this lapse of time. I've met amazing people, who have helped me in their own way, who have made every moment of this incredible journey seem worth it all, even on a bad traffic day.

And one of those people happens to be Rafeeda, the baker, chef, recipe creator, photographer in a one man team. Head on over to her blog to check out the recipe I guest posted for her; and make sure to give this dear friend of mine some blog love.

And as far as I go? I'll be back soon with a long, boring post littered throughout with anecdotes and stories. Till then, enjoy the images and bon appetit.

In Pakistan, when the summer months roll around, so does the wheat-harvesting season. From the dust-covered memories of my adolescence, I can garner a few of the rituals that usually accompanied the wheat cultivation. We desis are generous hearted people, you may have noticed how friendly cultural glamor has dimmed in the past decade of the worst socio-economic prospects, but we used to never waste an occasion to celebrate, to dance the ‘bhangra, to eat good food, rotis slathered with ghee and greens cooked down to a spicy mush, often called saag. That’s how we roll you guys.

I have enjoyed the goods and the perils of urban lifestyle in my soon to be 18 years. The festival related to the ‘gandum  harvestation was something so scared to the villagers after a hardworking season, that the city dwellers with their snubbed noses never took part. Apparently, work is more important than these little joys of life. Yet several times, I saw the Liberty roundabout done up like a bride by one brand or the other (advertisement or cultural initiation? I do not know). And the flower garlands hanging off the tall structures were a sight to behold. And then the part of the Lahore canal that touches the famous RPGCC Royal Palm Golf & Country Club was always a stage for prestigiously designed models of cultural mimicry by the students of the National College of Arts. I had my share of the ‘little joy’ that Punjabis in the villages did, too.

Food, glorious food, my life is shaped around it. I’m not an avid healthy eater, in fact, I’m well known to splurge on a bad meal at a restaurant, but most of it involves inspecting the food for the hint of some spice hidden within, or tasting a curry and immediately finding out if they used lemon juice in it or vinegar. Food is a hobby to me, not a passion, hence which I remind myself of a lot. My real focal point in this life is writing, getting published, and gathering readers. But when my real passion leaves me unhappy and devoid of acknowledgement, food gathers me and molds me together again.

I don’t remember the last time I bought a cake from a bakery just because I wanted to. Mostly it is a sad substitute for comfort food on a bad day, when I’m too fussed to stand in front of a small oven, or to measure out flour from a bag.

  I remember events with the emotions that swarmed within me at that particular time, or how I happy I once felt in that room. These are my links with history, but several of these links that based upon good food too. The samosas of Lahore’s Liberty market, savory potato based filling wrapped around in a short crust pastry, served with hot chickpea curry to be ‘lapped up’ with the samosa, is a heavenly memory. The Chinese at Tai Wah that has been so molded to Pakistani taste buds that all the food is no longer authentic but nevertheless even more delicious. Especially when you have a strong stomach to battle out all the sauces splashed in.

  And there was a restaurant on Murree’s Mall Road that serves the most delicious drumsticks, tender, spicy, crackly. They are still fresh in my memory from seven years ago- especially the side along information on how to order the drumsticks so they would bring you a few, and not a few ‘plates’. Even the international cuisines here have molded together with the South Asian taste since people aren’t very welcoming towards trying out new things.