kozhukattai

My mother used to call me “Kozhukattai” which could have meant “you sweetheart, adorable pumpkin pie” or depending on her mood it could have meant “fatso.” In Tamil, my mother’s tongue, “Kozhu kozhu” is an affectionate way of saying someone is chubby.
The Kozhukattai is a fairly average-tasting delicacy that my brother Atul and I would longingly wait for every Ganesh Chathurthi, when we visited our grandmother. She was the family’s expert on the kozhukattai, a sweet snack traditionally made for the festival.
Our grandmother would make a big deal of rolling out the rice flour dough, filling it with sweet goodness that included jaggery and coconut and probably some other secret ingredients.
I remember that she would pretend to shoo us away from the growing platter of little dumplings as they were steamed and made ready to be devoured, later. It seemed like the most delicious of desserts at the time, and I remember the anticipation being almost too much to bear.
I’ve always wondered why delicious things couldn’t be eaten then and there, and why adults always drove kids insane by forcing them to wait for that ominous time called “later.”
As an adult, I am convinced that this “later” business is directly responsible for my inability to go on a diet and stick to it, even though I’ve written a book on the subject and have held forth at parties like some expert.
Anyhow, Ganesha, Vinayaka or Pillayar Chathurthi is coming up and many homes must be getting ready to make Kozhukattai. Mine isn’t one of them because the K is filled with carbs.
So here’s wishing all the kids in your house a happy Ganesha Chathurthi, with a little message.
Eat up while you can still burn calories off by jumping around, because soon enough it’s going to be impossible.

This article first appeared in Explocity, 

 

lightning

 

October 1, 2014, Explocity Guide

It was pouring rain. The SO (Significant Other) and I found ourselves without our car.
We tried Uber, Meru, Taxi For Sure and other instant millennial transport solutions, but you know how it is… things don’t usually work when you need them most.
Braving angry winds and SOs scowl, I stood directly in the path of an auto rickshaw daring him to stop. Several before him had ignored my frantic waving from the sidewalk.
“Triple,” said the auto driver scornfully, as he screeched to a halt inches in front of me.
It may have been twenty years since I rode an auto, but I knew what that meant: three times the meter.
“Yes,” I said gratefully and we jumped in.
“Cooke Town,” I said.
Through the torrent and traffic, I tried to keep a lively chatter going with him and we spoke of many things, while SO ignored us and continued to scowl into his iPad.
A few minutes later, the auto guy turned around in his seat to SO, “Zeezex?” he asked, chummily.
“Huh?!” replied SO.
“Zeezex, zeezex,” insisted the auto driver.
SO looked at me, eyebrows raised.
The auto driver turned to me, “You are zeezex?” he asked, hopeful I would understand what he was asking.
“I’m sorry,” I said to my new friend, “I don’t know what a zeezex is.”
“What? You don’t know zeezex?!!!” he spat, disbelievingly. “Zeezex, Zeezex… Zeezex is in the church.” And then he turned away and sighed.
Like he knew we were very, very stupid.

 

 

Has the fear of incarceration put the kybosh on the Indian man’s libido?

Something’s very wrong.

And it all began a few weeks ago, when a hard blow struck the psyche of the Indian man, causing a drastic, dramatic change in his behaviour. All of a sudden, he stopped acting the way the Indian woman expected him to, and she in turn, almost overnight, lost her ability to read his body language.

Has his libido taken a sharp nosedive? Has he found some other outlet for his basic instincts? Whatever the case, things are going downhill.

It used to be that parties and pubs were the ideal places for the man-hunt.

Women all over India usually dressed up (or down) for such events, putting their best Choos forward, to land the right man for the evening, the night, or the rest of one’s life. Depending on the requirement.

But nothing’s the same. All the clues have vanished.

First it was the low, wolf whistle. The quick-and-dirty indicator of a woman’s hotness. It’s been silenced. Men are zipping up their lips for fear of reprisal.

The cleavage became the next casualty, ignored like two day-old chicken tikka. Men are averting their gazes, panic in their eyes, fearing for their jobs.

And then came the short skirt, that tried and tested testosterone magnet.

In the blink of an eye, it has lost its super powers. Men are running in the opposite direction of approaching thighs.

Why just yesterday, I stuck my hand out in the elevator, smiling in a friendly way at a handsome, tall, long-haired, greying, somewhat chunky CEO of a large company. I was going to measure his interest in me by how long he held on to my hand. But he folded his palms in a chaste ‘namaste’ and looked nervously around for cameras.

Have men become so focused on staying out of jail, that they’re going to take all the fun out of a woman’s evening? Has the Indian woman become untouchable?

But there is a bright side to all of this thankfully.

The Indian man, afraid to take the elevator alone with a woman, is taking the stairs instead. So once the hue and cry has died down, maybe the Indian woman can look forward to a trimmer, fitter Indian man.

 

sparrow

At first it was the emergency session, held by a parliament of owls outside my window in the garden last night. Woo, woo they argued, each one louder than the next. Who knew owls had so much to say?

This went on for about an hour, as I tried the pillow over the head, the ear muff over the earplugs, will power and other techniques to fall asleep.

Nothing worked.
Not even the sleeping pill I’d popped.
Then one by one, the owls fell off until there was a single one left, a filibusterer no doubt, who held forth long and loud in the night’s quiet. But just when I’d hypnotised myself into believing that the insistent f*er was actually a soothing drone, a bee maybe, and sleep finally overcame my frustration, the crickets began.
I don’t think I’ve actually seen a cricket in the flesh. I’ve heard they are quite small. But in the dead of night, accompanied only by the sound of argumentative owls, they sound very large.
It’s not possible to sleep through a cacophony of crickets.
I suppose I could have rolled out of bed, shut the windows and turned on the air conditioning but hey, this is Bangalore. The night breeze is what makes the city bearable.
Somewhere around 5 in the am exhausted by my hopeless struggle I think I dropped off. I recall seeing the faintest glow of sunrise in the distance, but that could have been a dream. The bliss lasted a minute at most.
Tweet, twoot, squeek, screech. The sparrows began their relentless quarrel.
Someone told me that sparrows are an endangered species. But I see hundreds of them bickering fearlessly at Bangalore International Airport in the food court. They’re on the tables, on the chairs, on the coffee machines, they’re everywhere. You turn around and they’re in your croissant.
I don’t care much for sparrows. They’re definitely in grave danger if I ever catch them in my garden. Have you ever tried catching a sparrow? It’s not easy. I’ve never succeeded.
Then came the crows. I’m not thrilled about crows either. I’d love to murder the lot of them. I think that of all the birds in the sky, crows produce the worst possible sounds. There’s nothing soothing, nothing redeeming about the cackle of a crow. What’s even worse is that when they get together to shriek, it usually means some other animal has met a bloody fate. They’re just crowing over the fact. Nasty, nasty.
I finally gave up trying to sleep. It was 7:30 anyhow, and it was time to get up and go to work. T
he shampoo got in my eye and I dropped the soap a couple of times, but the shower woke me up. I rolled up the windows of the car. The traffic in this city mimics the birds. The only difference is say oh let me see, about a hundred decibels.
I was smiling.
Our office on Promenade Road is an oasis of bliss. Surrounded by trees (for some reason, birds don’t make a racket during the day, I’ve discovered), set way in the back, behind other buildings that shield us from the main road, we never hear anything except the sound of gossip around the water cooler.
Pleasant.
But not today.
Today, the universe doesn’t like me at all.
They are breaking down the building next door. The jack hammer, the wrecking ball, the chain saw, the drill, the earth mover, the cement mixer and two hundred men with hand-held hammers and loud voices are making me long for the tranquility of my bedroom. Will someone please take me away?

– See more at: http://bangalore.explocity.com/articledetail/Being-Here/The-birds-of-Bangalore/124288/134521#sthash.Z9HEetGT.dpuf

I went because my friends acted in it. Tuffy (Darius Taraporvala) and Prem (Koshy). They always come to my shows. It’s like that among friends. Tit for tat. You come to my gig and I’ll come to yours.

But while it may be hard to drum up an audience if you’re a jazz singer, it’s clearly not the case if you’re under the bright lights in the big city they call Bangalore.

It was a musical comedy whodunit called ‘Curtains’ at the Chowdiah, on a windy August night as it turned into a rainy September.

Every year, at around this time, Bangaloreans pile into our most famous auditorium to see what Laila Alvares (the director) has been up to. And every year she puts on a great show. But I think this year with ‘Curtains,’ she has surpassed herself.

Alvares, who seems to have deep pockets of never ending energy to pull together these annual musical extravaganzas doesn’t make any money; neither do the cast or crew or musicians for that matter. But that doesn’t stop anyone from delivering the best they’ve got.

The entire cast was delightful. The singing, the dancing, the costumes, the choreography and the direction.

But the surprise of the night for me was Charles Hayward, who as it turns out is an American voice-over artist living in Bangalore. His singing was absolutely enchanting and his speaking voice was equally natural and unaffected.

I may have gone to the play to show solidarity, but from the moment the third bell rang until the curtains finally closed, it was sheer joy.

I was disappointed only because the play ended.

Can’t wait till next year.

free_wi_fi_spot

I’ve owned a cell phone for as long as I can remember. From the previous century, actually.

It went from getting no calls (back in the late 90s, when it was very expensive and clunky to own and operate a mobile phone) to a few calls from friends and families as the century turned the corner, to getting spammed all day and all night long by Nigerian princes and English lords.

The cell phone became as important to me as my heart beat. Even more, come to think of it, because with a cell phone you can dial an emergency number to keep the heart beating, but without one, the heart can be rendered useless pretty quickly.

I believe texting was born in Bangalore. I remember making a visit to New York in the early naughts, when no one had heard of SMS. But pretty soon text messages gave birth to a whole nu language and people developed dextrous thumbs.

The cell phone companies made a ton of money by charging you for calls, roaming, horoscopes, ring tones and other distractions. You paid up willingly, because as I said a minute ago, it was as important to have a working cell phone as it was to have a working heart.

But connectivity came at a price. It added another 10k to your monthly bill, and if you had kids, well you just multiplied. Pretty soon you became dependent on Vodafone, Airtel, Spice, Reliance, Tata and other service providers, who weren’t always providing services they claimed they would provide when you signed up and paid a deposit.

Then came the smartphone. Life became 100% better. Games, movies, emails and more.

The bill got larger and larger.

But then along came wifi.

I had once complained about wifi, and how in order to have wireless connectivity in our house, the walls pretty much had to be torn down and put back together. Oh ok, I exaggerate a bit, but there was a huge mess for a few days.

It was worth it.

Everyone in Bangalore (and around the world) did the same thing. Walls were busted in cafes, hotels, airports, subway stations, homes, schools, colleges and wires were laid down so people could connect wirelessly with their phones. I’m a clunk when it comes to understanding technology but I like using it.

You paid for wifi if you owned the establishment (our house, in this case) but could generously offer it free to guests. A bit like buying booze and inviting people over to drink it, so you don’t have to sit at home all alone, being bored.

Many commercial establishments soon realised that providing free wifi meant people would hang around more.

Then along came Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström in 2003, whose names you don’t need to know how to pronounce. It’s enough if you can say Skype. Followed by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 with Facebook. And Jack Dorsey’s Twitter in 2006. Brian Acton and Jan Koum’s WhatsApp in 2009 and the latest entrant, in 2010, Viber.

Not to mention Google and Yahoo and well, if you can remember it, Bing. All of which can be accessed without paying a cellphone provider a single rupee (or dollar or euro) while enjoing a cuppa or steina, depending on the time of day or night.

Which brings me to the reason for this tale.

My phone doesn’t work.

Airtel, my service provider disconnected the service because I wanted to switch the billing from my company to my personal account. I had assumed someone would type ‘transfer’ and hit ‘enter’ and get a cute emoticon waving ‘thank you’ for their troubles and I’d be back on my phone. But it was not to be.

It’s been two full days and I still get the ‘no service’ message on my phone. I’ve tweeted, emailed, called, visited and harassed the Airtel people who are very sweet when they say, ‘two hours more, madam.’

Time obviously takes on a different meaning in a cellphone company. But, before you think I’m complaining here, I’m not.

This is a longwinded letter of gratitude to Airtel, for showing me that life is quite peaceful and fulfilling no cell phone service.

I have visited many new cafes and restaurants (that offer free wifi) and enjoyed their delights.  I’ve looked out the window as we drive along the streets instead of texting and playing games. As a result I’ve noticed new stores where I can buy new stuff. I like shopping. I understand the Metro offers free wifi, I think I may try it. I know the airport does. Maybe I’ll take a trip.

About the only thing I miss is my ring tone – if you listen to it, you’ll maybe understand why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTP4hZRFsUo

Oh and one more thing,  if you want to find out where there’s free wifi in Bangalore, here’s a site. It could do with a little help, adding more locations, but it’s definitely a good start. http://www.wificafespots.com/wifi/city/IN–Bangalore

Meanwhile, as I wait for my phone to get connected (or not) if you’re a friend of mine, catch me on FB. If you’re not, even if I’ve won 500 million euros, I’m afraid I can’t be reached.

This article appeared in BangaloreMag, 29 Aug, 2013; 

http://bangalore.explocity.com/articledetail/Being-Here/Wify/124288/130785

Pam Crain
Pam Crain
Sometimes people ask me who my role models and inspirations were musically. Of course, as a singer of jazz standards, the obvious Ella and Sarah and Anita… even Helen come to mind.
Although today I spend more time on my own material, I didn’t move up the scale, so to speak, before I’d cut my teeth, deconstructing and coaxing the beauty out of melodies that defy reason like Lush Life and Midnight Sun.
But there’s another singer, a little closer to home, who made a profound impression on me and I hadn’t really exactly realized how much until I heard of her passing this morning from Lorraine Banks, wife of the piano player Louiz Banks.
Her name was Pam. Pam Crain.
And she was India’s Ella, Sarah, Anita and Helen all rolled into one. And I write this filled with an inexplicable sorrow although she wasn’t someone I actually knew personally.
I first heard her sing even before I knew I wanted to be a singer, as a little girl when my parents lived in Calcutta. At Trincas and Blue Fox where Pam glittered.
And by the time I began my own career, I was in total awe.
She was lush, lovely, long limbed, blonde, beautiful and had a voice like an angel. She knew her standards, she knew her blues and she could scat endlessly and effortlessly, chorus after chorus, without repeating her ideas. I think that’s when it crystallized in my mind. The fact that I needed to sing.
Like Pam.
At least like Pam.
As someone who had studied Indian classical music (I had no choice in the matter, it was the done thing in my household where Suprabhatam trounced Stella By Starlight on a daily basis) but whose heart lay somewhere between rock and roll and jazz, Pam’s mastery over turnarounds and chromatics had me spellbound. It was as if she’d found a way to unravel life’s deepest mysteries and I knew I had to either find a way to do it like she did, or find something else that would allow me to make my own mark.
When you study Indian classical music, and then try to make the transition to jazz, the problem is that you are rooted in the tonic. It’s hard to wrap your head around the changes and the shifting tonic that jazz mandates.
It’s rocket science. Really it is. Especially if you can’t read music.
Pam Crain wasn’t weighed down by any such millstone, possibly because she was Anglo Indian and the music playing in her house as she grew up was what got inside her head and stayed there through our her long career.
Recently, Susheel Kurien made a movie called ‘Finding Carlton’ which traced the history of Indian jazz, especially in Calcutta, where Pam spent most of her years singing. Sadly, there were way too few clips of Pam, but when he managed to catch her in action (old footage) it was electric. At least to me.
I don’t know if Pam made a lot of money singing jazz in India. It’s most unlikely, judging by Susheel’s movie which traces the tragic path of Carlton Kitto – a jazz guitar player who performed with Pam. In the movie, you learn that Louiz Banks left the jazz scene in Calcutta and moved to Bombay to keep body and soul together because jazz was being slowly but surely pushed out of the clubs and bars before the bars and clubs themselves got shut down. Bollywood took over.
People these days can do very well without jazz, especially in India, and I consider myself very fortunate when someone actually asks me to perform. It’s rare and it’s precious.
I am not sure when Pam stopped singing publicly, but in the past several years, there’s been no mention of her performing. Everyone gives it a rest after a while, I guess.
A couple of years ago, she ‘befriended’ me on Facebook.
I was amazed.  I had no idea she even knew who I was. It totally and completely validated me as a singer and I consider it the equivalent of a ‘Star’ on Hollywood Boulevard.
RIP Pam Crain. You were fabulous, one of a kind.
And I’ll sing a song for you when I go on stage next.

south indian food

 

In the past few weeks, a funny and light-hearted blog by someone named Mrigank Warrier (a cooler name I have not heard, making me wonder if he’s not a super hero of some sort) is doing the rounds online.

It speaks to all those people in India who think that we South Indians are fair game for mockery and marginalisation, because of our accent.

I’ll grant that our accent is definitely not a beautiful accent and even I can sniff an opportunity for mirth and merriment when a South Indian cheerfully invites his friend, ‘Come I say, let us go to wotle,’ or announces himself as ‘Yem Yes Wo Murthy.’

Warrier blogged his thoughts in a piece titled, “Yenna Rascalla” in 2011. (http://goo.gl/C44KoJ), and it’s now being revived by people who’re feeling his message. Which is, “Stop making fun of us. We’re people too.”

But his message isn’t being heard loud and clear across the South.

As a proud south Indian myself, I have a different opinion on the subject. I think it’s important to adapt and change and conform if you want to succeed in a milieu where such change is necessary. In the area where one, for instance, needs to earn money – as in a job, competing with others.

There is another South in the world. The people of that South too have a distinct accent. It’s the south of the United States. (The difference is that while our South is also known for its intellectual prowess, the people from the south of the US can make no such special claim. They merely suffer for their accent.)

One of my best friends in New York—let’s call her Elvira—is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, home to the Smoky Mountains, Dollywood and of course, Graceland. Elvira is a smart, beautiful, and driven woman who left home to go to New York to find work. She had a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee and things were looking bright for her as she boarded her plane.

She thought she’d do well on television as a newscaster. In her research, she had discovered that she possessed all the qualities that TV stations were looking for. She looked hot, spoke with intelligence, had an excellent grasp of current affairs and could sniff out a story in a whiff. She was photogenic to boot.

But interview after interview, all she got were rejections.

She couldn’t figure it out in the beginning, but pretty soon, she was smart enough to realise that people were turning her down because of her heavy southern accent.

According to the people at the employment agency (who were charging her handsomely to find her a job) her accent made her sound like a dim-witted hick… if you were going to be really uncharitable, well, she sounded stupid.

“Girl, if you want to work here in New York, you gotta lose the accent. Fast!” one not-so-kind lady at the employment agency told her. At least, she had levelled with her.

And there it was: Elvira couldn’t find work in the Big Apple because of they way she spoke naturally – in the accent she had acquired since birth.

She was told that she must lose what I thought was her charming southern drawl and in its place, acquire the accepted newscaster’s accent – which, by the standard of middle America, isn’t an accent at all and is the way people were meant to speak.

“You could have told me this in the first place,” Elvira complained, annoyed that they’d sent her off to get slaughtered in five interviews, but she knew the truth when she heard it. So she enrolled in ‘Accent Modification’ classes. She spent three months undergoing a makeover and she worked at it until she nailed the New York newscaster’s accent so beautifully that her brother, sister and parents were speechless.

“Y’all c’uhhhmm to suhhpperrr naaaw” became a cultured and unaccented, “Why don’t you join us for dinner?” and even as her BFF, I was astonished at the Liza Doolittle like transformation.

It was only when I got Elvira very drunk that her inner Memphis would sneak back out.

I was reminded of Elvira when I read Warrier’s blog and its parallels with her travails. And I figured that if the people of Punjab and Haryana continue to mispronounce and disparage South Indians, it’s time South Indians did something about it besides kvetch.

Maybe if we worked on the way we speak, so we won’t get to be the butt end of the joke.

Or here’s a better idea. Let’s take over India. In a decisive, conclusive way. Schools and colleges and all. And force our accent on the rest of the country.

On Yeverybody.

 

See more at: http://bangalore.explocity.com/articledetail/Being-Here/Out-Of-The-Mouths-Of-The-South/124288/126709#sthash.jkFkR8lV.dpuf

img_54982
If you’ve been following this column, you may recall The Princess of Milton Street, one Miss Daisy, a doggie with her own car, her own silk-and-satin sheets, and temperament to match.  And she’s been acting more and more uppity lately.

You could say we humans are to blame.

We’ve spoilt her rotten.
If she wants to go out for a drive at 11:30 in the night, why we get dressed, pull out the car and go round and around the neighbourhood till our eyes are glazed over with fatigue.

If she’s in the mood for a snooze, we tiptoe gingerly around, trying hard not to make a noise. The standing instruction in our house is this: “There will be no vacuuming when Daisy’s sleeping. No blending of ice cubes. No clattering of crockery and no screaming on the phone, and no fighting with the gardener either.”

Maids, drivers and other people who keep our lives well-oiled and stress-free, think we are crazy to slather a mutt that walked in off the street with so much accord, so much importance. And they’re right. We are crazy. In love.

A couple of weeks ago, I had discovered a new dessert, a pre-Shakespearean bit of belly ballooning delight called posset. It’s made with cream, lemon and sugar (sugar substitute in my case).

Daisy loved it too.

I’d set my posset down on the table for a minute to go do something and when I came back I found she’d licked the ramekin clean. She’d never done anything like that before so I was puzzled. Not angry. What’s a little posset when you’re in love?

And then I realised that she’s becoming human, at least in her own mind. She doesn’t think it’s unusual or improper to eat what I eat.

‘I mean, it’s not as you don’t feed me off your plate anyway,’ I could hear her think.

She is a seeker of pleasure, a lover of fine things, a gourmet doggie with impeccable taste. She makes no, ahem, bones about any of this.

So as I try to attain higher levels of sophistication and classiness myself, she’s right behind me, picking up cues.

Which brings me to the Kashmiri, pure silk, hand-knotted rugs, 2000 count, that I found in a box. My mom’s. I had put them away after she died, because it was too painful to look at them.  But it’s been twelve years, the grief has dimmed a little. So I opened the box. I discovered to my delight that rugs are as soft and rich, as jewel-toned and velvety as I’d remembered.

I moved some rugs around the house (I might add that I love rugs), I stuck the Fab India dhurrie under the dining table, where Daisy usually sleeps, and in its place, under the coffee table in the living room, I placed one of the mom’s silk rugs.

Daisy made a beeline for it. She sniffed it up and down. I could smell the approval. Then she rubbed her face this way on the warp and that way on the weft. She drooled a little, but I didn’t care. She turned around three times (why do dogs do that I wonder) and flopped down in a doggie curl in the centre of the rug.

And that was that. She never went back to Fab India again.

Appeared in BangaloreMag: http://bangalore.explocity.com/articledetail/Being-Here/Why-flop-on-Fab-India-when-you-can-curl-up-on-Kashmir/54226/121713

A little bit of fatty heaven
A little bit of fatty heaven

They’re nothing like Scylla and Charibdis, in case you’re wondering that this is a story about a Greek tragedy or perhaps some impossible conundrum for which there is no solution.
Not at all.
Posset and syllabub are two desserts me and old SO (my Significant Other) came across quite accidentally one day, when we eschewed our usual Koshy’s Fish Molee (me) and sausages and eggs (him), in favour of the Oberoi Hotel’s posh Le Jardin restaurant.
Once in a while, we hanker for their buffet spread of cold cuts and cheeses, their salads and soups and their view of the gardens. We also miss their patrons who eat silently, without arguing with each other, banging on the cutlery and crockery. (I’m not complaining Prem, just making a point.)
So after seconds (me) and thirds (him) we were ready for dessert.
Now in most restaurants, everything on a dessert table is either filled with sugar or flour, usually both.
I may have mentioned in an earlier post that SO and I have been trying, unsuccessfully for more than fifteen years to stick to the Atkins Diet, which, devoid of carbohydrate, is supposed to shrink us down into wispy nothings.
It’s not happening. But we haven’t given up.
I came back from the dessert table sadly, telling SO, “There’s nothing for us here.” I may have wiped a tear from my eye.
One of the waiters, a sweet fellow named Siddharth, I think came over.
“Ma’am, you should try the posset,” he said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s a dessert made with cream, lemon and sugar substitute,” he said. “No carbs,” he smiled, handing me a thimbleful. Actually a shot-glass.
It was the most delicious, non-carb dessert I’d had in ages and I am ashamed to tell you that I had four shots. SO had six. We wiped the Oberoi clean of their posset that day.
I asked Siddharth if he would be so kind as to share the recipe with me.
“I’ll give you the easy version,” he said generously. I’m not much of a cook, and he must have picked that up.
“Get a few lemons, some heavy cream and some sugar substitute. Mix it together till it’s delicious. Stick it in the microwave for two minutes, it will bubble. Cool it. Enjoy.” he explained on one breath.
I didn’t need him to repeat a word. It was so easy.
I came home and Googled it. I discovered to my delight that posset is a popular dish from 14th or 15th century England. Pre Shakespeare obviously because he gets Lady Mac to use poisoned posset to bump off the guards in Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2.

“The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
 Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugg’d their possets
 That death and nature do contend about them,
 Whether they live or die.”

I discovered syllabub on Wikipedia. It’s a similar dessert, but thicker and more sinful. I’ve made a few modifications from the 16th Century, since one’s tastes change over time.
The original syllabub recipe calls for placing a bowl under a cow and milking it full, but there don’t seem to be any milking cows near where I live.