categories

Goats in Kochi

Goat crossing the road
My first Whatsapp to my parents as soon as I explored Kochi was "Daddy tell Mummy there are goats. So many goats in Kochi. I like to pet them all😁."

The reply came "Goats? No one pets goats. Please don't pet them. Please don't go near them. And what do you mean there are many goats in Kochi? It is a city not a village!".

And so it begins my first day in Kochi, Kerala and India. I couldn't quite account for the night I arrived because it was late at night.. The streets were quiet, people were home and probably resting early before the new work week began. Next morning, a hearty breakfast and saying hello to the other 28 bloggers from 28 other countries from Kerala Blog Express, I was ready to explore Kerala.

Stepped out of the hotel and I saw goats.  Went around the city for sightseeing, shopping and meals, I saw goats. Many of them. Adorable ones very pattable - pardon my bad English but I can't think of how one should say "pat friendly"'. So yes I did end up patting goats - the kids of course!

Someone must have released them. So unlike other countries where we see stray dogs or cats, it is a very interesting and eye opener case of stray goats all around the city. I won't say they are lost. They seemed to know where they are going. I am also told that at the end of the day, their owners will come and herd them back home. So then why did the goats roam Kochi? I will think, the goats are released to find their own food like this fella who is grazing at the lawn of a public building.
Goat grazing

On a not so serious note, my reasoning to why goats roam Kochi:
white goat grazing in the museum of arts
This goat wanted to visit the art centre
Goat in the streets of Kochi
This one too wanted to visit the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Goats walking along the streets
The goats wanted to go shopping.
Goat peeing on the five foot way
Of course this fella went on to be a rascal...he peed outside the shop!
Goats roaming Kochi streets
This goat wanted to read the notice on the wall.
Goats on bags of rubbish
These goats were probably gathering the sacks for the garbage truck to come pick them up.
Goats roaming in Kochi during the day time
These ones wanted to go spice shopping (this was along a busy street that sells spices)
Goats eating bills pasted on walls in Kochi
These 2 are civic conscious ones who wanted to remove the posters on the wall. After all, there is a sign that says Stick No Bills!

I don't think the goats bother the locals. It seems almost like a way of life. The vehicles dodge the goats and strangely, I think the goats dodge everyone else too. 

Read more about Kerala. You can track them:
#KeralaBlogExpress
#LiveInspired
#TripOfALifetime
www.keralablogexpress.com


THANX for reading. Let's also socialise on the following channels:

Easy Brioche Recipe

No knead brioche
 I have been having brioche urges. More to eat than to bake because while making brioche is pretty easy, it does take quite a bit of time and I don't have the patience that my running baking pal Patrick has with breads and pastries. 

However, being restless as I sit out my patella maltrack rehab period and not having my brioche cravings satisfied after looking for them high and low after my physio session yesterday, I knew I had to bake my own for the weekend. In a way to satisfy my cravings though the husbter says "it is more so to use up your loads of pent up energy from not running". Somehow cycling and swimming hasn't quite worked to drain those energy cells within.

I skipped using the breadmaker or a mixer and basically did everything with just a ladle and whisk. Easy peasy like I intended it to be.

Ingredients:
• 220g softened butter
• 2 tablespoons sugar (I prefer brown sugar over regular caster sugar)
• 4 gggs (3 for baking and 1 for egg wash)
• 2 1/2 teaspoon yeast (11g)
• 1 teaspoon Salt
• 200ml full cream milk
• 500g flour (I use unbleached flour)

Instruction:
• Mix the butter, 3 eggs and sugar together. It will be slightly lumpy.
• Mix flour, salt and yeast together.
• Warm milk to about 40°C. 
• Make a well in the flour mix and pour in butter and eggs mixture followed by the warm milk.
• Mix well until the dough is sticky.
sticky dough
• Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it to proof till it doubles up - generally takes 90 minutes of less.
• Butter your loaf tray, pan or muffin pan (whatever you fancy since this is a soft and rather wet dough).
• Preheat oven to 190°C
• Flour your work surface. Mould dough into whatever shape you want.
• Glaze the top of dough with an egg wash.
Brushing with egg wash to get a golden finish
Egg wash are not the easiest to work but just live with it because this is a very forgiving dough that will just self sort out the egg wash as soon as you brush over it.
• Pop into oven and bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes or until the top is browned.
• Let it rest in the pan / tray for 5 minutes before cooling down on the wire rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing the loaf brioche.

However because I started baking last night at 10pm, the following is my set of steps although the above bakes just as well but with a lighter yeast flavour. So let's just call this the Mad Scientist set of instructions.
Mad Scientist Instruction:
• Mix the butter, 3 eggs and sugar together. It will be slightly lumpy.
• Mix flour, salt and yeast together.
• Warm milk to about 40°C. 
• Make a well in the flour mix and pour in butter and eggs mixture followed by the warm milk.
• Mix well until the dough is sticky.
• Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it to proof till it doubles up. This batch rested for 8 hours.
Brioche dough after resting for 8 hours. It doubles up.
The next morning at 630am, I was awoken by the aromatic yeast fermentation. 

• Butter your loaf tray, pan or muffin pan (whatever you fancy since this is a soft and rather wet dough).
• Preheat oven to 190°C
• Flour your work surface. Mould dough into whatever shape you want. 
• Let it proof for an hour since it was perfect weather to grab a quick swim.
Cool Sunday morning in Kuala Lumpur after a night of rain.
• Glaze the top of dough with an egg wash.
• Pop into oven and bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes or until the top is browned.
• Let it rest in the pan / tray for 5 minutes before cooling down on the wire rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing the loaf brioche.
Freshly baked brioche for breakfast. Golden in colour from organic unbleached flour and brown sugar.
Isn't this utterly delicious looking? I wish you could smell it too...but technology hasn't developed to the stage of being able to capture scents from blog pics πŸ˜œ.

Shaping or moulding the dough is quite simple. You can:
• Shape them into small balls and place them into the baking pan. This will result in dinner roll sizes.
• Divide the dough into 3 parts and shape them into a rectangle. Place them into a loaf pan and you will end up with a loaf of brioche.
• Shape them in small balls and bake them with a muffin pan.
• Braid the brioche
I am not sure what is it about me and my need for a braided brioche loaf. I had it in Paris and loved it so much in that shape. So with this rich soft dough, I should have just braided it and baked it on a pan. Instead I stubbornly insisted in braiding it and struggle to move it into the loaf pan. Pretty disastrous looking in a way but running buddy Anne says "Ok la can see the braid so Kira success la". I guess it does resemble a little bit of a braid after all 😝.
Dough separated into 3 to be braided
Flour the work surface then mould the dough into a rectangle of 16" length. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Fold each piece over.
Fold one end together. Braid it like how you would braid your hair. To be honest I have not braided my hair for ages since it is so short these days. To braid, just take one piece from the outside and move it over the middle piece. Repeat left right, left right until the end and then you tuck the 3 ends under the loaf.
dough placed into a butter loaf pan
Now the technical part of lifting a very soft dough from the work surface into the loaf pan. Obviously the braided loaf now looks funny. And obviously during this proof session while I swam, it went on to look even less like a braid. I should have just struck the braided loaf out of my end and just work the braid on a regular pan ---> next time I will do so but not so soon because brioche is a very rich and high calorie bread!

When baking in loaf form, you can double check the temperature once the baking is complete. It should be approximately 180-190°C inside when you take it out from the oven. Mine read 186°C after I rested it for 5 minutes.

Of course waiting for a brioche to cool down is not an easy task. The hubster was after all awaken by the smell of the brioche baking in the oven. However, if you slice it while it is still piping hot then you will break the crust. Today being a rather cool and windy morning, my brioche cooled down pretty fast since I left all the kitchen windows opened.
Brioche ready to be sliced after cooling down

A baked brioche can last a few days in the refrigerator. Though most times, we either finish it within a day - brioche for breakfast with tea or coffee plus salmon and avocado brioche for lunch. If there is even any left over, brioche lightly heated up and served with ice cream and fruits for tea or dessert. Odd occasions like today being Father's Day, we will be having our lunch, tea time and dinner outside. So for tomorrow, we might just have it as French toast or perhaps heated up and served with butter and a drizzle of honey.

This morning, after all the pictures were snapped, we had our warm brioche. Coffee for the Mister and Masala tea for the Missus. Served with a side fruit salad of pomegranate, oranges and pumpkin seed. We ate some buttered and some plain as is because the brioche is such a rich and flavourful bread even on its own.
Brioche served with a side of fruits
French press coffee, freshly baked brioche, side serving of fruits and some sunshine πŸ˜‹.
Warm brioche with butter
See the golden crust? I know it is a rich slice of brioche but after a good swim, I guess I can still handle the calories from the butter! Wanted marmalade but I haven't gotten down to making my own marmalade for the longest while and I am very picky with commercial ones.

NOTES:
• The milk must not be hot or else you end up killing the yeast!
• I am using organic brown sugar, yeast and unbleached flour for this recipe which explains the slightly more golden colour.
• The organic flour also called for close to 550g of flour to get the consistency that is similar to the regular all purpose flour.
THANX for reading this post. Do head on over to the following channels to stalk me (and show some love too)! 


SCKLM2017 - 10KM Race Review

Guest post by a good running buddy Puteri Farah who ran the 10km category for SCKLM2017. Go stalk her and her awesome team mates Kyserun Krew I will follow up with a Full Marathon soon.

Hello runners! As you know, this is the 9th year for SCKLM and my third time joining. This year I ran in the 10km leisure category. Here's a quick recap: