Monday, December 15, 2014

Make Ginger Wine with Elsie Gabriel….. each gulp is fiery and spicy just right for a cold winter evening…

Come let me take you with me on the wine making journey at home….I have always been passionate about making wine, when I first started out of course they came out like vinegar used for cooking but now I have learned the art and would like to share them with you…so read on if you wish to make good ginger wine at home during the festive season, do not forget to write in and tell me how it all turned out…


Make  Ginger Wine with Elsie Gabriel….. each gulp is fiery and spicy just right for a cold winter evening…


4 tablespoons dried ginger or four pieces of ginger root.
3 to 5 KGs raisins
2 oranges
2 lemons

5 Red dried chilies
1,500 grams sugar/ caramelized for color
Wine yeast
1 gallon of water/ Almost 4 liters

Add cleaned ginger to a saucepan of boiling water and allow to simmer. Also add the oranges which are peeled and sliced, together with lemon zest and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. When it is luke-warm, add the yeast and leave overnight. Add diced raisins or dried grapes in the morning along with the dried red chilies. I make a spicy flavored ginger wine, its unique and savory…

Strain ginger wine mixture and transfer to a clean plastic large bottle container or  winemaking fermentation bucket. Keep the original strained solids and boil once more in more water to ensure that maximum  flavor has been extracted, again simmering for another 15 minutes.
Place everything in any suitable vessel as long as it is very clean.
If you want your ginger wine to be red in color just add caramelized sugar syrup if the dried grapes do not give it sufficient colour.

Stir each morning and evening, for ten days. Strain carefully and transfer ginger wine  into a clear winemaking bottle/jar or any airtight container will do, ensure its airlock. Ferment for six weeks. Drink ginger wine after waiting one year, or longer.

If Christmas is around the corner, and you are in a hurry to say Cheers-simply add Brandy to the mixture and use after you have let the wine settle down and clear. You may use bits of raw papaya to clear the wine hazy look.

I find making wine a terrific hobby. Not only will you have fun making it, you will have fun drinking it!

A bottle of wine makes a wonderful gift. Whether you are going to a friend’s house for dinner or in need of a small holiday gift, a bottle of wine is always a nice touch.

Of course always keep one at home for impromptu guests!The non alcaholic wine is tasty and served to the entire family as well. Enjoy and cheers –happy Holidays.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Life is a Cachaca!! Cheers!! Elsie Gabriel

Life is a Cachaca!!

I kept staring at the ‘Cachaca’ in front of me....and guess what I kept thinking about?? Is sugarcane a fruit or a vegetable!! Hah, gottcha.... I was on my second glass now and  guess what I was thinking about?? Why don’t they make this in India!!


We have so much sugarcane in India and may be I could think of making Cachaca!! Well let me tell ya.. I was in the middle of the Amazon jungle tropical hotel, with beautiful soothing music around , all you could think of life is a Cachaca....

The cocktail Caipirinha is Brazil's national drink made with cachaça, ice, sugar, and lime. It is the drink most commonly associated with  Cachaça. The humble cane,grass, tropical gift to it what you wish,but this cane drink was gooood...

Slim slices of lime floating in my drink, topped with ice, well stirred with some sugar grains in lemon juice and a good portion of this sugarcane raw brew......amazing..quenching every thirst after a good whole days trek up into the forest now you get want one, dont ya....slurrppp....

Didn’t ever imagine this Sugarcane  production could turn out so good. I believe that sugancane was brought in from the Mediera islands into Brazil by the Portuguese in the 16 th century.God bless the sugarcane farmers...of the 16th C that is.....

 In Brazil everything starts and ends with a are on the Copacabana beach and God its Cachaca doing the rounds with shiny ice cubes dancing in the glasses being sold on the beach every where.....  

If vodka is used instead of cachaça, it is called a Caipiroska or caipivodka; if rum is used it is called a caipiríssima; if strawberry or some other fruit is used instead of lime, it is usually called a batida or caipifruta.

 1.5 billion liters are consumed annually, Brazil is one happy state, people are polite and happy. It is a sun shine country alright....

Get yourself a good aged Cachaca bottle, smoothly blended when aged to perfection, do not go for the younger cheap offerings...Next time follow me into a trail of a lot more local Brazilian brews...amazing ....

The dark variety, is aged in wood barrels and is meant to be drunk straight .But never mind the history of Cachaca, come join me in a drink, celebrate life and celebrate sugarcane!!! Cheers......make it a large, this time!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stadium Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho.Electric experience at Soccer stadium Sao Paulo - Pele glorified.Elsie Gabriel

                                       Goalllll ....  aand its am amzing win for Brazill....

                                     Stadium Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho

[ Copyright all pictures Elsie Gabriel.Lifting and copying photos is a legal offence.]

Electric experience at Soccer stadium Sao Paulo-Pele glorified.

I'm not a huge football fan but toured this brand new football museum while visiting Sao Paulo. The Football Museum is a thematic museum, located in the Stadium Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho. My husband took me there in celebration of our wedding anniversary, I relented because there was a Brazilian gourmet tour agenda following. I have not a single regret believe me…

The three storied building enclave explains Pele's life and achievements. There is an entire wing which is "interactive" and you'll be challenged to beat Pele's scoring, dribbling and running feats. I have never seen so much footage on the game and past World Cups.  The historical data is impeccably documented and illustrated. It is a fabulous collection and you can see how much hard work has gone into the setup.

The museum features many highly ultra modern and state of the art technology in interactive audiovisual resources. Pictures of great players such as Pelé, Zico and Ronaldo are projected on large screens, and narrated displays introduce their life stories in the history of the sport.

Club histories are also represented with every intricate memorabilia, flags, banners, posters, and other personal life photographs.

My Son Ridge who loves hi end technology, a “virtual field” was God sent. It allows visitors to kick an imaginary ball into a 3D goal. He took a shot, ofcourse he didn’t beat Pele but am sure he felt what it was to experience an international field virtually.

Very high and assorted incredible content on all the ABCs of football is on display. It's a must-see for anyone visiting Sao Paulo.


They have Pele's entire foot balling history there, in almost every format. You can take your time and find out all about him, interesting facts and quotes. I remember my Uncle who is a reverend priest, who first introduced me to a Pele film as a tribute to me finishing my ICSE exams as a teenager and then Pele has stuck in my mind ever since. He is inspirational and after a visit here…God you want to play football for sure…

The history of Brazilian football is exhaustive and impressive, highlights of each and every world cup competition since 1930, videos and portraits of Brazilian former players dominate the areanas. The best audio show were the radio sound bites which covered the matches were replayed to bring back life like memories of each goal on full volume speakers which transport you to the game. Tickets aren’t very expensive but you can always show your student ID card to get a very good discount.
Keep almost three hours for the tour, and if you have kids remember to keep your wallet full as the souvenir shop is highly rated and you can’t come away with out a FIFA replica ball or T shirt, can you!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Mahotsav Art collection. Elsie Gabriel

The Mahotsav Art collection.

Elsie Gabriel.

A riot of colours and heady sensations enveloped me as I walked into an array of  colourful art displays by more than 50 artists at the Kohinoor art Gallery,Mumbai. I  was excited about the invitation by imminent artist Rukshana Hooda and she did not let me down. It was such a visual and healing experience.

Surrounded by  landscapes, charcoal art, wild life scenes, exotic animals in oils, acrylic on canvas, water colour, abstracts and figurative art, I found my visit very healing. The artists, who come from all over the country, showcased an array of  paintings, sculptures and graphics in the show. Mahotsav Group show was curated by Guruprio Paul. Says Guruprio who is an inspiring artist himself, “The title of the show was derived from the fact that it reveals the works of different artists, who share a common platform to display their works. Art brings people together."

 Rukshana Hooda, is a Visual Artist, painter from the Sir J.J. School Of Art and Sophia College Mumbai. Layers of visual sensations were portrayed  in Rukhshanas works taking you deeper into the meaning of life while showing off its intense colours. Elaborated Rukhshana, “ I have an assorted genre, very varied, from abstracts, landscapes, charcoals, moghal-Art, human forms, warli, history and Nature around me.Nature in its own self has always stayed absorbed in my expression. Human forms, stones, clouds and landscapes with types of vegetation take transformation on paper, plates, canvas, marine-ply, teak, etc. Beauty has no form still I try to capture and create on my canvas.”

I fell in love with Bhagvati Naths art works, what an excellent offering to planet Earth with her nature portraits. She had the Tigers, owls and leopards staring me in the face, springing to life. She is one artist par excellence. When you meet Bhagwati, you will see that she has been there, done that, and is in peace with  her self, half sage and sanyasi herself, her art works captivate you with striking messages of deep love, concern for animals and nature,all of which stole my soul.  “ I have lived in the wild and outdoors. Nature offers her own peace and lifestyle.I need to get out the message that all things natural are sublime and that animals are an essential part of our world.”

Deepika Misra is an artist to look out for,her offerings were also a delight, crisp and clear. I loved the colours which were very therapeutic. J.S.Munmoli, an artist whose many years in Africa resulted in striking jungle animal art forms were enriching. Extreme clarity and form were the elements which I came away with.The Leopards in the African jungles were paid a rich tribute.

Considered India’s cultural capital, Mumbai always offers a continuously developing and vibrant art scene.I simply loved the focus on introducing new artists and  experimental innovative art  which promoted a multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary art in India. The exhibition surprised me completed and that’s what I like.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lavinia Hansraj presents her eclectic collection of luxurious soft furnishings! Elsie Gabriel

Lavinia Hansraj presents her eclectic collection of luxurious soft furnishings!

Lavinia Hansraj spells classy luxury! Lavinia has adorned many high profile and celebrity home interiors over the years and left her mark with her trendy approach which I would call ‘maximalism’ truly making the most of the  space assigned.
 Her taste for spectacular eye catching quality fabric and good finish is what you will get when you set your heart on each custom made piece of designe. She does not make bulk nor does she cater to everyday styles.

Her collection ‘Lavinia Hansraj’ coutour soft interior furnishings are striking as she makes the most of any space with eye-catching textiles, interesting furniture pieces, runners, curtains, corner pieces that accent, stand out and demand attention. Her mix in vibrant, velvet and silk fabric designs and lots of interesting little embroidery help her achieve this eloquent style. 

Visiting her exquisite offering was an eye opener. Insightful to know that Lavinia and Chetan both have an eye for design and art. But Ethan their little son floored me literally yesterday, when he took out a lovely neat blue print from his pocket and showed his creation of the ‘eternal circles’ which was his addition to the design on the cushion. Amazing family, very artistic and creative. What better way to bond, than over art!!  They inspire each other.

It was also good meeting Marylin, Lavinias sister. Of course both the parents of Chetan and Lavinia graced the occasion too, in full support.
Says Chetan Hansraj, “Lavinia is fantastic and her offering is for Diwali and Xmas.The bright colours sure will light up any room.We have worked over six months to put this together. I do assist and offer some designs too.But this is her passion.”
Of course the one by Chetan was an electric owl with crystal eyes, amazing black velvet and bewitching.

Actress and writer Pooja Bedi walked in to relish all the sensational colours, “I have Lavinia’s collection all over my house. I love her colours and mostly her Dragonfly theme. They are a class apart.”

 Loving these contemporary styled home décor was also Shruti Agarwal supermodel, “I love her clean-lined approach, I love the ‘bling’ and  brightness.”
Lavinias collection no doubt focuses first and foremost on function and tries to avoid excessive decoration used within other styles.

Lavinia works closely to achieve color combinations that compliment any setting designed by the most sophisticated individual. The result is an interesting accessory for the home which is a work of art as well as a luxurious addition to any decor.