Winter was definitely on the mild side in Chennai and Madurai where we grew up. We can really narrow the winter months to December and January at the most. Other months like November and February can be considered as Fall if so. Winter was marked by the vegetable we used to get then. One of the famous, at least famous in my family was Koorkan Kizhangu. This is a root vegetable similar to potatoes and its size was small more like baby potatoes even smaller. Would be dark in color and caked in mud and soil when we opened our gunny bag parceled from a town in Kerala for my FIL. It was without doubt one of the favorites with my dh and FIL. So our relatives were kind enough to send it back then. I was the only one who dreaded the arrival of this kizhangu as it used to fall on me to scrub and clean it under water. Trust me these Kizhangus strictly adhered to the dirt and soil so a lot of scrubbing underwent on the cold mornings of December. Once scrubbed and cleaned it could be prepared so very tasty that there would never be any leftovers. Here’s how my MIL used to cook it. The Koorkan Kizhangu would be pressure cooked and then in a kadai warm coconut oil and put the cut cooked pieces and fry with salt added. If I were to cook today, I would still use Coconut oil for its flavor on this “Mezhukku Peratti” is unmistakable. The other significant vegetable for me during winter was Kavathu. It was a must for “kali” and Kavathu for Thiruvadhiri. My late MIL without any doubts made the best Kalee and Kavathu kootu I have ever tasted. I can boldly say so as my mother a really good cook is not going to read this. These days I get excellent Pumpkins and Squashes. The other event that marks winter is the Margazhi month bhajans and kolams. I can not say I went along with the Bhajans or to the temples early mornings but I remember my grandmother did and brought back tasty sweets back from the temple. I do however took part in all the kolams that went on early mornings. This I felt was more prevalent in Madurai than Madras. We used to get ready the previous night cleaning the area to put the kolam in and mornings would be a race among same age girls. Not the least that this month marks is the Music season in Madras. I have to say that we should be grateful to famous singers who grace the local temples for free concerts. So does anyone else remember anything else with the onset of Winter?