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Showing posts from March, 2006

quip of the day

Someone got my son a glow-in-the-dark sword similar to the kind in Aladin (the sword not the glowing in the dark bit ;) Prancing around with the sword, my son now fancies himself three musketeers and He-man all rolled into one.

This was our conversation in econut - translated into english:
Gau: Why dont thieves come anymore?
a-searching-the-disarrayed-aisles-me: mmmmmmm i dont know.
Gau: tell me why
Me : I dont know why!
Gau: ARe they extinct like dinosaurs?

That grabbed my attention at full throttle. Apparently he is hoping for a robber at our home so that he could fend him off with his glow-in-the-dark sword!

Ban PriyaGold 's fresh gold Juice!

It is funny how all the developed countries are realising the importance of eating less packaged food, more fresh fruits 'n' veggies and we are forging ahead in the opposite direction! Case in point: Priya Gold Juice advertisment on Pogo/Cartoon network channels. It is an ad for a brand of juices with no preservatives. Their shibboleth? The mom trilling "ab paani koyi nahi mangega" (no one will ask for water anymore).

The juice claims no preservatives used. I wonder what percentage of the populace notices the significance; it says only no preservatives, it doesn’t say "no added sugar or flavour or color". India is racing at breakneck speed to be the diabetes capital of the world and this company is adding momentum by adding more sugars to our diet!

Here is a incomplete list of reasons to ban this brand in our homes and refrigerators:
It targets kids who are in the 2 - 10 age group, highly susceptible to any suggestion. It tells them it is cool to drin…

capitalist insensitivity?

Have you seen the SBI advertisement in The Hindu of late?

The first advertisement I noticed featured a poor slob dragging a very heavy cart laden to breaking point under a merciless sun beating down on him. The one featured today portrays another poor slob slaving away under the hot sun, washing a unending pile of clothes. The caption in both cases reads ex-pickpocket.

What message were we supposed to take from it? The ones I got were
Images of Hades and greek lores of what hell would feel like - unending unrewarded toil.SBI ensures a bigger divide between the haves and the have nots? SBI ensures your financial well being at the expense of the other 80% of the country. Why aspire to material wealth when 80% of the country is living in squalor?The economy is shaky, remember the true face of India?SBI condemns pickpockets to a life of squalor and mindless work?A CPI(M) election peg : Capitalism sucks communism rules.Wealth and sensitivity dont belong in the same planet.This is how …

Gender Differences

Gautham's nature changes every day. He has suddenly gone from being something of a sissy to all boy - inventing games, climbing wherever possible, jumping off every conceivable spot, playing "tennis" w me or his dad for hours. Yet, he has lost none of the cautiousness that characterised his first attempts at walking; He seems to pick only do-able targets for his acrobatics.

He continues to dream really big though. He was showing off on his tricycle (He also does reasonably well on his bicycle w training wheels); riding with one hand, riding w one foot on the handle bar, riding fast and braking suddenly and quickly.
He suddenly wanted to know if there was a cycle race.
I asked what kind?
He said you know like formula I for cars.
I told him, yep there is, Tour De France.
His response? I have a cycle and I ride very fast, I am going to the Tour De France!

Though he has more girl friends than boys, he seems more deeply attached to his boy friends. When I go to pick him up, he…

Mystery stews

The last few days, I have looking at my vegetable basket and concocting stews based on the degree of moribundity of the vegetable in the basket; So yesterday we had Turnip with Turnip Greens and Black Urad, today we had a stew of Bottlegourd, Carrots and Ribbed Gourd with Masoor daal (Black and Orange). Surprisingly, Shockingly, Amazingly, they more then passed muster with both Hubby and Gau! Hubby has been threatening (playfully, I hope) to suck up any healthy meal I concoct into the new Euroclean vacuum cleaner we bought. He claims he does not want to see bown/red rice or any non-regular cereals on his plate; He begged for some regular white rice batter dosai. I only delivered on the last count ;)

Kombucha in Chennai!

I was meandering through some of the foodblog links I follow on Sunday. Somehow I ended up in a silicon valley article about how cool Google is even down to the cafeteria facilities for its employees! Then I read about one of their chef's making Kombucha and what an awesome health drink it is. The cook in me had to find out how to do it right here in Chennai and I actually garnered a few email addresses in Bangalore, Hyd, Mumbai supplying the yeast bacteria mix for making the drink. I was hemming and hawing over when and who to write for the precious starter when I had to run to my favourite organic store - Econut in Besantnagar - to buy more dates for Gau. They had bottles of kombucha in their refrigerator!
I rushed back home to see what this so called miracle food tastes like - a lil bit like highly diluted carbonated beer (or is all beer carbonated?). The vinegar adds a surprisingly fresh taste to the drink. Hubby loved it, I dont try such things on Gau.

Mint Pesto AKA Mint Pulao

Just like in engineering, I love certain concepts in food, Pairing a nut and a leaf (Basil and Pine Nut) to make an awesome sauce for pasta is one of them. Granted the awesome part may owe as much to the generous amounts of olive oil and paramesan cheese as the fresh basil leaves and nut; But, for those who have not savoured the real thing and those who live here in Chennai were Basil, Pine Nuts, Olive Oil and Parmesan are either hard to come by or atrociously priced, Pesto could be curtailed to just the leaf and nut. My version today was a pesto with a cup of tightly packed mint leaves and a quarter cup of sunflower seeds. I cooked rice and sweet potatoes separately; Made the indispensible tadka out of jeera, mustard, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and onions in heated clarified butter; Mixed together the tadka, cubed cooked sweetpotato, 2 cups cooked rice, pesto in a huge mixing bowl. Ta Da! Mint Pulao Pesto Style.
BTW I used sunflower seeds because I have had some in my refriger…

Wily Breakfasts

For months at a time my Son would demand Mini-Idlis and Sambhar for breakfast; Despite the boredom of having the same thing everyday I happily acquiesced - after all it is a very healthy, nutritionally complete breakfast; Especially when I make the Sambhar out of lots of vegetables and a different Daal everyday.
After his last bout of stomach flu he has changed course again. He only wants Bread for breakfast with Dana brand Cherry jam. I started adding a fruit or two, usually banana and apple to his breakfast, I switched to multi-grain bread from Leo Fortune or Wheatberry bread from Nilgiris. Now I am only struggling to get more protein into his breakfast. Peanutbutter Jelly goes down OK. Today I made Tofu Burji with "Cotton Tofu" from nilgiris. He gawked at the quaggy mess on his plate and declared he wanted no part of it. We sneaked quite a bit into his sandwich and he gulped it down happily. And I have met my soybean quota for this week :)

Tofu Burji

1 large onion ch…

mind like a whirligig

Gautham's thoughts and speech are continuous and touching on every topic in his little world...
He found a foto of DH and me, he must have noticed he was missing; Now he wanted to know when we took the trip, before or after we were married. I have no Idea what brought on the last part of the question!
I changed the bedspread to something newly acquired on a trip to Pondicherry; he loved the colour. Then he wants me to buy lots and lots of new bedsheets. I asked him to quantify; his response? "As many as holes in the mosquito net".
His exuberance when we play together generally only spills into declaring "You are my best friend in the world". He tries to quantify that and comes up with some interesting similies - As much as a giant is big, as much as "Chennai" etc...
Since the weather is getting quite hot, I let him play in his bath for a looooong while. He came out very happy and suddenly declared to my thrilled, astounded, amazed, deeply touched Ho…

Working on my to do list

I made the oats bar from the chocolate zucchini web site! And considering this is the first of the month, I think I am off to a rousing start.

The original recipe is here

My version:
2 cups rolled oats (I used Baggry's old fashioned)2 cups amaranth3/4 cup brown sugar2/3 cup currants1/3 cup chopped cashews1/3 cup whole chiroli (hazelnut would be a good substitute)2 tsp cardamom powder3.5 cups milk3 eggs beaten2 medium apples peeled, cored, sliced
Mix items 1 to 7 thorughly, add items 8, 9, stir togetherPour into a well buttered pan. Top with apple slicesBake for 40 - 50 minutes (I took only 40, the original recipe said 50)Cool and cut into rectangles

Review: My husband said it reminded him of panchamritham and ate 2; My son took 1 bite and gave up :( I personally liked it a lot, much better than store bought breakfast cereal bars.