Monthly Archives: April 2011

Laptop issues:(

Hi Everyone,hope you had a great Easter break.We did!and now Babushka is back in Kinder! I have so many things to write-but they have to wait:( my laptop crashed and regular posting will resume after I get it back:) hopefully soon! Drive test coming up in less than two weeks n I am freaking out! Will reply to comments once the laptop is back-I m going blind trying to read comments on my iPhone. More later,till then, be good my lovelies;)

Easter Bag- SAARC 2011 Bags CAL

The bag I was working on,is finally put together:)
Here’s a picture of Work in Progress:

And now the completed bag:

And how can any of my projects be complete without them being modelled by my favorite model?

I still need to line it,but,I am glad,I finished crochetting before Easter:)

Methi Paratha with Tomato Chutney

Last week,I found a bunch of fresh Methi(fenugreek leaves) in our local Indian store and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. Winters are here in the Southern Hemisphere and if Paratha is not a winter food what is:)
My childhood was spent in a small town in Rajasthan,called Lakheri,where fresh produce was abundant.And my father’s family was well-loved and respected there,so as a result,we always,ALWAYS had more than enough fresh produce at home. Dinners in the winter months was mostly some kind of a vegetable paratha or vegetable pulav and soup.
So,the moment I laid my eyes on that fresh green bundle,I knew,I was going to make Methi Parathas.

Now if you have finished drooling,here’s the recipe:

Methi Paratha

Ingredients:
4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 medium bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves
2-3 tbsp fresh yogurt
1 green chili
2 flakes of garlic
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cummin-coriander powder
salt to taste
warm water for kneading the dough.

Method:
1. Pluck and wash the fenugreek leaves.Pat dry and chop finely.
2. Make a paste of yogurt,green chili and garlic.
3. Take the whole wheat flour in a wide plate and add all the ingredients and knead into a firm dough.Keep it aside for 15-20 minutes.
4. Take a lemon sized ball of dough and roll out into a flat round.
5. Roast on a pan.Apply a little oil on each side,and toast a little more.

Serve hot with yogurt/raita/pickle or chutney.

Here’s my mom’s recipe for Tomato chutney. Its my ultimate favorite chutney and it gets made in no time,at all.

You need :
4-5 medium sized tomatoes
2-3 flakes of garlic
1 green chili
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cummin seeds
Salt
red chili powder
a pinch of sugar.

Method:

Wash and cut the tomatoes in to chunk sized pieces.
Heat oil in a pan and add cummin seeds.When the cummin seeds start splattering,add the tomatoes and let it cook on a medium flame.
When the tomatoes start getting squishy,add chopped green chili and garlic. We don’t add the garlic and green chili before the tomatoes,so that maximum flavor is retained.
Add salt,red chili and sugar and let it cook till the tomato turns into pulp and all the water dries out and all you are left with is tomato pulp.
This chutney is a great accompaniment for parathas and also tastes great with toast.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do and if you do try any of these,do leave me a comment and tell me,how you liked it:)

Carrot Halwa and Squares:)

Last week,DH got a great deal on Blu-ray DVDs and he picked up the Harry Potter Series. We introduced our little Diva to Harry Potter and since then,we have been watching HP,every night..and if she has it her way,even in the mornings.
So,anyway,on last Sunday,we went out for a late lunch-early dinner and after we came back,sat down for a marathon run of HP. While we were watching the movies,I got two things done-
1) Made Carrot Halwa
2) Completed the crochet squares for my bag.
Here’s my stack of Crochet Squares:

And as for the Halwa,here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
8-10 Large carrots
1 1/4 cup whole milk
200 gms fresh Ricotta
3 tsp ghee
1/2 cup sugar(you can change this as per your taste)
Raisins and cashewnuts

Preparation:
Wash,peel and grate carrots.
In a thick bottomed pan,heat the ghee and add the grated carrots.Toast for a minute or two.
Add the milk and let it simmer on a medium flame,stirring occasionally.
When the milk is almost reduced,add the ricotta and mix well.
Also add the raisins and cashew nuts at this time. Let it cook on a low flame,till all the liquid dries up.
Finally,add sugar and mix well and again let it cook,till the water from the sugar evaporates.

Then,serve yourself a generous portion and dig in! 🙂
Note: This could take 2-3 hours,because you are cooking it on a low flame,but its worth waiting for.
This yields quite a bit- I got a my biggest pyrex bowl full..I am guessing nearly 1L.Just cool it to room temperature and keep it refrigerated.Reheat portions as you require.It should be good for a week to 10 days,if it lasts that long.Just remember to use a dry spoon everytime,you take the halwa out.

My oldest winter memories are of a big pot of carrot halwa,sitting in the fridge and portions of it re-heated for dessert after lunch/dinner or even occasional breakfast of halwa-paratha.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do:) If you do try it,please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it:)

Party Pics finally..

Sorry,it took me so long,but Babushka’s Easter Break is on..and you know,what that means,right? Crazy times!!Without further Ado:)
First,the goody bags 🙂 from Mommy’s craftroom.

Brown paper bags, assorted buttons( teacups,stars,butterflies,ladybirds,clouds,flowers,hearts),fancy knitting yarn,some paint,Red Marker to write names,some glue and paper punch..Ta..da.. Green goody bags.

The venue was an indoor-playcenter,so naturally,there was a lot of playing,jumping,bouncing..

And the mad scramble to go up the slide!!!

Ms.Babushka got upset,because Friend R and BFF A were playing together..(I never knew petty jealousies start so early!!) And so Friend R,being the sweetheart she is,was running after Babushka,dancing around her,trying to cheer her up:) Sweet,no?

Much Awaited Cake:)

It was three layers of chocolated mudcake with butterscotch filling and covered with green fondant,decorated with hand-made flowers,butterflies,mushrooms,edible glitter..Even before the cake was cut,everyone,started laying claims on which decoration bits,they wanted to eat!!! Oh and you can see bits of my new dress 🙂 and the little tum-tum:D

Tired after all the running around,but,still not ready to go home..

And finally the loot!

I have been awarded …


Shruti thinks I am a Versatile Blogger and this,coming from her,I am truly truly honored,for she is someone that I have come to admire a lot,in the last year.Thank you,Shruti 🙂 Sorry it took me so long to write this post.
Now the rules:
RULES

1. Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post
2. Tell 7 random facts about yourself
3. Pass the award

Hmmm..now what can I tell you about myself??? Lets see:
1) My hands can’t stay still..I have to keep them busy all the time..even when I am watching TV or reading…I have to keep doing something with my hands-browsing,knitting,crochetting,chopping veggies,painting nails..:D – Or may be its my brain..that needs to multitask!
2) I hate eating alone-I used to just skip meals or have a milkshake or so,before Babushka came along.Not the best of habits..but what to do?
3) I cannot remember movies..the moment it gets over,I forget it..So,if someone is talking about the funny scenes from a movie,I generally look away..umm coz I don’t remember it!!
4) My mind can be in 10 places at the same time..SD used to get so mad at me,when we first met..he would be talking about sports and I would ask him something totally random..say about trains.. and he would be like..”Now,where did the train come from??”LOL!! But seriously.. just because I asked about trains..doesn’t mean,I wasn’t paying attention about sports..:P I think that proves that its the mind..that needs to multi-task!
5) I cry very easily and I get upset by the smallest things and can’t stop thinking about it.I cried so much through out my first pregnancy..but surprisingly after Babushka’s birth,I dunno where the tears disappeared.. I was still getting as upset as ever..but the water-works never appeared. Now,in the last few months,the tears are back!
6) I don’t like confrontations and am not very happy about arguments.. infact,most of the times,I think of comebacks,long after the argument is over!:(
7) I can’t think of anymore so asked SD and he said,”You snore!” …In my defence,I just have blocked sinuses!!and you!! yes you! you can stop snickering now!

Now to pass on the tag,I pass it on to :
Shruti
Swaram
Retromummy
Nima

How soon is too soon?-CSAAM 2011

CSA is a topic close to my heart and when Monika and Kiran first asked,if I would be interested in contributing to this cause,I jumped in. But,after reading the survivor stories,I couldn’t stop thinking about it..It brought me down,to think of the sick perverted world we live in..and though,I knew,what I wanted to write about..I didn’t know,it would be so hard..The post below is a concerned mother’s ramblings and so,may sound disconnected,but,I had to put it down in writing..
I often wonder if I did the right thing by starting to talk to my daughter about ‘touch’ so early. She was a little over two and a very very friendly child,who would freely give hugs and kisses to anyone who asked,as long as it was a person,who was talking to us or someone who met us often.We were getting ready to go to India and I started to freak out.For one,if would be my first visit with her alone and no SD to watch over her,if I was busy. We were going to attend two weddings in the family..And the last thing I needed was her going off with someone and me spending the next couple minutes worrying and fussing.So,I told her,gently.. No going away with anyone,when Mumma is busy.I didn’t know how to explain the concept of strangers to a two year old.During the weddings,between my sister and I,we made sure,she wasn’t alone with anyone without us being present. That and the fact that she had only been with me,made her stay close to me.I was more than happy.
But,as our stay extended and she got familiar with people and the place,she was brave enough to explore and I was forever trying to keep her in my sights.It was hard for me to explain to my father why,it wasn’t OK for her to be left downstairs with a visitor,he knew,when he ran upstairs for 5 mins to grab his cheque book. He just didn’t understand why I was making all the fuss.But,its the sad reality of the day that you can’t be too careful around your kids these days. There could be a monster lurking under a perfectly normal looking person. And I am as paranoid as they get..I’d rather be cautious than sorry.
I remember growing up,we were reminded to not open the door to anyone,if our parents weren’t home-my sister and I were never left alone with any male relative or servant..mom was always around,never to accept things from anyone without first checking with mom/dad..and now,I understand all that.And I try to tell my daughter the same things.
Babushka is a very perceptive child and I admit,its easier to talk to her. After her second birthday,she was suddenly forming more independent relationships and happy to go to our friends’ houses,without us. And,so,it became important for me to tell her,what was acceptable and what wasn’t.First thing,I told her was-
No-one was allowed to change her diaper-except Mommy or Daddy.In any case,we almost never left her alone anywhere for more than half an hour..so that worked out fine.
The next thing I told her was-
No-one was allowed to touch her Nangu or Bumpy-except Mommy or daddy,when they were washing/cleaning her.And since we always,made sure,we were the only ones who ever did this,we were safe.There was one time,when she had pooped in her diaper and she refused to let my MIL clean her and MIL was upset about it..but the way,I look at it-she did good..what we were telling her-she remembered it and implemented it.
And the most recently,since she sometimes gets picked and dropped from school and dance class by her friends’ parents,I told her that-
She is never to be alone with anyone-no matter who that is
And when she comes back,from a play-date,we talk..well mostly,I ask questions and she answers.Now,sometimes,she starts telling,even before I ask..sometimes,she asks me-Why do you want to know?Then,I tell her,”Because,I am your mommy and I like to know what you did..”
The first time,I started talking about stranger danger and no touching,SD was very apprehensive..he asked me,why would I want to scare her,so early on in life..But,now he sees differently. And he is being proactive too.
Like for instance,an acquaintance,lets call him R, just doesn’t give me the right vibe,specially when he is around Babushka.Now,he has a kid of the same age as Babs..so SD would generally ignore them,when R was entertaining the kids..One time,we both overheard R telling his kid that Babs needs to be spanked..I was in the other room,and I came out and asked him,if everything is OK?he said yes,we are just playing..SD was in the same room,but he didn’t say anything,but asked me later..why did he say that..I got mad at him and told him,he was there..he should have been around his daughter,instead of sitting back and watching.
The next time,when R and family were visiting,R was reading books to the kids and Babs asked him,if he could move a little,please,so she could see the book too..and he said NO..and asked her to sit in his lap,if she wanted to see the book. It could be something innocent.. but I wonder why would he ask Babushka to sit in his lap,while his own child was sitting next to him.I immediately called Babushka away.SD thought something was weird too..and he called her over to show her something fun on his phone..Needless to say,we are not really friendly with them any more.May be I am paranoid,but like I said,I would rather be cautious than sorry.
SD was so mad.And we did have a talking to with Babushka after this.She told me,she was getting scared and I could see that she was..so,we stopped talking..but not before telling her,that she didnot do anything wrong..and she had to come and tell us,if anything or anyone made her uncomfortable..Then we all went out for ice-cream.
We still have this chat,every once in few days and imagine my joy,when I told her,when I was going for a shower,that she was not to open the door,for anyone..and she said,”yes,Mommy..not to anyone,not to your friends,only for Daddy”.And recently at a party,when she wanted to go down the slide,and someone we know,offered her help,coz she was stuck,she refused.I actually fought my inner demons and asked that person to help-it was a big deal even for me to ask-but SD was nowhere to be seen and there is no way,my pregnant bulk would have fit in the small space..When I asked her why she didn’t go down the slide with M bhaiya,she said,she didn’t feel comfy.She asked me,if its ok to say,No?I said.. yes,ofcourse it is..and that she did a good thing. I think I am doing something right!
Babushka is a very friendly child but she is also very intuitive..so,if we see that she is not comfortable around someone,we don’t force her to come and say hello..or give them a cuddle,even if they ask for one.At the same time,we don’t stop her from giving cuddles to someone that she likes..only,we make sure,we are watching her..all the time.:)
I grew up in a colony of officers and managers,all educated people-but one,where no-one thought anything of an uncle,who was over-familiar with the neighbours kids,or the uncle who would get extra close to the girls after a couple of drinks..or the father,who after a couple of drinks,would push his wife away and insist on dancing with his daughter..while his wife, son and friends watched on-no-one bothering to rescue the poor girl.This was a place,where it was all the aunties’ business to gossip about the girl,who was seen coming home from college,with the same boy,twice..It didn’t matter that they stayed in the same building and studied in the same college..But,the very same aunties,didn’t think of asking the gardner,why he was taking a little boy into the club-house all alone.Nor did they ask the canteen incharge to stop ogling at the little girls going down the slide.And no-one EVER spoke about it..NEVER! That is what needs to change.
I am sorry that I am not as carefree as my parents were,I am sorry that my daughter has to grow up in this kind of a world..but ,I am not sorry,that I started talking to her,so early.
Because,really..it is not too early..
There is still so much,I have to say..but,I think I will stop here,for now.

If you would like to add to the discussion or know somebody else who would, please note that we welcome entries

■mailed to csa.awareness.april@gmail.com OR
■posted as FB notes and linked to Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month Page OR
■posted on your own blog with the badge and linked to the main blog OR
■linked or posted on Twitter tagged twitter.com/CSAAwareness OR
The list of topics is available here. Anonymous contributions are accepted and requests for anonymity will of course be honoured. Please remember to send in a mail with all necessary links or just your input to csa.awareness.april@gmail.com so that we can track your contribution and make sure that it is not inadvertently lost or something.
If you have something to share,but don’t have a blog,I will be more than happy to let you do a guest post here.

Edited to add: This post was picked by BlogAdda as suggested reading:)

Trial Square-2

Here’s my second attempt at the square and I like this one much better 🙂

And here’s the close up..

And now I am all set up to start the bag 🙂

Trial Square


This is my trial Square for a bags CAL[crochet-along for the un-initiated 🙂 ].
The colors I love..the shape-I am not so sure..for starters,it doesn’t look like a square to me atall.. What do you think?This is what the finished bag will look like:

The above image is courtesy:Google Images

Catching up!

Hello everyone,
how are you? Sorry for disappearing…first the party prep kept me away,then my cousin was in town..so,I was busy with sisterly duties.:)
The party was a hoot..everyone had so much fun,specially Babushka and her friends.I promise,a post about the party,will follow shortly.
First,I want to say a big Thank you to all of you,who commented and wrote to me,after this post. So, I booked my test dates and also passed the first part- that is computer based hazard perception test.The test results are valid for a year and I need to take my drive test,before the end of one year. I booked my Drive test for 12th May Now,start sending me those positive vibes. 🙂
To add to that,I have been driving in and around our area,every chance I get.Infact,when my brother was here,I drove almost everywhere-started off nervous and unsure and then on the last day,drove all day,for school drop off,pick up,to the mall and back..only got him to park in the busy mall,but reversed out of the parking lot…so yayyy me!! I was soo happy,I drove on major roads,in school zone,on a 4 way light..yayy!
I hope to drive a lot more over the weekend..lets hope,SD and I come out of the weekend,without killing each other.
Yesterday was the last day of Babushka’s school term and her Easter holidays have started.She had been asking me to help in her school for a long time,so yesterday,I was the mom-helper and boy!was she proud of what! She kept telling all her friends that her mommy is helping and as bonus for me,even finished her lunch.Her teacher,gave me some office work to be finished..and I was sitting there,quietly finishing mounting family potraits by kids on black sheets and I hear some knocking- I turn around and I see,Babushka,peering inside.She wanted me to come out and help in the class. Next person to knock was her BFF1 and then followed BFF2..between the 3 of them,they kept the knocking on,till I finished mounting all the 25 potraits!
Babushka’s potrait included a small bird like figure..when I asked her,who/what that was?She promptly said..its the baby,mommy!! 🙂

We had her 4 year well visit today and she has done well in all the checks.In the nurse’s own words- She is perfect-her vocabulary is amazing and so is her precision in various skills.She also used the word exceptional in some categories! No prizes for guessing,who is the happiest Mommy in the world today!:)
On that happy note,I will end this post.. I will be back soon,with party details and pictures..:)
Take care,my lovelies!