Thursday, February 26, 2009


The tips given below are found in our local publication calles 'Vanitha' and have been helpful in our family for atleast three generations. 
Some are what we know already , some we may have forgotten and still others unheard I thought I'd share these tips with you. Do let me know what you think ...

  • To stop discoloration of brinjals/aubergines when cut, soak the pieces in water mixed with 1 tsp milk.

  • To squeeze out that extra bit of lime/ lemon juice, immerse the lemon or lime in lukewarm water for 20 minutes.

  • Before adding cashwew nuts to cakes or biscuits, soak them in a bit of milk. this will stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake mix.

  • Stains in tea/coffee mugs will disappear if dampened and scrubbed with table salt.

  • Cut off the top of carrots and store them in a ziplock bag, in th evegetable tray to extend shelf life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An artist in the house...!!!

Hmmm..... having to stay at home recovering from earache and a slight fever is no picnic for a two-year old... or for her mom...!!!

The climate is awful so can't go out, can't visit any friends for fear of spreading the boo-boo, and to top everything off, Acha takes this time to go out of town on business(which is a rare occurance - thank God !!)

So Amma does her best to entertain baby ... and both of us are pleased with the results.. The last one was done first.. a few drops of paint dropped here and there... yellow, red and blue.. it was a bit extra watery, so for the next effort, I mixed less water and handed her a brush instead of a straw...

She told me the green was 'geen leaf' and the red spots were 'favos' .. :)

The only trouble was when I had to put the paints away.....................uh..oh................

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Best Mom Award - for me

Wow award from a new friend from the blogosphere... also she resides in a  neighboring state, as I just discovered...Sudharshana has a very interesting lifestyle blog.. check it out... She is a very doting mom and seems to share a few of my interests like reading, cooking, and yes..blogging...

The rules for this great award are as follows.......

1. Show the award logo in your post.
2. Pick a picture you have with your kiddo(s).
3. Post should include your best experience as a Mom.
4. Nominate other blogger mom's out there that you consider the best mom, like yourself

My apologies for not posting a picture.. 

I had a great pregnancy upto two weeks before my due date. Then my daughter arrived in the world with an emergency ceasarian.. the next four days were anxious ones since she had to be admitted to the NICU. But since then, I have had so many memorable moments, that it is really difficult to name just one... the first time I lay eyes on her was really memorable, but life has been so enriched by her presence, that every day is beautiful ...........seeing a lot of my dad, sis, me , my husband in her, a sweet hop skip and jump, an unexpected kiss, a sudden 'Amma I loooveuuuu' many such moments what's not to Love and savour....???

As for Moms........ This is for ALL the fellow bloggers who are moms (or caregivers) listed as followers of my blog and whO I follow in turn... and also those special moms who visit my blog.........
Sudarsana also awarded me this triple award that I accept with thanks..since I was a recepient of the lemonade award earlier and have passed it on in my turn, I am just accepting this with gratitude.......

Please all moms, do collect the 'Best Mom Award' as your due. I cannot rightly choose just a few since all of you fellow bloggers are such beautiful people, I feel you all deserve this...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Valentine's Day......

As mostly anyone who is a visitor to this blog knows by now, I am crazy about books and have a nice collection of my own.. and these books have been read at least twice .. and there are some out of these that are extra-special... 

On this Valentine's day, I choose to share a few lines I came across in a book. And because of these words and the way I felt reading them, I bought that book ...

I have no idea if it is lore the author heard from somewhere, or her own words, but to give the author her due for sharing these lines, I got them from the 'Rio Grande Wedding' - by Ruth Wind...

"The Old women always said there was a face carved upon the heart of every woman. A face half remembered on a hundred sun-glazed afternoons spent day-dreaming in classrooms that smelled of chalk, a face that haunted her on nights when the full moon shone into her sweet-smelling virgin bedroom... 
A face mostly forgotten , till a glimpse of it is seen in a crowd of strangers, crowds like those at a festival, a rodeo, among crowds so large that face quickly lost... haunting the woman for ever...

The old women clucked, yes, but sighed too, their eyes raised to the misty distance, for who among them did not hope, secretly, to find that face, no matter where it lived on the earth, what upheaval it caused? It was better, they all thought privately, if one never knew she was waiting. If she was never tempted...

..............But It did not stop her from looking................."

I have edited a few lines that talk of the mishaps that occur when that face appears on the wrong person..

Hope on this day, my friends - one and all, find that face, and are lucky enough hold it near and dear...

Like I did -about ten years back and still do.. and hope to continue doing so till my last breath....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mushroom and Paneer (Cottage cheese)

This is a very easy preparation and can be modified according to requirements to make either a dry version or a gravy. it is absolutely tasty and takes very little time to prepare.

Mushroom - 250 gms (cleaned and quartered)
Paneer - 150 gms (cubed)
Onion - 1 (cut into tiny cubes)
Tomatoes - 2 medium(chopped fine)
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Heat a wok, add oil, saute the onions till golden, mix the spice powders together with water to make a thick paste and add to the onions. Saute till oil comes on top. Now add the paneer, then the mushrooms. Coat the masala well and cook with the lid on, for two minutes. Now add the tomatoes and Soy sauce. At this point, if you need gravy, add a half cup of boiled water. Cook till tomatoes are done and the oil comes on top. Add salt to taste only after the soy sauce is added. Take off the fire and serve hot.

Great with bread, rotis , lemon rice, etc.

Garnish with the green of the spring onions. I haven't done this as I had photographed the dish while still on the stove. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ammamma's 'peshal' to Ichu

This is my entry to 'Cooking for Kids with Love', an event hosted for the month of February, at

This is a tribute to Ammamma, my mother's mom, who passed away three weeks before my daughter entered this world. It had been her greatest wish to see my child, but that was not to be...
Cooking day to day things weren't her cup of tea..she managed to delegate that task to someone else,more often than not. But she did make a number of dishes that were her specialities..and those were truly memorable. Though she disliked cooking, she never let anyone go away from her home without being plied with enough to eat or drink.. 

Everyday, when we came from school, she would ensure we had something 'peshal' (in her words) to have for tea.. ariyunda, ada,or the not -so special (at that time)dosa, idli etc and most of these items would be made by her.. 

This was a very easy and nutritious 'peshal' .. and my finicky daughter Ichu, who is not impressed by pancakes,likes my surprise...

Atta (wheat flour) - 1/2 cup
Powdered cardamom - 1 pinch
Jaggery - 2 - 3 tsps powdered
Grated coconut - 2 tsp (Ammamma had a generous hand with coconut)

Mix all the ingredients with water to the consistency of dosa batter. On a gridle, ladle tiny dollops and spread a bit. Add bits of butter to crisp the sides a bit and to give that extra flavour. 
Easy to make and great for that 'peshal' four-o'clock eats.

Our Ammamma was called thus by one an all... from all residents in our entire street- young and old, to the milkman, colleagues of my aunt, my uncles... even my teachers..!! There weren't many people who forgot her once they met her. 

She was amazing in the midst of emergencies - a choking child, suspicions of snake bite, fits.. she was there to render first aid and then rush the person to the hospital... She had a spry way of walking, halfway between walk and run.. some of my classmates had nicknamed her 'express' ammamma because of that !!

Quite the lioness when it came to her children or grandchildren, she was never scared to tell people off on their behalf.. once when my brother was quite young, she told off our Art master for scolding him. Years after when I met Sir at a temple, the first person he asked after was Ammamma.. so I told him she was very fine and currently at our place... while I was wondering how he did not know that , he admitted that he had never used the short-cut passing in front of our house since 'THAT DAY'.........!!!  I had never realised that he had avoided that way for more than 10 years !!!!!!

After finishing her last rites, there was a very heavy down-pour just as my uncle stepped inside the house..and my uncle remarked that Ammamma must have been asking Him to hold the rain till her children were all safely in.... and no one in that house, who had known Ammamma well thought that was a bizzare remark !!!

She was not perfect...possessive, protective, striving to keep all her children near, with no respect for any authority, she was amazingly human and very unique.. As 'peshal' as peshal could be...!!

And here is her snap taken by my cousin.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crochet cap all done! - Tuesday Toot

This is indeed something that I feel I should toot about!! . I finished my very first crochet cap. 

Other that a doiley with lots of unexpected holes, I have not had anything to do with crochet...and this was done in school..a very long time back.. 

I actually had to re-educate myself on the basics and then go on from there...

Found this really nice crochet video online and followed it.. I started it one week back, but wasn't very sure how sucessful I'd be .

But as you can see, here's proof,... and I have embroidered a tiny silver leaf on it...

The Marie Antoinette Award -

Wow... I  hadn't seen or heard about this award till Kat had nominated me as a recipient... since then I have been trying to find out what are the criterion for getting this award..but I have not had much luck on that...

Kat is a very gifted creative blogger and she loves reading your comments... her latest offerings are some amazing pendants..please have a look..

The rules are as follows...

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

Very straight-forward...!!!

Now I choose....

Coloraddiction - aptly named since the beads she creates are addictive..

Cinnamon Spice & Everything nice - a yummy blog..and she just posted about Marie

Beadwright - her creations are beautiful..

The Singing Chef - another drool-worthy blog ...and I have met her too!!

The Country Cellar - some lovely and cozy creations

The Mom with Brownies - a great family scrapbook 

And last, but not the laeast, my friend Anu's Escapades - a great blog with yummy bakes and other great stuff

Monday, February 2, 2009

For my tiny 'Giant Panda' lover.......

My daughter loves the Giant panda. It started with a squeeky story book my sister-in-law bought her. She started pointing and jumping whenever she saw a panda on TV. Then came the 'Kungfu Panda'..and she got the toy from McDonald's some 6 months back. It is still her very favourite  thing ... 

So when there was a promotion for the Kungfu Panda Cds and such at a nearby Mall, we took her there... she couldn't get enough of 'Kumbanda' as she called 'him' then!!! This is a picture of my husband holding her up to receive a Giant Panda hug.....

A few weeks back we watched Samantha Brown's trip to China on Discovery, travel and Living..and the highlight of that trip was her visit to a Panda nursery...guess who was jumping for joy on my lap??

Now mostly every day she brings her magic slate to me, and makes me draw 'Kuffu Panda' I thought it is better to have a painting hung soon, rather that draw one everyday!!

This one is done in watercolours and a ball-point pen .....