Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So I'm late posting about Janmashtami this time...mainly because I had really really late start on it. Usually I like to decorate my temple a week before Janmashtami, but this time my DH and I were working on the temple that day itself. We did manage to change everything except the style of the decorations. It was a repeat from last year. Here's a peek at what it looks this year:
The swing is more "aerodynamic" this year, as quoted by my DH :D. It actually is, when you try to swing it you can see it. For the prasad, we made makhane ki kheer, fruit chaat and panchamrit.

I'll update the photo for the kheer sometime later this week. In the meantime I can tell you how to make it though the quantity of everything is hand wavy because we just didn't measure anything this time :). The recipe comes from my mom.

Makhane ki kheer

I used a can of evaporated milk, half a litre whole milk, 8 tblspns sugar, around 250 gms of makhane and a few dry fruits (especially chironji). Chironji adds a very special taste to the kheer; maybe because since my childhood I've always had makhane ki kheer with chironji I feel it's incomplete without it.

Dry roast the makhane and grind them. Most of them should be fine, just leave a few chunky pieces here and there. We firts ground it in the food processor and then took the chunky pieces and ground them in the grinder. Mix everything and bring to boil on a medium flame (covered). When it comes to a boil, simmer (open) and cook till you think the milk has thickened enough. I think it took around 15-20 mins but it would differ from stove to stove.

Here's my post on Janmashtami last year; look at what I said about makhane ki kheer:

It didn't taste the same as my mom's. So the next time I'll get it from my mom and if I make it right, the recipe will make way into one of the posts.
True to my word, I posted it now :).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shopaholic and Sister

Author: Sophia Kinselli

This is from the famous Shopaholic series by Sophia Kinselli and it was my first from the series.

The book is laughter riot though it does have its serious moments; the main character Becky is a shopaholic and that's exactly what she is - shopping is the cure to all her problems!! In this book, she comes to know that she has a half-sister and the sister turns out to be diametrically opposite to what Becky is. It's fun to read what goes on in Becky's mind all the time. Becky reminded me of Lucy from "I love Lucy" - my favorite sitcom! The story takes a dramatic turn when Becky's husband says that she should be more like a sister and then comes out the good in Becky. It does have a very traditional ending where everything fits in and everybody lives happily ever after! It was after a long time that I'd sat with a book for at least three hours!!

Though I expected the book to be a light read, it had some profound philosophies of life. For example, Becky tries to befriend her sister through what she likes - shopping - and hopes to win her over. She puts in all her heart to plan a day out, shopping with her sister who hates shopping and gets sorely disappointed when her sister doesn't enjoy it. That I think is so true for all of us: we try to please others through ways that we think would please us instead of thinking of ways that would please the other person.

Bottom-line: A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quirky Tag

My mom tagged me...did I just say "My mom tagged me"?!?! Yes my mom blogs :). Okay coming back to the tag, here are the rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.

2. Mention the rules on your blog.

3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.

4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.

5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs, letting them know that they have been tagged.

Oh I'm sure my friends and family can vouch for the fact that I'm a very quirky person so it should be a piece of cake writing just 6 facts!
  1. I like my aloo (potato) paranthas with Amul cheese (if not Amul I make do with any other brand). This is the quirkiest of all!
  2. I set my clocks 10 minutes ahead of the actual time; I feel that they help me be on time. Everyone argues that if you know that your clock is 10 mins ahead, how can it benefit you; I don't know.
  3. I can't distinguish between left and right: okay I don't mean I have a disorder but there's a problem :D . Everytime, my DH says left I go for the right (right hand, right turn, whatever) and vice versa! Yeah I'm sure it sounds hilarious to all but me *rolling my eyes*!
  4. My constant companion is a bottle of water.
  5. I truly believe that TV is an idiot box; one must use as little of it as possible.
  6. I'm known as the "work-generator" in my family :); I don't like to sit idle, I need something to do all the time!
I would've liked to tag my two friends-turned-bloggers but they are now bloggers-doing-no-blogging so there would be no point tagging them. I think they know who I'm talking about :). So if you haven't been tagged yet, you are now!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My garden

I'd promised my friend M that I would take photos of my container garden but unfortunately by the time I got to taking the photos: the cucumber plants caught a disease, the zinnias got eaten away by some merciless animal and the container garden is only-half container! Well, so what...I still took the photos of my tomatoes and carrots! I was falling short on containers and my plants were spreading wings as if sky was the limit so I was left with no option but to sneak them into the land around my apartment. Then I was gone for 2 weeks during which my DH took care of them and I must say that he took VERY good care of them because when I came back I couldn't even recognize them!! They'd grown so tall and healthy! So...I thought this presented a beautiful opportunity to do a before-after comparison. The photo on the left is the "before" and on the right, the "after".

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The little ones are carrots in the above photos.


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The "after" photos for the pots in the left photo above is:


The key to such healthy plants - sun, sun and more sun. At least for tomatoes that's true. Initially we'd them in our patio which gets around 2-3 hours of sunlight and I thought that was sufficient but apparently it wasn't! The tomato plants have started flowering so we should be getting tomatoes soon!!! Ah the joy of getting fruits of your labor - literally!