Monday, June 29, 2009

I think I need help..gulp!

Sunday:
Can't cook - it's too hot
Can't go out to play badminton - it's too hot
Can't sit in balcony , counting new leaves - it's too hot
Can't go out for a swim - it's too hot

Can sit inside with a ice-cold lime juice and a book. That I did. Then I realized something was missing in that book...so I did this:

Bookmark


bookmark

J was cleaning out the fish tank (we plan to sell it), and it brought back memories of my fishes, Ramu, Veeru and Chinna-swamy. So..ahem..I did this:

fish


I definitely am not going to graduate this fall if I keep doing this :(

Bookmark pattern : Knit one, Blog two
Fish pattern : Knit a little store

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Knit updates

Do you remember my unsuccessful attempt to knit a hat for J and how I was afraid there would be bloodshed if he rejected another hat? Well, the good news is there was no bloodshed, he liked it :) bad news, I am SO addicted to knitting hats now. My hands have to pick up the needles and I reaaally have to shop for yarn. I spend 15 mins trying to decide if I should get wooden or metal needles, 20 mins to decide if I get beige or pink colour, 10 mins to decide if I want fluffy or normal yarn. Sigh, I don't know if it's good or bad but I like it!

The hat that saved blood:

hat1

Then my sister out of the blue requested another hat. So I went knit, purl, knit again. End product:

hat2

The girl didn't want a pom-pom on the hat, "aiooo people in Bangalore will laugh, I don't want a pom-pom". Yes, I was very sad, I wanted to do a pom-pom very, very badly. I still had some yarn left and was trying to find a bhakra who would want a hat. Sakshi was my perfect one :P She not only wanted a hat, she wanted the pom-pom as well, Hallelujah!!!

hat3

Yes, you can hate me for using that colour, I actually had other plans for this yarn, that didn't happen. This was THE most easiest hat I have done- took just 3 hours to knit, including the pom-pom!

Sakshi, come collect your hat!


I stumbled upon this song (don't ask how) oh man! it is so peaceful, with just 4 men and a guitar. I kept snickering at one of the singer's (the blonde guy) bucktooth, and when he opened his mouth to sing (2:05). I shut my mouth- man, what a voice!

Watch the song (please do) :

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WTFs with some psycho-analysis throw in

- This is a rant (oh no not again, let me run)
- It involves some psycho-analysis by Dr. SJ (okay, just a quick glance)
- It is feminist- friendly (Ok, maybe will allot 5 mins to this post)
- It's not for people who love Ramayana and Mahabaratha - oh! I see that you have moved to the next line already.

Rant starts:
22nd June 2009 TOI reported that a woman in Delhi was molested by 4 men, because she objected to her being treated like an object, the men slashed her face with a knife and then robbed her. Apparently she was in a bus when this happened. Now, why did this happen to a lady and not to another man (not that I want this to happen to anybody)? I wondered about it for 20 mins and did a quick psycho-analysis and concluded that Ramayana and Mahabaratha is to blame. Why?

Well, you guys must know the story of how Ravana abducted Sita and after what seemed like eternity, Rama with the aid of Hanuman & co. rescued Sita. As if all this was not enough, Rama made Sita walk on fire to prove her purity. Which she did (WTF#1). So why wasn't Rama expected to undergo a agni-pariksha? He also stayed away from Sita for so long. He might have had a jolly time with a few dainty damsels in the forest, who knows. So why the partial treatment? And no, I don't feel sorry for Sita, she should have made Rama walk on fire instead of being so pathi-vratha and doing all the things her swamy demanded (and inturn making me fume).

Next, I am sure you are aware of the gambling that went on between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Well, I was talking about this with my mil and she said, "those pandavas had no right to pawn their wife and they sat with head bowed down even when she was begging them to help her, che". (Okay people this is not coming from any 18 year old hot-headed teenager, it comes from a 60 yr old lady who has seen and done all). What she said was true. That Draupadi had not 1 but 5 husbands, and not one of them even came to rescue her when crazy Duryodana was tugging her well oiled hair and tearing her expensive zaari sari. Shame shame. And yes, I don't feel sorry for her also, because after that incident instead of issuing them with a divorce order she continued living with them happily ever after (WTF#2). And who can forget the famous Mrs. Gandhari. D who blindfolds herself to give moral support (WTF#3) to her husband Dhritarashtra, who was born blind. I wonder if he would have done the same?

All these stories only seem to imply that men are superior and women should ALWAYS bow down, cover her face, listen obediently and do as the man says. If not she will have her face slashed, her boobs pressed, her butt pinched, her sari torn, acid thrown and finally robbed/burnt.

When I was in my 5th std, I had to learn Ramayana and Mahabaratha as part of our History lessons (WTF#4). I am not sure if this has been discontinued. If not, I would advice them (whoever is in charge of framing the syllabus) to remove those stories because it not only seems to teach wrong things but also the spellings of these characters give the students a headache. Because, the names are so twisted with 2 'r', 4 's', 2 't' yabaaaa...SO damn hard to memorize (3 beatings from my Mom, 2 hours of mugging, 1 stern look from my Dad and I still got 0.5 mark cut for missing an 'r' in one of these character's name- WTF#5).

This rant might give my grandmom a mini-attack. Do I look like I give a damn?
The post that was responsible for my rant: http://summerspeaksat.blogspot.com/2009/06/girls-and-women-stay-home-where-you.html
Oh yes, if you do find mistakes in the spellings of these characters, blame Wikipedia.

Rant ends.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

PiZZa!

California Pizza Kitchen serves THE best pizza in town. I am not too gaga over pizzas, but J is. We love their crust and have scoured the net for the perfect crust. Some of them became crisp biscuit like, few turned into soggy mess, the others were like granite. Sad, I know. Then I got this recipe from "Top secret recipes" I tried it today. Our verdict : AMAZING!!!

I am not going to give you any pizza sauce recipe here. Just that amazing crust - you definitely have to give it a try!!!

Pizza

Honey-wheat crust:
1/3 c + 1 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp honey
3/4 tsp yeast
2/3 C bread flour
1/3 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1) Mix water with honey, add the yeast, stir till dissolved. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes till it foams.
2) Sift the flours and salt together. Add the liquid, gradually, mixing until all the ingredients are combined.
3)Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Form into a ball, coat with olive oil.
4) Cover the dough for 2 hours or till it doubles.
5) Punch the dough and put it back in the refrigerator overnight.
6) Take the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before you prepare the pizza.

Noteworthy notes:
- Dough must refrigerate for the flavours to develop. Do not skip this step.
- Stretch the dough , it will stretch. It tears on the way but you can patch it up. We got it to stretch 13 inch (the pizza in the above picture is 13")
- I was a little scared it would come out like a hard biscuit it didn't (wide grin)

pizza2

I just used bottled Marinara sauce (tsk, tsk, tsk, I know) but hey, I jazzed it up with more garlic and Italian spices :D. I used soy cheese on my side (yes, we both have different sides on our pizza) along with jalapenoes. If you haven't tried baby broccoli- it's time you did :P

And, if you are wondering why one side of the pizza is SO dark brown in colour; I was not around when J added the Mozzarella, I have a feeling he dumped the entire packet. Sigh, men.

Oh yes, have you voted yet?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Please vote

This blog gets an average of 100 hits per day (never mind that 35 come from me, 20 from Sakshi and 10 from J). I am curious to know why you guys come to my site? Like Nags who did surveys and all asking her readers to vote, why they came at her place, I want to do the same (yea, copy cat kill your rat, Sunday Monday eat your rat, big deal!)

Dear readers, for what joy do you come here?

1) Ayyoo...I googled "masala vade" it brought me here. Chee thu will not come back, don't worry.
2) To read your sermons (this includes Slumdog millionaire, Jai-Hind posts)
3) To get recipes (these include Mangalore buns, spinach pilaf etc)
4) To read the BS you write (these include obituary, hips dance yoga and such nonsense posts)
5) To admire your wonderfooool photographs
6) To tell my kids, "see if you don't go to school, this is how you will end up to be"
7) I want to be friends with you
8) I came to show Dr. Bharathi P Salimat all that you have written about her (i.e, curry favour)
9) Chumma for time pass
10) I don't want to vote.

Rules and regulations:
-Since, I don't get as many comments as Nags, the voting will go on until Wednesday, June 24th 2009, 9pm USA time.
-Also, my computer devaru-J is at work, so there is no way for me to put fancy side bars with drop down voting menu, which you can click and be anonymous.
-So please in your comments indicate why you came here (just the number will do)
- You can check no more than 3 entries (if you want to check more than 3, pay an excess fee of $1/additional vote)

Remember, as a citizen of blogworld it's your duty (or maybe karma) to vote. Let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Photo Friday : Monochrome

Photo Friday: Monochrome


Photo Friday- Monochromatic

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

H4 saga: Part 1

Mr. A is perfect, just perfect in all ways- good job, glasses which make him look smart, seems to be a nice man, head full of hair..one glitch - he works in US of A, with a H1 visa. This means Rani will have to trade her lucrative job, which pays for her chaats/phone bills/eyebrow threading/monthly waxing, for the dreaded H4 visa.
"You are already 28, don't miss the boat. Also, as you age hair growth slows down so no need for waxing" moans the amma.
"Arre yaar, he has hair no? See Priya married a taklu guy your case is much better" says the wise friend.
"Have you made up your mind yet?" enquires the appa.
"Girls should not be given choices, when I was your age I had 4 kids already" spits the "shriveled with wisdom and experience" ajji.

1 engagement, 4 months gap, 1 wedding, 4 days Ooty honeymoon, teary farewell to hubby, long line outside the visa office with promised offerings to Tirupathi if visa is stamped, 20 mins trying to explain to the English lady about Kancheepuram sarees, FINALLY H4 visa--success!!
2 suitcases filled with pickles, rasam powder, sambhar powder, amma says, "aioo you might not get all these things in Aamerikka. Also, nothing can come close to home made", 10 desi bras-America experienced presently H4 friend says, "ekkkss American bra is all pads and metal wire, better get India bra", "just bring yourself dahling! " coos the hubby. More tears and goodbye. Awful aeroplane food and stinky passengers, Rani steps out to the land of milk and honey (Thanks ya Bikerdude!!) and falls right into her beloved's waiting arms.
Unfortunately she has come in December. Aioioooo, Govindaaa....
"Oh no! This is just like the set from the Ring movie, so cold and dark"
"heeheehee, don't worry dahling, you will get adjusted."

Guys do you want me to continue this? It's your call. I won't if you don't want me to :P

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Crush!!

Who says you can have a crush on someone only when you are in your teens?? I am married and nearing 30 and I have this immense crush on Ashok Kumar (yes, the film actor). No, you may not snicker. Yes, you may ask- why him? I have seen only movies of him singing "rail gaadi rail gaadi chuck chuk chuk chuk rail gaadi..." and not any of his really old movies (yea, shoot me!). J is a BIG "old Hindi songs" fanatic and our favourite pass time on weekends is to Google..what else..'old Hindi songs'. That was the first time I fell in love with Ashok Kumar. Aioioo rammaa he was SO smart, God knows how I missed his before-rail gaadi rail gaadi chuk chuk movies. I am now in love with this song. I showed it to a few of my friends and they said, "aioo amma SJ, why maa this song? What shokka (sadness) you have in life that you have to listen to this song?" I don't have any shokka, Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani not only acted and went around the trees looking all rrrooomaticu, they actually sang-yeah no Lata Mangeshkar/ Kishore Kumar, it's them singing!!! How cool is that? (Yes, I do know that was a norm in the olden days, but whatever it's SO cool!!) This is a big deal for me because I, as you all know by now, can't dance/sway and these guys did that and more!

Here is the song and say with me-- aioiooo sooo rrromaanticu! No, you may not pass any comments on Ashok Kumar-none will be tolerated, not even-"Dev Anand is smarter,no?" *hmpf*.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chocolate+cup+cake=?

Imagine,
12 noon, you are working seriously when your colleague starts off , "My daughter loves cupcakes. She has been clamoring for cupcakes for a week. I think I will make cupcakes today. But I can't decide between vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. My husband loves cupcakes also...." After hearing this (and if you are still sane) all one can think of is...CUPCAKES. I don't know if this applies to all of you, but it sure does to me. But in my case that colleague was Sakshi- she even went on to say "The cupcakes are in the oven..." grrr... I could not pipette or set up any further experiments. Came back home looked at all my baking books and hit upon this one,

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes: yields 14-16 cupcakes
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 C APF
1/2 C cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C water
1/2 C buttermilk

1) Cream the butter and sugar till soft and fluffy.
2) Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3) Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
4) Add this to the creamed mixture alternately with water and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
5) FIll the paper lined muffin cup two-thirds full.
6) Bake at 375 F for 12-15 min or till a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean.

cake.

It went so well with cold milk. I will have one very happy husband tonight!!

How is the weather on your side of the world? Mine looks something like this,

IMG_3010


IMG_3016

IMG_3056
Paper boat anyone?


IMG_3065
Bath time leafy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Only for smarty pants

Ok smarty pants, most of you guessed the last one right. I gave away too many precious clues and helped you. Lets see you guess this one. You only have 2 clues this time; an anagram and this picture,

Plant


Anagram : rancid correlation (It includes 2 common names of this plant).
For those who need help on anagrams watch Silence of the lambs :P

And Varsha, honey, its not a banana plant okay?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Who am I?

Who am I?
I am round or oval, but never square,
I can be XS, S, M , L or XXL,
People eat me raw, juice me (sometimes sniff sometimes sniff..they..they put me in hot water and skin me beforehand wahhh!!), add me to every dish imaginable, they even stuff me...sobs (like I am some sort of Thanksgiving turkey grrr...)
People keep comparing babies' cheeks to me- ahem people, I come in other colours too.
I can be orange or yellow or green also sometimes (Oh yeah, I don't like being compared to a babies' cheeks or bottom. I have my own personality *hmmmpf*)
This silly SJ brought me all the way from Home depot *Why oh why God? Why her? ~sigh~*
Miss. Rose told me SJ *whisper* flushed Veeru, Chinnu and last week, Ramu down the toilet. Wonder what she will do to me *gulp*

Holy crap! here she comes, to suffocate me with her love- pouring water not only to quench my thirst but enough to flood her entire flat. *why oh why God? Why me? ~weep~*

flower

PS- yes the silly woman couldn't even wait till I was recognizable, in this flower state she wants you to guess who I am... repeat after me- Why oh Why God?


Thank You all for your overwhelming support in the aunty-India er...I mean anti-India bashing post. Writing that post made me think what I am doing for my country. Apart from missing it like hell- nothing basically. If anyone of you participates in any programme or knows of any such programme that benifits India or its citizens please do let me know. Until then, ignore that nut case plant.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obituary

This is to inform everyone that our beloved Ramaswamy has left his watery abode to fish heaven.
He was 2.5 years and lived a life of swimming, eating and poop-ing.
He was suffering from heart break due to the sudden passing away of his best pals- Veeraswamy and Chinnaswamy. He was also suffering from a severe bacterial infection, which was eating away his fins and tail.
Ramaswamy has provided many kids (Vishnu, Neela, Neel and Nikhil) hours of fun and in turn the parents some time to breathe. He was scheduled to entertain another kid- Saman in July. Ramaswamy will be sorely missed by these kids and their parents.
Ramaswamy is survived by his grieving parents-S and J, his greatest fan, Sakshi, his colourful tank and a whole bottle of fish food.
The funeral was conducted in S n J's main toilet. He was flushed away to fish heaven at approximately 6 pm EST.


FISH

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cabbage Rice for Monthly Mingle

Okay people I really can't yap this time. I have to post the recipe minus my crap talk, because every minute counts. If I delay any longer Nags might post this recipe also *shuddering*...!!

Cabbage rice:
1 cup rice, cooked and cooled
3 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cup peas
6-7 Tb lemon juice ( I like it really tangy, please adjust to suit your taste)

Masala:
1.5 Tbsp channa dal
3/4-1 tsp urad dal
5-6 dried red chillies
1.5-2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 cup grated coconut

1) Heat 1 tsp oil and roast the channa dal, rad dal, dried red chillies and coriander seeds till golden.
2) Blend the roasted mix with coconut to a fine powder.
3) Heat 1 tsp oil add 1tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp channa dal, handful of peanuts and few curry leaves. Once it splutters, add the cabbage and peas.
4) Add salt and sprinkle water, mix, cover and cook till the cabbage is soft but not mushy.
5) Add the ground masala to the cabbage and mix. Make sure that there is no water in the pan before you add the masala.
6) Add the rice and mix well. Take off heat and add the lemon juice.

Cabbage rice

This is going to Monthly Mingle:Ravishing Rice hosted by Nags, an event started by Meeta.

A few weeks ago J was asking me to make "India type cake" , I showed him all the baking books I have, he rejected all of those cakes. Then we googled and finally hit on Vah re Vah's pineapple pastry. This was what he wanted- "2 tubs of icing on a small loaf cake"!! I would not make that even in my wildest dreams! So I made a small sponge cake and silenced him :P Then yesterday I saw Namrata's pineapple pastry and I decided to give it a try. When I bake something, I hate to be worrying about how it's going to turn out. I never have any worries when I try something from Namrata's blog. I have tried most of her pulaos, vegetable sagu, mutter paneer (this is so just like how they serve in restaurants), her mom's mong dal and many more, so far everything has been a hit! So was the cake.

pineapple pastry

I will be surprised if this cake lasts us till the weekend, J has already finished half of it!!!