Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Happiness Project



What do you like to do?” someone asked me recently.

It took me a while to comprehend, and a lot longer to put in perspective.

It seems like it’s been a lifetime that I have done anything that “I” liked.  I cook food that the kids would eat without a fuss and we go to restaurants that they like. Most times, I sit in front of the TV, and watch whatever the family’s watching. More often than not, I just walk away with my book and hide until they are done with TV. We go on vacations that A thinks of….which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy them. But it isn’t quite the same as doing “what I like”.  After all, I am a firm believer in the saying, “Do what you love or Love what you do”. I think I don’t mind taking the back seat.  So I don't know what bothered me when I couldn’t think of an answer.to that simple, direct question; 

Early on in our marriage, I remember dragging A to a PhilHarmonic concert. Around the same time, he took me to a Zakir Hussain concert. The experiences were ….interesting, to say the least. He yawned the whole time, and slouched, sighed and annoyed the heck out of me. I tried going to the movies with him – a few of those popular Bollywood ones – he laughed till he cried and fell off his chair, clapped his hands and had an insanely entertaining time. I sat and fidgeted and wondered why I had to endure that 3h torture when I could have done something more productive (like reading a book!) Over time, we both gave up; never having found a middle ground for our likes.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Meetha kha, Meetha Bol. Til ki Patti

“How many harvest festivals do Indians celebrate?” was the smart-aleck Anya question this past weekend.

Reason- I had made Til ki Patti (Sesame seed Brittle) at home; and was forcing her to try a bite under the pretext that it was a special dessert made for Harvest celebration as marked by Makar Sankranti.

My first reaction was annoyance. Her tone really had that early-teen disdain for everything “parent”. One deep breath later, I figured that if she asked that question; she probably remembers the other Harvest Holidays and stories that I have told her and Baby P. This is good, in fact- better than good. After all, isn’t the goal to make them aware of our special traditions and celebrations?


So I ventured into my convoluted, Wikipedia-verified version(s) of  why we celebrate Sankranti. Anya rolled her eyes and went back to doing whatever she was doing, but remained close and kept her earphones out of her ears. A big enough achievement, under the circumstances. Baby P hung on to every word, asked tons of questions and chattered on while I tried to google apt responses for her. Somehow, she made me wish that I could hold on to her years a little longer….having a teenager on hand is surely a trial!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Slow cooker Applesauce


I get these requests infrequently enough to not pay much attention. And when the whining becomes insistent, it's easier to buy a tub or two of snack-sized applesauce to curb cravings.  And yet, it is one of the easiest things to put together, especially in a slow cooker. Today, after a week of procrastinating, I finally decided to listen to baby P's cravings for applesauce. Not only that, I also decided that instead of buying; I will make it for her at home. Finally, more than anything else, I decided to kick off the 6-month long inertia, and write again....






Slow cooker Applesauce

6 medium-sized apples: I used Mackintosh
1/3 cup of orange juice (optional)
1Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove
A dash of cinnamon.
3Tbsp brown sugar


  1. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1 inch cubes.
  2. combine everything in a slow cooker. Cook on High for 4h, stirring once or twice in between.
  3. Cool and blend to a smooth puree. 

My  two cents: That's it. You have a cup of a applesauce for school. Adding sugar was a last minute decision- for some reason, I felt that my apples were a bit tart. You could definitely adjust that to taste. Similarly, after cooking, the apples were soft enough to be mashed with the back of a spoon, if you don't mind a bit of chunkiness.

And the best thing- the smell of cinnamon and apples creates a lovely, warmth to come home to after being out in the cold all day
 





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Crispy Chiwda - Teatime snack

One of those things where familiarity breeds contempt. 

Crisp, sweet and savory Chiwda was a staple growing up.In the days when not much packaged products were available or used, my mom would make large amounts of this snack to munch on. Especially during the summer vacation, whether it was as I watched TV, or read, or because my dolls needed a snack on a lazy summer afternoon while mom took a nap!

In the past few years, I have started making it more frequently as well. And slowly, my daughters have begun to like it. They still aren't as crazy about the Chiwda snack as I was at their age....but then, they have so many more options to choose from. Anya likes it more than Baby P; and just like me, she sneaks up a bowl to munch on while watching TV or reading.I usually make a small portion of it every other week on a weekend...and think nothing about it at all.