Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall is here

View from my Patio
It’s the colorful time of the year…fall color changing leaves each day. I have a great view from my patio. There is a tree right in front of my patio that is almost red now…from green to yellow-orange to red now…Each morning is so pleasant to see a more red tree! But of curse all those pretty looking leaves are going wither!









It’s time for American festival of Halloween! Kids dress up as some characters/object and go door to door asking for treat..sweets! Also they have pumpkins decorated around the house..most often the pumpkins are carved with a face and a lamp is lit inside. So you see a face glowing in the dark.

Paper lantern - 2012 in Banglore
Last year during my pregnancy, I started to make a paper lantern. Something very common during Diwali in India, especially Maharashtra! I had never made one and my idea was once I have a kid it would be a yearly craft task we do. Back then when I hoped of having a daughter, I said to my husband that I and my daughter will do this craft item every year for Diwali. I did the entire lantern from scratch; sticks, thread, color paper, paper cut outs! I never got to posting about it on the blog…my husband and my brother in-law did the final lighting of it.

The tools and the mess



This year now that we are here in the US, I wanted to do the pumpkin carving. So I bought a small pumpkin just for a trial. Lack of knowledge and experience brought my plans to dead end – the pumpkin was too hard to work with my regular kitchen knife! Its 30th Oct and I don’t have a carved pumpkin outside. Actually I had a 2-in-1 plan, the pumpkin to be a Halloween and Diwali thingie! 






Happy Halloween and Happy Diwali! ---- 2013
I was feeling down about the waste of pumpkin, so I kept it out at the door. But while I was feeding my son, I got the basic idea of a lantern…holes! So I got to hammering the pumpkin and the stem was cut out. Way for the candle/lamp to go in. Now I had to hammer in holes on the side! After quite a loud hammering session, I had a pumpkin lantern! All I used was round screw, a cooker (hammer), spoon and paper!  Lesson learnt – soft pumpkin next time to carve out easily!






Home made Stacy's Pita chips bread!
A fruitful day; ended it with first time flavored pita bread. They turned out so good! I used onion powder, garlic powder, red chilli spice mix, Italian dry spices, sun dried tomatoes and our very Indian curry leaves! With some butter on it tasted awesome, next we just toasted it on a pan..delicious! I know I am going to be making a lot of Pita breads! Thanks Stacy;s Pita chips, for making me learn Pita Bread!



Happy Halloween to all!

Anna Prashana, Loveless Cafe and Pita bread

Chose the book first
Over the few weeks I have been trying to find time to post latest updates. About a month ago, I started semi-solid food for my son. Earlier it seemed a huge task and I did a lot of reading online, checking homemade recipes. But now it seems very easy, thanks to my mom’s easy suggestions for homemade food. 


I performed a simple Anna Prashana ceremony (first time semi-solid feeding) at home. I have never seen a ceremony, so again I sought the internet to find how to do the ceremony. Internet makes everything so easy. I found a site detailing the steps in the ceremony. Found another website that lists the auspicious days (muhurtams). Only important missing parts are relatives by which I mean his grandparents; our parents! But again internet to rescue, as we have two laptops; each was engaged to have a video conference with each of our parents. So we did have our parents through the quick ceremony.
Next the money!
So now-a-days, I am quite busy setting up Aarav’s meal and feeding him. Luckily he is a good eater; he loves the homemade food I give him and he is always eager to eat. Meal time is approximately 10-15mins max! But now that he is growing up he is almost crawling all over the place. My laptop is always the target! He pretty much spreads himself over the laptop, so much so that I fear my laptop is going to be in 2 pieces soon, with the screen and the keypad apart!

We haven’t gone out much these days, reason being the weather; it’s getting cold here now, cold enough to put on the heater at night! When we were new here my husband was looking for must-see places of Nashville and since then he had this place called Loveless Café; apparently it is a hot tourist place. We learnt that the biscuits here are famous. Now biscuits I don’t mean the ones we eat in India. Somehow the systems in US are always different than ours; we use kilometers and they use miles; we use liters and they use gallons! What we eat as biscuits in India are called cookies here in the US. And the biscuits I mentioned above are soft bread like food; almost similar to our Pav bread, but a bit more dense and moist…you can say close to the texture of a cake.

Anyways, we finally made it to this place. By the time we reached it was 11am and it was so crowded with wait time as much as 2 hours if you want to sit inside and eat; to pack and eat it out would still take 30 mins. So as its obvious we got our breakfast packed and sat down on the wooden benches outside the café! Yes their biscuits are yummy; but its more of a southern style place which obviously means all kinds of meaty breakfast. I am eggetarian meaning I don’t eat meat but eggs I do. So luckily I most often find a menu with garden omelet; or eating out in the US becomes really difficult for veg options! It was the beginning of October and pumpkins were places around the café..and quite large ones.

Aarav @Loveless Cafe, Nashville,TN
My son was asleep by the time we finished our late breakfast…pretty much lunch I’d say! And I really wanted to take a pic of him on the pumpkins while he was awake. And we were about to leave when one of the café person saw him and was admiring him; she said do you want to take a pic of him with the pumpkins? I said yeah but he is sleeping already; to which she suggested I could lay him on the pumpkin and we could still take a pic of him. I was too scared to let him go; but he layed on the pumpkin so well that we got a few pics and she said she’d post his pic on their instagram website. So when I got home in the evening, I searched for their photo site and there it was -  Aarav sleeping on a pumpkin! We had a fun day! 

My first attempt at Pita bread 
In recent times, I have been busy looking at videos to make croissant, puff pastry, khari etc. I have picked up interest since I successfully managed to make Pita bread (using Bhavna's recipe on youtube) – its Arabic bread similar to our roti/phulka except that it has yeast in it. They puff up in the oven like pooris which can then be used to stuff and make sandwich. My interest to make this bread was because of this snack I ate “Stacy’s Pita chips”. They are so tasty, that I thought if I could make the bread at home, then making chips out of it is a 10min job! 

Making the flavored one today..waiting for the dough to rise and I should have the Stacy chips by tea-time!