Shining Brighter Than Ever

Archive for October, 2013

Food

I love food. Of course who wouldn’t, huh? But I am so picky when it comes to eating. In my husband words, I discriminate food. I know that’s bad. Even now, I feel pity on my Mom because just think how bad I should have been when I was a kid. Most of the time, my side dishes for the rice would be egg, or pappad if it is a veggie day. My Mom would try to force me but who could win a kid? I couldn’t even win my 17 months old baby to eat potato. But the day came where I had to force myself to eat veggies. I had to eat in the college canteen and I didn’t have the luxury to ask them for more pappad.

Maybe instead of food, I should say I love chicken, chicken and chicken because now you know how much love I had for Veggies. And that’s one reason I can cook good chicken dishes without much effort than any other veg dishes.  Ok, who am I kidding? All chicken needs is little salt and pepper for it to taste good. So you add anything to it in a right quantity and it will taste good. But you should be really good to bring out the flavor from the veggies.  Now, I have added some more veggies to the list only for Lily’s sake. I don’t wish her to be like me when it comes to food habits.

My husband loves to try different cuisines whereas me, a big “No”. But occasionally I agree to go out with him for Italian and American. And only once I tried Mexican because I couldn’t eat more than 1/4th of what was there in the plate.

I never went inside the kitchen before I was married. All I knew is to boil the water and make a cup of coffee. The first dish I made for my husband was Rasam and omelette. It was too bad and my husband never complained about it. He waited patiently and gave me some tips initially. I was living with bread for breakfast, dhal powder for lunch and dosai for dinner for the first 3 days. Then it got bored and I started broadening it. And now I could make different dishes for at least two weeks without any repetition.

In this page, I am gonna add some recipes that I love though it is common in Indian houses. And some restaurant foods that I like.

All I can say is,

  • Don’t waste food.
  • You can wait for food but never let the food wait for you.

Happy Eating!!!

Sweet – Basundi

Basundi is one of my favorite sweets. I had this when I was a kid in a marriage ceremony for the first time. When I went to India last time, I asked my father to buy this delicious sweet from the well known Ananda Bhavan sweets and snacks store. Yummy!! It was so good that I forgot to share it with my husband :). Of course, he got Rasamalai.

Basundi

I had a gallon of milk that will be expired in 3 days but cannot be consumed completely. So instead of throwing it out, I thought of doing this dish. I started searching in the internet and found two different traditional methods to make it.  I am not a great cook and so I called my sister living in India who made these for her children birthday. She used the skimming off the milk method instead of stirring. It is easy for the milk to burn in the later. It is better to use a non-stick pan or any thick bottomed pan for easy cooking and cleaning.  And yeah, it will take atleast 2 hours to finish. You need not stand near the stove the entire time if you can remember that you have got milk in your stove while doing some other work 🙂 I cleaned all the mess Lily made while doing this. Here goes the recipe,

Ingredients:

  1. Whole milk – 1 gallon
  2. Sugar – 1/2 cup
  3. Saffron (optional)
  4. Cashew nuts/pistachios/almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk in the pan(add saffron- 5 or 6 pieces will do) and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Skim off the thin layer that forms and keep it in a bowl.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the milk is reduced to 1/4th. Keep stirring the bottom of the pan occasionally to avoid burning.
  4. Now add sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolves. (You can add more according to your taste)
  5. Add all the skimmed milk to the pan and gently stir.
  6. Switch off the heat and remove from the stove. Let it cool.
  7. Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours.

You cannot do mistake in this recipe unless you let the milk burn at the bottom. Optional – Garnish with chopped cashew nuts/pistachios/almonds before serving.

This will serve 4 people. My husband had everything and shared one cup with me, so nice of him 🙂

Enjoy!!!

Caution: Do this once in a while. I don’t know how much calories but sure it will be a lot.

The Scary Mary Series

This is one awesome series that I started two weeks before and I just couldn’t stop reading it. The first book is free in iBooks and kindle. The next two are paid.

For me, the first book was not that scary. Actually, I felt laughing reading the conversations between the ghost and Mary and the reactions of Mary at times. She showed courage, love, fear and she is fun too.

The next two books are really scary and for best thrilling effect, read the book with lights switched off in the night ;). I liked all the characters. I didn’t like Vicky in the first, she turned from bad to good in second and friendly in third. And I started liking her too. All the characters has equal participation which I see rarely. And I never felt like hanging when the book ends though it is a series. It is almost like a novel. All the questions are always answered before the book ends which was really good. The third book had a suspense end but still got the answer about the most important person.

So, now am eagerly waiting for the fourth book hoping for the same thrilling.

Torticollis

My life was smooth until my baby was 2 months old and then everything started going upside down like a roller coaster.

At first I noticed that my dear daughter had a flat head on the right side. I immediately started googling and the answers came out consoling that it is very common and it will go by changing the position of the baby while sleeping for every 30 minutes, holding the baby without applying too much pressure on the head while awake or letting the baby on the floor and make them turn in the opposite direction. Easy, right? I told my husband and he said I am over thinking about it. Maybe he was right, I thought. I even told my mother about this and she told me the same. But she asked me to gently rotate the back of baby’s head with palms in circular motion. I did that daily and was trying to notice some changes daily but nothing. By this time, my baby girl started rolling over.

I was a lonely mother with no one for help. So, whenever I am alone, I just keep myself busy by reading the blogs, articlces and q&a. One day I came across an article which told about plagiocephaly(term for flat head as I came to know) leading to torticollis. I started reading it and got worried more. I immediately started working on my baby to read any signs of torticollis.

I let her sit upright and she would have her head tilted to her left shoulder. I was able to see her right side of the neck but not the left. I started analysing the photos that we have taken, most of them were same with her head tilted to the left. When she was on her tummy, I started showing the toys on her right and left side. I found that she was not able to turn her head to the left side instead she tried to turn her whole body to the left to see the toy. Again I told my worries to my husband, he listened but was not ready to accept that she had torticollis and so did my family. So I told him that I would bring it up in the 4th month doctor visit.

In the meantime, I told myself that she will be fine if I continue to make her turn her head to the left but she eventually figured out to pivot to the left which made me feel helpless. I couldn’t wait to see the doctor to hear his views and tell me that I am just an over protective mother but that was not the case. He agreed on both the flat head and torticollis. I was heart broken. The flat head was no more a bigger problem to me. After the diagnosis, my husband agreed too. The doctor gave us a exercise to improve her neck but we could never do it because she used to scream and looks her dad pleadingly to stop it. I was in tears every time we did that. We eventually stopped it as it was breaking both of our hearts. We got a reference to pediatric therapist from her pediatrician and immediately booked an appointment with him.

I was glad after coming from the first session itself. The therapist was so friendly and gentle. She cried(not screaming) for the first few times but gradually she progressed. Though it was not easy to hold a wriggling baby in the arms during the exercise, I was very very happy to see the neck of my dear girl. We kept doing it until she was 6 months old. And then we kept doing it whenever we saw her head tilted. It was more pronounced when she started sitting, crawling and walking. We also watched and adjusted her posture whenever needed. Especially when she started walking, she used to tumble down because of the tilt. When she mastered walking by the age of 12 months, we were the happy parents. We never had to do the exercises any more. We are so happy to see her long neck moving to the left and right without any signs of torticollis that she had. Our efforts came fruitful and am so glad about it. Now she runs and plays like all the kids. Watching her play in the swing and slider makes me remember that she is stronger than I can imagine.

I told my story here because no one in my family(mother side) believed that there is something called flat head and torticollis. Yeah, maybe if i was in India, even i wouldn’t have known about it. But people out there like me would have taken serious steps of prevention if ever known about this. I have provided some links which helped me through this situation. Being aware of what you are dealing with will help you. If you are reading this because you think that your baby has torticollis then don’t waste time. Get a diagnosis done by your pediatrician. If yes, then immediately get a good pediatric therapist reference and do the exercises they suggest. And torticollis is totally curable but it takes lot of time, effort and patience. How easy it would be to get our baby cured in just one day but thats not how it works sometime. It is so stressful for both the parents. Especially if the mom is a housewife then it is going to be even more stressful because in my case, I was depressed. Also remember, that the exercises are going to stress the baby too. Whenever I felt down before we started seeing the changes, my husband asks me only one thing, “how many people have you seen in your life with their head tilted?” and my answer was “No one”. So just do what you have to do and rest is assured that your baby will be alright.

And regarding the flat head, we were advised to place her on left side while sleeping since her right side was flat. It was less noticeable by the 6th month period and hence we let her sleep as she liked. Her head was completely rounded when she was 10 months.

So here is to all parents who has or going to have babies. If you ever suspect that your baby has some problem, don’t care about what others say. Trust your motherly instincts. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Plagiocephaly: http://m.kidshealth.org/parent/growth/sleep/positional_plagiocephaly.html

Torticollis: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/bones/torticollis.html

The above two articles helped me to understand about what I faced. I didn’t find anything new about these from other sites for my case. And trying to search for new details only depressed me. So don’t make that mistake. If your child is diagnosed for torticollis, then try to accept it and start the exercises instead of trying to find the cause. Finding the cause will make no difference. If you ever need more details, contact your pediatrician or the therapist. They are the right people to provide the assurance that you need.