Happy tummy = Happy me !! And what’s better is when you know that every little bit was healthy. It’s a win win. We had a garlic brown rice-quinoa mix with a side of grilled vegetables and chicken souvlaki and tzatziki sauce. It was yum yum. I only wish I had photographed my beautiful plate. But what can I say, we were just too hungry.
Happiness is trying to keep our traditions alive. Living far away from home and especially somewhere, where there aren’t too many Indians forget Bengalis it’s difficult. But I’m trying to keep alive some of the traditions that are close to my and the hubby’s heart.
Saraswati puja is one such. Saraswati is the goddess of learning, knowledge and arts. Growing up it was one of our most favorite days. It was also called the Bengali Valentines Day. It was the day girls of all ages mostly would be decked up in their favorite yellow colored saree and boys would flaunt their crisp starched kurta-pajamas. There would be pujas not only in every corner of the locality but also some schools, colleges, tutorials and performing arts schools would have their puja. Of course the puja would also be followed by cultural programs performed by the students to please the goddess. So it was a day where you could check out the local guys n gals at their best.
But I digress, that wasn’t why this day was my favorite. As a tradition, early in the morning after bath all our books would be offered to the goddess for blessings. And you could take the books only the day after. And it was also said that this one day, we couldn’t touch our books. Suffice it to say, that was reason enough to make it the most favorite holiday for most of us kids. As most Bengali traditions, any puja day is incomplete without a set of new clothes. And saraswati puja was no exception.
Often on these days, I wish we stayed in one of those big Indian hubs like Nj where we could be a part of the Bengali association and participate in all our traditional events. But that’s a post for another day.
So these days, we try to make our own traditions with whatever we can. I make the traditional food, wear traditional clothes and try to do my own little puja with the hubby and Daughter. I sent Daughter to school wearing a new tee to carry on the tradition of new clothes. With today being a school day, we couldn’t fit too many elaborate plans. She loves wearing Indian clothes and I promised her as soon as she’s done with homework she could take a shower and change into something she wishes. She also with the help of hubby decorated our little prayer room with flowers.
Our little puja nook
Lunch was a traditional khichuri and some fritters which was devoured just by the hubby and I. I made a simple dinner of puri or luchi as we bongs call it, alu-dum and kheer which we first offered to the gods and then ate together. This is the fourth year of us celebrating this day in our own little way and I hope we continue this tradition for the many years to come.
Yesterday I made this delicious and crusty banana-walnut-bread with all the leftover ripe bananas. I could have made some healthy smoothies too but I chose to ignore the suggestion that my mind was giving me. But to my defense I must note that the bread was made mostly to cheer up Daughter who is always happy to help in baking. And that did cheer her up. And in case you are wondering, yes I did have a slice 😉 .
I must note that this week I’ve been bad. I mean really really bad. I indulged in comfort food and didn’t work out apart from that one day. Since I’ve been bragging here about my good habits, I thought it’s only fair to be honest and accept that I’ve been cheating too.
But I think, I’ll be on track once again after Daughter gave me the speech:
Daughter: Mommy, did you exercise today??
Me: Ummm no …
Daughter: Did you exercise any of these past few days ?? I don’t think you did, did you ??
Me: You were sick and I was busy and daddy was busy and I was tired and ….
Daughter: Looks like someone’s trying to give excuses !!
Me: No, it’s the truth…
Daughter: It’s alright if you’ve missed this week but you need to get back to it. Don’t throw away, what you’ve been working hard on. Take tomorrow off too but Monday you’ll have to get back to your routine, okay mommy??
Me: I guess … ( that’s all I could say after picking up my jaws from the floor). Of course to nurse my hurt ego I decided to have another slice of bread !!
Looking and reading about everyone’s pongal celebrations made me want to cook an elaborate spread too. Today being Sunday gave me the perfect opportunity to make some of the family favorites. I made some of the traditional Bengali dishes which we all love. I asked the hubby and Daughter to set the formal dining room table which is rarely used. On a regular basis we generally use our breakfast area to have all our meals. The dining room is hardly used. It’s only these days that we eat at the dining room on Sundays.
Daughter is always excited when we eat in the formal dining room because she feels we are celebrating something. It felt nice to sit back and talk while devouring the yummy food. Now that Daughter is a little older, it amazes us how nicely we can all converse about so many different things.
The menu was simple :-
- Split Masoor Dal with cauliflower
- Potato fry
- Alu Posto
- Egg curry
It reminded me of the lost in time long ago afternoons back home when this kind of meals were a norm for Sunday. Almost every Sunday the menu would be the same with very little variation but we were never tired of the same food. On the contrary we looked forward to these meals when all of us would sit together and eat with FM on in the background. So much has changed since then – baba is no more, mum eats her Sunday lunch all by herself and I have a family of my own. Amidst Daughter’s constant banter I had this strange bittersweet feeling wishing all of us could be together.
Blogathon 2017 #Day15
Happiness definitely is dusting the cobwebs of my uhhh ummm food blog. Yes, remember I had started something in the name of a food blog. But after seeing the efforts some of the veteran food bloggers put in and the quality of their photographs, I ran away from that space and tried to hide ashamed that I even dared to venture in those territories.
But with the new year and trying to be happy and of course trying to be in the zen space, I decided to let go of my inhibitions. So while the quality of the photographs are still no where near perfect but the recipe is not only full proof but really satisfying. It’s one of our favorites these days. So hop on there and check it out.
Blogathon 2017 # Day4
Today was all about satisfying the tummy. It was a day of devouring everything that we generally steer clear of on a regular day. But who said anything about this week being a random week ??!!
Our morning started with a light breakfast of a slice of toasted cinnamon bread. Well that’s something we don’t do often, starting our day with carb. But I wish if I could tell you that was it. Oh no, our day was in for a treat !! We then headed out to the city. After walking and exploring, we decided to walk in to our favorite Thai restaurant. We were greeted with a beautiful smile and the most amazing food. So with our tummy satisfied, we decided to walk around some more.
Daughter wanted some sweet treats after a while. We then decided to give in to her wishes and went to a bakery that smells like heaven. The moment we walked in Daughter got hold of hubby’s hands and they pretty much packed 2 of almost all the pastries. I’m just kidding !! But in a serious note, they did pack around 4different types and since we’ve not indulged in these treats for a long time it felt like we were buying everything and then some. We shared a couple of pastries there and then decided to not even look at any food items. Our tummies were stuffed to the brim !!
After finishing off a few errands, we are back in the comforts of our home now. Daughter as usual is sitting with a book and I’m sharing my daily dose of happiness with you guys. Hubby who had skipped his work out earlier in the morning is running on the treadmill now. Perhaps after our binge eating, he wants to make sure he sheds at least some of those calories.
So that was my day in a nutshell. Eating, eating and some more eating 😉 . I hope tomorrow sees us behaving a little sensibly. Oh wait, there are those pastries in the fridge!! So I guess bye-bye diet, see you in 2017 !! As for the rest of you I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Happiness is in cooking together. Yes today me, hubby and the Daughter spent a lot of time together in the kitchen working in harmony. Firs the Daughter and I baked a nice crusty but moist banana-walnut bread. Next the three of us made some yummy samosas. Daughter was pretty excited since it was our first time making samosas and she kept saying ‘I’m so glad to be part of this historic moment’ rather dramatically. It kept making us laugh.
She was particularly excited because today she was allowed to use her new kitchen knife for the first time. She has been wanting to cut vegetables for quite some time and I didn’t allow it. In one of our recent trips to ikea she spotted these kid friendly knife-peeler set which was meant for kids over 8. I had bought her those and ever since she has been wanting to use them. So today was the big day !! And I must say this set is pretty darn good. It is sharp and the little ones need to be careful but tip is rounded to prevent any accidents. But be warned the blade is sharp so the kid needs to be careful. So if you have a not-so-little-eager-kitchen-helper at home, this might be a good stocking stuffer idea. They are around $5 if I’m not mistaken.
After a real hectic day yesterday, it was nice to stay at home today. The weather was bad and we had a nice time staying indoors cooking and singing out loud silly random songs. It was a happy and laid-back Sunday at our nook. How was yours ??
Sometimes happiness is in breaking the rule !! It’s so much fun to toss the rules once in a while. To let go and do or let’s say eat what you’ve been craving to do/eat. Today I was craving for a bowl of noodles. Spicy noodles with veggies and shrimp. With the cold weather kicking in, the craving for spicy comfort food was not something that could be ignored.
I thought and thought. Told myself a million times a carb loaded bowl wasn’t the best idea. But my mind wasn’t taking in lectures today. With every argument, it countered me back with imagery. Images of spicy noodles with plump, succulent shrimp. Ummm …. I could feel myself weakening. My resolve to hit back was betraying me.
Finally, I decided to let go. I knew one day doesn’t hurt anyone or that’s what I told myself to reduce the guilt. I made myself the most delicious bowl of noodles and gobbled it down. It was the best decision I took 🙂 . After all what better way to break your rule than with a bowl of noodles ??!!
At last after much debate whether to take the plunge or not, I decided to go for the food blog. So I’m super excited that few minutes back I published my very first post. Yay !! So thank you guys, for encouraging me and hopefully you will support and give my posts some of your precious time. Yes I’m shamelessly asking you to hop in there and check it for yourselves. Without much adieu I open the curtains to goodeatsfrommykitchen – Struggles and triumphs of everyday cooking !! Hopefully you will not be disappointed.