Monday, September 24, 2012

Trees Are The Roots Of All living

The weather is still humid here in this corner of the  Middle East. I just wish I was surrounded by some lush greenery to warmly embrace the gentle breeze that would sometime  sweep across a balmy day  like back in my home town, in the sub continent. Since we live  in an apartment here ,I cannot even  think about   being  in a   garden.There is no kind of  loam on my block as everything around is  paved.More over  there’s  barely  space to keep flower  pots on the terrace .However the only time  I  get an opportunity to wander in the midst of some greenery is when we take the   children outing..I  am in awe  of the beautiful plants that are grown in  parks or on either sides of the carpeted roads.Sometimes  I happen to  bump into some  beautifully arranged  flower  pots in  popular  malls.If I had a garden, the first thing I would love to do is, grow plants that would do good to me .I very much love to nurture plants and reap the  bounties of nature.Plants give us fresh air too.Though I love my home here ,I miss the clean and fresh air that trees provide.
This subject takes me back to my childhood.I grew up in a  house, full of life. We  used to be  fond of outdoor life.We  often stayed till late  in our large garden having a whale of a time with  friends .Our house was  completely  bordered by trees. Every morning we used to wake  up  to the chirping of birds which used to be  perched on branches  and the roof..We had two lofty  coconut trees whose fruits  quenched our thirst on scorching days,a stout  mango tree with outstretched branches that provided  us shade on warm sunny days, a breadfruit tree that produced, a kind of starchy vegetable  all year through,the Jakfruit  tree gave mom an opportunity to cook  scrumptious dishes as it could be used  as a vegetable when  unripe.Besides these, the most significant , was the miracle tree moringa. We not only benefited nutritionally but medicinally too.(read about it  here) .Mom made special dishes using the leaves and the pod of the moringa tree.
Whenever,there was a bountiful of fruits and vegetables,mother sent some to neighbours.She  used to prepare chutneys and pickles out of the dried  fruits particularly-mangoes  and used the herbs,she grew in  the backyard,in her daily cooking.And what’s more ,the rose apple tree and the guava tree that  stood  in a corner of the garden, gave us the space  to entertain friends. I vividly remember even to this day,when friends in the neighbourhood gathered  at home during the weekend  ,we would happily encircle  under the  shelter  provided by  the jumbo tree,sitting amid  the crumpled leaves, paying  no attention to anything else  other than the  red juicy fruits.When I had some bad days, I  found solace  under the shade of this tree, commonly termed as the Jumbo tree and wandered to far off places just like Alice,in Wonderland.
Ahh!! What treasured memories!.And  how I miss those days...One day when I have the resources I hope to plant some trees and help another generation to  breathe fresh and clean air.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Blogger DashBoard

Today I got a big surprise when I checked on my blog.Instead of my regular dashboard ,the new blogger interface welcomed me. I was n’t expecting the change to happen sooner though Google ( the blogger team) alerted us earlier. Furthermore it took me quite a while to get accustomed to the new look. Despite the fact that I will miss the old look of my blogger dashboard, I hope to get along finely with the new interface even  though  it may take a day or two to fully accept  and work with it on friendly terms.On the other hand, I was awfully flustered trying to login to Entrecard. Since morning up until now I have been  facing this problem. I am fervently hoping whatever the issue  the site is having ,that it should be rectified soon .Thus enabling me to drop by my favourite  blogs. Incidentally the good news is we got two more additional holidays besides the weekend. As most of you may know the weekend in the Middle East falls on Thurday and Friday, so therefore in addition to that, Saturday and Sunday have been  declared as  holidays due to the kingdom’s National Day ( Saudi Arabia)  which is being  celebrated on the 23rd September. While the children are exhilarated  due to this sudden declaration, I  am quite  dumbfounded wondering how I am going to keep them fully  occupied at home for four consecutive days.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Hectic Day

This morning  I went to the clinic for a couple of tests  and a follow up.I had to do a blood analysis.One for  my HA1c (sugar level reading from the last  3 months) and a test for cholesterol.I had to fast for 12 hours for this medical check up.The wait,for my turn, at the hospital,was so exasperating.It was almost after 1 1/2 hours that I was called in.I finished the blood tests in a matter of minutes and thereafter went to see  the  ENT specialist for a follow up on my blocked nostril.Fortunately it was a minor problem ,which was due to my sinus and  I was asked to continue with the medicines that was  already prescribed.
Later on after  a simple dinner  with the  family,My husband and I went to the Super Market to do our  weekly grocery.There was a list of things needed urgently,once I looked for  them and placed them safely into the trolley,I went searching  for  flour made out of Millet.It  is  popular among many  diabetics due to  low glycemic  and  also because of it’s sharp  nutty flavor.Unfortunately, I didn’t come across any,so I grabbed a packet of Red rice flour instead, which is a little better than  it’s counterpart:the white refined one.
Since I am trying my best to  keep my sugar levels under control, I have switched  all white  refined food to whole grains and have also  eliminated from my diet  each and every food containing sugar.I make an effort to include  food from all groups.My  mid day meal  consists of  1/2 cup brown rice,a fist-size piece of chicken,and  a variety of  non starchy vegetables.Furthermore, I have actually  stopped  helping myself with  second servings. My family members and friends are quite surprised at my determination.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome To My Home

My Family and I  have been living in the Middle East For two decades now.And basically we have grown accustomed to most of their values and norms.However someday when my husband retires from office we will move to our home town in the subcontinent.Though we already have a home in our native land we have rented it out for extra income.Someday when we move there permanently I very much want to live in a place I often envisage: An ideal home. My ideal home would have to be somewhere in a very quiet area, away from the hustle and the bustle of the city. I love to have a big garden with a huge parapet wall surrounding the garden. A backyard would be perfect,so I may be able to grow my own fruits and vegetables.And on one side of the yard,a big charcoal oven, along side a pool ,would be set up ,to bake fresh bread and buns to feed my family and friends during holidays and the festive seasons.It would be wonderful to dine out in the open to get the feel of the breeze and the aromatic smell of food.There will be a separate place for a library where I will be able to read books written by my favourite authors.Obviously I will love that feel, reading in a cosy corner.The most important factor of my ideal home is a big kitchen.All for the reason to have live demonstrations of my culinary know-hows to friends who have been thoroughly impressed by my cooking..Only a few essential things will adorn my home since I dislike decorating the place with too many furnitures .Above all, my home will be painted with the true colours of love and happiness.Reading this I hope you too would have painted a perfect picture of my intended home..
.I love the  outdoor dining area in this holiday resort,where we stayed for three days during our vacation



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Never Ending Work Load

I allocate part of the morning to do some work on the computer. I have a houseful, so I hardly have so much of spare time..Another time consuming task that I indulge during  my ‘free time’ is trying to figure out what the menu is for the next meal.My foursome love to savour different recipes,so I meticulously plan out menus whenever I have a little extra time during the day.I often  get hints  to  prepare a new  list of recipes from various sources,like a magazine,or a cookbook or  from those  that have  been passed onto me by my mother.This makes it very easy to plan out the days cooking.
Most of the free  time,I am busy doing housework,a never ending job like folding clothes,cleaning the clutter from cupboards and tables.And one particular household chore that cant be ignored or neglected ( for the fear of being  accumulated) is the endless washing of plates and dishes.It seems like forever.

Presently,my children are getting set for their forthcoming exams and  theres a whole lot of paper cluttered on the study table,reminding me that my work is not done yet.