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Archive for August, 2012

Aug
31
2012
Gola! Gola!
Author: Aruna

On the agenda for the long weekend: the beach and coming up with a healthy gola recipe.  Stay tuned!

image via Dishoom

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Aug
29
2012

Vegetarian lunch ideas?  Do you give your kids Indian food for lunch?

Back in the day, if I had shown up to school with pulihaara (tamarind rice – my absolute favourite) or idli, I would have been even further ostracized from my classmates.  Times have changed and some of my kids’ classmates do in fact show up with upma and roti, but honestly, I don’t have the the time  in the morning (or live-in grandparents to help).  So what do you pack for kids with robust taste buds?  Here are some of my go-to staples:

1.  Tofu Edamame Nuggets from Trader Joes

2.  “Indian” Omelette (with diced onions, salt, grated ginger and a dash of chili powder)

3.  Pita pockets stuffed with Cilantro and Lime hummus and cheese

4.  Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche (again from Trader Joes)

5.  Spinach and cheese quesadillas (with Jalapeno and Cilantro tortillas from our local Fresh & Easy)

6.  Spanakopita triangles (a bit healthier than samosas)

images via Google images

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Aug
27
2012
Brave New World
Author: Aruna

A new year, a new school:  new friends, a new curriculum…how do you offer encouragement to a nervous 6-year-old?  The grandparents stepped in and reminded him of when Rama and his brothers went off to “school.” 

Rama was brave, and he knew learning was important.

But at least you don’t have to live away from your parents…

Be like Rama.  How many generations of parents have uttered these words?

image via Google images.

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Aug
24
2012

It was truly a golden summer this year – the kids were home and we travelled, cooked, went swimming, practiced our Telugu and read lots of books together.  No camps, no schedules, nowhere to be…just me and them and our circle of family and friends.

I am blessed to have been able to spend so much time with them this summer – and I’m pretty sure I will be in tears on Monday when I drop them off at school. 

They did – and said – a lot of silly and funny things over the past few weeks.  Here are their top 3 quotes:

1.  Scene:  We are in San Francisco and they are tucked in bed for the night.  I’m telling them the plan for the next day – that they get to meet my childhood friend, Krishna, and that he’s really excited to see them. 

          My 3-year-old daughter, visibly confused (she’d never met an actual person named Krishna before):  “Does Krishna Uncle have blue skin?

(I tell my friend what she said when we met him the next day – and he said if he had known earlier, he would have shown up with his skin painted blue.  Ha!)

2.  Scene:  The kids have been riveted with watching The Ramayana series (the looooong, 20-DVD Set Hindi version) at Thatha’s (grandfather) house.  I think my son now knows more details about the story than I do.  There is a scene where Sage Agastya drinks up all the ocean water (to expose some hiding rakshashas).

          My 6-year-old son:  “He’s going to have to go to alooooot of pee-pee!”

3.  Scene:  I’m flying back to Los Angeles with the kids (alone, Dad got to stay home for this trip).  The plane has landed and we are getting our things together.  I already have plenty to carry off the plane, and I tell the kids they have to pull thier own little suitcases (filled with nothing but toys, of course).  I say, “Mommy only has 2 hands, and I’m already carrying alot of things.”

          My daughter, shaking her head, “You don’t have 4 hands like Vishnu.”

It’s amazing how their mind works.  I miss them already.

image:  “The Happy Ice Cream” via Society6

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Aug
22
2012

One of our favourite family snacks is extra firm tofu cubes sauteed in sesame oil, with sea salt and red chili powder.  The outer surface of the tofu is slightly crispy for just the right amount of crunch.  The problem was that I dreaded the process of pressing the water out of the tofu:  layers of paper towels with heavy glass dishes for weight – messy and lots of needlessly dirtied dishes.

Enter TofuXpress – my new love…

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Aug
20
2012

Enjoy 50% off and Free Shipping on our
 2012 Wall Art Calendars

Get organized this Back to School season –
with
US, Canadian & South Asian holidays

Lithography printed in the USA on recycled heavy cardstock
with soy based inks

Now just $14.75
Buy HERE

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Aug
17
2012

Spotted! A rickshaw “bike” made just for little ones.  My kids would have a field day with this with their friends.  We could add an DIY umbrella cover, a bell, bring out the toy money to collect fares….

Available here

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Aug
15
2012

Found this drawing by a 7th class student – it is so captivating that I had to post.  Kudos to the artist.

If you are curious to explain imperialism to kids, refer to the activity referenced in this e-book: What is Imperialism by Wendy Ji.  There is a simple activity with blocks that demonstrates the concept to kids.

Happy Independence Day, India!

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Aug
13
2012

How do you celebrate Krishna Janmashtami?  My dear friend R. held a spectacular party this past weekend to celebrate Janmashtami for the kids.  It was a small gathering of close friends and family and she staged a brief puja, bhajan, read a (self-written) story of Krishna for the kids, had colouring pages and – most impressive – she made a gorgeous paper mache “butter pot” pinata (pictured above, excuse my poor photography skills)!  The dads held it up while the kids took turns trying to crack it with a cane.  There was candy inside in lieu of butter – and it was so much fun for all of us!

She has also been making dioramas over the years, as they do in India, and she displayed 4 of them.  The figures are self-molded clay and painted.  Thank you R. for a wonderful and memorable celebration.

Diorama displays:

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Aug
10
2012

See here for a slideshow of Janmashtami celebrations in India.  A festival that’s colorful, animated and full of hope – make sure to celebrate with your kids!

Image via AFP

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