Monthly Archives: January 2018

The first strawberries -our garden

When we planted strawberries in our North-eastern home, we were told they would not grow……they did!!!! they are a blessing. The fruit is ripening, in quantities that we can consume and relish….! The flowers are as beautiful as the berries, the taste of the strawberries in indescribable….yummmmyyy…..we do not use insecticides so they are healthy too…. image imageimage


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Hard working women of the North-east, India

Whether it is fishing, or selling vegetables and fruits, or planting rice (a back-breaking task), I have seen the women in the North-Eastern part of India do it all….and very efficiently……


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Raw turmeric and black pepper milk

 Raw turmeric is much more beneficial as compared to the powdered/ ground form …regarding the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-ageing and cardio-protective properties attributed to turmeric. The raw turmeric is used by boiling in water, with milk, in salads, or simply added to any dish. The ingredient Curcumin is thought to be largely destroyed in processing the raw turmeric to its powdered form. Raw turmeric is a beautiful orange-gold colour and I do love the flavour and colour it adds to any food. Here is how we use it optimally in milk. Take 250 ml of milk, 1 inch of freshly grated raw turmeric and 2 crushed peppercorns. Add all to a pot and boil for 3 minutes. Remove, strain and enjoy the taste and health…most of the health benefits of turmeric are due to Curcumin, which is available only in the raw form….black pepper enhances the absorption of Curcumin….


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The ‘Good Fats’ for health and weight loss!!!

At the end of a meal in winters, we eat a little boiled rice….after pouring some hot ghee and jaggery on it…..the tastiest, yummiest, healthiest dessert ever!!! Here is why it is good, despite being fat-laden…Ghee has

  •  Saturated, stable fats
  • Vitamin A (fat-soluble, availability is more in ghee than milk and carrots!)
  • Conjugated Linolenic acid (CLA) which prevents certain tumours
  • Vitamin K2—Calcium uptake is increased in your bones
  • Butyric acid…inhibits breast cancer growth and soothes the intestine
  • SATIATION—-WEIGHT LOSS OCCURS

Jaggery has:

  • Iron and Folate
  • Rich in K
  • Complex carbohydrate-energy over more time
  • Magnesium–good for the intestines etc.
  • Potential for weight loss–rich K, etc contribute to this

 

 


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Strawberries and humans

When one is on holiday in an idyllic location in a home tucked far away in a corner of the universe, one ruminates, philosophises …and makes sense of life, in every form. We had a bumper crop of strawberries in our last home…hence we had to plant a sapling in our present home….it has spread over a patch and borne fruit!!! The first strawberries made me draw parallels between plants and humans…here is how strawberries are like humans, both of them:

  • Spread and occupy land
  • Have variable shapes and sizes
  • Display members at various stages of growth and maturation
  • Perish/ flourish at various stages in their lives
  • Have variable rates of propogation
  • Need nutrition, sunlight and fresh air
  • Age
  • Are prone to attacks by parasites
  • Can rot , be diseased
  • Have different shades
  • Multiply—or not
  • Are simply wonderful

The first strawberry, like the first passion fruit grown in our home, was divided among family lives…and cherished….


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Necessity and Innovation

Necessity is the mother of innovation…..check out these cool wheels!!! This contraption can be used as easily in the fields as on the highway….


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Hangout of the Dragonflies

In our garden is a tree….if you can call it that!!! It is a very tall tree trunk, devoid of branches, Flowers, fruits and/or leaves. For some reason, the dragonflies party there…..they aggregate on a daily basis and act as though they are ‘high’!!!! they fly around dreamily, as though in a trance and hang on to the tree trunk, and each other….sometimes it appears as though they are attached to each other …by a wing….and a prayer….Now I know what that phrase truly means!!! And it demonstrates what a hangout truly is… 

 


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Keeping cut Flowers fresh

I love plants in flowerpots, but every once in a while, an occasion necessitates a bouquet of fresh flowers . I rush to put the flowers in water and they last 14-20 days in our home!! Here is what we do: Continue reading


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Simple, functional, low-cost homes

In the far-flung North-eastern parts of India, the homes are simpler, more cost-effective and fully functional…..the exact structure varies according to the tribe and region. In Manipur, the homes are built with locally available materials and are placed on stilts of wood. The stilts have at least 2 advantages—-the livestock live under the home and the uneven landscape is tackled in the best manner. At the back of the home, a washroom is used for bathing, with fenestrations in the wooden floor, for the water to drain  to the ground bellow. The homes have a fireplace and sleeping areas, depending on the needs of the household. The vegetables are stored at the back of the home, in the open….


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Connections with living beings

It is well known that dogs and humans have a special bond. In our home, we have an aquarium and a small pond in which fishes live. I have this annoying habit of touching the aquarium glass with a finger tip….initially, the fish would swim away in a terrified frenzy……now they swim to my finger, and swim towards it repeatedly!!! In particular, two goldfishes compete to make contact….it was difficult to capture these moments as they swim away the moment another person is near!!! I have taken these pictures with my other hand, while I touched my finger-tip of one hand on the glass…..


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