How do I decide the party menu?

How do I decide the party menu?

Festivities are around the corner. It is almost Diwali, there would be get togethers, family gatherings, friend meet ups and so on in the coming days. More often it so happens that the party food gets too heavy on stomach and there start the episodes of indigestion. The simple mantra for all the party hoppers is to eat moderately. This is not a great advice but I have something more to say.

As hosts of the party one has tremendous responsibility to keep the menu in check. Most places we see amazing spread of food. Loads of items but very little attention is given to the real nutrition factor or matching factor of the food.

Understanding the food groups and their right combination is very important as we have already insisted in our previous blog post.

Here are some pointers that all hosts can implement.

Age group and type of people you are serving

It is always better to identify the type of people you are serving, it also helps to know their age group. Old people may not like the same food as kids.

Food pairing

Our Indian food system has in built pairing. So, while deciding menus it is better to take a note of that. Also if you are serving multi cuisine food then have two items of the same cuisine complementing each other. Poori, Aloo, Shrikhand is a good pairing nutrition wise. It is a balanced meal. Biryani, Vengayam Pachadi and Gobi 65 is a complete meal in itself. Parathas with Pickle or Raita is a complete meal. While deciding food pairing never pair a chinese item with Indian.

The sauces which chinese items have do not complement the Indian foodstuff.

Keeping Manchurian with Biryani is a no-no.

When you have sandwiches in your menu, having Parathas is like giving high dose of Carbohydrates.

Sandwiches complement with something like fruit salad or custard which is light on stomach.

About three course meals

If you are looking at a three course elaborate spread. Soups and Starters should be carefully chosen. Soups are to enhance the appetite, they also need to be light on stomach.

For any normal day, cream of tomato, pepper rasam are the best soups to start with.

If you plan a Chinese meal then mixed vegetable soup, manchow soup is fine. Starters can be selected based on that day’s your preference of food.

While eating in the restaurant too, keep the difference between Chinese Cuisine and Indian Cuisine in mind before ordering.

Desserts can be chosen wisely too. If you have served a very heavy dinner you can even skip one. For heavy dinners, you can keep something light as Rasa Malai, or Rasagulla. I prefer keeping dessert in my main course mostly.

 Items for Children

Children are picky eaters so it is better to know their preference before planning. As per recent trends pizza, burger, noodles are some of the preferred choices for kids. Including something which is not junk like Parathas (whole wheat), Puris, Rolls is a wise decision. Also you can insist on the importance of having no junk in your party.

Get-togethers are fun but it is time to celebrate responsibly. Deciding the menu with seasonal foodstuff and gauged nutrition is worth appreciation.

Things you didn’t know about Russian Literature

How would you feel if you meet your childhood friend? Happy, Excited and Nostalgic I am sure, and all these feelings would transport you to those days when you played with your friend, spoke those sweet and innocent nothings. The same thing happened to me when I met some of my friends from Soviet Literature Hub. Surprised? Well, I am talking about some Russian Books for kids.

Growing up I read numerous Russian Books which were translated into Marathi. I grew up in a small town which is 60 km away from Nagpur, called Bhandara. Though it was and still is a district place, it has some excellent schools. Then, there was a rich tradition of reading, which continues until today. These schools were instrumental in inducing reading habit in children. Me and one of my very best friends “Prajakta” used to read a lot. She was two years older than me, but I was very very fond of her. She was my window to the world of elder girls who were in the higher classes than me. She was fond of Russian Literature and had many many books. The best part was she used to lend these books to most of her friends, and I was her bestie so all the books that she had, she used to share with me.

The first Russian Story that I read was called as “ Vasilisa – The Beautiful”.

It was a huge black book which I read over and over again for 20-30 days, and with a heavy, heavy heart I returned the book. I never saw that book again, but I carried Vasilisa in my heart for over 20 years.

Soviet Literature was a common phenomenon for children who were born in the 80s or 90s. The distributors had an excellent distribution network as I read today and also had brilliant translators and publishers. After some time it all stopped for reasons unknown around 1991.

Today, when I see my daughter reading Jeronimo Stilton or Thea Stilton, I wonder if I could get her those books to read. Mostly those were the folklore of Russia, which was different. Vasilisa The Beautiful was about a beautiful and poor girl Vasilisa who is trapped by a witch “Babayaga,” And the story unfolds.

The story is almost like Cinderella but different in context and the depiction. I should say it was far from mundane or at least I felt so.

Today, as I read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” I was reminded of Soviet Literature. Some simple aspects of these books including Leo Tolstoy’s novels are that they are amazingly easy to read.

Maybe the credit goes to the translators, but again, if there is no much meat in the literature, the translator would undoubtedly fail in the endeavour.

Currently, I am reading Anna Karenina, and so far it is terrific. The depiction of each character is fantastic, you can easily picture all the characters and can see the narration as a motion picture in your mind. The other wonderful book which is on my reading list is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and the third book would be Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Unfortunately, the contemporary Russian writers are mostly unknown. But there is so much to explore in Russian Literature.

I wonder after these many years, all the books which are written by Russian Writers still seem relevant to today’s scenario. Recently, I found a facebook group for Soviet Literature in Marathi. They crowdsourced the books ( Russian Books Translated in Marathi) across the world and wondered what?

I found Vasilisa – The Beautiful as it is with the black cover.

But the only difference is that I would not be able to hold it, it is in the digital copy (scanned version). I saw the book I felt like I met my childhood friend. The nostalgia took me to the 1980s when Vasilisa and I spoke some sweet nothings on one beautiful mid-summer afternoon.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Movie Review

World War II, the struggle of Jews under the claws of German Army. Everywhere there was bloodshed and the small City of Guernsey was not exception. Here is a movie review of a movie ” The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

Last week was not as great. I fell down and twisted my ankle, had severe neck and head pain. Already in the pain, I was helpless and rested. One such evening and I came across this wonderful movie of Lily James ( Cinderella fame). The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The name is quite mouthful but the movie was certainly awesome.

Based on the backdrop of World War II, the novel is written by Mary Ann Shaffer‎; ‎Annie Barrows, believe me I am not yet an avid reader so, I did not know this book too.

Surfing on Netflix is not bad as they say, it just gets you movies of different genres at your fingertip and nothing is more addictive than that.

Four neighbours Mrs. Maugery, Isola, Dawsy, Elizabeth and Eben meet over a dinner. But this dinner is special. It is a feast for all these people who have been suffering from acute starvation. In the fear of getting caught ( during world war any type of gathering was prohibited), Elizabeth says that they met for book reading and the name of their book reading club is spontaneously tossed by Elizabeth as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Potato peel pie is in the memory of the pie made of potatoes by Eben. As interesting as it sounds, these people really meet over book reading sojourns, they read and read a lot.

“We read books, talked books, argued over books and became dearer and dearer to one another.”

― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

In the meanwhile, you have Juliet Ashton, a writer from London, who has a typical life of a writer but she has a quest of something new and better. She receives a letter from Dawsy Adams of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society asking her to send one of the books and stating their condition as well as the story of the society.

This intrigues Juliet to the point that she goes to Guernsey. The movie depicts the inward journey of Juliet as she reaches Guernsey, meets and knows these people.

“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

 

The movie was simple yet sent a very powerful message. The depiction of world war II and the struggle of people is portrayed very realistically.  We can only imagine the problems that Jews faced during WWII. I have read “Diary of Anne Frank” and that along with some history lessons are my windows to WWII. I was glad that I could finally see something related to WWII.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is heartwarming and fresh, at the same time it makes you think about the hardships that people faced during WWII. Juliet and her journey inwards could be felt in due course of the movie and it ended on a positive note. In short, the movie has everything which makes it a good watch.

“All my life I thought that the story was over when the hero and heroine were safely engaged — after all, what’s good enough for Jane Austen ought to be good enough for anyone. But it’s a lie. The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot. ”

Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

These people with the reading society started breathing books. In any of their dialogues you will find Charlotte Bronte’s quote or you find Jane Austen. While reading these books which were the only entertainment that they had and the only way to be positive in their lives, these people would be transcending themselves in the world of no chaos no world war which made it so special.

Three days on and I have not been able to forget the movie and some of the dialogues.

Some things stay with your heart forever. I am sure this movie is one of them….

I should also read the book perhaps.

“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”

Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

 

Is Something Bothering You?

Is Something Bothering You?

Such a direct and straight question isn’t it? In the changing times, things that bother us are many more than things that make us happy. If you just sit and relax, your mind quickly revolves around stuff which you did not like for that day or for that week.

In fact, there would be thousand other good things that must have happened to you in due course but our mind concentrates on the stuff which we did not like.  When something is really bothering us we are seldom at peace.

The other day I met one of my friend in the market. She is a great girl having a good sense of humour and seeing her at the market was a pleasant coincidence. We both were very glad but she quickly talked to me about something which was bothering her all these days. I lend her a patient ear but I really felt her need to be talking to someone even if that someone is not so close.

Here there are two things at play, first is her restless mind which is focussing on stuff which was bothering her for a long time. And the second is that

whatever was bothering her was stopping her from looking beyond that particular aspect. I do not blame her but we are wired to think it that way.

Venting out is perfectly fine but when it bothers beyond venting there is always a solution

“Ask yourself, will this issue bother me 5 years down the line?” if the answer is “No” then it is not worth thinking about.

 

Now a day, I don’t remember what was bothering me a week ago 😉

One of the accounts manager at a renowned bank is an acquaintance, he has been in the business since last couple of decades. He has a happy family and overall great career just as one would want in the early forties. I met him some days ago and he started talking to me about how the bank leadership is changing and the challenges he is facing at his workplace, he was restless, wanted to go back to the earlier scenario which existed at his workplace but it was in vain.

There was an interesting survey conducted in an organization where they asked every employee “ Would you rather work for change or just complain?” More than 80% of them answered “Do I have to pick?, This is hard.”  🙂 🙂 🙂

Most often we do not want to step out of our comfort zone and resist change which might open a new door of opportunity. Discussing the status quo with someone and working a way out of it could be a great workaround.

Recently I saw a video on facebook where a man has a pen and paper. He has an ant on the paper. As the ant walks from one end to other, the man draws a line in front of the ant. The ant thinks that it is an obstruction and finds another path. Actually, it can very well cross the line but it does not. That is how our mind is.

We confine it as per our convenience and think it as an obstacle which is non-existant.

Letting something bother you is okay, for sometime, we all are humans but letting it take a toll on your thought process is not worth it.

 

Is something bothering you? Pour your questions in the comment.

SurveyRef: http://derekodwyer.com/2013/05/business-needs-to-change-team-do-not-want-to-ireland/

Disney Princesses – Reimagined as successful working women

Disney Princesses – Reimagined as successful working women

On our regular Sunday Netflix binge, Little Ms. K and I were watching Frozen. There is nothing new about watching the movie as such, but this time I was amused to see her interest in these Disney Princesses. All girls of her age are in awe of all the Disney Princesses but in the 21st century, the concept of a princess spending her life only waiting for a Prince does not really make sense. With the quotes like “ Why raise a princess when you can raise a warrior?” or “ Instead of getting a glass shoe, break the glass ceiling” it becomes necessary that these zero size Disney Princesses should be looked at from a very different angle. That different angle is provided by Illustrator Matt Burt. His take on the working princesses is just priceless. Here is a look

 

Frozen princesses – Elsa and Anna are climate change specialist, matching the story of frozen. Matt Burt says “They have dedicated their careers to studying climate change and presenting accurate, well-sourced information.” I would say how appropriate.

” Have courage and Be kind”  This is a very famous quote by Cinderella. Cinderella is kind, which is apparent through her story. She believes in kindness and she treats the animals with respect. In Matt Burt’s illustration, she is in a position where she can influence a non-profit committed to promoting animal rights.

 

Jasmine has always fought for what is right and what is wrong. She now adorns a role of an advocate for her country at the United Nations. She would be working for women’s rights. It is to ensure that the women are treated fairly across the globe.

Moolan had to fight hard in the military and had faced gender discrimination. In a university, now she advocates for Gender Equality.

 

Matt Burt says that Rapunzale always had powers to heal. She further went to the university became a neurologist and now she is a famous neurologist in the town. Now she provides exceptional medical care to all her patients.

Snow White is known to be caring and thoughtful. Post her union with her prince, she earned her doctorate in Psychology and is a leader in the field of mental health. She also presents papers in different across the world. She not only helps all her clients whether they are grumpy, happy, bashful  or anything, but also looks after professionals so that they should be able to provide high end mental healthcare to the patients.

All in all it feels so good to see all of them pursuing something they are good at and what they like. Disney princesses are loved by one and all, it is just that after these illustrations they will be seen as idols.