18 March 2009

spring on the plate


edited to add
A COLORFUL BRUNCH.


Ingredients by color

Burgundy = roasted beet root.
White = cooked barley
Brown = raw walnuts
Green = salad leaves

The vinaigrette
Pale Yellow = olive oil, ground mustard seeds
White = salt
Beige = a spoon of lemon juice

Your Bowl.
Dice the roasted beets and mix it with a handful of cooked barley and a spoonful of soy sauce. Your white barley now turns fuchsia. Set them aside.
Dress salad leaves in the vinaigrette.
In a large bowl toss them all together.

where's your fork?.

13 March 2009

More room ? But where ?

Ever since Al Gore 's movie " An inconvenent truth " has hit the the theatres, climate change and global warming is a hot topic for everybody. Financial analysts reports show that a " green industry" has been taking shape in the last few years and the projections have shot up only higher. Green Century Funds, and other industries are beefing up their social responsible activities through some environmental intitiatives to increase their ticker value at the stock exchange.

The
Food and Drug Administration have relaxed their definitions for "organic". Coco cola has asked a jewellery maker to make ear rings using old coke cans which they can list on their corporate social responsibility report. But many serious scientific minds know that only this time the " Green industry " will become black if serious conscious attempts are not taken, which scientists are keeping silent, lest the people get panicked ! A veneer of green is attached to any products that you buy these days.

What fails me is, one still finds shelves stocked with eco-friendly green products such as
seventh generation. It is paper being used again. Umpteen number of 'Green" cleaning products are in the market when vinegar and baking soda will do the job. The number of products and attractive packaging have only been increasing all in the name of green ! I fail to see the green aspect when people are having a TV in every room and putting up a solar energy on there roof tops.

Every children's toy has a battery and each kid is profusely playing with it. Parents do little encouraging in asking the kids to play in the park or in the backyard.I did not know how to react when a six year old girl told me that she is fat and that her mother has asked her to hit the gym) Retail stores give discounts and ring up sales when products green and not green is flying out the door.

The heater is set high that an egg will start to cook! An extra layer of clothing at home and insulating the windows will save some energy. Such inertia is yet to be found in many households and retail chains. Our so called politicians-cum leaders who are using climate change as an election gimmick are only using more number of green alternatives - when the number of things used are not decreased ! My imagination says the green shall soon deplete.

Al Gore is smart enough to have established his legacy having won a Nobel prize, but that does not solve the pollution of soot. Oprah, the cultural icon for many North Americans touts
" favorite gifts". Consumerism galore is definitely not green. Only a change in attitude about what earth means to each of us will bring about change.

When children grow up in urban jungles with very few trees or no trees around, they do not develop a love for the earth that they live in, because what they know is the superficial, electronically sophisticated jungle. Learning through imitation is the fundamental nature of mental development. And more so as a human species, because children learn as they watch what adults do.

So when as adults we do not observe actions that inculcate a love for the earth that we live in, children will fall behind, which has happened in the last few generations. When adults doused their own agricultural land consumed with greed went in rigging for oil destroying the forests, the earth turned backed and lashed on us.


Edited to add:
http://discovernavajo.com/a7.html : Take lessons to love your land from the native americans.
http://www.bishnoism.com/thefirst.php : environmentalists of india

08 March 2009

corporate chicken

corporate chicken is a post where i have written my impressions on american food culture.
This is how some americans feel about their food. Art on
Apartment Therapy does not mince words in writing about the same.

"In my opinion,
In order to make a real difference, we have to change American culture.

It's interesting to look at the food cultures of countries that we consider to be poor. Mexico, India, Vietnam, China, Iran for instance. These cuisines happen to be among my favorite to eat. What's interesting to me is that a poor family from one of these places will take a pound of beef or other meat and create a multi-dimensional dish for an entire family. Why? Because they are poor? They cannot afford a giant piece of meat for the family? I don't know. All I know is that through the use of spice blends, fresh herbs, vegetables, rice, noodles, broths, chili peppers, citrus and so on, meat becomes secondary and flavors and textures are more important. And what's more important, is that the family is fed and fed well and fed together.

But I digress.

Americans want more for cheap. We will not stop this quest until something breaks. Even when it breaks, we don't stop, we just try to mend it or throw water on the fire. Broken ozone, broken waistlines, broken economies, broken families, broken borders, broken values.

People are not dependent on cheap meat. They have just been led in the wrong direction and they have become permanently disoriented. As long as there is a meat lover's pizza in every little hamlet, don't fear, you know you're in America. And TGIF! There will be a $10.99 three course meal waiting for you with a 10 oz. mechanically tenderized off-cut of holstein as your main course! Remember, it's not quality, it's quantity! (more bang for the buck!)"

Art posts a 2nd comment onthe same post -

"think it's fair to say that Europe generally has a much different food culture than America. Generally speaking, many of the countries and regions have centuries of food tradition. These traditions are based on regional products. Needless to say, many of these food traditions are based on resourcefulness, using regional products to their full potential.

In America, the drive to assembly line everything has assembly lined our eating. It will be very, very hard to reverse this. It doesn't matter if meat prices go up. They always do during certain times of the year. It doesn't curb demand. Besides, we've figured out ways scientifically alter meat product to make it cheaper.

For example. There is an industrial technique used to extract albumin, a natural glue almost, from muscle tissue. Lean pieces of tenderloin trimming that would otherwise go into ground beef can be glued back together with albumin, formed into a cylinder and then sliced into an 8 or 10 oz. "filet" and be sold for a few dollars. These are often marketed wrapped with bacon in a plastic blister pack in the meat section.

While you and I may be trying to cut back on our red meat consumption and to eat organic grass fed beef, suppliers are constantly figuring out ways to give the masses what they really want--more meat. More meat in their hot pockets, more meat for their hamburger helper, more meat for their favorite fast food burger, taco or toasty sub, more meat for their hot dogs, more meat for their empty food culture."
Here is the paradox. America is the richest country in the world, and yet is a slave to corporate gimmicks ?!

fanatic cook : a blog that prompts you to think about your food buying habits and politics of the plate.
other interesting opinions found at the link on the subject of food.if the editorial team at apartment therapy has objections i will take this down.

06 March 2009

the King and The buddha

This is a repeat post that i enjoyed writing.

He was my king.
He treated the subjects well,
His granaries were full,
Art, Music and economy flourished in his kingdom,
And women and children felt safe.

Crooks were punished and thieves were jailed.
Justice was fair and we worried little,
We felt safe.
Our enemies were jealous and they wanted our fertile land and our full granaries.
They tried to loot our land and waged a battle.
Our king went out with his army and protected his people and his land.
We felt loved.
We lived peacefully.

the prince left the land.
He abandoned his wife,his child and the people.
He fled into the night.
He roamed the land and the forest.
He searched for the way and the light .
Time spent him, and his mind, body and spirit searched.
He came back enlightened.
He came back to all the people.
Understanding made him Buddha.

Compassion was his food,
And wisdom his armor.
sickness, suffering and disappointments lay beneath him.
Enveloped by peace, His eyes gave him vision.
His mind did not have doubts.

Victorious was his middle name
And death did not know him.
He lives in everybody who seek him.
But does not want to be their Idol.

Do not worship me, He said.
Don't light a lamp and bring me flowers.
For I am not King, but Buddha.

01 March 2009

Homeless


This is the picture that came to my mind when I was writing this post, Jai Ho?! and watching Oscars at the same time.

These people are homeless trying to put a roof on their head. Hence slum dwellers, otherwise Homeless.

While a movie depicting a slice of their life is spun into a cindrella like tale and has swept recognition, they are mesmerized at the "identical twin" syndrome effect as they sit glued to the screens. May be they too now can begin to have hopes but the reality is they are back in the slums!

Related posts: Slumgods.

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