Friday, May 11, 2007
Little S knows all about Mothers Day. By "about" I don’t mean the history or the Hall Mark-ing of it but she knows there is a day like this when you are supposed to give your Mom cards etc. before you throw the usual tantrum. When she was 16 months, it was my first Mother's Day as a Mom and D took her to get me a card and Mom’s Day gift. I got a funny card with a mirror and a dangly sparkly kind of bracelet in some abstract color which is not something I take to wearing. When I asked D why he got that thing, he said because S pointed it out!!! So last year I took it upon myself to get me something sensible crediting the money spent and joy of gift giving to D of course. The most precious thing though was the card little S made in school for Mother’s day.
Since S is a 3 year old now with much more sense and I am a lover of good gifts, I was dreaming that maybe she will point out to the dazzling ruby and diamond bracelet or the Coach handbag at Macy’s when D takes her to buy the Mom’s Day gift instead of pointing to some arbitrary stuff .
So yesterday I told S with a lot of enthu – “You know Mothers Day is this month”
She said – “Oh when is it?” (In Bengali she said “Kobe re?” with the right inflection)
So I showed her the calendar and the day and asked her – “What do you want to do on the day?”
She flung her small soft arms around me and said “I want to hug you” !!!
Holding her tightly the commercialized Mom in me said “ What else ?”
She said “ It will be your holiday so you won’t have work and I want to sit in your lap all day”
I was ashamed, yeah downright ashamed. While I was thinking of gifts all this tiny creature wanted was to love me and be with me. Amidst all the days work its true that I don't always get time to be just with her. So even when I am physically around and it may seem I am spending time with her, I am multitasking and feeding her while chopping veggies or sneaking a peek at the blogs while talking to her. I don't really just sit with her for long. Even if I do for a little while I am prone to say " Chal chal anek kaj ache" (Let's get going I have lots to do). Soon she will grow up and this is not what she will want from me. So as long as she asks for it maybe I should set aside my chores and just sit and enjoy and smell the freshness of her innocence. (Ok it may not work out as beautiful as it sounds because this 3 year old is an active imp and before long you may see me panting and gasping for air, a far cry from "smelling innocence" but at least I should make an effort)
I was never a fan of Valentines Day, but I liked Mothers Day since even being far I would send my Mother small gifts which I thought showed my love for her and it also meant “one more occasion” to get some loot for myself. But maybe even all my Mom wanted was just to be with me (or maybe she preferred the gifts which were more useful than the adult me , I never asked)
So between my Mother and my little daughter was I the one caught in the Hall Mark warp, totally discounting the actual essence of the day and concentrating on the screaming Mothers Day Sale banners instead.
To change my attitude this year I asked D to not get me a gift for Mother's Day, instead if the weather is good we will pack a lunch and have a "picnic" somewhere and enjoy the day as it comes
(D if you are reading this, you can give me gift on all other occasions, do not take this to your benefit. I am thinking of the child here remember !!!)
Happy Mother's Day to my Ma who has always been a good friend, has helped me through all my growing years including my studies, stood by me when I wanted to take up job in another city, stood by me in most of my life's decisions and done for me a lot more that I can ever imagine doing for her. I really feel bad that being far I am not really able to do for her as I should have as a grown up daughter in their day to day life. But she doesn't complain and neither expects anything from me. Hope to be a similar mother for S to be happy in her happiness and not expect much....
Happy Mothers Day to myself and to all Moms out there
(This post shared with Desi Momz Club)
Piyajkoli Or Scallion/Green Onion/Spring Onion is used to make this very simple typically Bengali dish. Tempered with Kalo Jeera/kalonji, a very common spice used for tempering in Bengali cooking, and Green Chillies this is one of the quick dry dishes you would make on a week day to go with chapati at dinner or packed with roti for next days lunch.Me the Rice lover, loves it with White Rice too. The shrimps add a festive touch to this and since I love shrimps I almost always add shrimps to this dish.
This goes to Nupur for "A - Z of Indian Vegetables" for this week's P -- Piyajkoli'r Tarkari a dry dish made with Scallion, Potatoes and Shrimp
What You Need
Scallion or Green Onion (known as piyajkoli in Bengali) ~ 4 bunches chopped small (as shown in pic)
Potatoes ~ 3 medium sized peeled and cubed as shown in pic
Green Chillies ~ 4-5 slit
Shrimp ~ ½ cup. I used frozen medium shrimp. You can use fresh smaller shrimps or even salad shrimps
Kalo Jeera/Kalonji/ Nigella Seeds ~ 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder ~ ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder ~ 1/2 tsp or according to tatse. I do not add this usually
How I Did It
Defrost shrimp if frozen else wash and clean. Sprinkle little turmeric powder and salt on the shrimp and leave it aside for 15-20 minutes
Wash and chop the scallions and potatoes
Heat Oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan
Lightly fry the shrimp till they are golden. Remove them and keep aside
In the same oil sauté the potato cubes till they acquire a hint of golden. Remove and keep aside
In the same oil (liitle more oil needs to be added by this point) add kalo jeera/kalonji and green chillies for tempering
Add the chopped scallion and sauté
Lightly fry till the scallion wilts.
Add the lightly sauted potatoes and mix well
Add ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, salt and sprinkle a little water if necessary. Add Red Chilli Powder if you wish
Cover and cook till done. Don't cover and let it burn, since there is very little water you need to stir this often.Don't worry doesn't take long
Add the fried shrimps and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes and you are done
This will be a dry dish and enjoy with Chapati or White Rice as a part of your everyday meal
Note: As one of my readers mentioned, instead of frying the potatoes as a separete step you can add the potatoes after tempering the oil with Kalonji and Green Chillies. Saute the potatoes and add the chopped scallions and cover and cook as the next steps indicate.
Remember to wash your bunch of scallions well when you bring them in fresh and for storing and chopping information check here
Trivia:The words scallion and shallot are related and can be traced back to the Greek askolonion as described by the Greek writer Theophrastus