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Being fortunate to live in a not so new area which is likewise nearby a wonderful park, I started to lovvvveeeeee morning walks. The beautiful dawn behind the curtains of trees and homes is an euphoric watch. Day starts with serene hearts and tranquil minds. Indeed, at times I miss St.Louis , yet I’m gradually beginning to adore Dallas. (St.Louis will be my forever favorite though).
With winter fast approaching, squirrels in the park hurry to gather acorns and other food they could find in the park. The place is usually crowded (with humans) in the evenings, but pretty empty in the mornings. So Squirrels tend to be more active in the mornings. I love watching them rush for food or as they bask in the dawn’s warmth. I love capturing them in my pictures. Squirrels are awesome posers. See it for yourself to believe what I just said
Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning --WILLIAM WORDWORTH
Park: Katie Jackson Park in Dallas (More about the trails in the park in another blog post)
I was confused about what title I would give for this post. I ended up giving one in my poetic style (or at least I thought so).
I made ghee (from unsalted butter) for the first time today. I have been postponing this DIY for quite a while now. It was the fear of overcooking or undercooking that stopped me from trying. It’s never going to be ghee if it’s undercooked. Or worse, if it’s overcooked – all I will have is burnt ghee. I think it came out pretty well on the first try. I am damn sure it would become better with practice.
As I watched the butter graciously melting, my mind serenely hit the replay button on my fond childhood memory. I reminisced how my mom made butter and how I used to patiently wait in the kitchen to be the first one to taste it. She used to fondly call me her Chinni Krishna. The smell of freshly made ghee was heavenly. And the taste of rice with ghee and peanut powder reminded me of my mother and her unconditional love
Back in India, we always made butter and ghee at home. During the good old times, the making process of butter(hence ghee) was pretty tedious. It included churning the buttermilk inside an earthen pot and the paddle (whisk beater look-alike) dancing alternatively in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Until the formation of the butter, this process kept repeating. My grandmother and aunts used to do this frequently until the times changed and the process upgraded to making butter using mixers and hand paddles.
Here in the USA, I made ghee from unsalted butter I brought from Krogers. The ghee didn’t smell precisely like how it smelled when my mother made it back in India. Its taste’s nowhere closer to my mom’s recipe as well. To add up the flavor, she adds beetle leaf at the end of the ghee preparation process to add up the flavor. Next time I make ghee, I will make sure to have beetle leaves handy.
I followed a youtube video to make ghee today. It’s a very neatly described video. So all I did was follow the steps meticulously. If you do not have time to follow the entire video (provided via the link at the bottom of this post) but somehow got time and patience to follow the steps I provide, then here you go:
- Drop the chunks of butter into a deep steel utensil.
- Then allow it to cook in simmer.
- Allow it to melt. And somewhere down the road, you will see a lot of foam building up.
- A little while later, the foam starts reducing. Then you can notice bubbles and layers of the melted butter being clear.
- As the milk solids settle at the bottom, it slowly starts turning tan. You can also notice the color of the melt turning gold from yellow as the bubbles reduce. This golden melt is ghee.
- Then turn off the heat and let ghee to cool down a bit.
- Starin off the residual foam, and collect ghee in a dry and clean container.
The joy in preparation (apart from being tensed about burning the ghee) is having a chance to prepare and store ghee using all steel utensils – steel pot, steel ladle, and steel jar. Half of my cookware is steel ware, and I recently replaced the yogurt jar from glass to the earthen container. Seeing more steel and earthenware makes me feel at home.
PS Alert: Oh, by the way, a new plant got added to the family. I named her Yuri. The beauty of chrysanthemums is as pleasant as the smell of freshly made ghee. This one with heavily blossomed flowers is from Krogers. I love the traditional bright yellow ones, but bronze-colored mums are my favorite ones. I used very few of them for my pooja(prayers) today. My little and uncomplicated pooja mandir was brighter with the flowers from balcony. I need to be extra tending to the plants in this Dallas heat. Summer seems to be still around – More about the plants in a separate post.
Do share your cooking stories and of course your favorite kind of flora.
“I love MY AGE. Old enough to know better. Young enough not to care.” – Angela Bassett
With age comes experience, and with experience, one will acknowledge who ought to be cherished. Knowing just this much is a victory in itself as you will finally realize who does have the affinity to your tribe.
One must be lucky enough to have Friends like Family – Those friends who are never selfish, those who have always got your back (but not the others who flaunt their talent in talking behind your back), and those who gladly accept you the way you are.
Your tribe consists of the people with whom you share the same opinions, thoughts and tastes, or otherwise towards whom you hold a strong admiration and acceptance for their unique qualities. Respect and trust are mutual among the tribe members as friendship predominantly blooms on these two things. Once trust is lost, respect is gone into thin air. And so does the bond.
You can never overlook the way that your clan is your Prophet. They are pretty much essential in your everyday existence. Without them, you will end up with those frustrating moments of not knowing how to respond to those sweet chats and smiles which turn out to be fake. It decimates you from the inside to act normal with artificial people. They never match up to your mental peace level. So you’ll eventually add them to your IDGAD (I Don’t Give A Damn) list. Letting these people live the way they are is an art, as feedback or suggestions are highly unacceptable to these people.
Schools and Colleges give the best of the friends and memories one can hold onto till the very end. Pretty much every individual you meet after that will either be a colleague or the person who doesn’t look back when their reliance on you expires.
And if you are a girl suffering during moments of utter despair, your Girls Squad comes first to the rescue. They can effortlessly recognize your genuine despondency and your crazy overthinking. These friends are baddies as they never take a step back on throwing some sense into you when you are undoubtedly lacking it. Hold onto these brutally honest people.
Pic Credits: Joel Muniz on Unsplash
There will always be the kind of friends who, over time, lose contact with you and you even doubt if they are alive. However, to these friends, there could never have been a day gone without you crossing their minds at least once. While you end up cursing them every day for being busy bees, they, on the other hand, would be reminiscing your good old memories. So, give up on cursing. Live and let them live. But hold onto them by letting them love their busy lives.
There will be VIP companions for whom you have compassion, for you realize that you hold a vital spot in their souls (even when you don’t deserve that). You keep wondering why that happened! Stop wondering and hold onto them. Be thankful – not everyone gets lucky to be admired and loved.
People spend time and thoughts on fake ones. But there is something more gloomy that people choose – Revenge. Nothing comes good out of it. Holding onto true friends, and not giving a damn for the rest is the best policy. That is how you lead a happy life – Your blessed tribe becomes your best vibe.
When a director's brainchild is value added by brilliantly talented actors, the upshot of the blend turns out magical. That is exactly what happened with the movie Sita Ramam.
By not being a movie buff, I thought talking about one would be undeserving of me. But this one is exceptional. Well, one doesn’t need to be a movie buff to understand and feel the depth of a meticulously crafted story. The Telugu movie industry instituted a super feel-good movie after a long pause. All thanks to the director Hanu Raghavapudi. “Godavari” was the last movie that touched my heart to this extent.
Mrunal Thakur and Dulqer Salmaan aptly justified the characters of Sita and Ram. I can’t think of any other actors as harmonious as this pair. No other duo would have complemented each other the manner in which Mrunal as Sita and Dulqer as Ram did. Dissimilar to the vast majority of the movies where actresses are only for glamor depiction, Mrunal’s role in this movie is way more than just her beauty. Sita’s personality is essentially as significant as Ram. Rashmika, Tharun Bhascker, Vennela Kishore, Sumanth worked convincingly by adding more hues to the movie. With their characters, they help in unfolding the story to the audience gradually but sublimely.
The movie encompasses patriotism and love equally. But it clearly shows what comes first for a soldier. The love story that starts with a letter gracefully depicts the beautiful way of communication in gOLDEN days. Be it the startling twist of Sita’s true identity or the story building through the last letter from Ram – every scene touches the viewer’s heart to the core. The scene where Ram, putting himself at risk, brings peace between Hindu and Muslim communities in Kashmir is incredible.
As the story exhibits all the shades of human emotions through various characters, it also sets a moral that love and hope can ultimately win the world. I only wish the story wouldn’t have had a sad ending – If so, it would have been unrealistic. Ram’s last letter and the film’s climax were just about as painful as Sita’s quest for Ram turning out to be futile.
Kudos to the entire Sita Ramam team for its victory and great thanks to the producer Aswani Dutt for trusting the story and the story teller. Wishing to see more of the classic movies from Indian Film Industry.
Watch trailer of the movie here:
Full Movie is now available on Amazon Prime – Find the link below
Wars and Crimes
— Read on spillwords.com/wars-and-crimes/
My poem “Wars and Crimes” got published on Spillwords press.
Please go to the below mentioned spillwords link to view full poem.
Have a marvelous Monday everyone 🙂
As we recently moved to Dallas(from St.Louis), there are yet many places that are left unexplored by us. Every day I have been badly missing St. Louis, its many different birds, and all its wooded glory (especially Castle Wood State Park). Despite Dallas being its stark contrast, I am still finding ways to cope with the missing feelings of St. Louis.
As we had our aunt and uncle visit us in Dallas, we planned to go for a small walk in Prairie Creek Park mid-afternoon. Waking up very early in the morning is a task impossible for my husband. Moreover, both of us had soar throats that morning – Dallas’s allergies are to be blamed.
Thanks to the SUN God. he was less ferocious on SUNday 🙂 We parked our car in the parking area and first headed to the small waterfall that graces a beautiful creek flowing through the serene wooded area. We crossed over the waterfall and entered the walking trail of the park. This trail stretches over a small area (less than a mile), but it’s beautiful as one side is covered with trees and the other is lined up with some of the most beautiful houses that I have ever seen in Dallas. My uncle admired those houses a lot. We didn’t explore all of the park (planning to explore completely some weekend), but the waterfall and creek are enough to spend a couple of hours in.
We snapped some beautiful pictures near the waterfall and on the trail. Will update this post once we explore the park in full on near weekends.
People in Dallas, let us know some good places to visit in the city 🙂
If you love to visit this park, please see below map for location. Below the map, I have also provided the park’s website link, if you would love to see the activities 🙂