Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekend Stuff

Weekend Dog Blogging: A Day At The Dog Run


You know how other people walk their dogs? Well, our Dale walks his humans! Today, he is taking us to the dog run...
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At the dog run, the normally placid and sleepy Dale runs around wildly...
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...and plays with his friends...
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...and then, he needs to cool off. Dale digs up the dirt the reveal the wet, cooler soil underneath the surface (bad dog!)...
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...and gets some rest on the cool mud, thereby ruining the grooming efforts of the morning!
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My parents are visiting from India for my convocation (I just got back from NYC) and that is the reason for my sluggish blogging (and delayed e-mail replies) these days...too busy traveling and having fun with them! Here is a lovely gift that my mother got for me: She knows a lady who is an expert at embroidery and patch-work, so my mother did a little collaborative project with her. She creatively drew out some designs and then this lady executed them in fabric, to make three unique custom-made kitchen aprons. The theme: the Indian kitchen!

Here is the first, depicting four scenes of home cooks engaged in traditional Indian kitchen tasks, in the days before the mixer and food processor took over! This is all elbow grease and muscle power, people!
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Here is a look at the details: the first scene is that of food being cooked on a clay wood-fired chulha (Hindi) or shegdi (Marathi) or stove.
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The second scene: a pata-varvanta (Marathi) or stone grinder: a stone roller is worked back and forth on a stone slab to make the most delicious pastes or chutneys!
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The third scene: a large mortar and pestle (made of stone, usually) used to crush anything from chillies (to make fiery red chilli powder!) or other spices or dry spice mixtures.
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The final scene: a manual grinder called the jaata (Marathi) consisting of two stone rings. The stuff to be ground is placed in between the two discs and one uses a wooden handle to rotate the upper ring, crushing the food to a fine powder, which spills out from the gap between the two stones. This method is used for making fresh flours, for instance.
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The second apron is simple and classic:
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It shows a beautiful display of the tools of the kitchen: clay pots on a multilayered shelf or katta (Marathi) which usually separated the washing area from the main kitchen. The bigger pots are at a higher level. The pots could be used for storing anything from pickles to water!
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The third apron is my absolute FAVORITE and it is easy to see why!! My mother knows that the beautiful thali is the banner of this blog, so she designed a matching apron for me! Here it is, the One Hot Stove apron :)
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The details: a feast in more ways than one...complete with all the delectable dishes that go into a festive Maharashtrian meal! See a description of these dishes in this post.
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Many thanks to my baba for helping with this post. See you on Sunday with the T of Indian Vegetables! Entries are being accepted until tomorrow night. Enjoy your weekend!

52 comments:

  1. Do post pictures of your convocation. And the aprons are beautiful. :) Congratulations.

    I do a lot of embroidery too. I've posted some stuff on another blog that I have. :)

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  2. Congratualtions! on your graduation. That is a really a lovely gift from your mom. The apron looks really cool with the fine embroidery.

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  3. Nupur , Congrats ....Apron looks very cute ...Nice gift ....Where is the treat

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  4. The aprons are simply exquisite Nupur. Congratulations on your convocation.

    Mamatha

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  5. Congratulation, Nupur!

    And what a great gift from your mom - a wonderful idea for embellishing aprons, and so well executed too!

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  6. Congratulations Nupur errr Dr. Nupur :) Those aprons are so so pretty.
    And at least my 3 year old does not take us for a run...i.e. not yet, it is another thing that we have to run around her:)

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  7. wow!
    how cool is that!
    your mom is great
    aprons are amazing

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  8. Congratulations Dr.Nupur!!!
    The aprons are so apt!!! Love the thali apron! How very thoughtful of ur parents.. all those small details!!
    Hope u have a wonderful time with them as they will have with u!!!
    Love and hugs to Dale, the tall, dark and handsome!!!

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  9. Congratulations on your graduations.
    The aprons are just fabulous.
    The details are just amazing....the kaath in the sari-padar, the peeth spilling from the jaata, etc.

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  10. Nupur, COngrats dear and your mom can actually start a line of designer aprons, lovely work!

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  11. Congratulations Nupur. The apron shows your mother's love. Very beautiful. Its a treasure. Viji

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  12. Those are the best gifts a foodie like you can get. I would proudly wear them and show them to my friends who wud want to know more abt India. Congratulations on yr graduation. And, as always, Dale is cho-chweet!

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  13. They are so beautiful!!!! And its so thoughtful of your mum to get this!! :)
    Whoever has done it, has taken every small detail into consideration. :) Loved the last one especially! :)

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  14. I loveeeeeeee all your aprons !!! Esp the third one. Yes, it has become my favorite one too !!

    Have fun with your parents.

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  15. Many congratulations! And hello to your parents, the aprons from your Mum are just wonderful, how nice that she 'shares' in the blog, too!

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  16. Nupur those aprons are gorgeous. Did your mother get them in Pune? If so let me know from whom?

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  17. Hi Nupur,

    Heartiest Congratulations on your convocation!!! The aprons are lovely and intricat. Convey my regards to ur aai baba!!

    Cheers

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  18. Congratulations Nupur -- what an exciting and wonderful time for you! Dale pics are adorable as always, and your aprons are beautiful! Thanks for sharing them, and enjoy this special time with your family :)

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  19. Lovely aprons Nupur! I love traditional, ethnic looking stuff like that. That is really sweet of your mom :-)
    Have fun with u're folks
    Cheers
    Latha

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  20. What a wonderful gift - they're beautiful! Enjoy your visit!

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  21. what a cute & thoughtful gift :) the lady at the mortar & pestle sure seems to be enjoying making her mirchi cha koot :)

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  22. Congrats Nupur ! Those aprons so very nice and esp the One Hot stove apron.

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  23. oooooooooooohhhhhhhh....... I just cant stop drooling over this !

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  24. Congrats on your convocation, Nupur!
    The aprons are beautiful! never seen anything like this before...
    Have a wonderful time with your parents!

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  25. oh Nupur,
    Such a beautiful work. I wish I get some gifts like that. they are so valuable just because of the work and effort put on them. thanks for sharing.

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  26. NUPUR THE APRONS ARE GREAT AND SO GOOD TO BE GIFTED TO FRIENDS .
    I LOVE TO GIVE GIFTS , BUT THEY SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT THE OTHER PERSON SHOULD ALWAYS USE AND I AM SURE THESE ARE SUCH ITEMS WHICH EVERY LADY WHO COOKS CAN USE.
    PLS TELL ME WHERE YOU GOT THEM FROM.
    BYE
    MAHEK

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  27. Congrats Nupur.Those aprons look great.thanks for sharing.Durga

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  28. I love Dale! He is so beautiful and looks like a lot of fun too! :)

    Absolutely loved your aprons! Beautiful designs! How thoughtful of your mom. Have a great time with your folks, N! If your convocation was for graduating, congrats!!

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  29. Hi Nupur,
    I liked the way your mom depicted Indian house theme on aprons. I can't stop thinking what an amazement work of embroidery. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

    cheers
    rajani

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  30. Dale is so cool!

    The aprons - I am speechless. They are the best.

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  31. Congratulations Nupur! I'm sure the PhD done is a welcome relief (if you read Jorge Cham's PhD comics...there is double reason to rejoice since you graduated in the same year as Slackenerny..:D )

    The aprons are delightful...I'm sure you're torn between using them and saving them from getting dirty...a truly thoughtful and beautiful gift. I hope your parents have a truly enjoyable visit.

    I don't mean to be rude...but I wonder if we can have the honour of a guest post from your mother while she is with you :)

    Cheers again!
    AA

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  32. The aprons are so lovely - they brought tears to my eyes - all that time and love put into making them!

    I admit to having a bit of a thing for traditional kitchen implements. I have several mortars and pestles, and often make Thai curries from scratch with them. Indian curries not so much, but I have always secretly wanted a flat stone grinder.

    Enjoy the tie with your Mom!

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  33. the aprons are lovely!! i have childhood memories of my grandmother cooking on a chulha and us eating off banana leaves... what a wonderful idea of ur mother's to have this theme on an apron!

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  34. I know what you mean when you say'Dale walks his humans'.My dog used to do the same.
    And those aprons are absolutely precious!You are one lucky girl.
    Congrats on your graduation.
    BTW,you look great in that new profile photo :)

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  35. Raaga, pictures of the convocation, with me in that Harry Potter-ish robe and silly cap :D No way :)

    Indosungod, thanks!

    Deepa, come on over, I'll be glad to give you a treat ;)

    Mamatha, thank you so much!

    Anita, thanks :) My mother gives me enough aprons to last several lifetimes :)

    Sandeepa, well, at least your kid will grow up! This canine baby will give us the runabout forever :)

    Saju, true...my mom is certainly great!

    Manasi, Dale is blushing :)

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  36. TC, my mom just read the comments, and was so delighted that you noticed all those details. You have a keen eye! All the inked-in details were done by my Dad, so this is truly a collaborative effort of three people :)

    Nandita, yeah, if my mom did not already have a more-than-full-time job (she is a pediatrician), I keep telling her she could be a designer! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Viji, so true, I'm going to really treasure it!

    Suganya, it is truly the best gift for a foodie. I never know what to do with conventional gifts like jewelry...this shows that my mom knows me so well :)

    Coffee, it is so true...the wonder is in the littlest details!

    Mythili, thanks :)

    Alanna, my mom is quite techno-phobic and does not manage to read the blog, but she is still a huge supporter of my "habit" :)

    Anupama, no, these aprons cannot be bought anywhere. They were hand-designed and custom-made. But I can certainly tell you the name of the lady who did the patch-work (she lives in Kolhapur). My mom drew the design herself. Drop me a mail if you want details.

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  37. Raakhee, I'll certainly convey your message! They will be thrilled to know that you read my blog :)

    Linda, thanks :) Dale says thanks too :)

    Latha, I love Indian "stuff" too :) Am totally drawn to it.

    Cathy, thanks so much!

    Richa, :D yes, she certainly seems to be enjoying her cooking! I'm sure I would collapse half-way thro' that job :)

    Pooja V, thanks :)

    Anon, LOL :)

    Tee, I know...hand-made gifts are totally unique! Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharmi, so true...these simple cotton aprons are more valuable than any expensive gift!

    Mahek, yes, this is a totally useful gift for any cook!

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  38. Durga, thanks!

    Vani, yes, the convocation was for graduation...thanks for your wishes! Dale is a full-time entertainer :)

    Rajani, embroidery always amazes me too...simple colored thread used to make such a variety of mind-boggling designs. Human creativity knows no bounds!

    Cynthia, thanks so much!

    AA, LOL on the comics...they simply hit the nail on the head! Yes, I am totally torn between using the aprons and saving them. I think I will use the first two, and save the third. Can't bear the thought of getting turmeric stains on it!
    I keep telling my mom to write a guest post! She writes very well...she has been writing a column (Q and A) on child health in the local paper (she is a pediatrician), and has edited a book on children's nutrition (all in Marathi, but she could certainly write in English if she wanted to). Let's see if she gets around to writing anything for this blog :)

    Diane, I was so touched to get them too! I must say I am *very* impressed to know about you making "real" thai curry pastes. You rock! I must confess I have yet to evolve to that stage of cooking. Hope I get there someday.

    Hina, ooh, what sweet memories. Cooking off a chulha is hard work...shows your grandmom's love even more.

    Madhuli, thanks :) The profile photo...I don't photograph well but decided the old photo was 5 yrs old and hence, very misleading :) It was time for a change.

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  39. Abhinandan Dr.Nupur..
    The aprons are a perfect gift for a perfect cook :) So nice of ur mom to think of such gifts..
    Congrats to u and regards to ur Aai Baba! :)

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  40. kitte goad gifts aahet hey...so thoughtful....congrats on graduation aani pic he masta aahe navin....
    enjoy with ur parents...

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  41. Wow that is mindblowing Nupur. Tell Kaku those are a hit. Have fun with your Aai n Baba. Congrats for your convocation!

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  42. Nupur, I loved those aprons..,..I wish I had one like that....!! Wish I could meet your mom and request for one :)

    Shn

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  43. Congratulations to you. Your aprons are so pretty. What a perfect gift. I am an avid reader of your blog. really enjoy it.

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  44. hi doc.
    yeh cheez badi hai mast mast...........
    a post from deepaai is a must must..
    so there..let's have it sooner than later,
    the earlier the better |
    luv, yoma.

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  45. Very thoughtful gifts. Just enjoyed looking at them.

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  46. Congratulations Nupur!...the aprons are totally rocking...so sweet of your Mom to have such customized gifts made fr you :)

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  47. Nupur - apron khupach chan ahet - its really nice to see how enthu your Mom is, as she matches her skills with yours to get such wonderful results ! Keep blogging!

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  48. Congratulations on your graduation, Nupur! I got my PhD back in 2005, and now how hard work it is:) Also - the aprons are all lovely - my favourite is the one showing the Indian kitchen tasks - very elaborate!!

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  49. i saw your link on ilva's site and had to look...these are amazing! i really love them! beautiful works.

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  50. I love your aprons, Nupur! How wonderful!

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  51. I am simply stunned: gorgeous!

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  52. hey....the aprons are really nice....are they up for sale by any chance???

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