Evocative Press

Insights and inspirations of a homeschooling mother and a full-time homemaker

As I set out with my preschooler!

Jan 13 2012
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Reading ‘Some Implementation‘ got me galvanized into action… Hey, why not? I have no more than one child! What’s wrong with me? My son definitely need at least an hour of fresh air and sunshine! After all Charlotte reckons three to four hours for children under age 6! With our not so well-ventilated rooms in contiguous houses, the least I could do is take him out! Those where the thoughts that raced through my mind!

The next day was busy, but you know what …when one makes something a priority, one can somehow fit it in!! My mom was leaving for Bombay, my dad’s diet and juicing needed supervision, some read alouds for Nathan, fixing lunch….. in the middle of it all, at 1 p.m. “ Nathan let’s go to the park!”

Making a virtue of the sunshine and the park, for which I’m ever so grateful, grabbed a banana and a bottle of water, and set out. He made a castle from the bricks strewn in the park. And crushed scattered lime leaves and noticed the lime tree in blossoms. I showed him the difference between buds from the blooms and he asked me, “ Where’s that girl, Thumbelina?” (ha!) For a want- to -play- ball kind of child, I was amazed at how he played with bricks, leaves and mud all by himself.. .. Just letting him be. As Charlotte puts it, ‘A good deal of letting alone!’ I enjoyed watching such freedom and was smug about putting it to practice!

I consider myself so blessed to walk in the trail blazed by others. How easy can it get!

With all this, I went back to refresh my memories on those principles I said I would follow for my preschooler. As I mould my preschooler I plan to concentrate on habit training, nature study, composer study, poetry, hymns, foreign language etc… and informal read alounds! (as suggested from the above link)

The preschool years of life is an undertaking that I now come to see as crucial and formative that will determine most of the child’s character. This enterprise which will have challenges, risks and complications and most importantly scope for growth (sounds metaphorical), but seriously taking it up with diligence and punctuality just like professionals confer on their work! Love that kind of fervency! The Creator Himself has thought the mother qualified to take on this challenging task. He will bestow special wisdom in the process, I believe… So, I cannot walk about with lack of confidence in my ability as a parent… trusting that the parent-child relationship works! Believing in His design!

Biryani

Jan 10 2012
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This recipe is no authentic way of making biryani. But it works and tastes really good! This recipe is a combination of my mom-in law’s pulao and biryani as I knew it. Her pulao had such a strong biryani taste and flavor, that I thought, hmm, may be I need to flavor the rice this way. And guess what, this biryani is suffused with gutsiness!!!

GRAVY

5 large onions, chopped

3 large green chillies, slit

1 cinnamon stick

2 small bunches pudina/ mint leaves

1 small bunch coriander leaves

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

3 peppercorns

2 cloves

3- 4 tablespoons oil

Saute all the above ingredients in oil until onion turns light brown. Cool and puree. That’s the ground masala.

1-2 tablespoons chilly powder

400 gms curd

1 ½ – 2 Kg mutton (Depends on the mutton to rice proportion you prefer.)

Marinate the mutton in salt, curd, ground masala, and chilly powder for an hour in the vessel you desire to cook in. Cook the marinated mutton as is for an hour or till the meat is tender.

 

RICE

1 kg basmati rice (5 cups)

9 cups water ( a little less than needed)

2-3 drops kewra water

a pinch of saffron

2 small bunches mint leaves (pudina), cleaned and choped

3- 5 chillies, slit in 4 (number of chillies will depend on how spicy you like it)

2 onions, chopped

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

3 cardamoms

3-4 cloves

large stick of cinnamon or cassia

1 tablespoon ghee ( it does flavor the biryani)

1 tablespoon oil

  • Over medium heat, in a large pan with a lid, melt the ghee along with the oil and the garam masala (cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon), stirring a bit. Add the chillies, onions and mint leaves, frying each a bit before adding the other. Then the ginger and garlic paste. Stir a little.
  • Add the washed rice, stirring till lightly slicked with the oil. Pour the water and kewra water. Add the saffron. Clamp on the lid. Let it cook.

 

GARNISH

8-10 onions, thinly sliced in rings

8-10 potatoes (optional), cut in thick discs

200gm  cashews, split in half

Oil for deep frying

 

  • In a pan of hot oil, fry the onions in batches to get dark brown strands. Stash them on paper towel.
  • The potatoes can be grilled on a nonstick pan
  • Toast the cashews on a nonstick pan till lightly brown.

LAYERING THE RICE AND MUTTON GRAVY

  • In a large vessel with a lid, layer the bottom with potatoes. Spoon the rice to cover the bottom with a thin layer. Then pour some gravy and strew few mutton pieces. Add the second layer of rice. Scatter onion strands and cashew.
  • Then spread the mutton and gravy. Scatter few potatoes over the grayy layer. Then the rice…. Continue layering till you fill the vessel, the final layer being rice. For the garnish, a final smattering of onion strands and cashews. Clamp on the lid. Place it over a very low heat for 20 min., or till warmed through. Done

 

When serving, never mix the layers so that the gravy completely mingles with the rice. So spoon out delicately! Serve with raita!

 

God’s most important gift – the power of choice!

Jan 10 2012
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Points from the message in church, last sunday!

 

This new year can be seen as a clean slate to write my history. I can have the best marriage, be the best mother, have the best relationship, a deeper commitment with the Lord Jesus Christ. It depends on ME!!

Life is made of choices, not chances. We are our choices! Character is formed by the same. NEVER underestimate the power of choice. External circumstances do not take our power to choose.  Christians should never be victims, but victors.

“Victimization is a slap in the face of God”

As opposed to animals that have instinct, man has the freedom to choose his own destiny. So take hold of the wheel… direct yourself to the right destination!

The questions to ask in crucial decisions ( those that will determine the course of our life):

  • What does God say about a situation?
  • Is the choice in harmony with the word of God?
  • Is my standard based upon the word of God or my own wisdom, or upon what people think? Verses: Prov 3:5-6, Proverbs 28:26, Proverbs 20:24Rather side with legalism than lawlessness. We don’t have to pray about the clearly forbidden.

Then there are those decisions that are not spelled out in the bible. They are neither black nor white… the grey areas. The choices between what’s good and what’s best. (1cor 10: 23)

The questions to ask:

  1. Will it make me a better Christian? Will it build me up spiritually? Will it move me closer to God??
  2. How will my choices help others? Will it hurt others? We are not to be people pleasers but we are to consider others?
  3. Will your choices trouble your family?
  4. Will I want others to know what I’m about to do? Live your life in the light.
  5. Is this the best use of my time?
  6. Do I take counsel from others? Proverbs 13:10, 15:22, 19:20
  7. Do you think your decisions through? Don’t make your choice on a whim? Proverbs 14:8, 14:15.
  8. What will be the consequences of my choices?

There will be a judgement day! That’s why we need to make wise decisions. The day of reckoning is preceded by the day of reason.

Life has choices, choices have consequences. Therefore make the right choices.