Why the weekday meals?!

I was talking to my neighbor while our kids were playing, and we spoke about our weekday meals. She asked me why it was so very important for me to cook everyday, particularly when I can relax and use takeaway, instant pot, store frozen food etc. and make my life routine simpler.

I pondered a bit about why I’m working myself into a frenzy in the kitchen when I could get away with taking it easy, by planning big batch meals, freezing them and microwaving them for consumption! Why should I cook? What was behind it all?

Well, I grew up in a home where my mom used to make fresh meals three times of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I remember eating hot piping fresh food everyday. Our refrigerator was very small first of all, so there was no place to store anything but the basic supply of perishables. All veggies were off a cart from a street vendor every morning.

Most of Amma’s time was spent in the kitchen. She managed to keep herself occupied and happy by being completely at home, with her sewing classes, chit fund kitties, community service besides caring for our family and additional pets, feeding grooming and keeping us mentally and physically healthy. Same was the case with my maternal grandmother!

Like many Indian households, we had a maid to come clean the home and do the dishes everyday. She was given hot piping South Indian filter coffee with breakfast of the day, a reasonable allowance, bonus money for her family needs occasionally, festival bonuses, unlimited holidays and all our hands me down clothes for her adolescent daughters and leftover food. That was the norm. She would pack away all the food in boxes to take home to edit and fix them, only to feed her family.

Here in the US, if I made a big batch of anything outside of one meal, it goes into an airtight glass box and slowly makes it way to the back of the refrigerator. It goes into a box first only because I do not have the heart to thrash good food and I don’t have a maid who will eat the leftovers. At the end of the week (or month) it will only be forgotten, not to mention rotten, and cringingly thrashed.

It basically comes down to the fact that I do not eat leftovers, and that’s how I grew up. HP also does not eat leftovers. That’s his preference. According to him, a good chef should learn to make the right amount of one meal, not too much, not too little! Yep! I know! So I’m learning, and getting better. My meal proportions are usually 1.5 for one meal, so I now end up carrying it for my lunch the next day. I can’t spend my energy and money thinking about where to go for lunch and what to eat, so I’m happily eating last night’s dinner for lunch the next day.

If you see the food habits and patterns, it arises early in our childhood. Like most of us have read, everything starts from home. If I did not grow up seeing my mom balance her interests and that of the family, I would not be able to do what I do today.

Both HP and I want to make sure that we inculcate this to our son. We want him to see us cook a meal, feed him, provide for him and put together a contented and happy life.

So no matter how tired I am, I am finding ways to keep myself motivated on weekdays to create and spend quality time by cooking at home, to get my son interested and learn about his food. So this Instagram weekday meals is mostly to keep me going, a way to inspire others in the process and enjoy cooking and create memories!

Carpe Diem my friends!

Washington High School Ceramics feature, Fremont Arts and Wine Festival 2018.

The one beautiful stall I was in awe of from yesterday’s visit was the Washington High school ceramic studio at the Downtown Fremont Wine and Arts Festival. It was a quaint and pretty stall with lots of action and plenty of cute and interesting things. I was drawn to it instantly.

I picked up pair of pretty pink small bowls and printed ceramic coffee mugs for the win. For $10 and $8 each, it was a steal, not to mention a good addition to our home collection.
I read that all sales go to improving the ceramic studio at the high school! Score! The famous pottery teacher and his students were the highlight of the stall, jovial, burned out in the sun, but still working on their ceramics as we shopped, fifth year in a row at the festival.That kind of passion and dedication is inspiring. Such a treasure!

I spoke to Mr.Rodenkirk about my project and he gave me a budget to work with and handed me a card to take the idea forward. The studio is a mile from downtown Fremont and I will be visiting soon and will keep you all posted.

My project.
I wanted to make custom paella dishes for rice and biryani for home. I was told that the budget for that might be around $50-60, depending on the type and complexity of design! I might get a 12″ and an 8″ one.

Want some of these ceramics? The festival is still on today in downtown. Go find them else they are going to be at the Mountain View festival of arts on September 8-9th.

If any of you want any custom ceramics, write to me, I can coordinate the project for you too. And I’ll definitely write about the studio visit here. Am super excited!!
#HPRMH #radindiscity #RMstories #downtownfremont #downtownwineandarts #artsfestival #ceramics #crockery #hprmhome #hprmhomeprojects #downtownarts #fremont #mountainview #bayarea

Day 3/7 of nostalgia week. Back to our first living room setup for #HPRMhome, way back to July 2012. I still love this, and I have (some) pieces with us today. Also, thank you @purplehazerads who gave me good advice about American home design. Thanks for telling me that @ikeausa is perhaps the best place to start your first home, given that there’s no access to good quality craftsmanship that I was used to in India.
Kindly note: the painting sat on top of the futon, till the time we used push pins to hang them up. 😐
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#RMstories #radindiscity #designandcolor #rentals #apartmentlife #apartmentdesign #colortexture #colorandlife #ikeastarterhome #renterlifestyle (at San Jose, California)

‘tis the season! 🍰 Of course I’m sharing. 😉
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#HPRMhome #worktheoven #warmhome #vanillacake #cakesofinstagram #homebaked #holidayseason2017 #homesweethome #coffeeandcaketime #caketime #plentyforall #hapoyholidays #beagoodneighbor #yummyvanillacake #spongecake (at Fremont, California)

Welcoming this weekend with a garden update. This time it’s repotting and saving succulents in it’s gold colored planter for a friend. I made good notes in the Quarry Lakes master talk about ‘Gardening with Succulents’ early August this year. Before that, succulents didn’t appeal to me at all! To see these two budding and blooming after some months makes me happy. 😄
Also, my maiden bonsai is showing signs of life. Yay! New additions to the garden are some spicy Indian chillies, Spinach and carrots saplings for the next few months to come! Not sure what to do with those Mexican limes, but I might wait for a season turn to see what happens. And we had some of our green peppers for lunch this afternoon! So fresh! Yum!
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#HPRMgarden #HPRM #HPRMhome #gardeningbayarea #bayareagardens #patiogarden #containergarden #kitchengarden #vegetabkegarden #succulents #goldenplanter #beginnerbonsai #jasminebonsai #ficusbonsai #gardeningwithsucculents #masterclassgardening #homesweethome #happygardens (at Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area)

It’s not a break, it’s a vacation…..for a mom to have few peaceful minutes to herself for chai and store bought samosas. It’s is the season for crazy flu and fevers…..so I got myself a flu shot to nurse my baby and hubby back to normal! Oh man! Let’s hope your having a better Friday than me! I’m hoping that the weekend turns into a milestone that’s healthier and a better next week.
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#RMstories #HPRMhome #HPRM #chai&samosas #indiansnack #breaktime #metime #adraktea #masalachai #potatosamosas #souvenierCollesium #italyfinds #breakfasttablescenes #homesweethome #thisweekisdone #onedayatatime #momentsToReflect

1/7 week of Italian finds.
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This is a ceramic RAKU clock. Scroll right for the address and location.
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The description says “Ceramic Raku is an interesting and unique exhibit to the ancient RAKU technique. Each item is taken out of the oven while red-hot and quickly places in a metallic pot filled with combustible material (saw dust, hay, dry leaves…( Once the pot has been covered, flames deprive items of oxygen allowing oxides to turn into metals. This is what makes our products shimmer with marvelous metallic effects.”
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Well, CARPE DIEM! my dear friends!
This clock is at our entrance door, just as we get out for our day!
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#RMstories #HPRMhome #HPRM #HPRMvacation #Italianhandmade #italianfinds #rakuclocks #instablogger #productreview #ceramicsfromItaly #handmade #exclusivedesign #designiseverything #radindiscity #ceramicraku #ancienttraditions #italianculture #travelfinds #bringbackhome #clocks #raku.it

The weekend that was oh so peaceful! ☮️ Continuing what Amma started with our kitchen garden! Oh so much joy! Remembering my Bangalore days, when I would go help my neighbors tend to their gardens! Cheers to small, bountiful, container gardens! 🌶️🍋
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#HPRMhome #Bountifulgarden #survivingkitchengarden #kitchengarden #patiogarden #peppers #chillis #mexicanlimes #bayareagardeners #plantlife🌱 (at Fremont, California)

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#HPRMhome lunchtime company #sparrows #birdbath #HappyHolidays

Beautiful evening #loveDoubleRainbows #LuckyDay #EndOfGradSchool #NewBeginnings #HPRMhome #❤️

I love gardening. For whatever it is worth, the day you see life in your garden, although it is just two flowering pots, makes all the difference to mornings. I showed you a glimpse of this here, but I am enjoying a sense of fulfillment and joy just by looking at it each morning. 

 I love drawing rangoli with chalk too. Although I have not been practicing the traditional ‘connect-the-dots’ rangoli, I have been inspired by the classical base of the pot design to draw up images relating to it. (Read here for more on rangoli )

It is spring! It is the last semester of my masters program, and I finally have time to do other fun things besides chasing assignment deadlines!

Happy to welcome hobbies back into my life, happy to welcome creativity into my thoughts!

#ViewFromOurKitchen #HPRMhome #PatioMakeover Hope the sparrows like it too! Welcoming hummingbirds! 😊

#YesInMyBackyard #Spring #HappeningWeekend #HPRMhome Hope the sparrows like it too!

Crazy hectic weekend #HPRMhome #MeasureDraw #InteriorDesign #SpouseTeams #LongWeekendMusings #FightOverDesign #happy_sunday (at HPRMhome)

Staircase gallery wall #HPRMhome #LotsOfFun #SpouseTeams #InteriorDesign #HomeSweetHome