Canino Produce : Farmer’s market ~ A visit

Caninos - mexican food vendor

I was in India for most of this year’s summer. While there are many things I miss about being back home, in the context of food and cooking, the one thing I miss incredibly like no other is the joy of shopping in open vegetable markets. The old world charm of walking from one street vendor to another, picking the freshest produce in Malleswaram market, or the Mysore K R Market, Basavangudi market or any local market for that matter is quite an experience for the senses.

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Fresh Walnuts in shell

fresh walnuts

I was reading this book on foraging last week when I learnt that United States is the most nut endowed country in the world. Upon reading that, I realized, my life so far has gone by without having sighted a single nut-tree or a fresh nut. However, living in Houston has come to be a boon in certain ways. Over the years, we have come to know this city to be a melting pot of cultures owing to its bustling oil and gas industry. As a result, this place is dotted with food joints representing a variety of cuisines and specialty grocery stores from around the world, Mediterranean being one of them.

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Ingredient Love | Goji Berries

Happy New YEar 2013{ White Sands, New Mexico }

It is a brand New Year! Hope it has started well for you…

2012 left on a bitter note with gut wrenching events to swallow and us mute spectators with a ton to learn from.

I want to start this year not by turning back but by learning from the past, looking ahead a little, staying in the present a lot, living well every moment, laughing often, loving much holding dear ones even closer.

In food and eating, to consciously reduce microwave usage (this one is hard, I know!) and have no regrets about indulging whenever I do! (borrowed this from Chinmayie on facebook).

Looking ahead, now for the ‘New” part in the New Year for the blog…

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Pictures from my India trip

Hello lovely people! It feels good to be back….

I know I have been missing in action for an entire season now. You know why? I was holidaying almost the whole of summer back home in India.

And I seldom cooked. Never missed on eating though. I got to feast on the bounty of the season – golden ripe mangoes and saffron hued jackfruits and all the home made foods that I craved for, the last couple of years.

I did have all the intentions to blog while I was there, about the traditional foods mom, aunt and mom-in-law made. That did not happen as I just let myself be in the moment. Then, I intended to bring back some pictures of the places I visited like a diligent blogger. That did not happen much as well, as for a change I felt good enjoying the simple pleasures without lugging my camera around. Luckily, after scrambling through my hard drive, I found some that I could share with you..

So take a look at these from my trip back home.. I’ll forewarn you, they may not be what you expect to see.. I hope you them enjoy nonetheless..

 On the way to Kukke Subrahmanya, when we stopped at a tea shop in Sakaleshpur (near Hassan), this winding road and the lone tree added to the serenity of the place

A distant view of the Mysore Palace minarets from the terrace at my grand-dad’s house. can u spot them?. Yes, it is at a walking distance, say 10 mins of brisk walk..

Inside view of the narrow corridor (aka “woni in kannada) and the tiled roof at my Grand dad’s house.

A tulsi sapling and some traditional water containers on the well inside the house.

My all time favorite flower – “Jaaji” as dainty as it looks and smells just divine..

It is hard to find these even outside of Mysore

One of the hundred plants from the terrace garden at my grand dad’s house, Mangaravalli (kannada) and Perandai (Tamil) is supposed to have digestive qualities. My grand dad’s sister whom we fondly called Attapaati would make and out of the world tasting chutney out of this. Most modern families are losing touch eating or cooking this now-a-days rare to be seen plant.

It is notorious to be highly itch inducing when it comes in contact with the skin. So knowing how to properly cook it is very important.

A darker variety of Tulasi and I love these. They have a stronger taste and scent.

 The next few plants are from my mom’s garden.

This one is called “Insulin plant” as it is supposed to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Very popular among the diabetes patients.

What you see are just the leaves. Turmeric roots are underground.

Amruthaballi (Guduchi)

Remember the saying on “Apple a day”? Something very similar goes for this one as well. An Amruthaballi leaf a day chewed first thing in the morning on empty stomach is supposed to keep all illness away.

If you remember, I had enquired about this plant some weeks back on my facebook page.

Last but not the least, some green mangoes from the season gone by. 

What did you’ll do this summer?

Treat yourself to more :

    

Balcony Garden

“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.” ~ Thomas Berry

While I’m busy with other things needing priority, thought I’ll show you around my little balcony garden. So come on.. enter my little green space..

Gardening – My way to connect with nature, an everyday proof of life

“Where you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.” ~ Spencer W. Kimball

A friend gave this tomato plant when she moved to another state in winter

My little girl planted these. She makes sure to water them everyday and checks on them to see if she can find peas yet.

I read somewhere, it seems, if we let mint, it would take over the garden. I’d say, if you want to be sure about your green thumb, try planting mint.


I’d buy organic herbs for a steep price just to use once or twice and before I knew the whole thing rotted sitting in the refrigerator. Growing my own “lesser used” herbs such as rosemary, parsley and thyme lets me use a sprig as two as needed.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul” ~ Alfred Austin

After an episode of mealy bugs, a home remedy solution of baking soda, salt and soap didn’t seem to help my dying curry leaf plant. I had lost all hopes when she started showing new signs of life.

Fingers crossed, she’ll make it..

If you have special tips for any of these or any plant for that matter, I’d love to hear from you..

Treat yourself to more: