Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Photography Art

Flexible through the Winds

In the areas where the winds are mighty, the tall palm trees often grace the landscape. Though there are hardly any oaks or similar tall stately trees to be found around. The strength and beauty of the tall palm trees to survive through the huge storms or strong gusts of wind lies in their ability to be strong and flexible. They sway with the wind, bending almost down to the ground at times and that ability allows them to survive the forces of nature.

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. Tony Robbins

The Word of God teaches us to be resilient and pliant when we face the powerful winds that are part of life. When we put our complete faith and trust in His Word, we would be able to adapt to anything that comes our way. As the destructive forces and thoughts push us; lean to adapt keeping our principles and Faith strong so that we can be flexible to plan our sway according to the Lord’s Will. In fact, in doing so we learn to use the force of the winds to make us even stronger and sheltered under the Lord’s wings.

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” Confucius

Have you ever observed children as they learn new things ? They don’t have any fixed notion or ideologies. They listen to what is told, the first words and sounds they say are what they hear when we as adults say them. When a child begins to learn to write and does not know what is expected of him, their hands are completely flexible and obediently controlled by the hand of their parents and teachers mother; as soon as they imagine what they understood and comprehend, tries to “help”, everything goes at random: that’s what I mean when saying that the power of God is accomplished in weakness.

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family. Virginia Satir

Like the sails of the ship, the wind can fill it so that it will carry the whole ship – just because the sail is flexible; if instead of a sail you put a solid board, then nothing will come out. One of the many things that God constantly tries to teach us instead of the imaginary, insignificant and anarchic “strength” that we hold to is fragility, flexibility, complete surrender to God.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.’ James 4:13-17

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein

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Posted in Daily, Food, Photography Art

Art of Chantilly Cream

Whipped cream also known as Chantilly cream or crème chantilly, is one of those discoveries whose origins have been lost in obscurity. From being attributed to accidental discovery in the ancient times, to whipping instead of churning the cream for butter or the common folk tale of a fast horse ride with a half filled container of cream, whipped cream has become an answer to transform the boring mundane to fresh, new and exciting view.

Essentially whipped cream is made by whipping the cream by a whisk or mixer until it is light and fluffy. It is often sweetened and flavored with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, orange to mention a few. The colder the equipment, ingredients and the cream, the easier to whip and better the results. Cream must be below 50 degrees to whip, for at 50 degrees or above it gets churned into butter. From whipping siphons to food processors and electric mixers, the hand whipped cream has progressed with time and technology.

Popularized from the 16th century onward, whipped cream became aromatized and sweetened. Then it was added to various desserts from pyramidal shapes with coffee, liqueurs, chocolate, fruits and so on, to make either as a mixture or poured on top known as crème en mousse (‘cream in a foam’), crème fouettée, crème mousseuse and fromage à la Chantilly. Modern mousses including “mousse au chocolat” have continued this tradition. As written, “Mousses are made with sweet cream, not very thick; one whips it, which makes it foam, and it is this foam that one uses: one may give it whatever flavor one wants, with aromatics, flours, fruits, wines, or liqueurs.” M. Emy, 1768

Continuing through the years, whipped cream still remains a popular topping from fruit to desserts of pie, ice cream, cake, puddings, waffles and even to beverages ranging from coffee to milk or plain hot chocolate. These days imitations of whipped cream, for those with milk allergies or vegan diets, extended shelf life and convenience have been made available as whipped topping or squirty cream. Although the original whipped cream is the best, whichever way it may be made, whipped cream makes a good treat for the eyes as well as the palate. So in honour of National Whipped Cream Day (January 5th), I’m planning to shut down the inner calorie counter, to have whipped cream on any topping like, cake, pie or even coffee for a delicious weekend splurge.

Posted in Daily, Food, Photography Art

Oatmeal Art

“The oat is the Horatio Alger of cereals, which progressed, if not from rags to riches, at least from weed to health food.” Waverley Root, ‘Food’ (1980)

From being a weed, oats has been transformed to being one of the essential health foods, so much so as to declare January as the month of oatmeal as per “foodimentarians”. From its’ origin as early as 3000 years ago, oats were a common occurrence among the cultivation of other crops. Greeks and Romans considered oats to be a diseased form of wheat. Though most of the Scottish and the Germanic tribes would disagree with that thought.

Slowly over the years, oats has been embraced as a part of dining, especially for breakfast. The slow acceptance can be attributed to the fact that oats was and still is a primary fodder as pasturage and hay crops especially for cattle and horses. Additionally oats can turn rancid pretty quickly if not processed immediately after harvesting.

It truly amazes me all the things you can add and mix in to truly transform a plain old bowl of oatmeal. Ayesha Curry

Nevertheless the acceptance of oats especially as oatmeal (made of hulled oat grains, groats which have either been milled or ground, steel-cut or rolled) is on the rise. From the least to most processed oatmeal can be prepared from oat groats or whole oats, oat bran, steel cut (Irish) oats, rolled oats ( known as old fashioned oats), quick oats as well as instant oats and oat flour. From simple oatmeal to protein bars, brownies, oatmeal bread and cakes; the experimentation with oats is endless.

Oats are great – you can make meatloaf and use oats instead of bread as the binder, or you can make oatmeal cookies, my husband’s favorite. Ree Drummond

Besides being wonderful art decor for foodists, oats can be mixed with an “n” number of ingredients to make weird combination like oats dosa, oats and chicken salads, oats “upma”, to shakshuka, medley of vegetable or meat and even into stuffed bell peppers or spicy seasoned stuffed bitter-gourds. Try an online search, there would be numerous recipes including the addition of oats.

There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. Nikola Tesla

Posted in Daily, Food, Photography Art

Waffles off the Griddle

My first exposure to waffles came when I was invited over to my friends’ place for a weekend during my sophomore years. As we ate through buttery waffles with sliced bananas, honey and chocolate syrup that morning, it was like an answer for sugar cravings in the morning. Ever since then, I try not to pass on an opportunity to indulge in this decadent breakfast treat.

Ideally waffles are made from leavened batter or dough cooked between two plates that are patterned to give a characteristic size, shape, and surface impression. Something similar to pancakes, though distinct in its’ style. And over the years from its’ initial medieval origins, there are over a dozen different varieties of waffles around the world, with different batters and toppings. They range from being big or small, crispy or chewy, sugared or spiced to becoming side dishes like as ice-cream cones or simply as waffle burritos.

 

Contrary to popular belief, waffles aren’t restricted to being served for breakfast. It can grace the table for lunch or dinner, depending on the mood of the day. Besides the savoury combination of chicken and waffles, other combinations like chili and waffles? Use your favorite cornbread mix and cook the batter in your waffle iron, then top with chili, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onions or can be had with eggs and veggies, or we can have a bit of both with bacon and maple syrup. The great thing about waffles is that they can be tailored to personal choices and make great desserts too. With the availability of the waffle iron, the ease of making waffles gives flight to fanciful combinations. Yet there are two rules to live by, warm the milk for the waffles and never stack the waffles while making else we’ll lose out on the crispiness.

The incredible simplicity of making waffles has resulted in it being blended with the local cuisine for instance waffles on stick with kulfi or as savoury waffle dosa. Although in the regular Indian households waffles have are still on the once-in-a-while menu list, trends are changing with more interesting recipes being experimented on. Additionally with waffle mix available and as waffles have excellent freeze options, they have become popular in the rush hour especially in the fast paced mornings. To quote Lauren Myracle, “You should eat a waffle! You can’t be sad if you eat a waffle!”

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Photography Art, Stories Around the World

Danger of Anger

One of the most powerful emotions of man that can have very severe consequences is anger. As time and history has even proven, anger not only causes mayhem but also mass destruction with deadening consequences. What we never realize that the anger is more deadly for the person who carries than it perpetually than one who tries to vent it. To quote Baptist Beacon, “ Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

As an old English proverb goes,“Anger is often more hurtful than the injury that caused it.” An anger stewed on can grow stronger generating resentment and hatred along with it and eventually fixes itself onto the mind, body and soul echoing in the thoughts, actions and even dreams. Finally it gets fueled by displeasure ultimately swelling and bursting into flames which become irreconcilable and irreversible. When we look back, we wonder what was the need for all of it. “If you kick a stone in anger you will hurt your foot. Korean saying”

As Apostle Paul had taught in Ephesians 4:26,””In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” For carrying this burden is tiresome and lonely. With every hour we fuel the anger, we lose twice the precious time of our peace. While certain occasions may feel like anger is justified, it doesn’t bring any solution just creates a negative impact. As William Arthur Ward had said, “It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”

Hoarding and storing up the anger is like handling a bag of mouldy and stale potatoes. Not only is it irksome, but it also wastes space in the cellar but also spreads the mould and rot to the other edible items. “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb”

A Bag of Potatoes

The student asked the teacher: “You are so wise. You are always in a good mood, you never get angry. Help me to be like that.” The teacher agreed and asked the student to bring potatoes and a transparent bag. “If you get angry at someone and harbor a grudge,” said the teacher, “then take this potato.” On one side write your name, on the other the name of the person with whom the conflict occurred, and put this potato in the bag. – And it’s all? – puzzled asked student. “No,” answered the teacher. You should always carry this bag with you. And every time when someone is offended, add potatoes to it. The student agreed … Some time passed. The student pack was replenished with several more potatoes and became quite heavy. It was always very uncomfortable to carry around. In addition, the potato that he put at the very beginning began to deteriorate. It was covered with slippery bloom, some sprouted, some flowered and began to produce a sharp unpleasant smell. The student came to the teacher and said: – It is already impossible to carry with you. Firstly, the bag is too heavy, and secondly, the potatoes spoiled. Offer something else.

But the teacher said: – The same thing happens in your soul. When you are angry with someone, you are offended, then a heavy stone appears in your soul. You just do not immediately notice. Then the stones become more and more. Acts become habits, habits – in character, which gives rise to fetid vices. And it is very easy to forget about this cargo, because it is too heavy to carry it with you all the time. I gave you the opportunity to observe the whole process from the outside. Every time you decide to be offended or, on the contrary, offend someone, think whether you need this stone. Our vices are generated by ourselves. Do you need to carry a bag of spoiled potatoes behind your back?

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Photography Art, Reflections

True from Fake

My daughter once asked my mother how to distinguish true love from fake.
“It’s very simple,” the mother replied.
“… because I love!” Is true love.
“I love because …” is a fake.

This little snippet of conversation which I had read in my social pages has a profound meaning in today’s conditional world. These days everything comes with strings attached. With biased opinions and comments scouring the review pages, consumer markets and even job opportunities, nothing seems fair in the world of today. Add to it, relationships are getting soured as each took the other for granted, and forgetting basic respect and humaneness. With the many weddings and “I do” often said, as well as the friendship bonds made, where does “the love” go as time flies.

While we profess our declarations of undying love, when it is followed by “because” it is wise to suppose that this love will not last as the features so loved will change like the weather. For those of us who have our own close knit of friends and family, have you ever wondered about the care and concern of a loved one ? They keep a watch over us, doing things without asking and many a time, forcing us to wake up and move ahead during roadblocks. They never loved us because of our assets of fun, frolic and gaiety or having an eye on the benefits that their relationship with us would bring them in the future. The commitment and care they gave us was because they loved us. They are in the circle that we should fight to protect, cherish and honour as they put actions and deeds above words because they love us. So while we try to ascertain “the real” love, never forget to remember them as the guidelines of what selfless love should be like.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Photography Art, Quotes

Enjoy the Wave

“The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!” Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?” The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” Mitch Albom

One of the constraints of man is we focus a lot on our own issues forgetting that our existence is not by being alone but as a part of a bigger network. We devote our time and energy towards the end goal, little realizing that one day we will all crash just like everyone else. That is why the joy of the ride should be more important than reaching the final post. Although it is imperative to set down life goals for oneself, on the way to achieving them it would be best not to not forget that our journey is one among the billion other journeys taking place. During the intersections and the temporary stops, it would do good to greet others and smell the flowers, for although our destination is predetermined, we never control the entire route or the final stop.