I started and ended my trip to the south of india in Kochi. I stayed in Fort Kochi which is right on the edge of the city and is actually an island. The main city seems to be much like any other big city in […]
When I am walking around I often look down and notice the surface I am walking on. I have shared in a previous post how clues can be found under your feet that help to piece together the history and life of the place you are in.
Rangoli’s were a delightful element on the ground as I wandered around the south of India. They are not specific to the south but different regions have slightly different patterns or colours or reasons for creating them. They can be a daily creation used as an aid to ward of evil spirits that might want to come into your home, they can be for a celebration, a festival or a marriage. Each one is created by hand using rice flour or chalk. They are mostly white outlines but are sometimes filled in with colours like turmeric or vermillion. Sometimes for festivals flower petals are used to create extravagant designs that grow each day throughout the festival.
I saw many of these simple white designs and purely for aesthetic reasons I was drawn to them. The simple unadulterated white against often neutral mid tones with a splash of colour in the composition from a step or door frame just pleases me immensly. It seems to be another case of less is more. A little thought and time with very little expense can create something delightful that pleases others as they walk past. There is a lesson to be learned in there somewhere!
They are created each morning by the women of the household by first marking a series of dots on the floor which are then joined together in interesting ways to form these wonderful patterns. Down in the south it is more common to see designs based on geometric grid formations where as areas of the north prefer a circular outcome. I can’t help but think that drawing and creating one of these first thing each morning would be good for the brain. It’s like a little work out for the right side of the brain which is often not engaged with as much as the left. For me it would be almost like a little meditation each morning with the tactile powder slipping through my fingers joining up dots until a beautiful imagined pattern came to life. I wonder how it would be received if I started this in Sheffield!
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with my two favourite small people. I love looking after them we have a great time, usually involving baking, drawing, rummaging in charity shops for treasures and sometimes a little adventure or two. […]
Well yesterday I was making my morning cuppa wondering what needed eating and what to have for breakfast. Out of those questions these little tasty morsels were born. First of all the thing that needed using up was some chunks of fresh coconut, the kind you get as a snack box at the supermarket and I had about two thirds of a box left.
- Grate the coconut into a bowl.
- Add one egg.
- Add one teaspoon full of cinnamon.
- Drizzle in some honey (add for your own sweet tooth needs!) This honey was purchased on my trip to India and used for breakfast on top of ottappam rice pancakes or over a few idli’s which are kind of dumpling things both made from fermented rice, lentils and fenugreek. I will endeavour to make them at a latter date. I have to add that my breakfasts like this were to the horror of the locals sitting around me one should be having some tasty curry sauce and coconut chutney with them not honey, and I did just that as many times as having honey. Anyway some extra honey came home with me too.
5. Add three tablespoons of corn flour a pinch of salt and enough milk to make a batter. It should be kind of like the consistency of double cream.
6. Gently heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan until the batter sizzles when you pop a drop in. No coconut oil? Any other mild flavoured oil will do.
7. Let them cook through until the batter has just about set all the way through then flip them over and brown up the other side.
8. Enjoy while still warm with a huge mug of tea……well if you’re me anyway.
A bit of a cross over today from my other site www.sarahgracedye.com but it is entirely about travel so I thought I’d share it here to.
Back in November I went to Berlin and started making g a book when I got home about that. I had collected ephemera on the trip to use including a lovely tiny chocolate box which I was going to use as a homer the book. But unfortunately I left it on my bed and it must have had the smell of chocolate about it still so my cairn terrier Florence decided to chew it to bits!
So the little book remained unfinished and homeless. Many people knew of the plight of the homeless Berlin book and recently a kind friend gave me another tiny chocolate box about the same size and I was finally able to finish the book and make him a forever home. Left with the pieces of the original box I had idea for another little book which became ‘The dog who ate my homework’. I will post a video of that one soon so you can see the full story.
For now here is the finished ‘Fur Berlin’, enjoy.