Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This is also a fact that almost 1 in 4 children face hunger in U.S. Not getting enough food has a great effect in children. It causes iron deficiency , poor academic results, developmental delays and weaker immune systems. It is also associated with depression in school age children.
As a mother, it hurts me a lot to think that lots of children go to bed hungry. On the other hand a lot of food gets wasted at home and restaurants. At my home too sometimes we have left overs because kids would eat something else, and the food that I prepared might go in the refrigerator that nobody wants to eat next day. In Pakistan, in this kind of situation, I always gave it to needy people and food never got wasted. But here in U.S. I don't have access to needy people and freshly prepared home meals go in the garbage.
I remember that ever day many moms in Pakistan gave some of the food they prepared to poor people before setting the table for their own family. That is because they see hungry people in streets often, and there are no food pantries, so people help poor people by giving them personally some food, clothes or money.
Here in America, I suggest that if we make a habit of buying one extra item of food each time we go grocery shopping, and give it to a food pantry might help a lot of needy people . I am sure moms can really make a difference because most of the time they are the ones who go grocery shopping.
I am very happy that here we have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables round-the year. Some of these fruits and vegetables I tasted for the first time. For example, okra (lady finger). We like mango. Here there are a lot of mangoes and they are not expensive. In my native country it was very expensive fruit. Cantaloupe can be found here round-the year.
In USA, fast food is very popular. In Russia there are also a lot of McDonald's. I think fast food should only be eaten very rarely, but not always.
I am happy that in schools my children like the food served. It is delicious and nutritional.
In USA there is more problem - a lot of obese people. I think a person must choose what kind of food he eats and how much. There is a saying - "You are what you eat".
Thursday, April 22, 2010
'Chicken tikka ' is marinated pieces of chicken baked in oven or fried over stove. Spinach is my favorite vegetable, and I like it no matter how it is prepared, Pakistani people make it different ways and I love it.
There are some traditional sweets that we use for special occasions like marriages, engagements, announcement of a baby's birth or any other happy occasion. People usually sent 'Laddu' (a special kind of sweet) to friends and family.
Some of the special Pakistani snacks are Cholai chaat (spicy chickpeas) ,'Samosa' (minced beef or potatoes filled in egg role sheets) and Dahi bhallai' (Round puffs made with chick pea powder and dipped in yogurt).
Here in Chicago, Devon street is famous for traditional Pakistani food, so when ever we want a taste of our own country, we go to Devon street and every thing, from traditional Pakistani clothes to traditional Pakistani food is there to satisfy us.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Every time when there is a natural or man made disaster in any part of the world, the most striking images of poverty shakes any sensible mind that this problem is a very humongous and heart wrenching issue.
No matter if it 's famines in
Here in the
Sometimes when my kids are so picky in food like, “Why did you cook chicken like this instead of that” or Why didn’t you make this or that dish?, it makes me think of starved or malnourished kids, but who am I kidding? I wish that all the time that one day I will try to help someone who is less fortunate than I am may be it’s because I am a mom. I think that no one should live in poverty and everyone deserves better.
We have a very good group of women at moms from another country who will have a food drive soon to benefit the Niles township food pantry and any one can join this drive to help the people who need help. You can also go to this site for more information about hunger in your community.
Monday, April 19, 2010
- 12 strands of saffron
- 1\2 cup coconut
- 1\4 tsp. yellow food coloring
- 1\2 cup ghee
- 4 cloves
- 1 inch stick cinnamon
- 1\2 tsp. cardamom seeds
2 cups sugar
- 1\4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup chopped almond
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1tsp kewra essence, diluted or 1\4 tsp., if concentrated
- Silver leaves (varak) for decoration, option
<!--[endif]-->1. Rinse rice well; soak it in cold water for about 30 minutes and drain. Place saffron threads into two tablespoons of boiling water and allow soaking for 10 minutes. Soak coconut in water for few hours, until soft. Then thinly slice it.
3. Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan; add cardamom seeds, cloves and cinnamon. Stirring all the time, fry them for a couple of minutes. Add sugar and milk. Bring to boil simmer for few minutes.
4. Add rice, lemon juice, saffron water, Stir gently, cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add pistachio nut, almond, raisins, coconut and kewra essence, stir gently and cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat and cook for 12-15 minutes or until all the moisture from sugar has evaporated.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and decorate with silver leaf.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
In Hong Kong, you can always taste different kinds of Chinese food.
For the foods from south side of China (Guan Dong), people eat simple and light tasty dishes. I liked to have Dim Sum with my family or friends in Sunday morning in Hong Kong. We drank tea and ate Dim Sum. There are so many choices, like shrimp dumplings, pork dumpling, egg tart, steam bun stuff with roast pork, rice roll with shrimp, roast pork or beef, bake seafood tart….
Steam rice top with salty duck
Rice noodle with fish balls and seaweed. There are millions of street foods in Hong Kong. My favorite one is egg puffs. That reminds me when I was little; I always eat this for snack. And also the seafood in Hong Kong are very fresh and yummy too.
There are so many delicious Hong Kong Chinese foods, can’t type anymore because that makes me really hungry. I have to get some yummy food to eat.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
After that we went to Willis Tower - the highest building in Chicago. It has 103 floors, 450 meters. We observed city and made a movie, but the weather became worse, cloudy and rainy. We could not see far, like in the good weather. But when sunny, you can see not only all Chicago, but 4 states of USA. The biggest surprise for us was glass balcony. We took photos.
We spent two hours and were very happy with this visit. We rested and received good feelings about the experience.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So they did it and I arranged a party for them and invited my friends over, too. Most of my friends have kids same age as my kids. The kids play together while we mothers prepared our traditional Pakistani food while chatting.It was fun having them over.
This spring break, my family and I went on an eight days road trip from Chicago to South Carolina.
On our trip, we drove through eight states which started from Illinois and continue on through Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Indiana.
The next day the weather was beautiful. We went to Charleston, South Carolina. We took a ferry boat ride to Fort Sumter where the Civil war began. After the tour we drove around Charleston’s old town. We saw rainbow row there the houses line up in rainbow color. Then we visited The Market on Market Street. There were a lot people selling all kinds of stuff like clothes, scarves, jewels, paintings, rock paintings…. But the special one is some African American women using dry straws making baskets, bowl, vase and flowers in the market. The products are really beautiful. They all are hand made in front of people.
Spring is where flowers start blossoming and every plant comes to life with color. Spring is a very beautiful season. Over break, there was really nice weather and there was also a day where it was raining and after that, the grass turned bright green which makes me excited and reminds me of my early life back in Pakistan.When I was in school and college every year at the spring time there was an exhibition of flowers specially of a flower named gul- e-dawoody. It is a flower of every color and shape which resembles a carnation.
I also saw a lot of trees with buds on them, but being a mom these reminded me of spring sales in stores. I went to a lot of stores during break as well. I bought a lot of clothes for my kids and it was really tiring because my daughter is very picky with what she wears,because of our cultural differences she has to look for the clothes that covers the whole body.
Overall, I thought that this spring break was good. I can’t wait for summer because it will be school break and the beautiful weather will invite us to go out and have some summer fun because in Illinois the summer time is very short.