Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snyder's graveyard

Our new house is a 5 minute walk from a tiny graveyard. Even though we love graveyards, we'd never visited, mostly because there aren't any sidewalk and the graveyard is on a busy road.

But today I decided that enough was enough, and the kids and I walked over. I figured our comfort with walking in/with/through Bangalore traffic would mean that the walk would be fine for us. And it was, in the sense that we emerged unharmed. But man, people drive too fast around here! I'd rather walk in Bangalore traffic any day.

The graveyard was fantastic, however.

Zion wanted his picture taken with the oldest grave in the graveyard, which belonged to the wife of a Revolutionary war soldier, while Liel liked this monument-y thing.

Some of the graves were overgrown, and one of them was holding up a tree. Some were so weathered it was impossible to read them.

We had a really lovely visit, and plan to go back on semi-regular basis. Even the dead like the occasional visitor, right?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Some things I've learned about dosa

A couple of days ago the four of us were chatting about Bangalore when Zion moaned, "Please don't talk about dosa! I miss it so much!"

There's nothing like seeing your kid in deep melancholy over something you miss and want too to motivate you, amirite, parents?? So I called up a friend and suggested we get us some dosa on Monday. She was super excited, so today we drove down to Jersey City to taste the wares.

And the wares were OK. I mean, they weren't fantabulous by any means, but they weren't awful either. They were, I suppose, acceptable dosa. The restaurant itself was great-- fantastic Ganesha statue, incense, and really nice people running it. They even brought over mango juice after we'd ordered, "for the babies."

What I've learned though, is that in Bangalore we ate very Bangalore specific dosa. And chutney. And sambar. The masala in the masala dosa was pretty much the same though, so that was nice! And the sambar and chutney I had today were good...they just weren't the flavors I was really missing (though the chutney came closer than the sambar. Through a little mint in there and I'd probably have been over the moon!).

The dosa themselves were different in several ways, even though we ordered the Bangalore style dosa. First off, they were huge! Much bigger than the ones we typically got in Bangalore. But I love me some dosa, so that's not really a complaint. Secondly, the chili powder/paste that generally is understood to define a Bangalore dosa, was not red here. It was a kind of tan color, and a bit salty. Not a fan. Thirdly, and most importantly, the dosa were dry. In the past I'd read that a good dosa should be crisp and not in the least greasy, which surprised me a bit because the dosa we got in Bangalore were kind of greasy. Buttery, really. But in a way that left some oil on your fingers. You know, in a delicious way. And since Bangalore apparently loves butter/ghee, you could order a butter masala dosa and they'd pour an additional little scoop of melted butter on your dosa before handing it to you. I never did that, but now I'm a bit regretful. Next time!

Anyway, I think the non-greasy nature of the dosa that is apparently more standard is what kept me from being a big dosa fan prior to moving to Bangalore. They're good, but they're not (to paraphrase the sugar pushing tiger) GRRRRRREAT.

The place we went to today does sell a Bangalore butter masala dosa...maybe I'll try that in the future. In the meantime we have a couple more places closer to home we want to try out. So stay tuned as I continue my quest to find my beloved Bangalore dosa in the Hudson valley!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sari closets

Well, it's been a while...and I'm afraid I only have crappy pictures to show for it. Would you believe we've lost our camera again? I think it's the only casualty of our move but still, no camera. So we're back to old iphone pics for the time being.

Anyway, I finally got around to the kids' closet doors. Except that they're not doors at all! Our house came with your standard sliding closet doors, which I'm not a huge fan of. They never slide as well as I think they ought, and they're pretty boring to boot. So I asked Liel if she wanted to use one of the saris she bought in Bangalore for her closet, and she was quite enthusiastic. The down side was that the sari she wanted to use is a very slippery synthetic silk, something which is far beyond my ability to control and sew into curtains for the closet. Luckily my friend Heidi came to my rescue and suggested I buy some curtain rings with clips on them and just clip the fabric up. Done!

Here's Liel's closet now:

She's quite pleased with is, and so am I.

Now, as it happens, when I first started thinking of ways to use saris in my house a few months ago, my friend Laura said she had a sari she'd had made into curtains, and that she didn't have any place for them and I could use them at my house. I'd thought to use them as actual curtains, but the placement of heat/AC vents in our bedrooms means that long curtains are probably out (side note: I have no idea what length of curtain, other than long, might look good. Suggestions, please!). But as I was laying out the fabric for Liel's curtains, Zion saw the already made ones from Laura and commented on how pretty they were. And I thought, "Hey, those would be perfect for Zion's closet! Stupid gender stereotypes, keeping me from thinking that up in the first place!"

So I hung the other sari in Zion's room for closet curtains, and they look fabulous. They're blue, and match the blue tones in his room really well.

They also match his legos and shoes all over the floor too, don't you think? :)

So there's the latest on the house! More curtain posts to come, as I sort out bedroom curtains for all of us, plus curtains for the sunroom. We threw out the 70s era blinds the sunroom came with, and in the summer I prefer the windows bare. But I think curtains will be nice in the winter, and probably help keep the room warmer, too.