Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL October 2019 update and IHSW

Hello Friends,
It's that time of the month when we show what gifts we have been working on or/and what crafty gifts we have received. If you don't know what I'm talking about , check Jo's blog for more info. This is a easy SAL where you have choice to stitch any designer, color or pattern, just that it should be a gift for someone or gift from someone.

Also , it was IHSW this past weekend , so I'm clubbing these two in one post.
I actually stitched this IHSW after missing it for 6 months.
I started a new project on Friday morning and finished it yesterday evening.
Here it is:

Pattern source:Cross Stitch Crazy magazine, Issue 142
This will be sent to my best friend for her birthday in November. This finish gets double GG points as it was a gift in an exchange I did with Kerry (who sadly doesn't blog anymore) . 
The funny thing is Kerry forgot to send me the chart with the kit and then I contacted Kerry and the magazine to see if they can send me the chart. Well, it didn't work but I liked the design so much that I charted it in excel looking at the cover pic.
I still don't know the designer which is the case with all cover kits I have.

Some other crafting, I really enjoyed making these Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) cards and decorating postcards for Diwali wishes. The idea was to revive letter writing/postcard writing as in this digital media no one cares about a handwritten card.

While we are talking about Diwali, can anyone of you help me in locating the source and designer of this design?
There is serious shortage of designs depicting religions other than Christianity(no offence to anyone here) in the cross stitching world. So I was pretty happy to see the following design on The World of Cross Stitching magazine's facebook page.

If you have bought November 2019 issue of he World of Cross Stitching magazine and would like to share the original pattern with me , I would be really appreciate that.

It was nice feeling to stitch after a gap of months, hope I can continue this now.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Let the people choose-October-Cats

Hello Friends,

Today I join Jo for another SAL which she is hosting called THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE SAL. You can read about it on her blog.

The theme for October is Cats.  A theme many of us like, apparently cats are popular pet amongst  crafters.

I have stitched two cat designs, both were gifted to cat owners.
Stitched in 2015
NeedleMagic Inc. pattern

Stitched in 2019
Durene Jones' pattern
A few of cat patterns in my stash
CrossStitcher, Issue 317

Free Pattern from Michaela Learner at Cross Stitching Guild

Freebie from Durene Jones 
Durene Jones has many other cat freebies on her facebook page. Another popular designer with cat patterns is Margaret Sherry.

The post would be incomplete without a picture of my cat, Twitch, who is the sweetest cat on earth.
Purring off now..have a good week friends.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Irani Cafe Food walk-Where food meets culture and history

Hello Friends,
Don't be surprised to see this post , I know its not normal for me to post twice within 3 days.

Well I thought why not I pen down(or in this case type) my feelings about a food walk I joined last Sunday.

Last Sunday , I had  a chance to join a couple of food enthusiasts for a food walk conducted by Soda Bottle Opener Wala- a chain of restaurant serving Parsi/Irani food across major cities of India.

For the people not knowing about different ethnic groups in India, here is an introduction:

Parsi is a term used for a person who migrated from Iran(then Persia) to India in 15th Century.The earliest of Parsis landed in Gujarat , the western most state of India , travelling thru sea . The Parsi community has a large presence culturally in Mumbai , my current city of residence. Interestingly , I haven't met many Parsis in my life most of  which was spent in Northern India where there numbers can be counted on fingers. So, that explains the interest in Food walk...

Karl Kolah was our guide , a Parsi himself,graciously answered all my questions, trust me I had dozens of them.

Our tour started with a serving of Mawa cake from B.Merwan's, to buy which Karl had to line up at 7.30 am.
Mawa Cake from B. Merwan
Our first stop was Yazdani Bakery , situated in older part of city. This bakery was opened in 1950 and still has machinery and furniture from that time.

The bread cutting machine
The good part of this bakery and the ones I'm going to talk about in the post is that they have been unaffected by the globalization and commercialization. Irani cafes are part of heritage as there are only 12-15 authentic cafes in Mumbai and still they refuse to capitalize the "Heritage" tag.
Our breakfast was Bun maska and brun maska , tradional Iranian bread with Irani Chai(tea).
Freshly baked buns slathered with butter , Maska -verb for putting butter on something
The main occupation of the Parsis who migrated to India was baking , hence they may be credited to introducing a new cooking method-Baking and Bread to us Indians.
Our next stop was Ideal Corner, a restaurant small on space , big on taste. We had traditional Parsi sodas bottled only for these cafes(not available in market elsewhere) ,egg pulao and my husband had a preparation called "Chicken Farcha". Though he was skeptical first as the preparation looked deep fried however when he ate it, he said this is a chicken preparation unlike any he has eaten in life , the stuffing and spice were quite unique.
Building housing Ideal Corner

Most of the traditional Irani cafes were in corner buildings.
Our third stop was Kyani& Co. , by the time we reached there we were so full that we couldn't imagine eating anymore. However on insistence of our guides we tried the cookies , also very typical of Parsi cafe.

From bottom left-Wine biscuits, Caramel Custard, Ginger biscuits and Shrewsberry
The last traditional cafe we visited was Sassanian Boulangerie, which was established in 1913. As you enter the cafe , you realise time has stood still here, with the wooden chairs, marble table top, kitchen adjoining the sitting area .

The tour ended with tea and mawa cake at SBOW , Lower Parel . The cafe tries to recreate the charm of old Irani cafes with its mirror paintings, chequered table cloths and photos of Parsi people back from 20th century.
Traditional Parsi Mirror drawings
While we were sipping our chai and discussing the tour , a fellow food walker and history teacher shared a story about first arrival of Parsis on the coast of Gujarat. When the Parsis landed on the coast, they asked permission of the then King to accommodate the new arrivals. The King sent a glass full of milk to the Parsi chief indicating that the area was already full and couldn't accommodate anymore people.The Parsi chief calmly provided a solution to the problem, he stirred some sugar in that milk and told the King as the sugar didn't spill the milk and mixed so well, we Parsis will mix in your society with no hiccups.
And that's what they did, the Parsis in present day India speak Gujarati(language of state of Gujarat), wear Saris, have inculcated many vegetables in their food preparation.
It is not only food and culture thru which they contributed to their new chosen homeland,the earliest business houses set up in India were by Parsis. Also mentionable is their contribution to India's freedom struggle .These business houses are backbone of Indian Economy today .

With my limited knowledge and interaction with this wonderful community , I think they live with the motto "Majja ni life" which simply means “a life full of enjoyment".

I enjoyed the tour a lot as it not only introduced me to Parsi food but also the history of the community and I got to see and experience  so many things like the typical red chequered table cloth and the mirror paints which can't be found in any other part of India.

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL April 2021 update

 Hello Friends, It's that time of the month when we show what gifts we have been working on or/and what crafty gifts we have received. I...