Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 59, Tuesday August 23, 2005



Special feature

Mothering: The highs and the lows

Try to remember the early days of being a mother. Many women have their own story to tell about these memorable days amidst the unrelenting routine of changing, feeding, bathing and rocking a baby to sleep. There's also the endless sleepless nights to which you have to reconcile yourself. What makes it worse is the hard realisation that you re in it all alone as you watch your husband in blissful slumber.

One also has to recognise that the home environment has changed forever. No longer is it just you and him, there is a little --and demanding--baby who occupies all your attention. All husbands can do is complain about their wife's lack of attention, the slips in the kitchen or home and the lack of a social life. Why then don't they just pitch in to help out their wives?

If you probe far enough, you will realise the desperate loneliness that sometimes accompanies the birth of a baby, particularly a first child. One friend recalls waiting for her family in the hospital soon after her baby girl's birth. She had been alone all day and was sinking into depression when nobody showed up hours after the stipulated time. When the family finally arrived, all they could do is offer some excuses about the traffic and so on. In normal times she may not have reacted in this manner but the experience of childbirth can often be overwhelming.

Another recalls the insensitive behaviour of her husband at this vulnerable time in her life. Apparently three days after the birth of her baby girl, her husband wanted her to go shopping for shoes. He insisted so much that she had to relent. Never mind the discomfort that she felt after the delivery, the sleep deprivation or the little baby who needed all her attention.

In our part of the world, women often go to their parents' home before the birth of a baby and stay the customary 40 days after a delivery. Most women will admit that the care they get from their mothers cannot be paralleled by their mothers-in-law. A friend recalls the snide remarks from her mother-in-law to the effect "Why are you staying at your parents' home so long? In our time it used to be just 40 days after the delivery." Never mind that your husband has just got a posting and doesn't have a proper home for the baby. Never mind that unlike the previous generation you are a hands on mother and subscribe to the theory of bringing up your child yourself instead of relying on domestic help.

Who can really empathise with women in these "best of times and worst of times" ? Thankfully there are like-minded friends with whom one can exchange notes and get much needed support. There's also one's mother and other family members who will be glad to help out. Ultimately you may just have that happy family you have striven for--even if it sometimes seems that there is no end to your sleepless nights, your career is on the backburner or you are emotionally drained from giving all your energy to the new family member. Now if only men would be more sensitive and caring at this point of time, this period of one's life would be truly blissful.

By Kavita Charanji

Check it out

British Bangladesh Fusion Food Festival 2005

The 2005 edition of the International British Bangladesh Fusion Food Festival will take part from the 24 to 30 August 2005 at the Dhaka Sheraton hotel.

It will be jointly organised by Curry Life Magazine and Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The Channel S, popular Asian Television channel, is media partner for the event. Air India, Rajah, Bangla Beer, KKB Finance, First Solutions and Hatil are among the Festival's high profile supporters.

The Festival is an important part of Curry Life's policy to promote the presentational, artistic and culinary skills of British Bangladeshi chefs and their leadership role in the evolution of curry to meet the demands of the increasingly discerning tastes of British food enthusiasts.

Curry Life, with its comprehensive in-depth coverage of developments in South Asian cuisine, its profiles of the dynamic personalities who are taking this cuisine and industry to higher heights and news reports of changes affecting the catering industry, is delighted to be the organiser of this most exciting festival.

LS desk


Exercise for women and men

As we age, our bodies lose muscle tissue and our metabolism slows down. Exercise is the best way to get physically fit and lose weight. Starting an exercise regimen at any age is extremely beneficial and can add years to your life.

Working out takes discipline and should not be painful. "No pain, no gain" is just a myth and is not good advice to follow. Exercise should make you feel healthy and fit.

Experts advise that 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least three times a week is beneficial for both men and women. Select the best plan that is favourable to your lifestyle, whether it is at home or a fitness club.

Opt for a form of exercise you will enjoy the most and start out slowly, increasing your activity and work out-time gradually. Consider adding basic weight training to build muscles, burn calories and control body fat.

Some very useful activity is bicycling, brisk walking, dancing, jogging, jump rope, roller-skating, swimming and sports like tennis or football.

For beginners, try increasing personal fitness in your everyday life by walking more, doing some yard work, taking the stairs instead of elevators, painting walls and even parking your car further from your destination. Not only will you have the satisfaction of getting things done, you'll enjoy the benefits of being physically fit.

You don't need to lump your exercise all in one session. Try it in 10 minute increments if this is easier for you and as time allows. While there's no plan or guarantee for everyone, get started and find out what works for you.

Consult your physician before starting any exercise routine and understand that diet and nutrition will play a big factor in your overall results.

-LS Desk

Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

BY Sam Q

Dearest diary,
I have come face to face with a harsh reality. I'm sure all great chefs (if I say so of myself), must be facing this reality sometime or another during their career. The problem is, I simply can't eat the food I cook. I kid you not diary; I can't enjoy the food I cook. My sister must have had such cherished hopes of me coming to her house and cooking my overprotected recipes, over which people go all "gaga" in Dhaka. The obstacles which i'm facing are, that I'm not getting the hang of the spices and stuff and things are not turning out the way it should. And whatever is getting churned out, is pretty inedible. I'm shocked and mortified. My reputation, my confidence is crumbling right before my eyes. I need my cold storaged potatoes and tomatoes, adulterated spices and formalin injected fish for the true flavours of Asia to emerge. I simply cannot manage with pre-fried onions or the overtly sweet fresh onions which refuse to turn golden brown and firm, juicy tomatoes, when added to the beef to make "Karhai Gosht" turns into sweet, stewed beef. And lest I forget, fresh spinach, chopped and ready form the store, I even manage to make bland and oily. Picture me diary…
I am standing with my head hanging down, bowed with shame. Last evening, even my non-critical sister was jolted out of her placidity and asked me whether there was any other thing which I could cook rather than my usual "makha gosht" which I had finally resorted to. I hope you understand what "makha gosht" is diary? It is yogurt, ginger garlic paste, oil and every spice from my sisters spice rack, blended with raw meat and put on the stove to simmer and cook in its own juices. That's it. But I think even they've had enough. My sister very sweetly informed me after last nights dinner that she will be making her Shepherd's pie, tacos, and sandwiches for my last few nights in Canada. Hallelujah!

So, my love affair with food is at its lowest ebb. I'm going to need sometime to recover from this self-inflicted blow. I've fallen from grace. What does this mean? Will I not ever be able to work without my assistants? Will I not ever be able to cook outside my own space? Only time will tell. So, as I pen off today I will say the one thing that Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I'll be baaack". Have a good day, the Sam Q. way.

As I am so much in my anti-cooking mode, a no cook bar-b-q chicken salad recipe for today.

No-cook barbeque chicken salad
¼ cup bbq sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head of lettuce(about 8 ounces), cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
2 cups(1/2 inch pieces) skinless rotisserie chicken meat(about 10 ounces)
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 medium tomatoes, cut into half inch chunks
4 ounces chopped mild green chillies.

1) in small bowl with wire whisk mix bbq sauce, vinegar, and water. In slow steady stream whisk in oil.
2) On large deep platter, toss lettuce with ¼ cup dressing. Arrange chicken, corn, tomatoes on top of lettuce. Sprinkle with chillies and drizzle with remaining dressing. Toss before serving.
**whole rotisserie chicken can be found in any kabab shops in the city.

Skin & beauty

by rahima Sultana Reeta

Beauty Foods
It is not simply what you put on your body that counts; it's what you put in it, that is why beauty diet is the vital ingredient for people of all ages who want to optimize their looks in a natural way.

Skin features:
Skin is on show every day. How it looks can profoundly affect the way we feel about ourselves. Here are some facts about your skin:
· The skin is the largest organ in the body, approximately 1.5 to 2 square meters and weighs around 4kg.
· We rub off million of dead skin cells every day and create a totally new top layer around every 40 days.
· 7% of the average adult's body weight is made up of skin.
· Every square centimeter of skin contains an estimated 70cm of blood vessels, 55 cm of nerve, 100 sweat glands, 15 oil glands and 230 sense receptors.
· Skin varies in thickness from 1.5 to 4 millimeters in different parts of body.
· Few substances can enter the body via the skin. Exceptions include vitamins A, D, E, and K, and steroids.
Certain food supplements can help you develop your skin and keep yourself healthy:
Helps even skin color, tone, and texture

Prawns can play a role in help the skin maintain optimal production of its springy underlying mattress. this gives the skin an impression of firmness, and helps collagen spring back into place following normal facial movements. prawns may also assist the skin in the creation of its natural protection against ultraviolet radiation and in maintaining even skin tone and color.

Copper, found in prawns is the key trace element in the formation of melanin, the pigment that helps absorb ultra violet rays and creates a consistent, natural skin color. it is also crucial for the formation of one of the body's most potent antioxidants, an anti-ageing enzyme called supperoxide dissmutase, in addition, the copper in prawns is a vital building block for both cushioning collagen and springy elastin, which develop in the deeper skin layers .

prawns serving ideas~
Prawns are particularly suited to grilling, barbecuing, and pan- or stir-frying. serve them whole with the shell in dishes such as paella or use the meaty tall in salads, or kebabs alternated with peppers and other vegetables, in curries, stir-fries, or in mixed seafood dishes. prawns are particularly suited to oriental and asian cooking.

prawns watch points~
Most prawns consumed are frozen so avoid prawns with loose heads and black leg this indicates bad condition.
other texture-promoting foods~
o seafood
o whole-grains
o pulses
o nuts
o liver


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