Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 28, Tuesday July 22 , 2008



Recipe and family values
While growing up, I was instilled with a deep sense of family values and togetherness. Perhaps it was because having lost our mother very early on in our lives, and being brought up by a dedicated and loving father, we somehow never quite made up the complete family bondage that children require. However, as I look around today I realise that children are moving further away from their parents, though no blame can be attached to either side. In some cases there is a generation gap or parents are simply unable to participate in the children's activities or they cannot manage the leisure time they need to spend with their children. For the children, they will grow and move with the trends. Many are now heading abroad to study, thus increasing the existing distance between parent and child.

Early in my childhood we would have family meals where we would talk to each other, share anecdotes, read poetry, go to picnics etc., as a way to spend time together. Times have changed and the bottom line seems to be that people do not have enough time. Everyone's day is crammed with engagements from the moment they wake up till bedtime. So after much speculation, I figured that to stay connected with your children is by teaching them not only academics, but also cooking. To teach your children (both boys and girls) to cook would be an essential talent for them to have, especially if they are going abroad to study or work. For today's issue, I've included some simple snack recipes, which you can easily teach your children, and at the same time feel the joy of sharing, which is the essence of family life.

Banana split smoothie


1 cup non-fat milk
1 ½ cups banana slices
½ cups pineapple chunks
½ cup mango slices
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder (to taste)

Pour milk into the blender first.

Add cocoa and then fruit.

Put cover on and blend until smooth.

Tiny pizza


1 tandoori naan or pita bread cut into desired shapes/sizes
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Green pepper, diced
Onions, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Dry oregano and pepper

Set the oven to low heat

Spread tomato sauce on each piece of naan/pita

Sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the tomato sauce

Add green pepper, onions and tomatoes (and/or other toppings)

Sprinkle oregano and pepper

Place tiny pizzas on the baking sheet

Bake for about 3 to 4 minutes. You'll know they're done when the cheese is bubbly. Enjoy your tiny pizzas!

Nutty chocolate cookies

2/3 cup light margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350F
Cream butter, brown sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl

Add eggs to above mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition

Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until blended
Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts or pecans

Place level tablespoon size of cookie dough on a greased baking sheet

Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack

Peanut butter

1 ½ cups unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tbsp peanut oil

For smooth Peanut Butter:
Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.

Blend the mixture until it is very smooth.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

For chunky Peanut Butter:
Take about ¼ cup out of your 1 ½ cups of peanuts and set them aside.

Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.

Blend the mixture until it is very smooth; stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.

Blend a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

Sidewalk Shopping 

WHEN thinking of 'shopping', images of stacks of products displayed categorically at various lit-up plazas, shopping centres and flashy arcades usually flashes into the mind. For most of us, shopping is very time-consuming; you need to find a day off from your hectic work schedule, prepare a long list of "to buy's", rush to the shopping centres and what not. But at times, we do a great deal of shopping from sidewalks, from temporary pavement shops and from mobile hawkers at the crossroads as well.

Gausia and Chandni Chawk
The legendary shopping heaven for all kinds and forms of women's clothing, Gausia and Chandni Chawk still behold their charm owing to their huge range of products and low prices. The footpaths of Chandni Chawk are a great place where you can find quite a large number of products. There you can get various types of sandals- mostly for everyday use. They have the flip-flops, belted sandals, rubber sandals and sponges too.

If you have the energy to walk through the alleys of Gausia, you will be exposed to the widest array of ornaments of all kinds. Be it imitation or oxidized, with huge stones or small beads, the glossy and sparkling ones or the simple small one, anklets or toe-rings, dangling earrings or sporty tops, thick necklaces or threads and beads- they have just about everything, available in vibrant colours and versatile designs.

For all students, Nilkhet is a must go at the beginning of each academic semester. You can find most high-priced textbooks at a very low price here. Apart from the textbooks, Nilkhet is also a warehouse of international magazines like Times, Readers Digest, Economist and many others. Also, the pavements in front of Nilkhet are piled up with stacks of books- of all genres, ranging from fiction to science to astrology to thrillers to literally everything. You can also find second-hand books here for prices starting from as low as Tk 10!

Doyel Chottor
In front of the High Court, near the Doyel Chottor, the shoppers sit with their earthenware. This place mainly offers vast measures of potteries, utensils, and mostly showpieces. You can have a wide option of choosing from the normal ones or painted ones; you can also choose a plain piece of pottery and get it painted right there according to your choice. Price range is really low, compared to their fine quality and innovative craftwork.

Near Dhanmondi Road 7, cane and jute products are displayed for sale. This place has awesome jute products, different kinds of swings made from cane and jute- nutshell swings, flat-danglers and many others. They also have various categories of tablemats, trays, and many other range of jute products coming in different shapes and sizes- each unique in their own way.

Shahbag is the ultimate place for all kinds of flowers. The place caters to the needs of all kinds of flowers, where you have a diverse range to choose from. You can also buy garlands or bouquets, customized according to your choice. For different occasions like birthdays, Gaye Holuds or any other ceremonies, you can get a banner engraved out of styrofoam with different colours, giving it a festive look. Also, the place is famous for decorating cars with flowers. For any kind of arrangements regarding flowers- Shahbag is unquestionably the ultimate spot.

Just sitting in your car, stuck in a traffic jam, you can do a good deal of shopping -buying from the hawkers who sell products at the crossroads and stoppages. The most common one being the Sonargaon circle, where the "Mobile" booksellers sell pirated versions of famous novels and storybooks at quite a cheap price. You shouldn't be very surprised if you find an original looking Harry Potter book being sold at Tk 80! Here, it is also common to see little girls running around, selling bunches or garlands of flowers to cars that halt at the signals. If you travel in the morning, you can also find hawkers selling newspapers. Apart from these, packets popcorn, bags of lemons, candies, handkerchiefs and towels are also sold at various crossroads.

So that was a brief view of some spot shopping you could do, while just sitting inside your car or on a rickshaw, or just while strolling. Even if you just hang around the side-walks, your shopping bag will become full in no time.

By Zannatul Lamea

Writer’s Block

Living with critters

Fahmeena Nahas

I have been an animal lover all my life. The first creature I bumped into was my dad's semi-Persian cat, shordarni moti bibi. She was a day older than I was and didn't quite like me, maybe because she thought in her catty way, that I was vying with her for my father's affections.

There were many dogs and cats in between. Then came along Bimbo (named after Bimbo of my all time favourite Enid Blyton book, “Bimbo and Topsy”) and Ball, the Siamese kittens. Bimbo died after a few months but Ball lived to be an old cat. She survived the Liberation War while poor moti bibi perished during the black days of the Pakistan army.

We had many other cats as my father loved his feline friends. He had one cat called Baghrai. At some point, papa had to control his fat intake to keep his cholesterol in check but he had to have his breakfast of egg, toast and butter. So, he solved the problem by eating the white of the egg and passing on the yolk to Baghrai. Baghrai was so spoilt that he would look nonchalantly at mice and let them walk slowly past him.

I also had numerous dogs. Goondi, a regular pied dog, was a 'goondi' in the true sense. She was very unruly and would push people from behind. She couldn't run straight and resembled the old, battered moorir tin bus that runs with its face on the road and the behind almost touching the edge of the grass.

I had another dog that we ended up calling Doggie. He actually adopted us and was the finest dog I've ever had.

My life hasn't been confined to only cats and dogs. We have had apartments of noisy doves and sparrows under our tin roof. The katbirali makes sure we get half-eaten fruits from all the trees. The blushing chameleon couple that live on the sandalwood tree just next to our balcony don't scurry away anymore when they see me. The mynah, beautiful birds with deep azure necks, the doyel, kingfishers, kites, sparrows, and many other birds throng the numerous trees around my house. The loudly whistling cuckoo gets defiant when we whistle back. Sometimes monkeys and civets come in looking for food.

But our in-house crow steals the show. Her wing got broken for reasons unknown to us. She lives on a tree in front of our balcony and hops around the adjoining branches. She never ventures far from home and doesn't seem to have a mate. Just before dusk, she hops up to her branch and sits there. How do I know it's a female crow? I guessed it. Read on and you'll know why. Well, when my husband stands on the balcony, she is there on her favourite bough. But as soon as she sees me, she either turns around and points her tail at me or just hides behind some leaves hoping I can't see her!



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