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Watch what you eat

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Quote of the week: All that looks like food, probably isn't.
I was having cake that the wife had finally perfected. It was a last remaining beautiful small chunk of chocolate cake that had escaped from the initial massacre. It was brown delectable. A small piece fell off onto the bed where my kid and I were bonding over toy cars. Such a piece of cake cannot be let free. It must be hunted down. Devoured. 'Kill them all' sort of approach.

So I quickly located the piece of cake off the bed and ate it. It tasted like play dough, that annoying putty toy that kids play with and leave all around. Tasteless like bland rolled flour with a hint of boredom. Yes, it tasted of boredom, a taste things acquire when they are discarded and left to be forgotten. Turns out, it was play dough. How do I know what that tastes like? I've had a similar accident before where I unwittingly picked up something off the floor and ate it following the five second rule. What's that you ask? Any parent will know that if a piece of food falls on a surface that is not a toilet, road, or kitty litter tray, then it is safe to eat it if picked up within five seconds. Also, it only applies to dry foods like chocolates, chips, cake and more chocolates.

Except this time it was play dough. Somewhere along the way after making many mutilated blobs trying to resemble elephants and dogs, the play dough was left strategically under pillows and on chairs. And the different lovely colours have all been mashed together into a solid brown colour lump.

That five second rule exists in cultures, countries and university dorms across the world. Sometimes the amount of seconds varies. Grownups usually stick to five seconds. University kids prefer a range from five seconds to a day especially when it comes to a suddenly found pizza slice. Children have a whole different concept of seconds. Stephen Hawking would rewrite and re-understand the brief history of time if he studied children's concept of time.

A second can be as long as a 15 minute episode of Spongebob. For food found on the ground, little kids consider it was just there and the ground was clean no matter how long it was festering. So some parents develop a rule. If you see the kid dropping food on a clean enough surface and they pick it up to eat, it's okay. The world will not end. It's easier to join the club. Pick up food quickly. But watch what you eat when there's toddlers around you. All that looks like food is probably sofa cushion foam.


Customer Reward Card by Cats Eye

"Cats Eye wants to break out from the discount culture and take a different approach, a loyalty approach for the customers. It will help us identify our loyal customers and do more for them as well as provide more opportunities for our newer customers to have a complete Cats Eye experience,” said Ashrafun Siddiqui, the Managing Director of Cats Eye, as she launched the Customer Reward Card at a simple inauguration ceremony held last week at the Gulshan showroom of the 30 year old renowned fashion brand.

The Customer Reward Card has been launched for all three brands of Cats Eye -- Cats Eye itself, Monsoon Rain and Cats Eye Unlimited. Every purchase from Cats Eye will be converted to points and added to the account of the Reward Card holder, where each Taka translates to one point. When the customer accumulates 10,000 points they will be awarded a 10 per cent discount on the next purchase of any item. Customers will receive a Reward Card if they spend Tk. 5000 or more at any of the stores or they can get a Reward Card for Tk. 500.

One of the other directors, Riyad Siddiqui, added, “When customers go to different stores the most benefit they get is in the form of discounts and that is something very usual and has been done a hundred of times. We wanted to provide some sort of a different benefit to our customers that would make the customers feel like Cats Eye was their brand and make it something very close to their hearts”.

Not only a 10 per cent discount but, a Reward Card holder can get another reward too.

For Reward Card holders who can manage to collect 50,000 points Cats Eye, Monsoon Rain or Cats Eye Unlimited will reward them with a shirt, for men, or any ladies' item of the customer's choice completely free of cost. The Reward Card is now available at all branches of the three brands.

By Karishma Ameen


By Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
You know how they say 'the sweet smell of success'? I have a new little phrase of mine own, 'the sweet aroma of experience'. And these sweet aromas have been niggling inside my brain, desperate to be let out. And I have been fighting with it ever since.

You know why Diary? Because then it will finally prove that I have finally become the adult God that my parents wanted me to be. Once you start talking about 'experiences', yep! There it is. You have joined the senior citizens brigade. You have now officially become safe, logical, practical, uncool and most probably diabetic.

As much as I would like to be in denial and agree with all the glossies with their screaming headlines that the fifties are the new forties, I personally have to face the fact that, I am middle aged. Heck! I am more than middle aged. I do not see myself living till the ripe, doddering, demented age of 100. So in reality, I am going down the hill, in a bob sled, breakneck speed already. And if you need more proof… I now only like vegetables.

If that is not the final nail in the coffin, I wonder then what is? And also, now I only want to talk about my life experiences. This is another giveaway. So, today, I am going to make peace with my thinning scalp, creaky knees and diminishing whatever life we are supposed to have and share some insights with the present, perky brigade.

Life Experience Number 1
Children, listen. We all receive gifts and we sometimes recycle those gifts. That is okay. But do take care when you are re-wrapping and giving it to someone else. You know why? Because sometimes the overzealous previous giver of the gift has slipped in one of his name cards to make sure you know it is from him/her/them. If you overlook this step, your cover is totally blown. Now the new recipient of this gift will know exactly how much of your thoughts and warmth have gone into this project. What? What were you thinking? That I would be giving earth-shattering, life changing stories? Do you not know me at all?

Life Experience Number 2 (this example is for the age group starting from 35)
Never, and I mean never, text without your reading glasses on. I do not know about anybody else, but I am actually blind as a bat without my glasses. There has been so many a time that I have received interesting information just by default. Text meant for 'SARINA', ended up at 'SAMINA'.

Luckily for me, I decided way early in life never to write anything on paper which could be held against me. You can always deny verbal dialogue, but stuff written on paper and nowadays with e-mails and texts, everything is on your hard drive. Even if you want to delete stuff, you can't. Apparently there is something called retrieve.

Life Experience Number 3
And for today, the third and the last piece of life experience from my point of view is all about distancing.

Guys, life is always going to be throwing you curve balls. The thing is whether you want to get into its way or not. It is always about choices. We cannot control most things in our lives. But the only thing we can control is ourselves. So distance yourselves from everything that is controversial, unethical, damaging and self-deprecating. Life can be so calm and peaceful, if only you can get the true meaning of 'distancing'. Only then nirvana will come calling.

Oh God! Diary, such heavy thoughts do not go with my persona. I am getting all warm, sweaty and icky.

Not a pretty sight, sound and smell concoction.

So, off I am to a warm bath and an engulfing kaftan and straight to the arms of Morpheus. Distancing myself from the world, Sam Q. style. Beat that if you can Diary.

Have a good day the Sam Q. way.

Corn fritters
300g corn kernels
100g creamed corn
2 lime leaves, finely shredded
5g lemon grass, chopped
5g ginger, chopped
10g red curry paste
Salt to taste
10g sugar
50g flour
5ml oil
30g cornflour
Oil for deep frying

Mix together corn kernels and creamed corn, lime leaves, lemon grass, ginger, red curry paste and season the mixture. You can sprinkle little water to moisten the mixture. Now add flour and cornflour to a thick batter. Add 5ml oil to the batter.

Now heat oil for frying. Drop a tablespoon of the mixture into the oil and fry for a minute on each side until golden brown. Drain and transfer to an absorbent paper.

Serve hot with sweet source.

Orange glazed wings
2 kg chicken wings
½ cup orange marmalade
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
2cm piece fresh ginger cut into long, thin strips

Pre-heat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan forced) place marmalade, juice, sauce, mustard, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, stirring. Remove from heat.

Place chicken in an oven tray and mix with orange glaze. Bake for 40 minutes or until dark, golden, sticky and cooked through.

Creamed corn muffins
1½ cups flour
90g butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2 cans of creamed corn
½ cup cheese
2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
A pinch of salt

Oil muffin pans. Mix all the above ingredients one by one. Put in a dollop of this mixture into the muffin pan holes. Bake till golden brown.

Corned beef hash
1 kg potatoes, peeled and halved
80ml olive oil
1 medium-sized (150g) onion, sliced thinly
2 cups (300g) corned beef
4 eggs beaten
¼ cup finely chopped spring onion
30g butter

Boil potatoes until cooked and let them cool. Grate the potatoes coarsely. Now heat 1 tablespoon oil and add the onion. Cook till soft. Combine grated potato, onions, corned beef, eggs and spring onions in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into patties. Heat the remaining oil and butter. Cook the patties in batches until crisp and browned lightly on both sides.

Serve with relish if desired.

French rarebit
225g/8g Cheddar cheese grated
1 tbsp mustard
1 clove garlic chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of crusty bread

Pre-heat oven or grill. Place the cheese, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Mix well; season with salt and butter. Toast the bread lightly. Spread the cheese mix so that the toast is covered to the edges. Return to the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.


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