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May 30, 2008

CLICK for Bri

"Think of helping not as a duty but as a privilege."

This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.

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May 27, 2008

Comfort Food

Nothing spells comfort food to most tamilians like rice and yogurt. After a few days of eating out, I want to run back to the comfort of thayir saadam aka rice and yogurt.

Come summer, my mom would cook rice in the morning and after it cools down, soak the cooked rice in a wee bit of buttermilk, water, salt, hing and curry leaves. We would have this for dinner with a whole bunch of accompaniments. This is traditionally made with rice a day old. But since it was such a big hit in our home, mom had to make it this way.This is called palaya saadam in tamil and the literal translation being old rice. Soaking the rice in a clay pot will keep the rice cool and make it even more refreshing.

In the blistering heat of summer, palaya saadam soothes your throat and your soul. The foodies that we were, we were not happy with just the rice. So lets talk about the accompaniments. We would definitely have ripe mango cubed, appalam, onion vadagam, more mozhada ( chillies soak in buttermilk, dried and deep fried), freshly made mango pickles,thovayal ( a thick chutney). On special occasions, we would take all of this to our terrace and dad would sit in the center and all of us around him with small plates with all the fixings that we wanted. He would give us a handful in our cupped fingers - that was absolute fun. We would eat a lot more than we normally did. I remember trying to swallow the food as fast as possible so that I can stretch my hands for more.

Our lunch today was this simple food and an egg curry as well. Nothing can be more simple than this meal and yet it is the most fulfilling.

May 18, 2008

The Best Gift...Teacher's Day

When I was writing this post in my mind, I was toying with different titles . But really what my students cooked over the weekend was truly a delight We decided to have an Indian themed potluck party at my house and we all had a blast talking about food and eating all the delicious goodies.
Now this is the kind of group where you can talk about food for hours and no one thinks you are on crack :)

We had invited a whole bunch of students from my cooking class and a few bloggers. My students decided to cook something that I had taught them. So the menu was something like this, I am sure you will drooling starting NOW


Vegetable Puff made by Mona and Brynn
Pani Puri by Eileen
Aloo channa salad - Carolyn & Gary
Puffed Rice - Us
Boiled Peanuts - Us

Cucumber Salad with peanuts - Ann
Cucumber Raitha - Us
Onion Raitha - Us

All kinds of Bread - I call him our Bread man - Roger

Bell Pepper Curry - Karen
Lamb & Pork Vindaloo - Mona
Buccaneer Chicken - Mel
Vegetable Biriyani - Us

Almond Torte with Raspberry Sauce - Stephen ( I know not Indian, but complemented what we ate)
Mango & Yogurt Cream - Us

Can you tell that we were stuffed? The food was absolutely delicious. It was the best gift ever to see all my students having cooked what I taught them and so well. I was not this happy when I got my first pay check. ! Thanks to all of you for having made my day.