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…to enjoy great Indian food.

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Just have to take the time to learn how to prepare it and then get busy in the kitchen. My lunch today…
Rajma, my all time favorite dahl, ginger garlic rice and butter chapatti. And of course the meal was ended with a delicious glass of steaming masala chai.
Namaste

With love light and JOY
Jane

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Best Cure for Homesickness

Punjabi Kadhi and Methi Pakora with Rice

Punjabi Kadhi and Methi Pakora with Rice

Nothing can help get past the feelings of homesickness for a place, or a person, better than a good home cooked meal which brings back fond memories of that place or person.

Curry simmering on the stove

Curry simmering on the stove

So today, missing India more than usual, I decided to put together this lovely dish. It was the first time I’ve ever made it and it came out truly delicious.
I used the link at the end of the post as the basis for the dish after checking out several recipes online.

Pakoras ready to add to curry

Pakoras ready to add to curry

It was simple to make and SOOOOO delicious!

Pakoras simmering in Curry

Pakoras simmering in Curry

Link to video

Enjoy!
Namaste

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The countdown continues and all kinds of decisions to make. This was an important one for me! 🙂 Glad it’s been decided….

India 2008-2015

…and the answer is NOT TO COOK!!

This sounds very cryptic I know, but is quite simple.  Every year for the past number of years I have set up a kind of very simple kitchen system to be able to cook in my room while in India.

In a previous post I explained the reasons for taking a room and setting up a primitive sort of kitchen , rather than a full apartment with kitchen, as follows:

”  The limited kitchen as a blessing: I sometimes find myself annoyed that I don’t have a real kitchen and have to improvise to prepare my simple meals. And I am very limited in what I can cook, as I have one pot and one frying pan, [the past two years I have added a pressure cooker which is a BIG plus ]  

no counter top, no kitchen sink (I have finally…

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Ganga View from Laxman Jhula Ghats

Ganga View from Laxman Jhula Ghats

As you have already seen in the previous post which was reblogged from Cauldrons and Cupcakes, I have begun a 30 day Gratitude Challenge.  Please understand, that I practice living in an attitude of gratitude each and every moment, and give thanks, in detail each night before I go to sleep for all the blessings of the previous day.  I’ve written before about the importance of Gratitude in manifesting a new reality, etc., and you can see many of these posts if you check out the “gratitude” links in the tag cloud.  One for example would be this one:

https://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/leveraging-the-universe-manifesting-reality/  but there are many others.

Joining this new challenge with many other people however, increases the energies sent out to the Universe and helps to focus even more on the blessings and miracles we are given each and every day.  Hope you will join us all.. (see previous post for more details)

However, as you might have noticed, this blog has been in “retreat mode” for awhile now.  The reason being that I find myself more and more listless – some of this due to the really difficult summer weather, but much of it having to do with my not being in India for so long.  In past years, I was never out of India for more than 6-8 months at a time…but for many technical reasons, I was unable to go last year and it has now been a year and 4 months (and there are still over 2 months to go!!) that I have been away.  It has taken its toll on many levels, including my physical health.  The Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments I do each year have been keeping my arthritis at bay for 5 years now. A few months ago, the condition reawakened with a vengeance.  I still have a few months to wait before beginning my treatments again, and pain as a constant is quite debilitating to say the least.

But more than that, is my Spirit, my Soul, feeling deep longings for all that India brings to me.  It is not something I can describe in words, but it is no different than deep longings for a special love who is far away.  Life continues as usual, but a certain zest and enthusiasm is missing as I move through my days.  Almost like being in a robotic state.

One of things I do is treat myself as often as possible (actually, almost every day) to India style cooking.  Just an example from this week:  Subji (Indian style cooked vegetables), garlic/ginger rice with turmeric, and sprouted mung beans.

Subji, garlic ginger turmeric rice sprouted mung beans

Don’t get me wrong…I am blessed with amazing joys and miracles and am grateful for all the wondrous things which are part of my life.   So many things to be thankful for, perhaps the greatest gift of the past year being my lover, friend, soulmate who I have waited 65 years in this lifetime, and several past lifetimes to meet again!

But …and here is the but…. it is still difficult for me being away for India for so long.  I have worked at getting past this for several months now, but truth be told, I have decided to accept it.  It is impossible to fight any longer, and the fight has taken too much of my energy.  So….

I am blessed and grateful for ALL the wonder and joy and magic in my life…no question whatsoever here

BUT…I MISS INDIA TERRIBLY AND THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS WILL HOPEFULLY GO BY QUICKLY

For now, I will end…but do hope you will join me and many others in the Gratitude Challenge…and also hope you will understand that it is possible to be joyful and grateful while still missing certain things along the way.  Acceptance of all things as they happen is of the essence in leading a content and tranquil existence,  and this is , of course, our own choice:  Remember the Secret of Happiness in this post: 

https://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-secret-of-happiness/

…and make your choices each and every day to be in that place – No matter how many “buts” there may still be in your life.

with love light and JOY

Jane

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…and the Awards Go To…Sunshine, Kreativ and Reader Appreciation Awards!

The time has come to finish accepting the rest of the awards I was so privileged to be nominated for.  But more important, the time has come to pass these awards on to so many deserving bloggers.  This will not be an easy post to put together.  And if for any reason I have overlooked you for any reason, please accept my apologies.  There are so many wonderful people out their sharing so much with others, it is difficult to know where to begin.

Kreativ Blogger Award

I was nominated for this by The Burnt Map.  http://theburntmap.wordpress.com/

If you love, travel, travel photography and travelogs at their supreme best, you MUST check out this blog.  I wait impatiently for each and every new post!  With much thanks to you for burning maps and thinking of me!!

In accepting the nomination I write 7 things about me and nominate 7 others.  As I’ve already written 7 things about me a couple of times before, I will rewrite one of those lists here, with my apologies.  😀

1.       My greatest joy and blessing during this sojourn on Earth is my family. My 6 amazing children and the extended family of additional sons and daughter-in-law they have brought me, and my 13 wonderful grandchildren ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years!

Me and My Kids – Five daughters, and one son-the “baby”

2.     I had the honor and privilege to meet Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo-the first Western woman to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist Nun.  This meeting resulted in a powerful but subtle shift in perception for me  leading to a “growth spurt” in my life’s journey. You can read about her amazing life story here:  Cave in the Snow

You can also find more information about her life’s work, her nunnery, at this website:  www.tenzinpalmo.com/

3.     I have three loving Guides who have been with me since birth (although I was forced to deny their existence on threat of punishment when I was 7 years old). I reunited with them in my 50’s through a deep meditation practice and they  have agreed to publicly reveal my pet names for them since childhood.  Kaki, Gee and Chuchibell!!

4.       I was blessed to have an audience with HH Dalai Lama in 2001, and the effects of that brief meeting are still rippling through my life to this very day.

5.       I love to play computer games rationalizing that they are good for my rapidly aging brain, but how much brain power do you need to play Bubbles?!?!?

6.       I love to dance and have been doing it in one way or another since the age of 2. For the past 35 years I have both taught and danced Israeli Folk Dancing-I currently dance 3 times  week, each session lasting about 4 hours.

7.       My one vanity is painting my fingernails!!

As to the links-I am trying to find the “Kreativ” in them-whether in inspirational photography, recipes or writing…all of the below are most certainly highly “kreativ” in their own way:

http://photonatureblog.com/about/

http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/  Everything about this blog is Divinely inspired creativity!!

http://googsy.wordpress.com/

http://www.photobotos.com/

http://kevingeorgetravelphotography.wordpress.com/

http://rantingchef.com/

http://phranqueigh.wordpress.com/  Superb writing!

 

The Sunshine Award

This award is given to blogs that positively and creatively inspire! And so for me it is the ultimate award as this is what I hope to achieve in writing my blogs.  The fact that someone out there “felt” this energy from my blog, is the greatest form of acknowledgement and honor I can ask for.  And certainly gives me the positive energy I need to continue writing-even when I feel it is sometimes “too much”.  So a very special thank you to Gina at http://professionsforpeace.com for this nomination.  Her blog is the epitome of positive and creative inspiration, and if she wasn’t already awarded this several times, I would most definitely put her on my list.  Please do check out her blog.  You will be forever grateful that you did!!

The steps to take, preferably with JOY  
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Below is a quote from Gina and I felt it so well written, there was no reason to try and put into my own words.  With your apologies Gina, I quote as follows:

“~I am not adding a note about each blog this time, as I have done with my past awards. I encourage you to visit and discover on your own how they deserve The Sunshine Award because they all positively and creatively inspire. Also some (or all) of these writers may choose to not participate in this award process but I still want this chance to help you, dear reader, to find these blogs and perhaps be inspired by what they contain, if you haven’t found them already. ~Gina”

The Questions:

What is your favorite color?  
Red.  Has been since I can remember knowing what colors are!

What is your favorite animal?  
I would say human beings, as I can find nothing to compare to the uniqueness and Diving splendor of the human being,but I know this is referring to other types of animals.  So I would probably say cat, but horse would come in a close second.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  
Water.

Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?  
Facebook.  Don’t have Twitter and wish I still lived in a world where I could live without Facebook as well.  😀

What’s your passion? 
Being of service.  It is the reason I am here.  Being of service in any way God feels is right for me at the moment.  My service has changed over the years, as have I as I’ve grown along my life’s journey.  I simply pray each and every day that God send those to me who are in need of my special services, for our mutual benefit.  Blogging is simply another way I find myself being of service.  And there is no doubt that there is great benefit in it for me as well.  J

What’s your favorite pattern? 
It would have to be things in Nature.  Clouds, flowers, etc.

Do you prefer giving or getting presents?  
I LOVE giving presents, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also enjoy receiving them…the inner child is always alive and kicking!!

What’s your favorite number?  
No idea.

Favorite day of the week? 
Whatever day today is.  It is the only day I truly have, so it is my favorite!

Favorite flower?
Tough one.  There is just too much uniqueness and grandeur out there in the flower world to be able to choose. So I would have to say it is the flower I am seeing at the moment.  It is, at that moment, my favorite flower.

The Nominees:

http://crystalmoons.wordpress.com/author/yamyah/

http://heartwhispers.co.uk/

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/about-2/

http://olea.wordpress.com/

http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

http://beyondthecall.wordpress.com/about/

http://maggiesonebuttkitchen.wordpress.com/about/

Blessings and gratitude to all of the writers, photographers, chefs and poets in this nominated list, and beyond, who share their inner gifts with us all in this wonderful world of blogging.

Reader Appreciation Award

I was nominated for this lovely award by Rahul, probably one of the most amazing bloggers I’ve had the privilege of meeting!  A comment I sent him says it all!  “You seem like an amazing person, and still so young to have such insights! May you continue to follow your deepest soul insights…to continue to find “deep inspection” in all things…you live in an truly awesome country…my prayers and blessings for you, your writing and your life journey. May it be filled with great love, light, JOY, gratitude and Faith. I truly hope you will find your way to his blog: 

http://iamrahulashok.wordpress.com

How It Works:

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.

2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to. (These are the same questions found above on the Sunshine award, so you can see the fun answers there!)

3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.

4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.

5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Here are my nominees.  I sincerely appreciate their taking the time to share their insights, inspirations, wisdom, poetry, stories, photography and other talents, and for finding their way into my life via the wonderful world of blogging! And as above, some (or all) of these writers may choose to not participate in this award process but I still want this chance to help you, dear reader, to find these blogs and perhaps be inspired by what they contain, if you haven’t found them already.

http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

http://professionsforpeace.com/about/

http://mylifemystuff.wordpress.com/tag/yoga-postures/

http://dhyanavibrations.wordpress.com/

http://chronicpainandme.wordpress.com/about/

http://deelaytful.wordpress.com/about-the-blog/

http://manipalphotoblog.wordpress.com/about/

http://jodiambroseblog.com/

http://healthdemystified.wordpress.com/about/

http://lifevoyagephotoblog.wordpress.com/about/

http://iamleniselee.wordpress.com/

http://bentehaarstad.wordpress.com/

with much love light and JOY to all

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In Joy and Gratitude!

This is a cactus which blooms once a year, at night!!  I was blessed enough to get a photo of it last year.  This whole past year something new has been blooming in my life, and not just once a year, but every day!!  I have been blogging since 2004, but it is only now, that the world has opened up a whole new vista of joy and friendship to me. So….

Just a very quick post to tell you  how wonderful it has been to meet you all !  I love reading all the funny, inspiring, moving, beautiful things that you all take the time to share.  And of course, the photography is awesomely beautiful (there is so much talent in the world-and so much beauty to capture), and the recipes – well – what can I say.  Just thinking of some of the wonderful things I have already prepared makes my mouth water.  And the list of things I want to prepare, still awaits me!  In short, blogging has brought great joy into my life and I am once again grateful for this gift that God and the Universe has sent my way.

I will be giving credit to many of you shortly, as I have been nominated for several awards.  Just haven’t found the time to properly attend to them, but hope to do so shortly.

with MUCH love light and JOY to all of you!!

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Enjoy Juicing

Juiced fruits and veggies are delicious, refreshing (especially in the hot weather), so simple to prepare, are a great source of nutrients and a way to cleanse your system, or get a jump start on your decision to change your eating habits.  You will of course need a good juicer as these cannot be done (like smoothies) in a blender.  But it is one of the favorite things in my kitchen as it gives me an easy way to relieve a sudden urge for something “good” to drink, or for a quick snack when I don’t have time to cook.  And since you get quite a few veggies or fruits into just one glass, you get to “eat”  a lot more of these than you would if you sat down to eat them whole. Try and use organic produce if possible.  The price difference, at least for veggies, is not that great and it is definitely worth the little extra for what you are getting ( and NOT getting) in organic produce.

Just a few of photos:

the first (above) was made with a small beet, 2 carrots and 4 stalks of celery including some leaves.

The second with 2 apples and 4 stalks of celery including leaves.

The third (below) with 3 carrots and 5 stalks of celery including leaves. (I am adding celery to all my juices at the moment since I am working on cleansing after Eating My Way Through New Jersey and (Vegan Philadelphia.)

You can combine almost anything in these drinks, the only limitation is your imagination.  Celery is very high in calcium and also an excellent cleansing agent.  Beets are extremely “powerful” in their cleansing action so use a small amount to begin with and go slow.  Carrots are delicious, even alone.  You can add parsley, romaine lettuce, spinach or any other greens you have around.  A sprig of mint or spearmint. The list is endless.  Start experimenting!  I’d love to hear from you with your combinations,how they tasted, etc.

Enjoy Juicing

with love light and JOY

Jane

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