Sankranthi (Pongal) Celebration in the US!

January 14th, 2016- Makara Sankranthi (Sankranti) or Pongal is a traditional Indian harvest festival that marks the onset of spring in India. Living in US for the past 6 years, I have always tried my best to celebrate Indian festivals here with the same amount of zeal and enthusiasm. This year too, as always, I celebrated Sankranthi. It being baby A’s First Makar Sankranthi, was a special day for us. P and I took off on January 14th and 15th to celebrate the festival with baby A in a grandiose way. We gave him oil bath in the morning, put new clothes on him and performed all the rituals, all thanks to my mil’s guidance. Usually, for the baby’s first year, we fill the silver chombu (utensil) with ellu(sesame seeds mixed with finely chopped jaggery, coconut) and sakkare achchus (recipe here), take dristi of the baby(to ward off evil eyes) and distribute that ellu and achchus to our friends and family. Seated on a wooden plank, P comfortably made baby A sit on his lap, while I performed the rituals of placing vermilion on baby A’s forehead, took dristi of him by waving a silver chombu in front of him and also performed aarthi in a silver plate with water blended with pinch of vermilion. MIL had prepared delicious festive food like Khara Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Ambode (Masala Vada), pumpkin curry and pumpkin halwa. After fulfilling our appetite, we spent the rest of the day packing goodies for our friends, who would be visiting us the next day, to celebrate sankranthi festival at our home. Since it was baby A’s first sankranthi and because he is a boy, we gifted silver krishna along with yellu and achchus in the goodies.

 

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Pre-Christmas Party!

P’s Vice President throws a “Pre-Christmas” party at her place every year! That is her sweet way of thanking her team for all the hard work and success throughout the year. It was on December 13th, Saturday this year! As always, it was a great party! Had loads of fun meeting P’s colleagues and their families, binged on yummy food, had interesting conversations, played “Secret Santa”, also P had a chance to play Billiards. He loved it so much, that he ended up ordering one for us 🙂

Secret Santa – A game played during holiday season. Every one needs to bring a wrapped gift worth less than $20. Everyone gets to pick a number. The person will the number 1 starts the game by choosing a wrapped gift and opening it. The next person who has number 2 can either pick another wrapped gift or steal the gift from Number 1. The game continues and the every person gets to either open a wrapped gift or steal a gift from other person. A gift can be stolen only thrice in the game! I got “Coffee” first, which ended up being stolen from me. Then, I got the “Selfie Stick”, which again got stolen twice from me. I ended up stealing awesome “Shower Speaker” from someone else, which is perfect for our shower 😛

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2014!

Baked Cauliflower

Baked Cauliflower

Thanksgiving – It is the time of the year to be THANKFUL for EVERYTHING that you have in your life – your family, friends, loved ones, job, career, good fortune, good life! Families host the Thanksgiving Lunch with their loved ones, bake Turkey and other delicious food , sit and eat together, thereby spending quality time.

Being gazillion miles away from our homeland INDIA,  it is impossible to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family. A bunch of close friends decided to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US! 😉

One friend decided to host “Vegetarian Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch” at her home. Potluck lunch is where everyone gets to bring in a food item of their choice to share with their friends. This setup removes unnecessary burden on the host to cook variety of food items for everyone.

To celebrate Thanksgiving with a Twist, we zeroed in on cooking Indian cuisine. Since all of us were Vegetarians, we ended up cooking vegetarian food.

Thanksgiving is no fun sans the Turkey! In order to compensate for the real turkey, P found some “Baked Cauliflower” recipe on Pinterest.

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