Cultural Celebration

A few weeks ago Jason told me we had been invited to a milestone celebration for our neighbors seven month old daughter. Obviously, the fact that I  grew up in a completely culture free environment, I had never heard of Annaprashan. I had much to investigate! What is this celebration? What am I supposed to wear? What type gift do I bring?

In a nutshell, Annaprashan is a Hindu rite of passage (Anna means “grain” and Prashan means “to feed” ~ so the celebration is the beginning step to the weaning process from milk to solid foods. OK..I’ll buy that..plus..who can pass up a legit reason to bring family and friends to together to admire the baby (insert annoying lady from Seinfeld “Ya gotta see the babayyyy”) have great food and enjoy company??

Gift ideas can be anywhere from gold/silver bowls (most likely left to the family members to present) spoons and plates to outfits an baby memorabilia.. I decided to leave the fancy gift ideas to their family..I wouldn’t want to one up the grandparents :D…and settled on a simple cute outfit, a couple of bibs and a stainless steel sippy cup.

As much as I wanted to dress up in Salwar Kameez,  I supposed that would be inappropriate soooo… I opted for simple black dress pants, a gray 3/4 sleeve top and simple Steve Madden pointy toe pumps. 🙂

Received with great smiles from the hosts and family – we said our congratulations and ogled the beautifully dress guest of honor, set our gift bag down and were both happy to see that our old neighbors were there with their three little ones. We sat at a table with them and caught up while we gorged on appetizers.

Side note:  I really wanted to bring my camera but Jason said, “NO” ~ I didn’t even feel comfortable taking cell phone pictures so I hate to say this but…I snagged these pictures from google images 😦

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I don’t remember the name of these but they were so good dipped in this beautiful green sauce:

images-1 I tasted cucumber and cilantro and now I must find a recipe to copy!

I’ll leave that for another day..for now I have learned this dipping sauce is green chutney and does not have any cucumber in it whatsoever. They had Tamarind Chutney also but the dates tasted too much like prunes and I did not like the sweetness – on the other hand…Jason loved it..

The chicken tikka masala was AH..MAY..ZINGG..

Recipe Inspirations Chicken Tikka Masala

There were a lot of children there – maybe twelve? Our hosts had prepared for this so they brilliantly hired a magician to entertain the hyperactive little people and it worked like a charm! He had me on the edge of my seat laughing the entire time.  I told Jason on the way home this magician made me want to adopt a five year old so I could have a party that included a magician…He laughs now but we’ll see.. muahh ah ah ah..

Close to the end of the performance, the main course was set out for us to fill our plates.

Jason pointed out ..all of the men were handling this task as the women all sat at their own tables. I told him this was because the women do all the work in labor and after the baby is out! 🙂 I don’t know if this is true or not but seems perfectly logical to me.

There were so many dishes to try! I did try small samples of each of them and my favorites were:

The rice pilaf with peas:

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and…the goat mutton

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I have never eaten goat before..It reminded a bit of as if a lamb and just the part of a cow that makes roast were to have a baby. So good.

After dinner there was CAKE! I was so full from dinner that I only managed two bites but the whip cream frosting was the best. All in all I’d say their Annaprashan was a great success and I was so flattered to have been invited to take part! I love learning about the rituals of other cultures.

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A Day for the Dogs

I love my dogs. They are like my youngest children. We have twins (half Beagle and half Australian Shepherds..don’t ask how that happened..I don’t know and I don’t want to know). 

** Side bar..we also have Larry..who is an almost angel. He is not featured in todays post ** 😉 

These mutts are terrible terrible dogs who are terribly terribly spoiled.Image

Little girl on the left is Ollie – she has more Beagle looks and attitude. Her regal sister on the right is Bollie – she has more Aussie looks and attitude. 

These pups are our babies and are way more spoiled than any other dog I know…on the planet. 

Naturally, when the opportunity arose for me to stay home with the dogs whilst I worked and waited on the HVAC guy to fix our A/C unit…I JUMPED at the chance! 🙂 

By the end of the day..I realized.. I am sooooo thankful Jason and I only had one child. Seriously..dogs are way more difficult to deal with than children. All day I felt like I had four three year olds running a muck around the house. 

Baby gate was put up so the girls wouldn’t get all up in the AC guys business barking mad at him all the live long day. I also had a chair strategically placed over the doggie door so they could not get in the back yard. 

Ollie tried as hard as she could to find a way out. I kept having to say, “No, Ollie..go lay down. Ollie, come on..go lay down. Ollie, no..you can’t go outside.” Weaving to and fro, in and out of the chair legs. She was not going to give up and pretended to she could not hear me.

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She did eventually get out. The HVAC guy happened to be out there. I don’t know if you have ever seen a beagle passionately howl at something or someone but it’s pretty comical.

It goes a teeny bit something like this:

She peeked around the corner (I know because I followed her, I knew she would not harm our guest however she is an animal and you can never be too careful…animals can change mood modes in the blink of an eye), spotted the unwanted (in her eyes) guest, stood firm on her hind legs, threw her head back and howled like no ones business. It took a bit (a tap on the butt) to get her attention and I directed her back inside. No harm no foul. 

Her sister, Bollie, did not dare go outside. She is certainly not brave enough to check out the scene. She would much rather sit inside and bark her head off.. or hide under the dining table. Either way..I had two nutgalls to deal with and I think I would much rather have three three year old humans. Until my friend pointed out…How much more expensive they are hah! 

 

Next time…I’m going to the office and will let someone else stay home with the terrorists. 😉