Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Yesterday Shortcake got to celebrate her first Easter in India.

She wore these for all of about two seconds.

The Easter Bunny was living on Tulsa time because her basket didn't show up until she woke up from her afternoon nap. It takes a little more creativity living in a country that doesn't have a Wal-mart with all the ready made baskets lined up in the seasonal aisle, but I enjoyed getting to be a little more creative. I also enjoyed the fact that I can take her with me as I shop for the supplies and she's too little to know what's going on. She's not, however, too little to demand to eat the sucker I bought for her basket right away. Especially given the fact that the store clerk handed it right to her. What if I had been buying it for someone else?
Maybe that's how he sells more sucker

So the creativity part, I had to come up with a way to make grass, so I decided to shred green construction paper through our paper shredder. It worked pretty well and was SUPER cheap, so I highly recommend it, even if you do live in a place where you can buy the sparkly fake kind. I also highly recommend running sheet through and cleaning out all the excess white paper that is stuck in your shredder before you make the grass that is for keeps. Live and learn... To make this plain little basket a little more fun I added a hair clip that she doesn't wear anymore and then of course filled it with some goodies from "QMart," the closest thing we have to a Homeland in our neck of the woods.

She LOVED dying eggs! She dyed her hands too :)

As soon as all the eggs were gone, she just started dunking them in the dye all over again. She made by far the coolest egg by scratching it and then putting it in other colors. Very artsy!
I will post some pictures of her hunting eggs soon! Happy Easter!!

"C" is for chai :)

In India as a whole, coffee drinking isn't as popular as it is in the US. You hard core coffee drinkers will be appalled to hear that it's hard to even find coffee that is not (gasp!) instant :( BUT instead of a cup o' joe, the caffeinated beverage of the masses is... you guessed it, chai! And it's so good it might make you forget about your coffee. There are chai stands along the roadsides where people, especially men, will stop to drink chai and talk. But people also make chai in their homes on a daily, often multiple times a day, basis. You can hardly step foot in someones home here without being offered chai and snacks :)

Now I'm sure you are at least familiar with the starbucks version of chai, which I do like, but I'm here to tell you that it's not real chai! First of all, in India they drink chai from teeny, tiny cups. Like about the size of my daughter's toy tea cups, no kidding. Which is probably a good thing considering how much sugar they usually add, and the fact that they typically drink it more than once a day! The real deal in India is black tea made from tea powder (not bags!) and boiled on the stove, then milk is added, boiled some more, then sugar and like I said, LOTS of it, is added. Sometimes they will spice it up with ginger or cardamom, I'm not a huge fan of either. Just give me plain and simple chai pretty please! Lastly, they will put a strainer over a cup to strain out the leaves. Every Indian kitchen has at least one strainer. They're essential, because chai is essential, of course! One of the most famous brands of chai in India is called "Taj Mahal." Guess what the logo is? Kidding!

A few months ago, this is what I saw in my cup as I was about to have my afternoon chai break :)