Monday, May 24, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge...

I really enjoy reading baking blogs. Many of the baking bloggers out there have joined the Daring Baker's Challenge. How this works is one baker/blogger is chosen each month to give the challenge. They let everyone in the group know what the challenge is and within that month each baker/blogger must complete the challenge and blog about it.
While I was in India I would read these blogs and think how fun it would be to join this group. But each time I thought about joining I would think about the added challenge of trying to find/make the right ingredients and would decide not to add so much stress to my life. I think this was a pretty wise decision, though I still think it would be fun. :)
All that is to lead into my story from this weekend. Since I got back to the States a month ago I haven't really wanted to bake much of anything. If you know me even a little bit you'll know how strange this is. I LOVE to bake!! So me not wanting to bake is really weird.
The reason I haven't wanted to bake anything is because the challenge that baking took on in India no longer exists here in the States. You decide what you want to bake, jump in the car to go to the store to get what you need and come home and bake. Not as exciting as deciding what you want to bake, walking to the market and trying to find the right ingredients and when you can't figuring out what you can substitute then walking up the mountain to go home and bake. Then in the middle of your baking the electricity going off. You see the difference?
So, yesterday I had a potluck to go to. I decided I was going to make Dall Makhani(Ymmmy!!!beans in a creamy tomato sauce) and Gujya(SUPPER YUMMY!! a fried pastry filled with mawa, coconut, raisins, cashews and almonds). Everything for both of these are readily available here except for the mawa(pronounced mava). Mawa is simply milk boiled till it is dry and thick. You may be thinking what I was. Oh, well that should be easy. I'm here to tell you that, no. It is not that easy.
Saturday morning I took a gallon of Vitamin D milk and poured it into a pot and put it on the stove. All morning it cooked. I had to leave for a few hours, so I turned it off and left. When I got home I turned it back on and continued to wait. And wait. And Wait. AND WAIT!!! It never thickened. So, I decided maybe I should do a bit more research. I googled it and found MANY ways to to make mawa. One of the easiest was milk, cream and sweetened condensed milk. I went down to the store and pick up the cream and condensed milk. I put them in the pot with the milk and began the waiting again. It never thickened. By this time it was about 11:30 Saturday night. So, I decided that I'd work on it more on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday - I got home and googled mawa again. I found a recipe that had whole fat dry milk, evaporated milk and cream. Easy I thought. So, I went to the store and found out that you can't find whole dry milk. Only skim. AHHHH!!!!! I quick thought about some of the other recipes I had looked at and remembered another that called for ricotta cheese, though I couldn't quite remember what else it had. So, I decided to get some cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk just to cover my bases, and headed home.
When I got there I looked up the ricotta cheese recipe and found that it is only ricotta cheese. huh. Go figure. So, I began cooking it to get the moisture out. And it worked!! :)
I made the dough and the filling and started making the gujiya!!
At one point as I was trying to cook the milk down I started laughing because I haven't wanted to bake cause there wasn't any challenge in it here. I was just thinking about making the wrong things! I should have been wanting to make something from India and then there'd be lots of challenge!
That's my adventure from the weekend. And my gujiya turned out GREAT!!! :D

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So, I've been wanting to change my blog up a bit. I liked what I had awhile ago, but it was a bit too much. I wanted something more simple. And while I was in India my internet wasn't fast enough to really look at different options, and I didn't have a lot of time to do so.
Tonight I am at my sister's house watching the boys while she is at work. So, I thought that since they went to bed so good I'd take the time now to figure out what I want to do with it. So, please bare with me as I experiment and decide what I want.

Wordless Thursday

Wordless Wednesday Thursday

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What happened to wordless Wednesday?

So, ever since I left India I have been TERRIBLE about posting on my blog. I am so sorry!! I have no excuse except to say that I have been lazy with it. I think about it all the time, but I just don't do anything about it. grrr. I suppose I'll blame my dad for giving me his procrastination skills. ;)

Anywho... I'd like to share just a few pictures since I've missed about A MONTH of wordless Wednesday.

The last week before I left to come back to the States Suzy and I went out to a village. The first day out there we went to the Yamuna Bridge. On the way back the people we were with stopped to buy some milk from a Gujar tribe. The Gujar people are a Muslim nomadic people who herd water buffalo. It was really neat to have the opportunity to meet them. They are really a beautiful people!

Here's a couple pictures I took when I met them. :)

Please keep these beautiful people in your notes when you talk to Dad. As of right now they have very little to no access to the Good News. And because they are a nomadic people getting the Good News to them could be very difficult.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I love you too

I have been loving being able to spend so much time with my sisters boys. I haven't been able to get down to Omaha yet to see my brother and his family, but I am hoping to this next week.

Anyway. Elijah is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen! And he says some of the darndest things too!! One of his favorite things to say is, "I can't even call myself a dog!" I crack up every time I hear it!! I have no idea where he got it, but it's funny!

When I first got back one of the things I noticed that he says often is, "Aunt Sawa, I love you too." He doesn't wait for me to tell him I love him. He just comes up to me throughout the day to say, "I love you too." He already knows that I love him and he doesn't need to hear it to know that I love him. But he wants to make sure that I know he loves me back.

And it got me to thinking. Do we do this with God? I know in my life I too often take for granted the fact that He loves me. I know He does and so I start asking Him for things. I say, "God, I know you love me, so can you just give me this?" or "do this for me?" And I forget to tell Him I love Him too.

So, tonight I just want to say,

"Jesus, I love you too."