Monthly Archives: January 2016

Me Versus the Chapati

In millions of Indian homes around the globe for many centuries, chapatis are made on a daily basis and are a staple of their diet.  In more traditional times, it was common for a bride to be judged by her new family by her ability to make them round and soft.  In my husbands family, most of the women were taught at an early age to know their way around the kitchen including making a perfect round chapati.  As a result, my mother-in-law is the best cook I have ever met.  While my mom was also cooking full dinners by the age of 8, she decided not to raise her daughters the same way.  My parents made our education our first and only priority and I was often shooed away from the kitchen.  It should come as no surprise that when I first stepped foot in my future inlaws home at 19 years old, I instantly felt out of place.  It was so intimidating to watch all the women know exactly what to do and how to do it.  Even if I wanted to help, I was nervous about doing something wrong.  Fast forward 15 years, I have come to accept that I will never “fit in” with the expertise around the kitchen but my inability has always made me self conscious in my culture.

Recently I have felt  the desire to be able to cook.  For a few reasons: being able to cook mine and my husbands favorite meals, feeding my kids healthy meals, and being able to teach my children.  I have been slowly learning a few dishes here and there and using frozen ones to complete the meal.  Last weekend I decided that it was time to learn this ancient art of chapati making and give it a try.

I opened up my PC and started googling.  I have helped rolled them a few times and certainly seen my mom and mother in law make them often enough but never made the dough.  I choose the video with the most hits and figured I am smart enough, I can figure this out.  I started following the recipe.  After all it is just flour and water, how hard can it be?  1 hour later, I am calling every expert indian cook I know.  I finally got a hold of my sister-in-law who tried to help.  I tried to roll one out and it was an gooey sticky mess.  My husband thought with his pizza expertise he could figure it out.  No such luck.  They all went into the trash.

Point – Chapati

Luckily we had the frozen ones as back up.  I opened up the pack and started them on the pan.  Unfortunately even those would not work for me.  Every single one was hard as a rock and just did not have the taste of a home cooked chapati.  We grudgingly ate them as I felt defeated.

Point – Chapati

I started instead looking for the ad I had seen sometime back about the automatic chapati maker and how to get my hands on one.  I found it and watched it again.  It looked awesome but unfortunately is sold out.

Point – Chapati

I was determined not to give up.  This week I Facetimed my mother in law to walk me through it from start to finish.  After watching my dough take shape, I finally was able to roll out the chapatis with my daughters. They were far from round but I was on the right track.  After the first few, they actually even started to fluff up.  Paired with the an eggplant sabji they were absolutely delicious.  Next time I will cheat like my other sister in law who cuts around a lid to get those perfectly round circles!

Game – Anjali!

5 Must Have Parent Apps

Life is all about technologies these days.  Having an iPhone for texting and pictures is awesome but there is so much more apps can do.  As a busy tech mom, with busy active kids, here are the apps that I have used to make my life easier.  Especially as my kids have gotten older, the amount of activities/practices have grown exponentially and I need something to keep my head on straight!

#1 – Cozi – Family Organizer  – Free   We have tried it all.  No calendars – my husbands asks me 10 times what we are doing this weekend.  White board calendars – Duplicating data in 2 places.  Google Calendars – Not adding events so calendar isn’t up to date.  Introduce Cozi.  Cozi is almost perfect.  Why I love it?  I can add iCals from other sources (school, soccer) and it automatically updates my calendar.  Each member of my family has it own color and can easily take a look at their calendar for the week with a shared password.  Added bonus of synced grocery lists.  All of this on the free app.  Definitely a must have.

#2 – Baby Connect – Activity Logger

 Especially when I had a newborn, leaving my baby with anyone gave me anxiety.  Is he getting enough to eat?  Is he sleeping?  How much did he drink?  In order for me to breathe a little easier, I had my nanny log his activity in the app which would automatically synchronize with mine.  Not only did I know what my baby was doing, but also gave me the added bonus to look at history if needed.

#3 – Baby Monitor for IP Camera

 If you add the word baby to any product, you can mark up the price 2x.  Some of the top baby monitors can be upwards of $200+.  Regular IP Cameras (cameras that connect to your home wifi) cost half the price and allow you to use any smart device/PC to view even when you aren’t home.  This app is a nice add on because you can set limits to what noise level it should turn on for and give extra notifications when needed.  You can also add more cameras as need if you want to add one to the playroom too!  Easily converted to a security camera when no longer needed.

#4 –  Carpool Kids

 As the amount of activities/practices are increasing , so do my driving responsibilities.  It took me a while to figure out what a godsend carpooling is but once you realize that for 5 extra minutes of getting to other kids houses, only having to drive a portion of the time is AMAZING!  Carpool Kids makes organizing the process much easier.  You simply put in all the riders and dates, and when you can drive plug yourself in so you aren’t trying to remember last minute who drove last week.

#5 – Bank of Mom of Dad

 I highly believe in  teaching kids financial responsibility.  My kids perform chores to earn their allowance but I never have enough cash on hand.  When they do finally get the cash, they rarely remember to bring it with them when heading to the mall.  Bank of Mom provides a way to track their allowance along with the expenditures easily.