Category Archives: Family

The lady who taught us to cook

Today started off with a bad news. I found out that Siddqua Kabir passed away. She is the women behind the most well known and widely published Bangladeshi cook book,  Ranna Khaddo Pushti ( Cooking,Food, Nutrition).  Almost every expat Bangladeshi has this book.

I remember my mother leafing through this book when I was a child. My mother loves to cook and every so often she would open the book and read the recipes. I remembering spending many hot and sweaty summer afternoon with my mother deciding on which recipe to try out. My mother had the older version of the book.  She actually had to go and buy a second copy of the cook as the first one she owned was so worn out from use. I loved how the book was dedicated to the malnourished children of Bangladesh. This book had over thousands of recipes. From Bangladeshi regular food to special occasion food, Chinese, Italian, Russian, baking etc. This is the go-to book for cooking.

My used this book when I cooked for the first time. I made Shahi Tukrey when I was 12 or 13.  I got a copy of this book when I came to Canada in 2009. My mom got me the newer version of book.  After she got me the book, she kept on coming to my room and comparing her book to mine.  She realized mine had more recipes than hers. I think, after I left Bangladesh, she ended up getting a copy of the new book as well.

The newer version was printed in a better quality of paper, and included a few recipes that incorporated microwave cooking.  I use this book when I am cooking a lot. It literally lives next to my stove. I love how the book gives you a simple and basic recipe for everything.

Siddiqua Kabir also has a very popular cooking show in Bangladesh. I enjoyed watching her on TV. She had a no non-sense attitude towards cooking and always gave information about nutrition. In the recent episodes, I noticed how she would sit down while cooking. I never realized how old she has gotten. To me, she was a timeless woman. I always expected her to be around teaching us how to cook.  I am quite sad to find out that she passed away….I know she will be deeply missed by millions of Bangladeshis all around the world.

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The Baby Talk!

As people around me are having babies, the idea of babies and pregnancy are on mind. I always knew I wanted to be a mother…I feel that I have very strong mothering instinct and am very caring. Hubby thinks we are too young to even thing about babies (I am 25.5 years and Hubby is turning 28 next month). Hubby thinks that babies bring way too much responsibility  and we are not ready for it.  My mother had me when she was 24. As far as I know, mother-in-law also got pregnant quite young (early 20s). I know that a woman’s fertility goes down by the time she is 27.

If we really want to be settled in life, buy a house, have stable careers, I don’t see us having children till our mid thirties.  I know there are loads of options available for women who want to have children later in life after they have sorted out their career. How old is too old to have a baby? Also, the financial cost is probably really high.

I also know the literature that says getting pregnant later in life is much much riskier, both for the mother and the child.  A friend of mine just have her baby and she is 35. She had a very difficult pregnancy, had a C-section, very difficult time recovering.  Her husband and she had quite a difficult time adjusting to the baby. Her husband is 37. Is there really a biological clock and is it ticking? Is it easier to adjust and make space for baby when we are young?

Ideally I would want a baby in my life in 3-4 years whereas Hubby wants us to wait at least a few more years than that. I know my parents and Hubby’s mom expect us to have a baby, though I have no family pressure (yet).

What are your thoughts on babies? Is there are a right time have babies?

All is well

Hubby and I made up today! Phew! I hate fighting and being angry, and holding on to grudge. Is it just me or do other people have physical reaction when they have huge fight with their partners? The first time hubby and I fought, I ended up massive headache. The second time, I ended up having a UTI ( yeah, I know!) and this time I ended up with a fever and a cold. I feel so much better after making up with hubby! This is when I feel long distance really sucks! If we were together, we would probably cook a nice meal and spend some quality time together :p.

 

Sickly

I am home nursing a sore throat and a fever (i think, my digital thermometer isn’t working).  I am skipping yoga today. I really feel dehydrated from the fever, so I don’t want to take any chances.

Yesterday, too, I skipped yoga. I had a fight with Hubby. He had told me few days ago something my mother said to his mother. I had already asked my mom to limit  contact with my mother-in-law because you never know who considers what as offensive. And Bangladeshis are notorious for gossip/back stabbing. After I was done talking to my hubby (who really doesn’t like my mother), I called up my mom and asked her what she had exactly said to my mother-in-law, and if she had actually said what hubby and mother-in-law were talking about. My mother denied it (which made sense to me since what she had said didn’t seem like something she would say).

Hubby and I were bickering over something last night and in the heat of the moment I told him that my mother did not saw what they claimed she has said. I told him that it was either him or his mother who was lying. Hubby is pissed. I am pissed too. I hate how hubby is trying to blame my mother for everything. I can’t just walk away from my mother, can I? She is my mother, after all. There are things I don’t like about mother-in-law. But as I married her son, I take her as a part of the package. What should I do? Force hubby to be cordial to my mother? Or cut off relationship with my mother-in-law (the same way hubby wants to treat my mother)? Family is very important to me. I like the family bond. I wish hubby was more family oriented.

I hate how these stupid relationships work. Why can’t people be straight forward? And why do people have to go around creating trouble for others?

11-11-11

Hubby is leaving tomorrow 😦

We spent most of today fighting…which has kinda become customary for us. Every time hubby goes away (which has happened twice before), we fight. We fight about stupid things. We fight about things that don’t really even care about. I think we fight just so that we won’t be sad about impending doom.  I am already struggling with that…becoming teary eyed at random intervals.

We are spending the day preparing to send off hubby away…doing laundry, updating hubby iphone ( he synchronizes his music library to my itunes, copying TV shows and movies from each other’s computers, sorting paper work etc. Being a good wife that I am, I have decided to make  him a beef curry to take with him.  I have to freeze it and then wrap it really well for him to take.

I don’t think I will see hubby in six months…though I am planning a secret mini surprise trip. Let’s see how that works out. I think I will probably miss hubby more this time around. We have never spent this much time together. Me being under-employed and he on vacation meant that we pretty much spent 24/7 together. We spent this much time together without any major issues. Phew! I can gladly say that we will be able to spend our time with relative easiness when we are all old and wrinkly.

~Bou

Following up

Following up from my last post:

Hubby and I had a long chat today. We discussed how we did not want a traditional Bangladeshi marriage where dreams are squashed, where women are not given enough respect and/or economic power. We also discussed how we would be honest with each other. I don’t think I would too happy in a traditional marriage (because of my international upbringing, liberal arts education and in general a rebellious attitude). With all of these aspirations of a having a different type of marriage comes the predicaments like the one last night. Hubby is honest…brutally honest at times. I wish at times he would say things that would please me. But I know that’s not him…that’s not his nature. As much as I want/hope/wish, he would change, I know that marriage is a journey and no one is perfect. I think/know that hubby hopes that I become less emotionally vulnerable and clingy.

On a happier note:

Hubby come back home on Saturday. For a month! Can’t wait for him to be back. He has requested that I treat him with loads of home-cooked meals. I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and cook regularly. Cooking for one is no fun at all. I have already made some gajar ka halwa and kulfi, and froze them in anticipation (I gave the links for recipes I followed, and these are pretty great recipes). I also made salmon kebabs and shami kababs. These freeze really well and are great for snacks. For hubby’s welcome home meal, I have decided to make pomfret fry, tilapia curry with cauliflower,potatoes and peas (it’s a very Bengali dish), beef bhuna, daal (prepared in a thin manner-Bangladeshi style),   alu bhaja (thinly cut fried potatoes). All of these dishes will go really well with plain Basmati Rice. I will upload pictures and recipes soon!

Hello world!

I decided not the change the title of this post since I am literally saying hello to the world (well, to a small community in the blogging world).  As I finished my MA a few months ago and ended up having a lot of free time (living by myself because of a long distance relationship and part time employment), I started to read loads of blogs on relationships, on food, on recipes, on just random stuff.  I was quite intrigued and mesmerized by the idea of having an online community. So, here I will be treading the waters now!

So here is snippet of my life:

I am in mid-twenties from a country in South Asia but living in Canada now.  I have two MAs and underemployed. One husband. No kids (yet). My family lives back home. My husband works in West Africa.

I love to read, to write and of course to cook! I hope to share some recipes and pictures soon! I have lived in Southern and Western Africa and the US. I try to think of myself a global citizen.  But my husband jokingly calls me a even more confused ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) since I don’t fit in anywhere. This years marks the tenth anniversary of me being an expat. In a sense, I am writing to make sense of my identity, my national ties and my citizenship too.

With the promise to write often, good night world!