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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 3 times


In 2010, there were 28 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 106 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 43mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 23rd with 62 views. The most popular post that day was Cooking fish curry in a stone pot.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and Google Reader.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bangalorekaleidoscope, tissue paper window art, nora and tilly paper dolls, importance of kadumbuttu, and paperdolls nora and tilly.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Cooking fish curry in a stone pot August 2010


Window Art October 2010


About August 2010


Book Memories August 2010


Boiled Eggs and Raffi August 2010


Little boys are the most flattering

For all you mom’s of little boys out there…

 My Apu has taken to calling me ‘Belle’ (after the beautiful princess in Beauty and the Beast.) – Mainly because he thinks I’m beautiful. Sometimes he does change this to ‘Bluebell’ though (as in Bluebell the cow) and then I have to respond by calling him ‘Tinkerbell’ (Don’t ask me why)

There are countless little ‘my-mama’ things he does both consciously and unconsciously…

Like last night – He was talking in his sleep – ‘Mama! Only Mama! I want only Mama’

At lunch one day, when I was serving him his peas – ‘You are SO kind mama…’

This morning, just before leaving for school, he was monkeying around the house with his car pool pal – V. Apu with his bow and arrow and V with the green plastic bazooka.

V – ‘I’m going to shoot your baba now’ BANG BANG BANG (sound effects)

A – ‘ok.. I’m also going to… YAGA YAGA…. PINGGGG! (Plastic arrow hitting baba)

V – ‘Now let’s shoot your mama’ BANG BANG BANG (sound effects)

A – (Silently walking to me and kissing my stomach) – No – You CANT shoot my mama’

So do I feel flattered and special by all this ‘Mama-giri’?

Well I try not to encourage it too much… And it does get tiring at times… But YES! Hurray for little boys!

 So this is not to say that the relationship that boys share with their dads is not special too – But I will leave it up to Fooze Monkey to comment on that.

{this moment}


Inspired by

{this moment} – A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Nauseous Trilogy

 A recent spate of illness in the family reminded me of the nauseous home remedy trilogy of my childhood:

 1) Egg Flip
2) The-drink-that-must-not-be-named
3) The caked and crusted throat cure

My grandma whole heartedly believed in the medicinal properties of each of these home remedies – and relentlessly applied / poured them down or on my throat.

Here are the recipes for each, in case you want to subjugate your kiddies to the same sadistic rituals:

Egg Flip – Beat together some brandy, water, RAW egg, sugar and grated nutmeg – Till the vile mixture stands up in stiff peaks… Pour down child’s throat while holding the nose shut and with a vice like grip on the arms…
Believed to be strengthening and in general good for health.

The-drink-that-must-not-be-named – Hot milk, turmeric and garlic! Follow same serving procedure as above.
Good for cold it seems…

The caked and crusted throat cure – Make a paste of ‘chunnam’ (the pink stuff that is put into beetle leaves) and kachampuli (A divine Coorgi cooking vinegar that has the look and consistency of tar) and apply on child’s throat in a thick layer. Allow to dry till cracked and itchy. Under no circumstances allow the child to wash the concoction off…

Learning the Caterpillar way…

The book we are currently reading is ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle.
I love everything about this book – the beautiful illustrations, the humor, the learning concepts, the simplicity… This book represents the type of Graphic Design I think of as ‘cool’ design.
Apu loves it too – We have read it at least twice every day over the last couple of days.

The art work is distinctive – I read somewhere that the author creates the effect using paint and tissue paper and layering them in a collage. What makes the art special is that it is not too abstract for children to appreciate.

The number of learning concepts this simple book covers is amazing:
– Numbers / Counting
– Lifecycle of a caterpillar
– Days of the week
– Fruits and other food stuff
– Pitfalls of greed / Healthy eating

The humor and light writing style is the icing on the cake… (The book describes the junk food binge the caterpillar has on Saturday – resulting in a terrible stomach ache!)

I can see us using this books for a couple of years more and in many different ways… As Apu gets older, the simple text is perfect for learning to read. I also look forward to trying out the painting style with Apu.
Here’s a site I found about different ways in which readers used the Eric Carle books –

Definitely one of our favorites – To be treasured and archived on our bookshelf even after we outgrow it.
Highly recommended.

BTW – We have another book called ‘Brahma’s Butterfly’ – Which is also about the lifecycle of a caterpillar. I was very happy when Apu connected the two stories – Asking for that book to be read to him, after we finished reading ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’

kadumbuttu sunday

This quote by Virginia Woolf sums up our family’s attitude really well – ‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’

The little white balls in the plate are the kadumbuttu’s (steamed rice balls). They are traditionally served with pandi curry (coorgi pork curry) – but at the end of a predominantly carnivorous weekend, chicken made me feel less guilty…
Kadumbuttu’s are also yummy with ghee and honey (which we did for breakfast the next day) – I also love them plain – when they are hot just out of the steamer.

I don’t make Kadumbuttu often since the key ingredient is thari (broken rice) – difficult to source in Bangalore. The last time I made it was years ago – with pork curry, before A was born. But having tasted them at weddings / his thai’s (grandma) place, A loves Kadumbuttu. (I think he also likes the way it sounds) – and really what’s not to like about these cute little fluffy balls that are so easy and fun to dip into the gravy and pop into your mouth?

So anyway, this time I discovered that it’s fairly easy for A to help me as well. After I cooked the thari into a dough like consistency, A and me had a blast shaping them into the balls.
The crafty kid made his Kadumbuttu smaller or bigger than the lime sized one’s I was making, so he would know which were his.

Here’s a pic of the table all set and ready for dinner – just before the boys attacked:

A has coined his own name for this delicacy – piggy balls!

For anyone interested in trying their hand at making Kadumbuttu, I have posted the recipe on my friends blog –

Nora Antilli

Browsing through books in search of a birthday gift for a 6 year old girl, I was really kicked to come across a book of paper dolls.
I had to buy that for her – that book reminded me of the fun I had as a child playing with my ‘Nora Antilli’ dolls… Actually, they were twin dolls called ‘Nora’ and ‘Tilly’ – But I didn’t realize that until much later!

Back home, I Googled for ‘Nora and Tilly paper dolls’ – Not really expecting to see any relevant results. After all, I had got the Nora and Tilly dolls from some old magazine that my grandma collected – unlikely to be up on the web.
Imagine my delight when I found not just results – the results displayed dresses I vividly remember playing with:

The search results also told me that the dolls were from 1956 ‘Woman and Home’ magazines. I almost wished that I had not chopped them up – But only ‘almost’ – The fun I got playing with those dolls was worth wrecking the magazine – I guess!

So then I did another search for the current day Woman and Home magazine. It’s amazing (and telling) to see the change in topics covered by women’s magazines through the years…