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Posts Tagged ‘Peter’

Who says money doesn’t grow on trees?

In Field Notes on 26 August 2015 at 7:49 pm

Who says money doesn’t grow on trees… 🙂

A guest post by Peter of Appalagraharam Andhra Pradesh

After school and on Sundays, the village kids come to play with the AID “Toy Library” toys…
Each day there is a different scenario enacted. One day the space may be a market place, with the children, as small groups or individually setting up there stalls with various wares for sale … tea stalls, tiffin stalls, hair studio, scrap merchants, general stalls etc…
Another day it may be the anganwadi centre with a teacher (who always seems to be yielding a big stick… 😦 teaching songs and games to the children whilst somebody else is preparing meals for every one…
One of the favorites is “Birthday parties… one or more children are selected as “Birthday Kids”
All the other children collect leaves and flowers to lavish the the birthday kid and their mudpie cake…

There is one common thing that revolves around all the scenarios…. money. Read the rest of this entry »


Yummy Fried Millet

In Recipes on 10 May 2013 at 8:05 pm

Sustainable agriculture, food security and good health depend a diverse diet including coarse grains such as millets of many varieties.  Finger millet, also known as ragi or nachni is making a come-back in the urban areas.  Similarly other varieties such as foxtail millet and little millet, well known to our grandparents also deserve a place on our plate.

Peter writes from Appalagraharam with some recipes using delicious varieties of millet.  One is fried, the other is steamed.  Enjoy!

Been experimenting with millets whilst Swandana and Nirma are in Orissa visiting the clan…

Yummy Fried Foxtail Millet (కొర్ర).  Photo by Peter Bakos.

Yummy Fried Foxtail Millet (కొర్ర). Photo by Peter Bakos.

Really yummy fried foxtail millet (కొర్ర )

The rice is dry fried till it almost reaches popping stage then a tablespoon or so of oil and teaspoon of salt per cup of rice is added and stirred. Then cold water, two and a half cups the quantity of rice is added and allowed to boil in a lidded vessel.

If you have an Ez-cooker you can just bring to the boil then allow to cook in the Ez-cooker for about half an hour … If cooked in a pressure cooker, two whistles is enough.

In a wok, garden-fresh spinach, beans, onions, garlic chives were sautéed with a shop-brought carrot, grated. The then millet rice was added and stirred in.

Eaten with a side- dish of home-made lemon pickle.

The rice came out really light & fluffy with a nutty flavor.

Little Millet (సామ బీయము)

Little Millet (సామ బీయము) with assorted vegetables.  Photo by Peter Bakos.

Little Millet (సామ బీయము) with assorted vegetables. Photo by Peter Bakos.

This was an “as you’re walking out the door” kind of meal. Spent more time harvesting the veggies from the garden than we did cooking. Since the EZ Cooker vessel was in use, I used the pressure cooker for this one.

Assortment of spinach, radish leaves, onion & garlic chives, beans & tomato were coarsely chopped and lightly fried in the pressure cooker with fresh herbs and a little salt.

Then I added little millet and water – 2.5 times as much water as millet. Stirred and covered. Three whistles later it was ready. A quick bite , steaming hot then packed in the tiffen box with a couple of millet rotis… The perfect lunch for a village visit.

More on Millet:

Earth 360 – bringing millets back into mainstream diet and cropping patterns
Good for diabetes patients – from The Hindu, 4 Feb 2103
Millet Recipes
Ragi Porridge – not just for babies! (recipe and video)

More by Peter:  Tinkering Around
About EZ Cooker: Instructions | Presentation by Wilbur Sargunaraj, Supercall Solutions

Tinkering around

In Field Notes, How on 6 January 2013 at 12:58 pm

Tinkering Around

from Peter, Bappa to 4 year old Swandana in Appalagraharam

What we like to do together ???
We actually like to do everything together… 🙂
But it is not always possible … 😦

Here are a few things we do…
As we are OFF-GRID we have to regularly check our batteries’ status as they determine how much computer time / lighting / and appliance usage we have.  Our batteries are seconds and rejects so are not equal in their readings. In order to check each battery we use a digital multimeter. Swandana is now proficient in setting the dial to the correct position for testing DC 12V and which probe is for what polarity. If it is reversed she will correct.   A small – indicator will appear along with the voltage reading.

Swandana reads out each number number on the digital display, it started out being a fun way for her to start recognizing numbers but I think now she is also starting to identify that the lower number indicates poor battery condition. Associating numbers with physically identifiable objects makes learning a fun thing . We are often tinkering with things requiring tools… and spanners and screwdrivers are commonly required.

Swandana is now familiar with the difference between a ring and open-end spanner , a Philips-head and a flat head screw driver, their use and application and also started to relate the size of the opening of a spanner with the mm number embossed on the tool shaft.

Swandana enjoys helping out when we are working on the computer and has very good control of the mouse and understands and relates many of the functions including the shortcuts. Some she discovered that I didn’t know exists. She now writes her own name at the end of emails and has started to copy printed text, she also likes to watch her videos on the computer, selecting files, recognizing videos and playing , fast forwarding, stopping, pausing, and volume control with short cuts and controller on both Mac & PC .

Swandana and BappaWhen we are not tinkering with tools we are out in the garden, photographing, videoing, and rearing insects. Swandana has a keen eye for photography and knows when “macro” setting is required and when it’s not.

She is able to now recognize many butterflies, dragonflies and variety of insects and beetles, comfortably handling them and familiar with their food requirements.

In the garden there are always things to do from planting seeds, harvesting veggies , weeding, watering, picking of pests, making and applying organic fertilizer and compost.

Feeding the fish and turtle in the aquaponic pond and just having fun. When we are out and about visiting villages Swandana likes to drive our electric scooter (under close supervision ) and of course sound the horn .

We mainly speak Oriya at home as Nirmala doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Telugu or Tamil. Swandana speaks all … Including a little “Sign” …

She is teaching me Telugu and Nirmala a little English in her spare time…

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AskAmma thanks Peter for sharing this note, part of a series on Play.
Gentle Reader, how do you play?  AskAmma will feature selected stories every Wednesday.


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