Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Busy, Festive, October

Our two kids are getting older... the little one, following in the footsteps of her big sis has developed a "juto" (shoe) love. It's usually the first word out of her mouth in the morning... as she reaches for her shoes on the change table while I change her soaky diaper. She has several pairs, but the bigger the shoes, the more she lusts after them. (Dad beware!) In fact, every morning while we head out the door, she insists on getting her big sister into the appropriate footwear and then screeches as she is left behind with dida. They are becoming quite the unit, which is why this year I decided to dress them as related characters for Halloween. T wanted to be the Big Bad Wolf, so K naturally became Little Red Riding Hood, I tried to convince the dad to be the Woodcutter but he declined, since I wasn't going as the Grandmother. Technically, at 36 I could be a real grandmother, but I shudder at the thought of @##ning a child at 17 who goes on to repeat the deed! But, I digress (terrible sentence structure, I know darling). Since we knew what the kids were going to be for Halloween I serched for a costume for about three weeks, gave up and then made my own. Everyone loved the long braids on K, but I tried them around the house too, silly mum.

K the Little Red Ridinghood and T the Big Bad Wolf

And as usual, I have jumped ahead to the end of the month, of course October began with pent-up rain fall, new garbage collection rules (and associate woes) and the Thanks Giving (TG) long weekend, which we Canadians celebrate well before the US one. Confusing, I know. Canada is not the 51st American state in all things after all. We had two TG dinners, one with Bengali Kosha Patha'r Mangsho (Goat Curry) and one with roast chicken, stuffing and all. T was really enthusiastic about helping in the kitchen, for about 5 minutes because Bubble Guppies were on at the same time on TV. She however made sure that I had included brussel sprouts on the menu (!).

sitting down to the second Thanks Giving dinner
The Pathar Mangsho (Goat Curry) was a modified version of this recipe from the Bong Mom's Cookbook who reminded me of our similar tradition of eating goat curry on sunday afternoons when I was a kid growing up in India. Also the goat was going to be the last meat my parents were allowed to eat before the prelude to Durga Puja, Mahalaya, happened. Since my dad was officiating again this year at the only proper Winnipeg Durga Pujo, he was off being a proper Brahmon for the duration.
Three sets of unrelated Chakraborty-s performing the Pujo, what are the odds?

At the 2012 Sarbojanin Durga Puja, Winnipeg

We (Alex, I, T and K) headed out and attended as much as our kids and jobs allowed but I think my parents had a blast everynight. I had some home-made Sandesh at the puja and loved it so much that I came back home and reproduced it the next weekend for Lakkhi Pujo. By all accounts it was great but I didn't make near enough. Monday morning when I left for work, there were about a dozen on a plate, by the evening there were two left, of course no one remembers eating them. All this cultural cooking has my husband worried, he hasn't seen a steak in months, I remind myself of the beef recall to assuage my guilt. I even made him a mint-chocolate cake this weekend (he'll tell you HE baked himself a cake, I just iced it) to make up for all this sudden onset of Bengali-ness, but that just has him worried about my sudden domestic enthusiasm. I blame it all on having to sew those costumes... creativity spawns creativity. It's a vicious cycle but I will draw the line at knitting.


  1. Hey Tina

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Am loving your blog. That you are in manitoba, is one more reason for me to leave a comment. The husband was getting an offer to relocate there but I resisted thinking there might not be a Indian community there. Now that I see you even have a Durga Pujo...he is going to kill me ;-)

    1. Oh that's too bad, that you decided not to move!... Manitoba is small (population wise) but friendly! And yes there are at least two durga Pujo's performed at Winnipeg and SEVERAL bengali cultural events throughout the year. The indian population density and the grocery availability is far from NJ (we were in Edison and East Windsor visiting family this summer) but still pretty good. It is a very stable (economically) and multicultural province.
      If you don't mind my asking, what industry does your husband work in? Most of the bengali community here is professional, your typical engineers/doctors/professors/educators and at least one architect!


About Me

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I am a forty-something mom of two girls, an architect by profession and an avid sci-fi and My Little Pony fan. I love to cook, but only occasionally and am in the middle of rediscovering my heritage through food.