If you are new here: At the beginning of each month the challenges are announced. These challenges are for inspiring the entire team and to make deeper connections with everyone (fellow food ambassadors, friends and family, anyone who wants to be a part of this challenge too), share our stories , whether we failed or conquered and more. The idea is to complete as many challenges as one can (Read about the October and November challenges).
Challenge One: Join #JamiesChristmas. Join Jamie and our global community in getting into the festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we can all celebrate the food revolution today! Look out for tips from Jamie and the team and some fun and games to join throughout the month!
Christmas is always a special time of the year. I studied in a convent so though we didn’t celebrate Christmas at home initially, as I grew older and learnt more about Christmas I became very very fond of everything connected to Christmas and mum dad became part of this new tradition at home.
When my little chefling came along she joined us in the festivities. Each year we work on an advent calendar for her, she makes Christmas cards, we make edible gifts, we sing carols, we play Christmas games, write a letter to Santa and she invites her friends over for Christmas festivities.
This year we did the same and just like the twinkling fairy lights on the tree little eyes sparkled, just like the glowing baubles their faces lighted up and we celebrated Christmas.
I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas yesterday.
Challenge Two: Share your greatest Food Revolution moment from 2014. Whether conquering a certain recipe, getting your picky eaters to try new foods, or joining FRD 2014 we want to know your best food revolutionary moments from this year – send us your quotes, images, achievements and favourite photos.
Early this month, I had the opportunity of putting sixteen little children, red juicy apples, a couple of really really funny songs and a story in a room. In return I got giggles, grins, sparkling eyes that went wide, crunching and munching,millions of questions, amusing tales and a lot of fun.
This for me would be my Food Revolution moment of the year. I joined the wonderful and very encouraging team of Food Ambassadors very recently (third month here so technically not the moment of the year type of a moment but hey it is the drop that counts!) and I am so happy that we enjoyed our apple story and biting into apples. Post the workshop even if a handful of kids out of the group of sixteen who came that day end up including apples in their diet and in turn convince their friends to try a bite from theirs I think we may have a little proud moment here.
Challenge Three: Festive cooking. Share your favourite festive recipes from your home country, what food gets your friends and family together to share the love and enjoy time together?
I come from India where every festival, celebration, special occasion like so many other cultures translates into making and eating some Meetha (sweets). We take our “meetha” so seriously that “kuch meetha ho jaye” is like a national anthem (Let us have some sweets).
India is a pretty large country where food habits change every few kilometers but what is interesting is that across the country we all have our very own rice pudding and that is what I’d like to share with all the other ambassadors who come from so many different countries for the third challenge.
Our rice and milk meetha is something we all like to make to mark our special days. Kheer,Khiri,Khir, Payasam, Payasa, Payesh, Payoxh, Phirni,Gil e Firdaus and more. Each state has its own variant.
It is made by boiling rice with milk and sugar (sometimes jaggery); it is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. Ghee (clarified butter) / cream are added at times to up its richness quotient.
With 2014 coming to an end and a promising 2015 almost here, I’d like to share this “meetha”with all you lovely ambassadors and my awesome readers.
Phirni (makes 4-6 servings)
- a few saffron strands
- 1 litre milk (full cream)
- 4 tbsp long grained (basmati) rice
- 6 tbsp sugar
- a few chopped almonds
- A few saffron strands
- To the saffron strands add 1 tbsp of warm milk and keep aside.
- Soak the rice in water for about 1 hour.
- Drain the rice and grind it in a mixer to a coarse powder.
- Add ½ cup of cold milk and mix to make a paste. Keep aside.
- Boil the rest of the milk and stir in the rice paste.
- Cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame, stirring continuously.
- Add the sugar and saffron milk and simmer for another few minutes.
- Pour into individual containers and let it come to room temperature. Refrigerate.
- Serve chilled garnished with almonds and saffron strands.
p.s I added some cardamom pods to the milk as well.
Wish you all a sweet, sparkly and a shiny New Year. May 2015 be filled with magic, memories and madness.
See you in 2015.
Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if use those without my permission.Just ask!