...these silver lines, travel from my thoughts to yours, wavering, floating like spirits dancing...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What it takes...

A colleague once asked me to write something about what it takes to be a good news anchor, and mix it with food anologies. I thought it was an interesting topic, and could make for an interesting post. The conversation we had, was something to this effect:

So, what does it take to be a good news anchor?

Well, he/she should be spicy, full of energy and good nutrients.

Oh, but it takes long to prepare a good one.

Yes, but it's worth the effort.

There are many varieties of this dish.

Yes! and its one of the oldest recipes man has known.

It should ennervate you long enough to last you throughout the day's chores.

You have to know all, and I mean, ALL the ingredients to make it though.

Never go to the kitchen, without knowing that you have all your ingredients.

Be sure to add heat to it!

And spice! That's the life! The spice!


Those sound like the good parts of being an anchor. But, when it comes to delivering bad news, its just horrible. If its bad news, its double the responsibility of getting it done right! But there are good stories to be told too! Of human courage, and wonders and marvels, and human accomplishment, bravery, sacrifice... love and humanity. But still, those are few and far between.

I like the journalistic part of this job, the delving for information, getting information across to the viewer, treating it as your own personal story, while staying objective at the same time. There are still a lot of avenues yet to be discovered in this profession, espicially in a country such as Pakistan, with a considerably young media, that I would like to discuss in more detail in later posts.

As they say, Stay Tuned! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

While we're on the subject of food, and strawberries, I thought it would be great to write this post, about the latest adventure with strawberries!

While waiting for my class to begin, I decided to stroll to the Pancake Lounge, and it being a hot and tiring day, decided to help myself to some strawberry kiwi milkshake and a strawberry cream tart.

Now, there's something about fresh strawberries and cream that are bound to cheer you up any day! I don't know the recipe for this one, but it should be easy enough to make.

Here is one more :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Strawberries and Chocolate

Yesterday, I had a quick inspiration with some Cadbury chocolate and some fresh red strawberries! Yeah I know, the strawberries are just not finishing! There are still some in the fridge right now I think. With the old marriage between chocolate and strawberries being ever so popular, I decided to make my own version of it.

Some mini Cadbury's went onto a plate and into the microwave, (now I know, that's not the ideal way to melt your chocolate, you should be doing it in a saucepan, giving it some indirect heat, but I was using such a small amount of chocolate to begin with, that most of it would have been stuck to my pan, and wouldn't have left much for my strawberries!) then simply wash your strawberries and use them out of the fridge, so they're cold. Dip them in your melted chocolate, and enjoy each bite. This is so yummy, you'll want to eat this every time you're hungry. But only eat a small portion, otherwise, you'll get sick!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Savoury fried toasts

This simple recipe also demands a little bit of more time than your usual rushy mornings, and would be best to make if you have time on your hands in the morning. A breakfast recipe like the previous one. My mother has been making this for a long time now, so we practically grew up eating this! Its made from a local ingredient, chickpea powder, which I think is available in most markets everywhere across the world now. You make a paste with this powder, like you do with a savoury snack such as 'pakoras', eaten frequently in rainy seasons and during Ramazan.

So here's what you do. All the ingredients are very simple, and nothing that you cannot find in a typical Pakistani kitchen.

In a mixing bowl, take about one to one and a half cups of chickpea flour (or locally known as baisan). In it mix about one tsp of salt, one tsp red chilli powder, one to two tsp cumin seeds, ajwaain seeds, which my mother tells me this morning are very good, and aid digestion (btw these are cellery seeds), a little bit of freshly crushed black pepper, dhania powder or khatai powder. Now mix in a little water and with a spoon mix it well until it gives you the consisteny which can cover the back side of your mixing spoon well, so its neither too thick nor too runny, and should ideally cover your toasts well.

Now heat about 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan. Next, cut your bread slices in whatever shape you want - I like mine in triangles. Take these bread pieces, dip them in your batter well, so they cover both sides, be careful not to allow them to soak up too much of the mixture, otherwise your bread pieces will break, and gently lower them in the pan on high medium heat, until they get a nice golden colour on both sides.

Serve them up with ketchup or salsa sauce, or smear a little garlic paste on them.

Today I had them with fresh strawberry milkshake. Totally divine! And very delicious!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chocolate Pancakes

If you wake up one morning, and you realize you have some time on your hands, without the rushing to the office/getting ready for your work nuisances to bother you, try this simple recipe, of chocolate pancakes, that is bound to make your day, any day! And I'm not just saying that, I really mean it, cause I've tried it!

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about pancakes, but I couldn't make any day, since there was no flour in the kitchen. But a few days ago, I was having a huge craving for some chocolate pancakes, so decided, today's going to be the day.

So here's what you do. A simple no fuss recipe. I've been making pancakes (simple ones, with vanilla essence and no chocolate) for some time, so don't measure my ingredients any more, instead go with instincts, and the good old bowls in the kitchen.

Ok, its pretty easy.

First get some bowls and spoons handy. Next measure out and sift about 2 cups of flour. Add in 2 to 3 teaspoon (tsp) baking powder. Now add about 4 to 5 tablespoons (tbsp) good quality chocolate powder. I use Cadbury's. You can never go wrong with Cadbury's.

Mix it all in with a spoon.

Now, in another bowl, you beat together one egg with about 6 tbsp of white sugar, but you can use golden or castor sugar, whichever you prefer. Take this egg mixture to your flour mixture and mix together. You'll find that it doesn't really mix well, which is ok, because you have to add the milk in it now, which is the last ingredient. About 2 cups of thick milk and give it a good whisk, till you can see no visible lumps. Its worth the effort, even if it tires you out, because your pancakes are going to be great.

Some people use butter or oil for frying the pancakes in the pan, but I mix mine in the batter. About 5 tbsp of good quality butter or margerine, melted goes into your pancake mixture and this is really great, as it adds a good, smooth texture to your mixture, and makes great pancakes.

Fry on high-medium heat, till both sides are golden, and oh, use a non-stick pan, that is absolutely essential to make great pancakes.

Serve out and stack one atop the other. Pour over some chocolate syrup, whichever you like, I use Hershey's. And here's a little secret! If you have strawberries, slice them up and crown your beauties with the red fruit! MMmmmmm!!!


Dig in with your favourite coffee, and your having a breakfast fit for a king!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Today as I'm sitting in my workplace, on this golden March morning, I witnessed something not too strange or out of the ordinary, yet it deserves to be mentioned here, because it brought forth some memories of my previous workplace.

I'm sitting in the newsroom, across the door that leads to the rooftop passage leading to the other part of the building, going into the studios and other departments. The door was left ajar to let the fresh air in, and before you knew it, a sparrow had made its way inside the newsroom. The bird fluttered here and there and perched on top of the metal box containing wires and electrical outlets, near the ceiling of the wall parallel to me.

I sat watching it, looking at its small brown intelligent eyes, looking at its surroundings, before it flew away from its seat further into the distance.

At once, images flashed across my mind, of a pigeon I had seen, similarly flying in the top most floor of my previous workplace, trapped for several hours, finding no exit. As soon as people tried to come near it to take it away and set it free, it would fly away to some other corner, near the top of the walls of the floor. This carried on for quite some time, and people came up with their own suggestions and solutions on how to set the poor creature free. The little bird must have been exhausted from flying this way and that, and hungry and thirsty no doubt. After a while, we saw how the effort was taking its toll on it, as its little white feathers were scattered throughout the office.

I don't remember who captured the bird finally, but somebody did with a cloth wrapped around its body, and its little heart must have been beating frantically at this point...

Funny how some things, trigger some memories.

Like a bird trapped in a cage...