' v '

Quilted it with stitch-in-the-ditch through out and some circles on the wheels. It would be nice to add some more details in the borders when my quilting improves.

More strawberries and cherries on the back along side Martha Negley’s ribbons and Kaffe's floral stripes.

…spotted these cute ladybugs crawling onto the quilt as I laid it on the grass for a couple of clicks (: u :)

Each little scrap holds so many memories and it is so good to see them all huddled together in one place.

~Purple rose fabric is from a small shop in Delhi.
~It measures 67" x 78".

Thank you Stephanie, for this very fun challenge and constant motivation through your lovely posts to keep us going. It's also been quite enjoyable to see the prettiest projects appearing from time to time. And I'm happy that my scraps have whittled down to a small spinach box now.

Hope your summer days are filled with cute ladybugs and fluttering butterflies ( ‘ v ‘ )


green beans poriyal

Summer vacations have always been synonymous with mounds of mangoes strewn in a corner of the kitchen floor till they turn as golden as sun, heavenly scents of jasmine strands pinned atop our piggy tails, playing in the shade of coconut trees with tiny white flowers and little coconuts that drop every time a soft wind sways, making teensy dolls and other playthings with their shiny slivery leaves... not to forget the refreshingly cool coconut water that we used to enjoy almost every afternoon.

Coconut water tastes like nectar, looks as though a cloud has been churned and poured into the glass but as light & life-giving as water and is full of minerals. Tender coconut flesh in the meantime is very marshmallowy in its color, texture & sweetness and cool to the touch. It makes for a very soothing and protein packed summer snack. Some like to sprinkle spoonful of sugar to make it even sweeter ( " v " )

offerings of coconut and flowers to the river goddess

Coconut tree is termed as ‘kalpavriksha’ meaning a tree of boons as every part of it is useful in so many ways. Breaking a coconut and offering it to gods on special occasions and festival days is considered auspicious.

coconut leaves being woven as a canopy for a south-Indian wedding

At our Aunt's house the leaves were used to thatch the cow shed, and rest of the dried out fronds were stacked under the staircase till we had enough to make brooms. Then me and my cousins used to sit along side our grandmother to rip the spines and tie a huge bunch of them together with twine (made from coconut husk), needless to say we've always had a steady supply of brooms and meters of twine.

Until a few years ago I remember almost everyone using coconut husk to scrub the dishes and coconut shell as a soap cup. But these days like everything else we are relying more and more on man-made materials and ignoring bio-degradable treasures that nature provide us with so freely.

And coconut oil is the best moisturizer of all. Mornings usually start with a quick brushing followed by massaging a good amount of oil into the hair before taking bath. In winters, kids are smothered in warm coconut oil and left to soak in the morning sun… bliss!

Coconut is used in various recipes in its various forms… coconut milk, coconut slivers and finely grated coconut; either fresh or sun-dried & stored in jars to be used for a long long time.

I should troll through my recipe books and make a note of all the recipes that have coconut in them… could be countless! Most of the coconut dishes are from South-India or some coastal areas like Goa where coconuts are abundant in all seasons. It is rarely used as a condiment in Northern parts of India.

This is one such recipe with French beans and can be tossed in a spoonful of lime juice for a very light summer salad.

Poriyal, vepudu, bhuna… they all are an assortment of words in regional languages to define a dry vegetable dish or something that is stir-fried. It is usually served on the side to go with rice or roti.

Green beans with coconut
serves 4.

Green beans - 1 pound (trim the ends and finely chop)
Coconut (finely grated) - ¼ cup (if fresh)/2tbsps (if using dry coconut)
Green chilies - 3
Oil - 1 tbsp
Kari leaves - a sprig (also often referred as curry leaves)
Red chilies - 1
Bengal gram (Chana dal) - 1 tsp
Split black gram (Urad dal) - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt to taste
Garlic - 1 or 2 cloves (optional)
Juice of half a lime (optional)


Fill a sauce pan with water. Add a tsp of salt for seasoning and let the water come to a boil. Add the green beans and cook them until they are just tender.

Drain the water using a colander and set aside.
(you could use this water in a stew or dal if it’s part of your menu for the day or enjoy this as a mildly sweet tasting drink).

Alternatively, you could steam the green beans.

for coconut + green chili paste

If you are using fresh coconut, either grate the coconut or cut into small pieces. Chop green chilies. Grind them together.

If you are using frozen coconut or dry grated coconut then simply grind it with green chilies. Set aside.

seasoning and stir-fry

Take a wide skillet and set it on medium heat. Add oil. Once the oil is hot enough, first add chana dal. When you notice that they are beginning to turn pink, add urad dal, red chilies. After a couple of sec. add mustard seeds and then cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds are beginning to splutter, add Kari leaves. Hold a lid or spatter screen over the pan so that the seeds won’t splatter all over.

The order of adding these ingredients is important because of their varying cooking times.

Then immediately add green beans.

Sprinkle turmeric and salt and sauté for few min. until the beans look almost dry.

Now add coconut + green chili paste and mix well. Keep sautéing in between until the coconut doesn’t taste raw any more, maybe 10 min. on med flame.

Remove from heat and at this point if you like, squeeze a wedge of lime and mix well.

~If you feel like it needs more flavor, add a clove or 2 of crushed garlic while adding the green beans to the seasoning.

~Frozen fresh coconut is available in Indian groceries. And grated dry coconut is commonly available everywhere. I use them often when I don’t have access to a fresh coconut or when short of time.

~You can prepare any kind of green beans in a similar way. It works for most vegetables too.

Later I’ll do a quick post on carrot/cabbage poriyal with coconut minus history ( ' u ' )


Roses for Quilting Bees

These pictures are a tribute to you all quiliting bees who always leave nothing but sweetest comments on my blog posts.

I have clicked tons of roses and but ended up scratching my head when it came to picking the best ones for this small tribute. Finally, I decided to pick the ones that are most vivid and resemble ruffles of fabric in your studios. Here are some macro shots followed by roses themselves:

Roses from Boston Public Gardens

Antique Roses from Arnold Arboretum

Thorough bred and hybridized roses wow us with their stunning colors, pefect shapes and absolute beauty. Ancient, wild and old garden roses though exhibit their beauty interms of simplicity and fragrance. Arboretum has a great collection of these roses and is a must see and smell.

Rosa Davidii:

Rosa Gallica:

Rosa Primula:


Unidentified in World's End reservation, Hingham MA:

Have a great weekend everyone. Bye for now.

~ Kalyan