The level of competition in the existing world is immense. Right from birth, man is pushed to excel in everything that he does. We expect our infants and toddlers to turn over, crawl, run, walk and talk faster than the other kids of their age. We expect our children to be smarter, knowing much more than what is required for their age. We push and push them to their extreme limits whether it is in academics, sports or extra curricular. Once you are out of school, the same "pushing" is continued in college and post grad schools, and finally into your job. Somehow when I see this, I feel sad. My D has never forced us to excel in anything. He would always say, "Do what you can do, but try your best." That's it... Umma would get a bit irritated with his attitude, but I guess that is what helped us be the person we are today. As soon as I saw this quote, I remembered my D. Maybe he recognised the importance of treating each of us like a flower and allowing us to bloom without competing with anybody else. We were basically just ourselves. We also tend to follow the same principal as far as Rasha and Azza are concerned. I don't want them to get into any pressure situation that I have never experienced in my academic or social situation. I just allow them to do things upto their capacity... I guess that's the way it should be, right? :)
A very unusual payasam... we always use vermicelli, but macaroni? I know it does sound odd... I made it the first time in order to finish off some cooked pasta that was lying in my pantry and just loved it. After that, this has been something I make on and off, when my mind runs out of ideas of making a dessert on weekend lunches. Quite easy if the macaroni is already cooked, can be done in a jiffy - either cooking wise or devouring wise! ;)
1 cup macaroni
2 cups milk
A pinch salt
A pinch cardamom powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thin coconut milk
1 tbsp rose water
1 tsp ghee
Cashews and raisins, for garnish
Cook the macaroni till 90% done. Drain, wash in cold water and set aside.
In a sauce pan, add the milk, salt, cardamom powder and sugar and bring to boil. Keep boiling till the milk gets reduced to 3/4. Add in the cooked macaroni and stir. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Finally add the coconut milk and rose water and cook for a couple of minutes. Switch off.
Heat ghee and fry the cashews and raisins. Put into the payasam and keep on closed lid for 5 minutes. Serve warm...