northern lights

northern lights

Thursday, 24 November 2011

'There is no substitute for hard work'-- Thomas Edison

A few days back I had written a blog on Holidays.Today I intend to write about Hard work.After a holiday when you return to your work place, body and mind both are relaxed. You can now do your best.I don’t mean that one should work hard only after the holidays.It should become a habit.For a person who is hard working there are challenges.Hard work involves determination, perseverance, tenacity and something more. It is the will to   survive and to achieve  greater heights  by dint of hard work.I am remlnded of a story which I  heard recently.It is the story of a boy who realized the importance of hard work only when he himself went through the grind.The boy, Raju, was a very ease loving and a careless brat.His father told him one day that he would get food  only  if went and earned for himself. Raju lazed around the whole day.In the evening he went to his mother and begged for money. His mother was carried  away by his pleadings and gave him two gold coins. This fellow gave the coins to his father stating that he had earned them after a  whole day’s work. The father told him,”Son, go and throw away these coins in the well.”This continued for some days.The father sent away  his wife, sister and other  members from the house.Raju was again  ordered to go and earn for himself.  Since there was no one in the house, the boy went in search of work. He carried luggage, swept  roads and did menial jobs that were offered to him. At the end of the day, he had earned two gold coins.  He handed over his day’s earning to his father. As usual the father advised him to throw away the coin into the well.But the boy did not obey his father. This was his first earning!! The result of his hard work!!The importance of hard work dawned on him and he told his father the truth.This story was narrated to us by our Guru ji, His holiness Nand Baba.Right from childhood the parents should inculcate the habit of working hard in their   children.Sir George  Bernard Shaw once said,”When I was young,I observed  that nine out of ten things I did were failures.So I did ten times more work.”
The young generation  is more aware  of the  fact that hard work is the only  weapon which can bring success  in life. There is so much competition in the world today that nothing but hard work  is the only remedy  to reach to the top. One can understand the value of hard work  only   by working hard. There are no short cuts to reach the top of the ladder  of life. There is no doubt that you will face obstacles in this path of hard work but these can be removed with determination, patience and will power.
The great spiritual  teacher, Swami Sivananda, has said, “Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”One can  do this only by concentrating  on the work in hand.You have to drench yourself in hard labour.if you aspire to succeed in life..
 One should have a fixed aim in life.Once you have identified what you want to do in life you should sincerely move on the fixed path. When my daughter was a small child,she always used to say that she would become a Doctor  when she grows up.My son aspired to be a Chartered Accountant right from childhood.They had fixed their goals and always worked hard to achieve their desired objective.Their dreams were fulfilled because of their mission and  steadfast hard work. If you are striving towards your goal with a spirit of devotion and dedication, even God will be there for you. As a saying goes”God   helps those who help themselves." There are examples of many people who have achieved glory and high positions in life by sheer dint of hard labour.. They struggled while their competitors slept on or whiled away their time in useless pursuits.
The road to success is not always a rosy one and is strewn with thorns and rubbles. In spite of hard work and labour which has been put  in, sometimes the result is not very encouraging.A person with grit and determination will fight back  and leave no stone unturned to ultimately achieve his mission!! I am reminded of the story of Robert Bruce,the king of Scotland,which I read while I was in school.He was a noble King.He was  brave and wise. The King of England was at war with him because he wanted to make Scotland a part of  England.Six times he attacked Scotland.  Robert Bruce’s army ,though small in number ,drove away the enemy.After the sixth attack Bruce’s army was scattered.  Even the King himself went and hid in a  cave.One day  he just happened to see a spider inside the cave.She was trying to make its web, but could not succeed.The King forgot his troubles and watched the spider with great interest.Six times the spider failed but it did not lose heart.It succeeded in the seventh attempt!!  The King jumped’Yes’ I will also fight the seventh time. He gathered his army and fought and regained his Kingdom.I have narrated this legend to highlight  that hard and sincere effort  will help one to achieve his goal. In the words of a famous author,,many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you  achieve anything worthwhile."




Sunday, 20 November 2011

Winter months-Time for hot soups

Soup  is  universally known.Every one knows that  a bowl of soup taken before meals,  tickles our appetite. Besides being tasty there  are  many  benefits of drinking soups.It is invigorating, healthy,and is helpful in keeping away many diseases. Knowing my penchant for devising new recipes for the family ,my friends and relatives  keep on prodding me to provide new recipes for soups. Soups are the easiest  to make. One can use any vegetable or pulses to prepare delicious can also utilise leftovers to create a new recipe.Fruits added to soups not only add to the nutritious value but also enhances its taste.
 Among soups the more popular one is the tomato soup.There is no doubt that tomato soup is very healthy. Tomatoes contain 'lycopene' a nutrient ,which gives  red color to the tomato. and is also an anti-oxidant.

This recipe, therefore, is known to all soup lovers.Of course ,one can add a spoonful of Dal to make it richer in protein.Some vegetables and an apple can also be added for taste and extra nutrition. For garnishing, bread croutons can be used.(This is the hot favourite of old and young alike).
Some of the soups that are appreciated and enjoyed in our house are the  Almond soup ,Soya soup , and the  Pop corn soup.So, I decided to share it with all of you.
Steaming hot soup on a winter evening  God' Gift.
 1.Almond Soup (For 4 people)
: 1.Almonds One fistful
  2.Onions One big
 3.Butter or cooking oil  2tb.sp.
4. Milk 350  ml.
5.Salt To taste
6 Pepper  A pinch
7.All purpose flour 2 tb.sps.

Method:  Soak the almonds in warm water for  sometime and remove the skin.They should then be coarsely ground.Onion should cut very finely. In a pan take oil/butter and add the  finely cut onion.Stir the onion till translucent. Colour should not change.(It may take 1 or 2 mts.).Then add  flour and stir continuously for about two minutes. Now ad the almonds and the milk.Keep stirring continuously,ensuring that no lumps are formed.Boil on medium heat till the soup becomes thick Before removing from the fire,add salt and pepper..For garnishing  roast a few almonds,( about 5or 6)  shred them and add to the soup just before serving.

2.Soya soup(4 servings)
1.Potato medium size 1
2.Tomatoes  2
3.Soya Nutri Nugget granules 1 cup
4Salt to taste
5. Pepper powder  i tsp.
6.Corn flour   2 tbsp.
7.Butter or any other cooking oil   2 tbsp.
 8.Cardamom big  1
 9. Spring onions with fresh stem  4.
Method: boil soya granules and  potato with one cardamom till tender.Add salt. In a pan put finely chopped onions and stems and saute till softened.Add corn flour and stir for a couple of minutes.Add tomatoes and stir for a few minutes. Discard the cardamom.  Now take 3/4 of boiled soya and potato and add to pan. Stir for a while.Remove from the fire . Put this in a blender for a few minutes.In the smooth paste add the remaining 1/3 parts of boiled soya and potato liquid ( this will lend a crunchy taste to the soup)and boil till it becomes thick . Remove from the  fire and serve piping hot. Add a little butter to the soup.(this is optional) before serving.This soup is very nourishing. 
An apple or an orange can be added when boiling

   3.Pop corn soup:
i,Pop corns  2 1/2cups
ii. Tomatoes  2
iii. Potato  1(medium)
iv. Ginger  a small piece.
v.Basil(tulsi)leaves  2-3
vi.Spring onions 6
vii  Salt to taste
viii Water  2 1/2 cups
ix Milk 1/2 cup
Method; Boil all ingredients till tender. Blend  in a blender.Before serving boil it .Just before serving add butter.

All the above mentioned soups are delicious.I also make Chick pea soup, French onion soup and  mixed vegetable soup. Recipe can be provided on request.I have written all vegetarian  recipes. In my next post I propose to write Non vegetarian soup recipes. If some one tries out these recipes and give their feedback. I will feel encouraged.So here's wishing everybody happy 'souping'