Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Edna's Pickles is a Canadian business based in Mississauga, Ontario, that makes a line of Indian chutneys and relishes.We also sell two recipe books that are collections of tried and tested recipes which are the result of over 30 years of cooking for family and friends
Edna’s Pickles only sells through fairs, festivals, trade shows and exhibitions. Please see our show dates and visit us at our next event. They are not available in stores, but can be ordered online.
Indian pickle is like a relish or chutney. It is a combination of fruits or vegetables with a special blend of spices, sugar and vinegar. In India, there are many varieties of pickle and each family makes their own version. Flavour, texture and ingredients can vary from pickle to pickle.
Edna’s Pickles are an unique blend of spices that lend a perfect taste and texture to our line of relishes of mango, eggplant, gherkin, carrot, lime, turnip and pumpkin flavours.
Indian relishes and chutneys are traditionally served with rice and are used to add flavour to a meal. A spicy pickle accents a mild curry and a sweet pickle complements a spicy curry. Today, pickles can accompany everything - rice, noodles, barbecued fish, grilled chicken and meats, roast beef and cold-cut sandwiches to enhance the taste. They can also be used as a dip with tortilla chips or bread, samosas, on hamburgers, hot dogs and even with goat cheese.
We also sell two recipe books that are collections of tried and tested recipes which are the result of over 30 years of cooking for family and friends.
Super Spicy Mango
Mango & Gherkin Mix
Sweet Mango Mash
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
captured through descriptive renditions
via narrative poetry, drawings, paintings and photographs.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
It has always been man’s quest since Eden to explore the other side of the river. We see land across on the other side for years. To explore that land we need to get to that side first. So then we make an effort to build a canoe and row to the other side with oars. Then we build a boat. We are still not happy and we want to make things easy, so we put a sail on it.
Things are going smooth but not fast enough. We want to get to the other side much quicker. Hence we fit a motor to the boat. But then we have to face rough seas and stormy weather at times. And all this is too much work and trouble to get across. So we link two separate pieces of land by building a bridge across the river.
Ever since then we have been building bridges across the rivers joining different landscapes and this way people are brought closer too. In real life we can use the bridge as an illustration or an example of bridging the gap between two people who love and care for each other uniting them with their ideas and thoughts as easily as driving to the other side.
When most of the things in our life seem to have carried on fairly well, then its an ideal time to enjoy the view around us from the very bridge that we built, and the scenic panorama can be as spectacular as your life itself.
A bridge can be set as an example of a permanent promise of unity that connect two personalities and two minds of people into similar thoughts, ideas and respect for each other, running smoothly in both directions forever, even though the distance may be short.
But life on the bridge sometimes can be as difficult and turbulent as the waters that gush beneath it. The tide plays its part too just like the ups and downs of life or the boatman who struggles below the bridge fighting the stormy winds or the strong current.
However, and unfortunately rather, these wonderful bridges, these seemingly strong links over water between two pieces of land get broken by war and strife created by man - just like a rift that lead to a breakup of hearts of two souls that once lived and promised to love each other forever.
But then, after all, life’s like that - like a bridge over troubled water - and as long as the romance endures.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Parra, Goa - India
The ‘gaddo’ is a 2-wheeled carriage drawn by trained bullocks commonly used in Goa till today. It is constructed fully from wood. Its fastest travelling speed could be compared to the usual leisurely walk of a steer.
My earliest memorable experience in travelling on this sort of conveyance was when I was young, hitching a ride on my way home from school. This type of carts were privately-owned and almost every village had one or two.
The two large iron-rimmed square wooden-spoked wheels serve a dual purpose - as fly-wheels and riding wheels combined, giving the cart the needed momentum. It seems it is effortless for the bulls to haul these carts once they get rolling. These carts are used to transport a gamut of goods from firewood, furniture and laterite stones to roof tiles, sacks of paddy, coconuts and lumber. Quite often we can see a few school kids getting a free ride home just for the fun of it in the villages.
Among my earliest memories in witnessing something valuable delivered to our house by this versatile cart was in the early nineteen sixties. The furniture it carried was a wooden cupboard or almirah (almar in colloquial Konkani) with a full length mirror, chairs and a folding dining table that my father had purchased from the huge annual fair held at the feast of Nossa Senhora de Milagres in Mapusa.
This sort of a cart was also used by the ‘gaddekar’ from Nagoa, Bardez, who plied through the villages at dawn selling salt just before the onset of the monsoon season, with his high-pitched and very distinguished call: ‘Hey Mitt’. One of the most audible continuous sound that emanated from it was the crunchy and grinding noise produced by the turning of its wheels, and its most outstanding visible feature was the huge pair of wheels. And of course, I can still recall its unforgettable and discernible trademark – its peculiar musty odour.
These flat-bed carts provided a cheaper means of transportation of goods and other provisions such as the ones mentioned above. They did not have any springs for suspension - hence the ride was bumpy. The fixed rigid axle consisted of approx. 6 in x 6in wooden beam with a track width of about 6 feet, and was fitted to the underside of the flat-bed made up of butt-jointed wood slats and side beam fitted with side-rails. A canvas or hessian bag slung over the outside of these siding would hold the drivers personal belongings, and of course his lunch tiffin. Often a bucket and a net containing hay was tied to the longitudinal beam. The wheels were of about 6 ft. dia. with large hubs (around 12" dia.) and iron rims (about 2-1/2" wide). The fully timber-crafted wheels were locked or stopped on the outer edge by means of drop-pins into well-greased axle ends. The outer iron rims were 'shrink-fitted'* to the wooden wheel that comprised of the assembly with 12 wooden spokes, hub and the wheel segments that made up the entire wheel itself.
During the rainy season an arch-shaped high covering would be fitted over the cart in order to provide protection for the safe transportation of merchandise or goods.
The front end consisted of a double bow yoke that was placed on top of the longitudinal single centre-piece that ran along the full length of the cart itself, forming a cross at the head. The yoke was fastened to the longitudinal beam by means of a rope thereby giving it the flexibility of pivoting it to some degree, and giving it a marginal swivel action between the pair of bullocks. This feature aided tight turns. The yoke was harnessed over their necks in order to pull the carriage. The centre-piece curved and extended downward at the front so that, without the bulls, the cart would rest at a least possible slant.
Braking on these carts was unique, provided by a cleverly designed device. It consisted of two wooden poles, fitted parallel across the front and back of the wheels. They were connected into an intricate double acting trapezoidal contrivance of ropes. This device was in turn connected by a longer rope from the rear to the front. The master of the cart perched himself sideways on the longitudinal beam whenever the cart carried a full load, whereas when empty he made himself comfortable on the front edge of the flat-bed. The driver himself acted like a mechanical master cylinder - and by means of applying pressure on this rope with his leg or some his whole body weight he would be able to slow down the cart, while going downward on a slope or bring it to a stop in an emergency. This was achieved by the action of the parallel wooden poles pressing against the outer iron rims of the wheels. These wooden poles that acted as 'brakes' were slightly flattened at the point where they came in contact with the outer iron rims of the wheels. In overall action the whole system resembled the opposite of caliper drum brakes of the present day.
Additional stopping or braking power was provided verbally, or with gentle 'ho-ho'. The rest of the maneuvering and negotiating was done by means of touch or contact conveyed to the bullocks by the driver with a stick - a slight nudge here and a slight tap there - on their backs. If parked on a slope the wheels were chocked with a stone. At most times the bullocks seemed ever obedient, gentle in nature and never seemed to be in a hurry, but there were the odd instances when they got unruly and didn't pay heed to any commands. These animals were held in reverence by the owner and his family members, and respected for the work and sustenance they provided.
The yoke rested over the necks of the bullocks, and in hauling it stopped short just before the ridge of their shoulder blades. In some cases bells hung around the bulls’ necks rang constantly as they passed by on the road. These bells had a distinct sound and acted as warning bells to others, or merely let the people know about the presence of the ‘gaddo’ passing through the area. They sound of the bells 'kinni-kinni' could be heard far away and long into the quietness of the night as the lone hard-working driver returned home. A gently swinging hurricane lamp hung low in front, beneath the main beam and between the bulls. The light from this lamp was more to warn others of its approach to oncoming motor vehicles rather than a light to guide itself or light up the road.
They are less common nowadays and are gradually being pulled out of service as their popularity goes on the decline due the increasing number of motor transport vehicles, commonly known as ‘tempos’. They were mainly confined to their own districts and seldom made long trips over the hills.
Another impression stuck in my mind is that people walking briskly along the road often overtook them. Among my childhood memories are the ones that the bulls usually seemed to make a good team: faithful, quiet, with their downward and humble gaze, always seemingly engrossed in their own thoughts, and also the very rare sight of the driver asleep, with the bridle reins and stick in his hands. But there were one or two instances that I recall of the runaway cart, when the disgruntled bulls ran uncontrolably fast to the utter dismay of the driver, but to mischievous glee of the youngsters.
There was certainly an advantage in having trained bullocks so that way the driver could be assured of reaching home safely by taking the shortest route possible after a long and hard day’s work. Having trained bullocks meant like putting them on auto-pilot and be on the right track. And without a GPS system he could still reach home while he took a short nap.
The era of these types of slow but fairly reliable vehicles is slowly making an exit, replaced by the 'tempos' or trucks or rickshaws with a trailer.
Those were the days of innovative ways of another period of yore. It is now just a childhood memory - gone but not forgotten.