Rediscover Indian traditional kitchen utensils but with a contemporary, sustainable outlook- The New Indian Express

As more and more homemakers discover the benefits of the natural, organic way of life, everything from fashion to decor to food is going the sustainable way. Cookware is no different.

Shunning those harmful plastics and toxic teflons, a host of new brands are taking a cue from the past with utensils that hark back to our grandmothers’ kitchens.

From brass pots and terracotta tableware, to cast iron tawas and copper and bronze-glazed masala daanis, these brands are bringing back the joys of good old slow-cooking. We round up a few.

 roti box from Ellementry

The Indus Valley
The collection here is almost from your grandma’s kitchen—neem wood glasses and ladles, copper and terracotta water bottles and cast iron pans. Fed up with melted plastic in their microwave, Mumbai-based husband-wife duo Jagadeesh Kumar and Madhumitha Udaykumar launched this line of natural cookware that is heat-resistant and non-toxic.
Our pick: Neem wood cooking ladles

Founded by Archish Mathe, Meera Ramakrishnan and Varishta, the brand borrows from our ancestors on how to lead a sustainable life. You will find tin rasam vessels from Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, copper water pots from Maharashtra, handmade urulis from Kerala, table runners made of natural river grass from West Bengal, iron-rich vessels from Manipur, kansa utensils from Odisha, neem wood cutlery from West Bengal and more.
Our pick: Masala daani

Mitti Cool
If you like everything terracotta, you are going to love this brand. From utensils to tableware and kitchen products, the award-winning designs showcase Indian innovation at its finest. Started by Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a traditional Gujarati clay craftsman, the kitchenware is made from mineral-enriched mud without additives. 
Our pick: Water coolers

Rock Tawa
This Coimbatore-based brand has gained quite a following across the country. Specialising in cast ironware such as dosa tawas, appam chattis, paniyarakkals, roti tawas and even Dutch ovens, the products are pre-seasoned to hinder rust formation.
Our pick: Dosa pan

water cooler from Mitti Cool;

The 21 products designed by Gunjan Gupta are not only impeccably crafted, but innovatively conceptualised as well. It is a total reinterpretation of everyday Indian household products. For example, the humble kulhads (chai glasses), diyas (lamps) and baltis (buckets) metamorphose into champagne 
glasses, vases and candle holders.
Our pick: Champagne glasses

Essential Traditions by Kayal
Founders Kayal Vizhi Sriram and husband Shriram Narayanan are encouraging cooks to channel their inner grandmothers. With clay pots, brass ladles and grinding slabs made of soapstone, the brand also offers specialised utensils such as brass kuzhi karandis (a traditional ladle for sambhar and rasam), soapstone curd jars, and murruku and idiyappam grinders.
Our pick: Soapstone curd jars

With sustainability at the heart of its design approach, the processes and materials used by this brand ensure no harm to the environment. Everything is food-safe—safe to serve in and safe to cook in. Their terracotta collection has water bottles, jugs, tumblers, curd-setters, and roti boxes, besides a new serveware, drinkware and bakeware collection.
Our pick: Roti box

Rustik Craft

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Liberal Tantrums Over Amy Coney Barrett Were Expected, With Rose Garden Decoration Being the Most Triggering

Well, it’s official. As Katie wrote, Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has been tapped to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg passed away on September 18 at the age of 87, which sent liberal America into meltdown mode. The liberal wing on the Court is crumbling and to make matters worse for them, President Trump is picking her successor. Nothing could be more delicious. And what’s better is that this isn’t much discontent among Senate Republicans this time. We’re pretty united. The only solid ‘no’ vote right now is Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) because Maine is weird and frankly, this SCOTUS fight will not help her. It will help everyone else. Nothing gets the conservative base more animated than a fight for the Supreme Court.  

Look, I’m not trying to excuse Collins’ weak sauce opposition, but I can understand the reasoning, I guess. Whatever, it’s of no concern because all loose ends are tied. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is behind us. And Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) another member of the GOP Senate Squish Squad is walking back her initial ‘nay’ vote. Mitch McConnell said to keep their powder dry and not make any declarative statements at the outset of this fight. That has appeared to have sunk through. Also, if Murkowski wants access to campaign war chest funds by the time of her re-election, remain in the ‘yea’ column on this issue. We have the votes. We’re going to fill this seat before Election Day. Period. 

Still, this is a free country. Liberals can have their rant. And they’re sure going bananas over this fight. Bill Maher attacked ACB over her Catholicism, which is going to be key. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) did that during her confirmation hearing for the appeals court. Some wacky stuff is about to trickle out from the mouths of the Left—this is no exception. America’s most underreported prejudice is about to rear its ugly head in a way not seen since 1858. For now, though, it seems there’s was an ‘as expected’ reaction regarding how this process is illegitimate. Some noted how the Rose Garden was decorated to resemble when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated back in 1993. 

And yes, there have been horrible swipes at ACB’s kids, with ‘woke’ lectures, but that was all spewed before this announcement was made official. It looks like most of the tantrums were out of their system.

This could change–I know.

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2 alleged ISIS supporters accused of plot to attack White House, Trump Tower

Two men faces charges in connection with an alleged plot to bomb or shoot at high-profile sites in the U.S., including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, a federal complaint shows.

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Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

An email and phone call to Molina’s attorney seeking comment did not receive an immediate response. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the federal court for the Western District of Texas, Molina and Matthews used an online chat group in 2019 to discuss attacking U.S. targets on behalf of ISIS. The pair also allegedly discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group.

They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with others on an encrypted messaging application.

Matthews told Molina that they needed four recruits to carry out multisite attacks “that could be Netflix worthy,” the complaint said.

On Saturday, FBI agents arrested Matthews in Cleveland City, Tennessee, and Molina in Gonzales, Texas, a city about 75 miles east of San Antonio, according to special agent Michelle Lee. She declined to comment further on the case.

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2020 hunting scorecard for Alaska’s Interior: Nelchina caribou are elusive, Unit 13B moose are scarce

Moose season has passed. My impression is that the success rate, at least along the northern highway system, was lower than normal.

I saw a few moose racks here and there while I was traveling the Richardson Highway, but when considering the number of hunters, it wasn’t much. The word from the Nabesna area was much the same.

Caribou reports were different. The Forty-mile herd was along both the Steese and the Elliott Highways. Hunter success was good and the hunts achieved the harvest quotas in a short time.

The Nelchina hunt is working out quite differently. The herd is nowhere near the road system. Caribou are being taken here and there, but not in numbers.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game extended the early season for 10 days in an effort to increase harvest. It does not look promising. Last year the herd moved in a rush, crossing the Richardson Highway during the three-week October closure. Given the inclement weather, the same scenario could play out this season as well.

Ptarmigan and waterfowl have also been a bust along the Denali Highway and the Richardson.

A few birds were taken along the roads. Rain made for tough hunting conditions. A good dog was a necessity.

The ptarmigan chicks were small, due to a failed first hatch. The rain that was hard on the first chicks has continued and has also affected the second brood. There were birds along the Denali Highway early in the season, but those seem to have been shot out by excessive numbers of hunters.

There are still plenty of cranes migrating through Delta Junction. Some fields have standing oats, and that will hold birds awhile longer. Waterfowlers who have hunted Delta for a number of years tell me there are fewer cranes than last year. That may be the case, though I can’t verify it.

Sharp-tailed grouse and spruce grouse must have had a poor hatch also. The few I have seen are pairs and singles. The area around Sourdough is normally good for spruce chickens, but not this season. Late September is when these birds switch their diet from berries to spruce needles, and they are not so tasty by the last week of the month.

Sharptails are tough to find in the Delta Junction area. I have heard reports of a few on the edges of the Delta barley fields, though not enough to reliably hunt. A five-mile hike with a dog last week only jumped a single bird.

The game animals we normally focus on all seem to be light in the area around the Alaska Range. It could be due to last winter’s heavy snowfall and corresponding late spring. Or the growing number of hunters over the past years may be having an effect, especially on moose near the road systems.

The caribou herd is in decent shape, according to Fish and Game, they are just not very accessible thus far this season. How calving went, due to the late

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Trump officially names Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court nominee at White House

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump officially named Justice Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee in a White House event Saturday afternoon, setting up a contentious nomination fight in the final few weeks of the presidential election.

“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court. She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution,” Trump said.

Barrett, accompanied by her husband and seven children, joined Trump in the Rose Garden for the event.

“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me. The flag of the Untied States is still flying at half staff to mark the end of a great American life,” said Barrett, honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died eight days ago at 87.

The family of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading voice of conservative jurisprudence who Barrett clerked for in the 1990s, attended the nominating event on Saturday. Evangelist Franklin Graham, Attorney General Bill Barr, Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others, were also seated in the Rose Garden for the announcement.

If confirmed, Barrett, 48, would be the fifth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court and the youngest member of the current court. A devout Catholic, Barrett, who has the backing of evangelicals, would be the court’s sixth Catholic justice and would also be Trump’s third appointee, joining Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Her presence would cement a 6-3 conservative majority as she replaces Ginsburg, one of the court’s most outspoken liberals who died eight days ago at 87.

Barrett was appointed by Trump to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Indiana in 2017 and confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 55-43. Before that, Barrett worked briefly in private practice and taught for 15 years at Notre Dame Law School, where she earned her law degree.

Republican leaders in the Senate have said they have the votes to confirm Barrett’s nomination this year, likely before Election Day. That would give Barrett less than 40 days to undergo an updated FBI background check and for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing and a committee vote — all necessary steps in the confirmation process.

Senate hearings — which typically begin months after someone is nominated — could start as soon as October 12, according to a Republican aide familiar with the matter, an aggressive timeline that would leave only days between Barrett’s nomination and the start of the confirmation process.

While the hearing schedule timing is fluid, if it holds, would all but ensure that the Supreme Court stays front and center in the remaining days of the presidential campaign as Trump continues to trail Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the polls and is grasping for an opportunity change the dynamics of the race in his favor.

The timeline is also likely to

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11 kitchen garden ideas for gardeners with tiny spaces

Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga during the launch of Kilimo kitchen garden project in Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

In capitalism one eats food they pay for. You pay for the food from your pocket or by farming it yourself.

On Tuesday this week, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative, launched the model kitchen garden developed in collaboration with Scaling up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA Kenya).

“Kitchen gardens are the easiest ways households can ensure inexpensive supply of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and other plants,” Anne Nyaga, the Chief Administrative Secretary, said at the event.

The model kitchen garden, located at Kilimo House in Upper Hill, Nairobi, is the centrepiece of the call by the Government for families to cultivate home-based gardens, “at least one million kitchen gardens across the country,” Nyaga said.

Affordable food at home

“The focus is not only to make food available but also improve the nutritional quality of that food: nutrition is the difference,” said Martha Nyagaya, the chair of SUN CSA Kenya board during the third national nutrition symposium which was running concurrently with the launch of the kitchen garden.

Evidence shows most vegetables consumed by households in Nairobi are grown along polluted rivers and streams using wastewater – which contains heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.

“Developing your own kitchen garden assures your family of a high nutrient diet that is not toxic to your body and cannot cause cancer,” said Nyagaya.

The Nairobi County Assembly adopted the Water and Sanitation Services Policy last year which outlaws use of sewage water and wastewater to irrigate crops.

For those interested in setting up a kitchen garden, here are some of the easy-to-implement technologies one could use to develop the system.

1.     The wick irrigation garden

This is a simple garden that employs use of jerry cans and a wick measuring 30cm long and 2cm in width. The wick – much like with a kerosene lamp – draws water up to the soil where the crop is growing. The can is sliced in such a way the lower half holds water in which the wick is dipped and the upper half holds the soil, the plant and the wick. Most medium-sized vegetables like spinach and cabbages would do well in a wick garden. Mounted on a wooden frame, the wick garden would easily fit in any amount of space.

2.     Tyre garden

Do you have used car tyres of any size? If you do, do not worry how to dispose of them. Cut the tyre to remove the inner rims on both sides. Place it on the ground to form a circle and fill it with soil and manure. The tyre garden can be used to grow herbs like rosemary, fruits like strawberry and vegetables like kales.

3.     Simple drip irrigation garden

With used plastic containers and a wall (or a pole) one can establish a simple drip irrigation garden. The best containers would be 5-litre jerry cans. The cans are

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Biden promises U.S. mayors he will be a partner in the White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden assured U.S. mayors on Saturday he would be an active partner in the White House in helping them respond to racial justice protests and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to union carpenters during a campaign event at the Jerry Alander Carpenter Training Center in Hermantown, a suburb of Duluth, Minnesota, U.S., September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“If I am elected, you will have direct access to the White House,” Biden, who is challenging Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, told the fall leadership meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in a virtual address from his home in Delaware.

“It is all from the bottom up. It doesn’t go from the top down,” he said. “Whether your city is red or blue, I’m going to be there, I promise you.”

Biden, who served as vice president under Barack Obama for eight years, said he spoke to more than 200 mayors to get their input during the Obama administration’s recovery efforts after the 2008 economic crisis.

“That’s the same approach we should be taking today,” he said.

Biden leads Trump in national polls, although polls in crucial state battlegrounds show a much closer race as the two prepare for their first one-on-one debate on Tuesday.

Biden criticized Trump for failing to develop a national plan to attack the coronavirus, and for not working to bring together congressional leaders to negotiate a new relief package for cities and states. Formal COVID-19 relief talks have been stalled for weeks.

He also slammed Trump for his divisive rhetoric on the racial justice protests against police brutality playing out on American streets.

Trump, who has made law and order a principal theme of his re-election bid, has singled out Democratic-led cities such as Portland, Oregon, as “anarchist jurisdictions” that should have federal funding cut.

“It’s the only strategy this president seems to know,” Biden said. “We can disagree on policies, but we have to cooperate.”

Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Richard Chang

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Thornton Burgess Society seeks beach plum donations to keep jam kitchen in operation – News –

Last season, Greenbriar Jam Kitchen received 500 pounds of donated beach plums to make 1,000 jars of jelly, which sold — and quickly sold out — at $14 a jar. “That $14,000 was essentially the jam kitchen’s budget for the year,” Ray Hebert, trustee chairman at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, said.

This may be one of Cape Cod’s most unusual fundraisers.

To keep Sandwich’s 117-year-old Greenbriar Jam Kitchen operating, officials are asking supporters to plant a beach plum hedge in their yards this fall and donate the fruit when it shows up next year.

“We don’t need you to write a check; you can support the jam kitchen with donated fruit,” Ray Hebert, trustee chairman at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, said. The museum includes the Thornton Burgess Society in Sandwich, which is believed to be the oldest continuously operating jam kitchen in the country.

Greenbriar accepts other donated fruit, but for Cape Cod, beach plum jelly is the iconic sweet spot.

Looking a bit like cranberries but in a variety of hues from blue-purple to yellow, beach plums are a fruit that grows wild in the sandy soil of the windswept Eastern coast. Those lucky enough to come across a patch of the rare gems while hiking keep the location secret, and even those who grow a cultivated strain at home do so quietly so as not to tempt plum poachers.

“When they bring in the beach plums, they don’t even tell me the location,” Hebert said.

Last season, Greenbriar Jam Kitchen got 500 pounds of donated beach plums to make 1,000 jars of jelly, which sold — and quickly sold out — at $14 a jar. “That $14,000 was essentially the jam kitchen’s budget for the year,” Hebert said.

In addition to supporting Greenbriar, a beach plum hedge could help your yard and the Cape’s environment.

“People always ask me ‘What can I do?’ There is good scientific evidence for the importance of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers,” Chris Neill, Ph.D., climate scientist at Woods Hole Research Center, said in an interview about a Native Plants Study released in the spring.

A wide variety of yards in six cities, including Boston, were studied. One of the key findings was that native plants (such as beach plums for the Cape) drew bees for pollination, triggering a chain reaction toward an ecosystem that is specifically local.

“The fact these things are native makes a real difference in attracting insects and feeding birds,” Neill said.

Incorporating native plants also cuts down on the size of manicured lawns, he said, which is important on Cape Cod because lawn fertilizers are associated with nitrogen runoff that pollutes water.

Russell Norton, agriculture and horticulture extension educator for the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension program, emailed that beach plums are “a suitable edible native that can easily be incorporated into a home landscape or in a natural border.”

He said the extension service encourages the plant’s use by making seedlings available

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Cooking homemade dishes from the heart

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. — Tucked away in the mountains of Frazier Park sits The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen, and their philosophy consists of cooking homemade meals from the heart. Their cooking inspiration is a mixture of comfort American food with an Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern influence.

“It was all started at the basis of just serving with love, to feed. We’re here to feed. So, to be able to grow and do that as we have has been an enormous blessing for us,” said Daniel Schwartz, manager of the The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen.

Some of their most popular dishes are tofu curry, pad Thai, pakora and a falafel pita sandwich. They also bake their own breads like sourdough and wood fire nan.

“We do everything fresh from scratch. The menu has evolved over the years as we’ve evolved,” said Schwartz.

The Red Dot Kitchen also sells a variety of their homemade items like their sweet tomato chutney and Indian savory pancake mix.

And no customer leaves without a Thai style banana, which they say is like their fortune cookie. A unique signature to say thank you and give to those who have come through their doors. Daily they also hold an offering for the community free of charge from 5:30 p.m. to close.

“We wanted to do something that was just our way of saying thanks to the community for giving us the opportunity to be here,” said Harmanpreet Singh, executive chef of The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen.

The kitchen serves a traditional kitchari, which is a mixture of lintels and grains.

“That’s what food should be. It’s an offering, it’s a blessing and something that everyone should share,” said Singh.

Their kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, from 6a.m. to 9p.m. daily for takeout, curbside and patio dining. To see their menu head to their website here.

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Fall home decor trends: Comfort, flexibility

In recent years, brown anything in a living space was considered by some arbiters of decor as drab and outdated. But this fall the hue is back in favor, in part because of the unsettled, anxious state of the world.

“Brown traditionally makes people feel comfortable and safe, and those are feelings that many of us are looking to our homes to provide,” says interior designer Dawn Hamilton of Oakland Park, Fla.

It’s just one of the trends in decor this season, when the pandemic has made home an even more essential space for living, working, studying and more. Also on the watch list: flexible rooms, indoor and out.

Cozy palette

Hamilton says today’s brown palette is being used in new ways, as a neutral in all kinds of materials, and as an accent color.

“Brown feels very earthy and rich. It’s warm and inviting, and has the same grounding properties as black, although it’s not quite as harsh,” she says.

New York designer Becky Shea also cites brown’s organic versatility: “It’s a tone that works cohesively with neutrals as well as dark, bold tones like navy, graphite and black.”

Eilyn Jimenez of Sire Design in Miami is adding a mocha brown vanity to the guest bathroom of a “minimalist, French chateau-style” home she’s designing. “It adds a layer of depth with a vintage feel,” she says.

Don’t overdo brown, she warns, but blend it with modern materials like marble for beautiful juxtapositions.

“Bringing it in with light woods, leathers and other natural materials can help make a space feel timeless,” Jimenez says.

Melissa Morgan of M Interiors in San Antonio, Texas, thinks brown’s rebirth is “a reaction to years of very light, tonal interiors. Clients are looking for warmth and sanctuary in their homes more than ever.”

Lighter, yellowish browns, like caramel, often works well in leather.

“In upholstery, we consider saddle leather to be a form of brown that’s like a trusty pair of blue jeans — it goes with everything,” says Chicago designer Brynn Olson.

Soft browns and caramels are also appearing in pillows, lamps and drapes. Caning is on trend too, says Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minnesota.

As for furniture, Olson likes the effect of brown stains on walnut and white oak, and says a beautifully stained built-in is timeless. “Natural walnut will always feel fresh, and we love to pair it with bright white decor such as plaster vases, for a sophisticated pairing of textures,” she says.

That brown-and-white combo has been a favorite of decorating icons including Billy Baldwin, says New York City designer Glenn Gissler. Baldwin’s apartment in Manhattan featured a mix of glossy brown walls, white and chartreuse furniture, and brass accents. Inspired, Gissler recently painted a New York loft in a deep, rich brown, with columns and ceilings in crisp white. A long, tuxedo-style sofa in milk-chocolatey velvet anchors the space, along with tonal modern art.

Colors like purples and blues, of any intensity, also complement brown.


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