Archive | November, 2010

The Story About Abu’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce.

25 Nov

Heading back to the homestead for Thanksgiving, I definitely look forward to our very own Live Thanksgiving Musical... Every Thanksgiving the Bukhari household is filled with shear madness.  The morning alarm consists of a loud vacuum cleaner, and  clinging of silverware, pots & pans.  Mid-day, as the madness simmers down, five minutes is dedicated to SILENCE… On the sixth minute, the door-bell begins to ring, and the madness restarts with pots & pans taking the lead in our Thanksgiving musical.  Within all of this madness, we must remind ourselves to be thankful for the many blessings we share, one being, abu’s (father’s) special cranberry sauce…

(**Although, really, every moment should be dedicated to gratitude.  Hallmark’s intention for November 25th might have been geared more towards an appreciation for the one dinner Pilgrims and Native American’s shared and the pin-up Turkey.  Maybe? )

The Background on Abu’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce:

Abu creates a special cranberry sauce every year. Jubilantly, he attends to his Thanksgiving mission.  He embraces the 20 minutes amidst the frenzy to tranquilly stir his sauce.  The end result,  is a rich combination of sweet, spicy and sour.  Completing his masterpiece he tests and shares the sauce.  My first taste of this sauce puts me in a euphoric state.  Closing my eyes, I focus on the sweet, spicy, and sour ingredients.

Abu presents God’s gift of life in such an aesthetically pleasing manner.  This delightful dish, makes everything in Thanksgiving taste good.  It ties the turkey, bread, and mash-potatoes together; and yet, it combines conflicting components-  and that’s what makes life beautiful; you can’t appreciate the sweet without the sour; and you can’t appreciate the sour without the sweet.  C’est la vie!

This Thanksgiving, have yourself some of Abu’s Cranberry Sauce:

1. Brown onions (healthy choice: use canolla or olive oil).

2. Mix in garlic and ginger, with a little bit of Red Chili/Cumin spice.

3.  Add in Crushed or Churned Cranberries.  Instead of crushing fresh cranberries, do yourself a favor and purchase canned cranberry sauce.

4. Peacefully stir


Fashioning a Change in Third World Development.

21 Nov

As flashy, superficial and glam as the fashion world may appear; some designers have tried to inspire a positive change within the economy of third-world developing nations- by partnering their talent with locals from developing nations.  As an exchange for the local’s work/talent, not only do individuals earn a decent income, but funding is invested into the countries sustainable livelihood of farmers, neighborhoods and investment in clean water.

For example, Edun is a fairly new fashion line that focuses on getting their manfucaturing done in Kenya and Uganda. For Kenya, Edun partnered with  Made Africa to produce a series of tees that bring to life hand drawings made by children from the Bidii School in Kibera, Kenya.  Kibera homes a large portion of Kenya’s population; it is also one of the worst slums in all of Africa.   Edun used One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of these tees  towards basic needs such as lunch, supplies, healthcare, and development projects at the local schools.  In Uganda, Edun had created The Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI)in order to help facilitate sustainable farming in communities and provide a fair trade market for their cotton.

In another example, Cathy Braid and another famous Australian fashion designer had traveled to Chitral, Pakistan (Northern Pakistan).  There, they had worked with many local women- seeking inspiration in fashion.  They had set up work stations for the local Pakistani women. As a result, around 400 women from Chitral and other surrounding rural areas had started earning similar salaries to teachers, and sometimes more depending on the dates around fashion shows etc.    “I am the only wage-earner,” says Gul Nisa, a widow who works as an embroiderer for Caravana. “I have four children and if I didn’t have this work, we would be dependent on my brother who already has 11 people in his house.”

To read more on this story, please visit:  Pakistan’s remote fashion centre

(Image below) Fashion designers concepts were/are inspired by the locals of Chitral.  Check out the Usmania-stitch:

(Below) Suddenly an investment on Edun’s $600 dollars fall coat doesn’t look that scary… Don’t get me wrong, personally, I probably wouldn’t buy it… But If I was earning  more, it wouldn’t be such a bad investment.  Especially if a good portion of that money would go towards a good cause.

On a Budget… But I Don’t Want It To Look Like I Am.

21 Nov

So as superficial as it sounds, I don’t want to look like I’m on a budget… But I am!

This Fall/Winter, I need to buy new clothes that fit (Yes, I’ve gained a few “jolly” pounds)… So while buying clothes, I want to make sure that I follow my tight budget….  Luckily, Forever 21 has some great stuff online… A lot of their stuff is great for casual wear, and if your lucky, semi-formal.

The other day, I was inspired by a friends daring style in biker pants.. Yet,she wore it in such a sleek way.  A long shirt with these pants can do the job…

For more ideas, check out Great deals.. Mix and match these deals- to suit your style.

The Man Who Peddled the World 18 times for Education ( This blurb was grabbed from Paulo Coehlo’s blog)

18 Nov

Using the money he earned from peddling trishaw, Mr. Bai Fang Li has contributed to finance more than 300 poor students in their tuition fees and living expenses, helping them to complete their studies.

His daughter recalls “He suffers throughout his life, saving on food and drinks, stitching his torn pants over and over again. When you throw away his old pants and buy new ones for him, not only that he does not want to wear them but he also gets angry.”

When the elder peddles trishaw, his clothes, shoes and hates all do not match, as if he is a beggar.
“I had never bought any clothes before. You see, the clothes that I wear are all picked up from the clothes people threw away. Look at my shoes, they are different, even the socks inside are different! The same applies to my hat; it was also collected from dumpsites.” he said.
His family members who could not resist looking him like that have advised him but to no avail.
In response to that, he simply picked up a bun and said to his children
“What is so hard about this? This bun is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it; isn’t this a way to reduce wastage?”

It has been calculated that, over years, Mr. Bai Fang Li has peddled equivalent to going round the Earth’s equator for 18 (times?). Mr. Bai has never thought to be rewarded.

Somebody attempted to find the list of students sponsored by Mr. Bai but he only found a photograph of him with a few children, and that is the only photograph ever taken. When asked about what he expected of the children, his humble reply was “I only want them to study hard, get a good job, be a good person and to give back to the country.”

In 2001, Mr. Bai Fang Li donated the last sum of money. Nearly 90 years old, he was unable to peddle trishaws anymore.
Instead, he looked after people’s car at the station and saved up to 500 yuan before he donated the money.
After giving out his last sum of money, he said “I cannot work anymore, I can no longer donate money to others!” and that was the first time in her life his daughter Bai Jin Feng had ever heard her father saying that.

Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his funeral.

Playing is Part of the Bigger Game

18 Nov

Afghani Women Playing Soccer

The following link and video displays the beauty of sports and how it can help rebuild the “moral” of a country & nation.

We often assume that a government and economy define the potential of a country.  Rebuilding the spirit of a nation/country isn’t as mind-numbing as politics…  Sports and education involve uniting everyone in  enlightenment and mental/physical fulfilment  thus, increasing the unity and spirit of a nation.

I was looking for news on Eid, when I came across the 6th bullet in Yahoo newsfeed.

17 Nov












Keep in mind, the 6th bullet does not explain the Eid holiday, nor does it define all of Hajj.

Just saying…

Merry Sacrifice!

16 Nov

Today the Muslim World is celebrating Eid al-Adha.  The English translation is- the “Festival of Sacrifice”.  It marks the event in which  Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) was willing to  sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead. This occurrence had proven to the people that, with faith comes blessings and miracles.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the last Islamic Month, Dhul Hijjah- right before the New Year (Muharram).   Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide.   During Hajj, people must sacrifice their worldly desires so they might understand the One entity we all equally stand under.  The pilgrimage is a challenge, one must sacrifice all the luxury in this world.  God returns the sacrifice with an amazing blessing– the cleansing of the mind, body, and soul.  The power of this journey has said to awaken people to the point where they feel “reborn”.

What are the lessons?

Sometimes the right thing is the toughest thing to do; but when your intentions are for the goodness of this world and the here-after; the long-term results will be positive.  In life, we all have to make sacrifices.  However, sacrifices should only be made for the better.  For example, I’m sure we have all been late for work; and while rushing through the city, we might find ourselves crossing the path where a fragile &  lonely woman sits, empty cup in hand.  Some of us will think, “well, the woman doesn’t deserve a penny from me, because most likely she’s a drug addict or she works with drug dealers”. However, if “you” stop for a minute and think to yourself, God has given an unlimited amount of blessings, compassion , forgiveness & chance(s) to us imperfect human beings, and yet, God is all-knowing of our persistent weaknesses.  I on the other hand, do not know the story behind this woman, If I take 5 minutes to lend her some money and a smile, maybe God will bring light to this situation. – This is an example of sacrificing one’s time and money in the name of God.  The sacrifice:  your late to work, wallet is lighter and you question this woman; BUT  if you trust good faith, God-willing, blessings will be brought to the situation.   Obviously there are so many other ways to commit sacrifices for the goodness of this world and the hereafter. This Eid al-Adha, think about the meaning of sacrifice.

Life without sacrifice is a life without faith.  Life without faith  is a life without hope.  Life without hope is a life without success.