Looking Back At January'2014: The List

I have been a regular reader of One Hot Stove's The List posts and I must say I am hooked on to them! As the month end approaches, I find myself looking out for Nupur's The List posts... needless to say I was so happy when she encouraged other bloggers to start posting their own lists :)

These posts are like a month in review posts. However just the idea of jotting down these otherwise ordinary moments of a month gives me enough motivation to spend my time doing meaningful and creative things. Anyway, that's the hope - or the hidden agenda I should say behind starting The List series here on Ginger & Garlic :)

So here goes - here is my first monthly List.

January was a busy month as usual. Work is always crazy in January after the winter break so it was a busy month work-wise. Rain Gods are not smiling over the bay this season, we have hardly had any rain. California is officially in drought but I am ashamed to admit that a part of me is really enjoying the mild spring like weather this winter season for all the outdoor activities!


This was a month dominated by Japanese food at our home. Did I tell you I have caught the sushi fever? We have been making veg sushi almost once every week along-with a noodle based side dish. My most successful attempt this month was a dinner of avocado sushi rolls and vegetarian noodle soup with tofu, broccoli and carrots - yumm!

We are also eating lots and lots of apples and grapes. This time of year California farmer's market are filled with super sweet apples and grapes and we are buying and enjoying bulk-load of fruits every week. Our apple farmer is worried of a short apple season this year due to lack of cold weather, that's another motivation for us to eat them while you got them!


I re-read a book this month which I had read and loved a long time back. It's Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. It's a wonderful work of fiction set in Russia of late 1800s. This is one of the lighter books of Leo Tolstoy - this is a love story between a married high-class socialite and a raising count against a very inflexible social backdrop particularly towards women. Woven into the story is another parallel story of a Russian landowner who lives life simply with values and wants be fair to everyone. Book is rather long but it beautifully touches upon topics of morality, Russian politics, friendship and family values. If you generally love the 1800s classics, you will certainly like this.

I am also enjoying the Anjum's New Indian cookbook. I got a copy of this book from the publisher for review a few years back and came across it recently during winter cleaning. This is a great treasure of a book with different regional Indian recipes. I particularly like the seafood section and have jotted down a few recipes to try if I come across fresh fish in the market.

We also added a new favorite to the little one's book collection this month. It's a book called Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins. This one came with a glowing recommendation from the store owner who herself is a mom of 5 so I knew I was on the right track! Ever since I bought it for little one we have been reading this book every day atleast twice a day. It is quickly climbing her favorite list! Wish I had found it earlier :)


Bloomberg's Inside Chipotle series on Netflix. I came upon this program quite accidentally but I am glad I did. I love eating at Chipotle so it was nice to know the history of Chipotle and values it's founder chef believes in. I had heard about McDonalds being primary stakeholder in Chipotle which had raised some doubts of how Chipotle sources their ingredients and their philosophy to food, but I am glad to see Steve Elle's focus on local, free range meats and vegetables. 

Another show we are watching quite often this month is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on Netflix. This is a PBS kids show for the littlest ones - preschoolers. Every show emphasizes a simple value to kids such as "grown-ups always come back to their little ones", "sharing is good", "go to potty as soon as you know you have to" etc. :) This series came highly recommended by a dear friend and our little one is surely enjoying it a lot. As she turned 2, we started allowing her 15mins of TV most weekdays and one segment of this show fits very nicely in there!


This has been an unseasonably warm and dry winter here. The bald hills surrounding the bay which usually turn deep green by this time are dry and yellow and everyone is awaiting the much-needed rain. However, like me, many of Californians must be ashamed to admit that a part of us is actually enjoying the sunny days and mild spring like weather through December and January. Instead of enjoying our usual winter pursuits of hot soup, blanket and a book, this year we spent January enjoying local zoo, picnics at local parks, many visits to playgrounds and hikes through the nearby trails. Spring flowers are starting to pop up everywhere and the little one is having a lot of fun running around picking flowers of different colors!

It has been a busy yet wonderful January at our end - how has your January been?


Nupur said…
PJ- I loved loved loved reading this post (even though I read it weeks after you wrote it). Your sushi looks wonderful- I need to make more of it this summer. I've never read Anna Karenina (sometimes I think of the classics more as required reading than pleasure) but now I want to!

Lucy Cousins has such cute illustrations- my little one loves her Maisy books.

I do go to Chipotle now and then and find it quite good as fast food goes. And their hot salsa really is hot :)
PJ said…
Nupur, thank you for starting this post series/idea on your blog - I am just happy to tag along :)

Maisy books are favorite of my daughter too! she loves any lift the flap books.