Monday, February 20, 2012

In Honor of Mardi Gras, A Little Slice of New Orleans

In just a few hours, Mardi Gras will get underway in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in all the world. Over Christmas break, with the Sugar Bowl, a Saints game and New Year's parties all happening around that time, the city was buzzing with excitement and energy.

But what's a good party without food, eh? Each meal was an event in itself, as we tried to get our fill of the delicious Creole cuisine. And one memory that will stick around for a long time is that of biting into a piping hot, sugary beignet.

Not really knowing what to expect, we ordered one plate for the table, for two adults and two kids. One bite in, the consensus was to order two more plates. The chicory-rich coffee made for a heavenly accompaniment. We peppered our 20 year-old waiter with questions about the restaurant and the hugely popular dish (the lines went out the door for at least a block on all the days we were there). He invited us to take a peek into the part of the kitchen where the beignets were being made.

They must get the request a lot. Through huge glass windows that looked out onto a walkway at the back of the restaurant, we saw two men working silently and continuously, feeding the dough into a machine that sliced it and took it along a belt.

Starting from one end of the belt, the men would pick up the individual pieces, prime them in their hands and fling them across the air into the huge vats of boiling oil.

Each plate came with three or four beignets. Snowy mountains of powdered sugar rose precariously on top. Towards the end of the meal, that we had paid a visit to Cafe du Monde for the express purpose of devouring beignets was obvious. Our clothes, bags, and even parts of our hair bore the tell tale evidence.

And as always in New Orleans, music was never far away. Just outside the railing the separated the eating area from the sidewalk, this young man played the trumpet.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Profiting from Social Media

Sree Sreenivasan, a professor of digital media and dean of student affairs at Columbia Journalism School, has a new blog on CNET. His first post is on profiting from social media.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jabberwock's Review of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers

I recently heard an interview with Katherine Boo on radio and want to get her book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, about life in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai. This Jabberwock review seals the deal. And here's an interesting profile of the author in The New York Times.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Swimming Lessons in Bangalore at the Nisha Millet Swimming Academy

Olympian Nisha Millet runs the Nisha Millet Swimming Academy at various locations in Bangalore for many age groups and skill levels - from five year-olds to 70 year-olds, from beginners to competitive swimmers. Check out her Facebook page for more details. From first hand experience, I can say that she has a firm but gentle approach with the kids and gets them to love the water, which as many parents will tell you is first biggest hurdle on the road to learning to be a good swimmer. Happy swimming!