Blog Archives

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Be like the perfumed flower, that gives out its own perfume to 

                make other’s happy, but, takes nothing from anyone.’

Anonymous.

I LOVE flowers, and I must have them everywhere. In my garden, on fabric for dresses, cushions or bedspreads, gorgeous floral bunch at the table or prayer altar, flower garlands in my hair. Flowers also make the best birthday gifts for dear and near. The colour and fragrance of flowers is soothing, refreshing and mood uplifting. Nature speaks to us in the form of flowers – warm spring weather gives new life to closed winter buds, reminding us of passing of time and changes in life.

Each flower is unique in its colour, fragrance and shape. Are you so busy in life’s activities that you don’t stop a moment to smell the flower? Sadly… you missing out on the the essence of Creation!

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Past few weeks, at the onset of spring (it’s almost summer now!) I am learning to crochet small projects like flowers and butterflies.

YouTube and many crochet websites like http://www.ravelry.com and http://www.petalstopicots.com are helpful.

In tune with Nature

In tune with Nature

When time is limited time one needs to plan and organize small projects. Working on dainty doilies, flowers or caps, making squares proves easy. Repeating the same pattern means less thinking too. Stock up and rearranging can be done at a later date. Just keep at it.

Row of crochet flowers

Row of crochet flowers

Make use of your time, create a hobby and follow it with passion.Practice, practice! Why not bring a smile to someone’s face by gifting your crochet flowers?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers

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Yes, another crochet project done! This time it’s a small New Year gift for my grandchildren (boy’s) in teal blue. Paired with soft cream using the basic treble stitch, it worked quick and dense.

‘When you give a gift made with love,

                             it turns into something priceless.’

Crochet scarf - border and tassels

Crochet scarf – border and tassels

Materials:

Yarn:Teal blue (1 ball 200m) paired with camel brown and soft cream.

Brand : Nako Superlambs.

Needle size:  5 mm.

Scarf length: 52 inches and width: 8 1/2 inches.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Pattern: Chain 22 for the base. Row 1 and up, treble stitch for desired height. Chain 1 to turn at each end of row. For second colour, add 2 rows in brown (treble cluster + 1 treble). Add 1-2 rows of teal for contrast. Next work 2 rows in additional colour (treble cluster+ I treble) done here in soft cream. Continue treble stitch in teal blue, for desired length.

Central Part: For the part that will go around the neck, I wanted to add broader bands for more colour and experimenting. Broad bands in both colours are made with (3 rows of cluster stitch/ alternate with teal blue/3 rows of cluster in another colour).

Then, continue to add length to equal the other end, repeat small band pattern of cluster stitches. Finish off, once desired length reached. Tidy up loose ends.

Tassels: They add length, variety of colour and give a softer look. Here is your chance to get creative. Make tassels in solid one colour, mix and add or alternate solid colours ( teal- brown-cream). I’ve made tassels 7  inch long. Remember to cut double + little more length (=15 inches) as after tying, they will become only half the length.

Ta…da…the scarf is ready.

Winter is here, and so is grandmother’s (Nani’s gift)!

Boy's crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Boy’s crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Till then……I hope I’ve inspired you to reach out for some yarn.

How are you keeping those fingers busy this winter?

 

Crochet A Boy’s Scarf

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Festivals -This will be a new Category I begin today.

Festivals add 3 c’s: colour, creativity and celebration to our everyday life.

I hope to add some of it to my blog too. Photos of Festivals around the world, festival markets, festive food, clothing or traditions will be my focus.

If you wish to send in some photos or write a guest post, do contact me, send me a message. As always, leave your comments /views, they help fine tune my ideas.

Enjoy the day, and it’s precious moments!

 

 

 

Festival Series

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Dear readers,

‘Every writer needs an audience.’ It is YOU  that have made my blog journey a success.

A very Big Thank you to each one of you – family, friends, fellow bloggers and readers. Some of you are silent readers, some actively leave your valuable comments, yet some others motivate me in person.

Thank You dear readers

Thank You dear readers

Today’s statistics:  10,000 views

Total blog posts: 82 

Viewers: From over 50 countries       

Thank you Word Press team for all the backstage support !                     

 

Courtesy: Internet

Courtesy: Internet

   The top 5 most popular blogs have been: 

Top Number 1 : If you love flower markets, head to Delhi. Read more here: https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/ghazipur-phool-mandi-delhi/

Rose bundles for sale

Rose bundles for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 2:  For a little French town experience of  cobbled lanes, bicycles and baskets to stuff assorted  French bread, see here: https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/a-french-affair-baskets-bread-and-cheese/

French lady arranging bread for display

French lady arranging bread for display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 3:  In the midst of sandy deserts, how does man survive using the fruit of the hardy Date palm? How many Date varieties do you know?  See here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/dates-the-holy-fruit-of-middle-east/

The Date Palm Oasis

The Date Palm Oasis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 4:  Many a travel article has been written about the most popular bazaar in history, the Grand baazar of Turkey. But behind the Blue mosque exists  an equally colourful historic bazaar? ( This article was published in Woman’s Era magazine, October issue) See here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/istanbul-cultural-musings-from-a-bazaar/

Stone arched entrance to market for ceramics, shawls

Stone arched entrance to market for ceramics, shawls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 5:  Ever wondered how the immigrants change the cultural landscape of a country? What hardships do they face? See here:  https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/immigrant-jigsaw-puzzle-Sydney/

Haymarket Building, Sydney

Haymarket Building, Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here is my personal choice:

Number 1: Mumbai market

As a girl I often accompanied my mother to the market to buy fruit for pickles. Crowded streets, variety of vegetable and fruit produce, seasonal rains, trucks and carts offloading vegetables…and  what if I get lost in the crowd? Or lose my money bag?  Read more here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/mumbai-the-city-with-a-heart/

 

Number 2:

Migratory tales ring a special note in my heart. While buying vegetables,  engaging in personal conversation with the vendors to seek out their stories, one needs tact..and empathy.

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/a-photo-essay-al-mina-market-abu-dhabi/

Pakistani vendor selling spring onions

Pakistani vendor selling spring onions

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

               Thank you, once again for visiting my blog.

          .               

                          

 

A Big Thank You! Five Most Popular Posts

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Have you ever been to Crawford Market,Mumbai? Intense action, vivid colour and freshest groceries is a promise.

This article from Hindustan Times brought back to me some sweet childhood memories.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/travel/looking-for-the-hottest-chillies-mumbai-s-mirchi-galli-is-your-place/article1-1309887.aspx

Imagine a girl, accompanying her mother to a very busy street market, in the very heart of old city, Mumbai. She is tagging along, holding the end of her mother’s saree pallav, in a bid to keep firm contact with her mother. Yes, that’s me!

As a girl, I loved visiting markets, carrying shopping bags and watch my mother haggle over prices. Crawford market, is one such place. A haven for the Mumbai women, mostly Gujarati, Marathi and Rajasthani communities. They sourced the most competitive and fresh produce of seasonal mangoes raw ones for pickle, and ripe ones for a summer treat and chillies and lemons. Then, laboriously taking home few bags, they cleaned, cut and mixed them with spice. Fresh aromatic pickles were ready – bottled and stored in ceramic jars. Yumm….deliciously tangy,spicy and colourful!

Memories of streets being occupied by vendors, who sat cross-legged on floor, spreading out their fruit, comes first to my mind. I remember my mother buying few kilos of raw mango, then the vendor cut them into large pieces, removing the centre seed. Wait… I can almost hear mother bargaining and rambling, and the noise of other women screaming and shouting too:)

Now,enjoy the article describing Mirchi Galli, or Chilli street.

I promise to share a simple chilli /ginger pickle with you in due time.

Have you read my earlier post on Mumbai: the city with a heart?

 

 

Want to Buy some Chilli?

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 Photo Contributions

Thank you dear friends and fellow blog readers for encouraging me to keep writing. But I feel, that a part of me now resides within you as some of you have begun to narrate ‘your’ experiences thorough your comments, emails and personal talk. You’ve begun noticing the layout design of fruit displays, culture of street food or festive market stalls and how weather plays a role in seasonal markets. Oh! it’s amazing how thoughts weave our stories together.

‘ “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
Brian Tracy

So why not a blog post of reader contributions? Here are your photos.

 1. Summer Treat: Mangoes from Pune, India 

Last summer, Arundhati visited her home town, Pune. In India, summer announces the arrival of mangoes. Ratnagiri, coastal Maharashtra, is renowned for its fruit, it is neatly packed into small wooden crates and cardboard boxes and distributed to the nearest big city markets of Mumbai, Pune and Nasik. As Arundhati made her buy, she promptly sent me a box, albeit via email!

Over 100 varieties of mangoes are grown in India, but Alphonso, locally termed Hapoos reigns supreme! Introduced to coastal India by a Portuguese sailor, these highly aromatic and fleshy prized variety of mango brings instant smiles and conversations on the dinner table. Best eaten freshly sliced, mangoes do sneak into desserts like shrikhand,  phirni, ice cream and  milkshakes.

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

2  Traditional Rice Baskets: Bangkok, Thailand

Friends visited the Chatuchak market that was bursting with local and expat crowds. After hearing an endless banter about items: table mats, printed sarongs, Buddha statues, incense sticks, fake jewellery even colourful rubber slippers that could be bought at cheap prices, I sheepishly asked ‘Do you have even ONE photo for my blog?’. Groan……moan…

Finally, ain’t I lucky with this one ?

Rice Baskets, Thailand

Rice Baskets, Thailand.

My friend, Swati, is an artist, never missing an eye for detail. Needless to say wooden statues and Buddha carvings, tucked into a dark shop, with limited ventilation, at a Bangkok market caught her fascination. Inspired to create another painting, Swati ?

Statues on sale

Statues on sale

3. Enjoy Street Food in Shanghai

On a recent visit to Shanghai, hubby went in search of  local food in the street market. He brought home some treats of noodles, flat- bread coated with sesame seeds and rice cakes. More rewarding though were the photos he clicked for me:) Hubby knows my passion, rather addition to blog writing.

3. Horse Milk and Berry fruit: Kazhakstan.

Having relocated to an exotic distant land, Arundhati is now in Atyrau Kazhakstan. She is an ardent follower of my blog, and here is her contribution.

‘Drasvitiyet or Hello’ from Kazhakstan. In summer lots of berry type fruits are available here. Musk melon and water melon grow plenty, near Atyrau city,where I now live. The sandy soil is rich in minerals and good for melons. The place is nearby to Caspian Sea. Once upon a time, it was all sea here. After sub-zero freezing winters, summer temperature goes to high of 40 degrees, berry fruit thrive.’

‘Both Almaty and Atyrau are very beautiful places. Bordered by mountain ranges on one side that are fully snow-covered in winter, the city resembles mini Switzerland! Almaty is the economic center of Kazakhstan and Astana is the capital city. Prior to 1995, the country was part of USSR. 

Milk vendors - Kazhakstan

Milk vendors – Kazhakstan

Horse meat is commonly eaten here and horse milk is popular drink. The two elderly ladies, in the photo, selling horse milk claim to be 90 years old, and healthy ONLY  because of drinking horse milk!’ she muses.

Thank you so much for your little guest post Arundhati!

5. Trader Joe’s supermarket, New York

‘Mummy….here’s food for your blog’ said my younger daughter, as she made her holiday purchases in New York. Comparing them to Coles Supermarket in Sydney, where she often buys her daily groceries, she has become more aware of fresh seasonal fruit on the shelf, layouts of items differ at different supermarkets, space and staff are noticeably different and wide open parking spaces may not be available in big city centres.

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe's

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe’s

6. Chinese New Year markets, Singapore 

A dear friend Maithilee and her daughter, religiously went photo-shopping into the streets of Chinatown, Singapore. Camera in hand, and eyes set on souvenirs for ‘Year of the Sheep, 2015’ they came home with plenty. Thank you very much! My heart now yearns to be part of the vibrant market during ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy‘ celebrations!

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Malls, housing estate street markets in Singapore (and China) suddenly burst alive with traditional Chinese New Year colours of ‘Red and Gold.’ Street markets are densely packed with a variety of decorations, festoons, Chinese paper lanterns, prosperity dolls, fake fire crackers and gift money bags – all related to the New Year customs. Markets are open late into the evenings, and get more crowded. The night before the Chinese New Year, streets are brimming with people who arrive in large numbers to savour local Chinese food and enjoy the bargain sales – everything MUST GO!

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

The main street of Chinatown area, Singapore is brightly decorated with lights, lanterns and a larger than life statue of ‘God of Prosperity.’ The Chinese society is materialist and has strong business culture, money thus plays an important role.

Some more photo contributions from other friends as they visit the Sim Lim area and Bras Basah street markets during Chinese New Year 2015.

Here’s wishing my Chinese friends and readers ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy’ or Happy New Year 2015.

That’s all for now. Rest your legs after this world tour!

Remember to keep sharing your experiences, writing comments and travelling the world with me.

Till then..

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

–Theodore Roosevelt.

  

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Contributions

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This is my entry for The Daily Post Challenge: Scale. A prompt to share an image that highlights a size relationship — that makes us pause, take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in the photo, was the given challenge.

Living in arid desert conditions makes one appreciate the element of Water. Here is a comparison of scale of two important desert fruits: Watermelon and Date fruit.

An explorer, David Livingstone, once literally found vast expanses of semi desert African land covered wildly with watermelons! With an extremely high content of 92% water (and other nutrients), watermelons sustain and provide us nutrition, for over 6 weeks in hot weather. In scale, they range from a few pounds to ninety pounds!

Let’s compare this to the small scale of Date fruit. Truly, this tiny miracle desert food, ranging from 3 cm – 8 cm in size has provided nutrition, health and life to many a traveller across the sands of times! In the lands of Arabia and neighbouring arid and sandy regions where sand dunes and camels live in harmony, the Date Oasis made for a perfect relaxing spot to the caravan traveller. Find more on Dates: Holy Fruit of Middle East, in my earlier post. Caravans often carried large sacks of Date fruit for nourishment on their long journeys. For more information see Wikipedia.

On a scale of 1-10, which desert fruit do you like ? Why?

 

Scale: Desert Fruits, Big and Small

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 in review

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This post is in response to this week’s The Daily Post ‘Yellow’

Come winter, seasonal changes affect one’s health and immunity, and the flu and cold bug makes its presence. An ancient, Indian traditional way to fight this is with the use of Turmeric, a yellow powder made from the rhizome of the Ginger plant family. It is locally known as Haldi or Manjal.

The plant’s botanical name Curcuma longa, is found abundantly in India and Asia. The deep colour of the powdered, dried rhizome, not only adds colour and flavour to food, but has immense health benefits. There is hardly an Indian curry or vegetable, cooked without a liberal addition of Turmeric. Yoga abhyaas or study strongly advises using ‘one spoonful of turmeric in cooking everyday’..as it is known for its anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

 

Turmeric powder also known as Haldi or Manjal

Turmeric powder also known as Haldi or Manjal

Chinese, Malay and Indians have long been using Turmeric for its medicinal properties. It is used to treat flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, toothache and colic. Every Indian and Malay bride will recall their ‘Haldi’ ceremony prior to the wedding, where the bride is anointed with a paste of Turmeric and sandalwood – a traditional way of rejuvenating, cleansing and perfuming the body.

As a young girl, I remember my mother applying Turmeric powder on our bruises and cuts. And come winter, she would boil milk with ginger and turmeric.Ah…can you smell that strong aroma of turmeric as it fills the kitchen?

Recipe for Turmeric Milk:

1 cup milk

1 tbsp. turmeric powder

1 tbsp. ginger powder

1 spoon honey

In a small vessel pour the milk, add turmeric and ginger powder and simmer /boil for few minutes. Remove any scum formed. Pour the milk into cup /glass, add honey as desired.

Sip away to health and beauty!

If the cough or cold persists:

Boil 2 cups of water in a large container, add 2 tbsps. of turmeric to it. Inhale this steam, covering your face and neck with a towel/cloth. Let it reach your open mouth and warm the area. Be careful of the hot water and steam!

 

Yellow coloured Milk

Yellow coloured Milk

For yellow rice: see here

 

Pulihoara - Tamarind rice

Pulihoara – Tamarind rice

Here is a light snack, perfect on a rainy day or winter with a cup of Chai. Or invite friends over and offer in individual bowls, peppered with finely chopped onions and garnished with coriander. Crunch…

Puffed Rice Flakes Chivda (Savoury)

Ingredients:

2 cups thin white Poha /Rice flakes

2 cups murmura /puffed rice

For seasoning:

1 ladle cooking oil

1 -2 tbsp. Turmeric powder (yellow)

1 tbs. mustard seeds

1 tbs. saunf / fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts (without skin)

1/4 cup roasted Bengal gram

1/4 cup raisins + cashews

2 sprigs of Curry leaves

pinch of Hing /Asafoetida

Salt, chilli powder, Aamchur /dry mango powder and powdered sugar adjusted to taste.

Remember! many of the above ingredients could be optional ( except salt, chilli, oil mustard and turmeric).They add colour, texture and enhance flavour. Experiment as per availability.

Rice flakes Chivda with Turmeric Yellow

Rice flakes Chivda with Turmeric Yellow

Method:    Lightly toss and roast the Rice flakes till crisp. Set aside. Lightly roast the puffed rice. Keep aside in plate.

In a large pan, heat up oil add lightly fry peanuts, cashews, raisins and remove aside to cool. Add mustard to oil till it splutters. Quickly add Turmeric, fennel seeds, curry leaves. Lower flame to minimal.

Add the fried nut mixture. Gradually add the puffed rice and rice flakes, alternatively. Keep tossing entire mixture lightly, till evenly coated in seasoning.

Put pan away from flame onto kitchen top. Add salt, powdered sugar, Aamchur powder, chilli powder as desired. Cool mixture evenly.

Store in airtight jar upto 4-10 days for freshness. Or serve immediately in paper cones (like in street food) or bowls. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander and a slice of lime. Enjoy!

Chivda -Savoury with puffed rice

Chivda -Savoury with puffed rice

No Indian recipe is spared from the traditional use of Turmeric. So, buy a packet, check its freshness, store in a bottle away from sunlight. Use some everyday, while cooking or gargling.

Live life healthier with just a spoonful of yellow Turmeric!

For more read:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

 

Recipes with Turmeric Yellow

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This post is my entry for the Daily Post challenge: Photography 101 : Street.

Thanks to the Daily Post blog – I’m always on the learning curve. The focus is: Street Photography. It’s reminded me to look carefully while taking shots – what is my focus? what is in the foreground or what is the background? Are the colours intimidating or blurring the photo. I don’t use any expensive camera – its’ just my Iphone or Sony. But as a street market enthusiast, and a blogger, I need to stay focussed.

This photo was taken few years ago in Melaka, Malaysia. The subtle colours of the concrete paved street bring out the colourful yellow costume of the peddler. In the foreground stands his regally decorated rickshaw. In the yesteryears, this was a perfect way to navigate the small winding alleys of the historic old town of Melaka. Tourists and passerby fall in the background, the red brick walls and pavement, adding a contrast colour.

What part of the photo catches your eye ? And why ?

Do leave your comments – it’s good to hear another perspective. Keep learning. Keep focussed!

Street Photography: Rickshaw peddler

Street Photography: Rickshaw peddler

A Lesson in Photography.

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Dialogue – Extended in Colours and Shapes 

This post is in reply to The Daily Post: Dialogue 

Dialogue is an engaging conversational exchange.

When it comes to photography, dialogue can be perceived as a consensual interaction between two images.

The pink and white colours of fresh flowers took my breadth away at  Ghazipur Phool Mandi, Delhi. Little did I realize there was a Dialogue extended in a fake flower arrangement at home. Thanks to Daily post!

 

A view of some stunning Arabesque designs at the grand Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque that grace the marbled floor. Henna designs, I experimented with extend the dialogue of similar style. Islamic Art extends into Arabesque designs that use repeated floral and geometrical designs. It is popular not only originally in the Quran, but influencing architecture, Henna Art, motifs on clothing and wedding invitations.

Now won’t you have a frothy coffee with me, at the Emirates Palace restaurant and contemplate on the design ?

coffee

Dialogue – Extended in Colours and Shapes

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Textures – Taking a Different Perspective at the Fresh Market

Whoever thought a market is just all about buying onions and potatoes? Or sorting out a bunch of crispy lettuce from under the mound of greens? There is more than just the mundane at a fresh market!

There is colour. There is pattern. And,… there is Texture That’s what came to my mind, as I read this week’s The Daily Post Photo Challenge on Texture. I took a different perspective while buying my weekly groceries, ie. exploring texture.

As Natalie (from the Daily Post) says ‘This is a great opportunity to look at the world in a slightly different way — along with looking at things from new angles, zooming very far out or very far in are both great ways to create texture and pattern in photos.’

Here is my entry.

Texture: Coarse vs. Smooth

The ubiquitous tropical fruit, Coconut has a grainy, coarse tough outer shell. It protects the soft, milky white flesh inside.

Just like in the coconut, the hard coarse covering hides the soft inner flesh, so too sometimes people can be very kind and loving deep inside, but may appear hard and rough on exterior. So ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’

Coconut shell

Coconut

 

 

Broken coconut - outer shell and inner flesh

Broken coconut – outer shell and inner flesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you like the texture of a coconut ? What analogies come to your mind? 

Now, let the onion skins speak  a little too.

Texture: Crispy, flaky – Natural vs. Man-made

Yesterday I bought a bag of Onions, little did I know I would use them for a photo challenge.

I liked the crispy plastic netting of the bag. Never to crumple -plastic. But when flaky onion skins scattered all over the kitchen floor, to make a colourful mess 🙂 I remained calm. Just brought out my camera.

Taking a different perspective on Texture. Thanks to the Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Onions scattered on the floor

Onions scattered on the floor

 

onions skins

Flaky Onion skins

And here is a close up. Don’t you feel like crumbling them with your fingers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do my viewers think about my perspective ?

Can you suggest some other fruits and vegetables that have similar textures? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Textures – Taking a Different Perspective at a Fresh Market