Orange is the New Black: Carrot and Orange soup

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Fresh off the plane from chilly Melbourne, all i could think of was rugging up in my teddy bear onesie with a big bowl of soup and marathoning Orange is the New Black.

So here I am at 8pm with said bowl of soup in my lap about to start season 3. I have to say, if you’re looking for a good dose of vitamin A and C, this soup is perfect. Serve with a nice crusty toast covered in vegemite to balance the sweetness of the carrots and you have yourself a flavour explosion!

Ingredients

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4 medium carrots diced and boiled
1.5 cups pulpy orange juice
1 can chickpeas
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 onion sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed
5 tbsp butter or nuttelex

Method

1) Melt the butter or nuttelex in the saucepan and then proceed to brown the onion and garlic in it.
2) Place the boiled carrots into the pan and stir till evenly coated in butter/nuttelex
3) Empty the can of chickpeas including the water into the saucepan and allow to simmer but do not bring to boil
4) Add in the orange juice and stir
5) Add the stock and some rosemary
6) Allow to simmer on low-medium heat for 10 minutes
7) Wait for soup to cool down and blend with stick mixer till smooth

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some rosemary

Desi Pinup: Nargis Dutt

"In almost all her films Nargis created a woman who could be desired and deified. The charisma of Nargis' screen image lay in that it oscillated between the simple and the chic with equal ease." -M.L Dhawan The Tribune 9 Dec 2007
“In almost all her films Nargis created a woman who could be desired and deified. The charisma of Nargis’ screen image lay in that it oscillated between the simple and the chic with equal ease.”
-M.L Dhawan
The Tribune
9 Dec 2007

Born on 1st June 1929 Nargis, aka Fatima Rashid, was the daughter of a wealthy Muslim businessman from Rawalpindi. Her mother Jaddanbai was a well known Indian classical dancer and the founder of one the subcontinent’s first production companies Sangeet Films. Unsurprisingly, it was her mother who launched her into the limelight at the tender age of six when she starred in the 1935 movie Talaash e Haq (In Search of Destiny).

Between 1942 and 1968, Nargis starred in 50 Bollywood films.
Between 1942 and 1968, Nargis starred in 50 Bollywood films.

Fatima soon adopted the stage name Nargis, Hindi for Daffodil, and took to the stage like a natural. Between 1942 and 1968 Nargis produced 50 movies including Mother India and Raat aur Din (Night and Day). In 1958 she became the first film actress to receive the title of Padmi Shri by the Government of India. It is to this day one of the highest civilian awards.

Nargis2

Fame and recognition were not the only things Nargis found thanks to her role in Mother India. It was through this movie that she eventually found the love of her life Sunil Dutt. Reportedly, Dutt had saved her life from a fire accident on the set of Mother India. The couple married on 11 March 1958 and had three children together: Sanjay, Namrata, and Priya. Sanjay went on to become a successful film actor. Namrata married actor Kumar Gaurav, son of veteran actor Rajendra Kumar who had appeared alongside both Nargis and Sunil Dutt in Mother India. Priya became a politician, and since 2005, has been a member of parliament.

It was reported that Nargis and Sunil's love bloomed after he saved her from a fire on the set of Mother India.
It was reported that Nargis and Sunil’s love bloomed after he saved her from a fire on the set of Mother India.

In 1967 Nargis returned to the stage one last time to film her award winning film Raat aur Din (Night and Day). Her performance as a woman who suffers from multiple-personality disorder, was critically acclaimed and won her a National Film Award in 1968. This was the first time the National Film Board had awarded a woman in an acting role and so the category for Best Actress was created specifically for her. Raat aur Din also won her the coveted Filmfare Best Actress award in1969.

Nargis and Sunil Dutt early on in their relationship.
Nargis and Sunil Dutt early on in their relationship.

Unsatisfied with a life sans arts, Nargis set out on her next big venture. With the help of Sunil, she formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe which involved several leading actors and singers of the time. The troupe performed at remote frontiers,entertaining Indian soldiers. It was the first troupe to perform in Dhaka, after the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh.

A love like Johnny and June.
A love like no other- Nargis and Sunil.
Nargis sharing a moment with her children. Her son Sanjay (pictured here) is one of Bollywood's biggest names.
Nargis sharing a moment with her children. Her son Sanjay (pictured here) is one of Bollywood’s biggest names.

On 7th May 1981 at the premiere of the Bollywood movie Rocky, an empty seat shone in a packed cinema hall. It was reserved for Nargis who had passed on a week before of pancreatic cancer. She never got to see her son Sanjay’s debut into the film world she had loved so dearly.

"An actress with range, style, grace and an incredibly warm screen presence, Nargis is truly a leading lady to celebrate." - Rediff.com, 2011
“An actress with range, style, grace and an incredibly warm screen presence, Nargis is truly a leading lady to celebrate.”
– Rediff.com, 2011

In 1982, the Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation was established in her memory.The award for best feature film on national integration in the annual National Film Awards ceremony is called the Nargis Dutt Award in her honour.

In almost all her films Nargis created a woman who could be desired and deified. The charisma of Nargis's screen image lay in that it oscillated between the simple and the chic with equal ease." -M.L Dhawan The Tribune 9 Dec 2007
ھزاروں سال نرگس اپنی بے نوری پہ روتی ہے بڑی مشکل سے هوتا ہے چمن ميں ديداور پيدا                                         For a thousand years, the daffodil laments over its lack of insight, But only after great trepidation is insight borne in the flower garden.

Winter Warmer: Simple and Sensible Plum Jam

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The colder weather has finally arrived in Perth and I am enjoying a break from all my theatre duties. Inspired by a recent breakfast at a well known Polish cafe in the northern suburbs i decided to try my hand at jam making and I am pleased to report that my first attempt was highly successful. The recipe below is an adjusted one lifted from Molly Weir’s Scottish cookbook from 1960. In her own words this recipe is “simple and sensible” and as a novice hausfrau i couldn’t agree more!

Enjoy with a big cup of tea, a nice thick slice of bread and fresh cream. Its the only way I know to chase away those winter blues ♡

Ingredients

500g Plums
350 mL Water
250g Sugar

Method

1.Wash the plums and remove the pits
2. Put the fruit in a deep saucepan with the water and cook slowly until the skins are tender (about 45 minutes).
3. Add the sugar and stir til dissolved bringing slowly to boil. Then boil briskly for 10 minutes or till jam sets when tested
4. Let it cool for 10 minutes to prevent plums from rising in the jam, stir it up again.
5. Pot and cover as you prefer.

Taming the Tong: A crash course

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Not all tongs were created the same. The circumference and thereby the girth of your barrel determines the shape and tightness of the curl you are going to create. This in turn will impact what your end result will be even before you have dressed the hair. Heres a quick guide to some of the more common tong sizes. I tend to keep around a 1.75″, a 1″ and a 3/4″ set for all my vintage hair  needs.

2″: Gentle, relaxed wave. Best for super long hair. Brush out results in a bend at the ends.

1.75″: Large, loose subtle shape. Long to medium length. Brush out for subtle shape, comb for a tousled look

1.5″: Large, voluminous curls. Med-long hair. Bouncy curls. Rake with fingers for loose body.

1.25″: Medium loose curls. All lengths. Good everyday look. Leave tight or brush out for wild frizz and volume

1″: Defined full curls. Short-Medium length. Must for retro waves and beachy look.

3/4″: Vintage curl, textured wave. Short-Medium. Great structure to spirals. Keep defined for updo or brush loose for texture

5/8″: Smooth, tight corkscrew curls. Short-Medium hair. Brush out with boar bristle to create volume and texture. Alternatively paddle brush for tight waves.

I hope that keeps you folks from being tong tied in future ♡

Know Your Vintage: How to avoid being taken for a ride.

If you are new to the world of vintage dress shopping, one of the most heartbreaking lessons you will learn is not to automatically trust sellers who proclaim to be selling “The real deal”. I recall spending a small fortune on what i thought was a stunning 40s house dress on ebay, only to find a flamingo pink 80s does 40s monstrosity in my mailbox a fortnight later. The mention of an elasticated waist and the photograph of a size 14 label on the buyers page should have been enough to raise my suspicions about the authenticity of the garment. Nevertheless, over time I managed to learn a couple of tricks to separate the wheat from the chaff.

This is by no means a definitive list. Rather, I see it as a loose guide to dating your garments and keeping the wool from being pulled over your eyes by others. Remember, the whole point of this exercise is to ensure you aren’t paying a ridiculous amount for mutton dressed as lamb. It’s not to say that an 80s does 40s outfit is completely out of bounds, nor do i claim that all vintage sellers are out to swindle you out of your hard earned pennies. The best thing I can do as someone who has been around the ring (and spent far too much money therein) is to help educate you so that you know what you are paying for and that it is exactly what you wanted.

Happy shopping!

The Mid-Century Mermaid’s Quick and Easy Guide to Pre 60s Clothing

 

Fastenings:

The kind of zippers indicative of a pre 60s dress.
The kind of zippers indicative of a pre 60s dress.


  • Metal zips with visible teeth, usually set to the side of the dress best indicates a late fourties and fifties design. Plastic invisible zippers are definitely sign of a modern dress.
  • Zippers were not commonly used at all during the 1930s as they were considered unreliable at best.
  • Poppers, hooks and eyes, buttons (usually bakelite, shell, wood, celluloid) are most common in 30s and 40s dresses .
  • Belts made of matching or contrasting fabric, the presence of thread/ribbon loops, bakelite/celluloid belt buckles all indicate an original pre 50s piece.

Labels:

Note the folded edges on the label.
Note the folded edges on the label.
  • Swirly or stylised font according to the era
  • Any washing instructions especially machine washing indicative of later era
  • Presence of standardized size labels (size 12 for example) indicative of later era
  • Labels with corners folded down where sewn in indicative of a pre 60s item. Often earlier items will have labels made of ribbon with hand embroidered letters and signs of hand stitching to the garment.
  •  Label names are an easy dating give away. Certain brands and companies didnt exist pre 1960s. Others have had logo changes over the years. Use google to track label designs and designers.

Dress Structure:

An original 1940s dress pattern. Note the broad shoulders but narrow hips in the silhouette.
An original 1940s dress pattern. Note the broad shoulders but narrow hips in the silhouette.
An 80s does 40s dress. Similar to the 40s dress in that it has broad shoulders but the elasticated waist and peplum is a dead giveaway.
An 80s does 40s dress. Similar to the 40s dress in that it has broad shoulders but the elasticated waist and peplum is a dead giveaway.
  • Elasticised waist indicative of post 50s design
  • Overlocked seams as opposed to pressed, sewn hems or use of bias tape/ribbon indicative of post 60s design
  • Shoulder pads should be small, firm, rigid. Material like horsehair, natural fibre and wool used to stuff them. Anything too large or spongy is indicative of a post 60s design (most likely 80s does 40s)
  • Some 40s dresses will have diamond shaped patches under the armpits. This was to kurb excessive wear and tear in this area due to sweat and friction.