Monday, March 13, 2006

Twenty Questions- sort of...***

***updated with some answers from you . You guys are fabulous. Simply Fabulous. Thanks!***

Just came back from sunny Florida. My parents celeberated their 30th anniversary and all us kids came down to be with them. The actual anniversary is today but since its Monday we pulled a "president's day" and observed it on Friday. Kashif and I have not yet seen four years together, 30 years seems unfathomable. Ami and Abu say that year one is as vivid in their minds as though it was yesterday. Time has a way of flying. We hadn't driven in years to Florida choosing instead to fly and I forgot how thoughtful one can become on a long road trip. Pen and paper had not been so intimate in a very long time as the time to think and the trip itself lent to much food for thought. Hopefully I can find time to share some soon.

On a random tangent, I had a list of questions that I'm trying to figure out the answers to. Yes you will quickly see how random they all are... but considering your various lifestyles and backgrounds surely you can give me some advice or opinions to help me. Any advice or opinion appreciated, I am so very troubled about #18.

1. Why do people do email addresses on the web like: jon at hotmail dot com instead of to avoid spammers who troll for email addresses, to avoid outlook express from popping up everytime you click on it

2. I wore a Pakistani bridal outfit on my wedding and normally we wear them again at a family member's wedding or something. But if you wore the traditional white wedding gown, do you wear it again? No

3. My front left gas stove top is not working. It clicks and all you smell is gas- no flame. The other three work fine. How does one fix this? Could be clogged, ignition could be broken, flint needs to be replaced. First try to clean/unclog if nothing works call in repairman to check the flint.

4. Have you lived in Brazil or visited? I wanted to take a weekend trip out of Rio with Kashif while I'm there and can't figure out a place we could see in a weekend's time be it a car ride or flight? Thanks Subhana! Corcovado, Copacabana, Tijuca, Ilha Grande, Samba shows.

5. Have you learned a language through cassettes? I have quite the commute to/from school and wanted to get some Portugese cassettes but there are a million and a half series. Have you found success with one in a language you wanted to learn? Pimsluer, Rosetta Stone

7. Does anyone know how to make a cilantro based dressing with peanut sauce? Cheesecake factory has a great dressing, and its a goal in my 101 in 1001. THANKS Baraka!

8. How long can you keep leftovers in the fridge before you must throw it away? I kind of estimate but is there a set amount of days for chicken, beef, fish?

10. How long can you freeze things in the freezer? I always thought it was indefintely if its sealed well but someone said it has its limit and it can go bad in the freezer?

11. The first book my parents read me had to do with a boy named Pele getting a coat made from a lamb and they go through the whole thing of how wool is made. Lots of knock offs of this but never found the original book which I believe is called Pele's Coat. Anyone heard of it? I'm looking for it.

12. Have any of you gone to law school and not been a lawyer? If so what did you end up doing? Are you happy? Opened a bakery

13. Where can I find copper pans to hang up over my island? I have a nice wooden thingie with hooks to hang nice copper pots but never know where I can get affordabble copper pans to hang just for decor?

14. What's the best way to clean mexican tiles? bon ami

15. How can you whip whipped cream from the heavy whipping cream box and make it look like the whipped cream you get from the store prewhipped and creamy? lots of suggestions in the comments, basically keeping it cold while you whip is key but I think Ill stick to store bought considering how complicated it sounds to do.

16. Do you know of any brand that sells the type of tea that is used in "loose tea" meaning nice tea leaves not the nasty ones in the tea bags.. but actually is in tea bags making it easier to use? Lipton Yellow Label, Republic of Tea, Tazo, Tea in tea balls

17. Can you tell the difference between diet pepsi and diet coke? Because I can. I refuse to drink diet pepsi but people claim its all in my head? Though yes I'm not drinking it with the full flair I once did. Yes there is a difference.

18. Very troubling. We came home today and all the water faucets be it sink or shower, the water is coming out funny. Making strange noises and coming out inconsistently. Sometimes its fine and then sometimes its not. It wasn't freezing over the weekend and nor did we put the thermostat low. But it's all the pipes upstairs. What does this mean? Anything we can do? Water main might have been affected over the weekend, which might be true as I noticed service people fixing stuff around our subdivision, air could have gotten in the pipes, it's working fine now though so hopefully it was just temporary issue.

19. For the past month I have very vivid dreams. I talk in my sleep, I wake up crying occasionally. I have multiple dreams that I remember with accuracy. I dont undesrtand why all of a sudden this is happening? Does it mean something? Rehtwo may you could give me some insight here? I havent been eating before bed or anything like that... Wow lots of interpretations including stress which is probably what it is, lots of repressed stress..


rehtwo said...

Answer to #1 -- The short explanation is that it's done to reduce the amount of spam and unintentional email while still allowing people to post their emails in public. (Some people use automated bots/crawlers to look for email addresses in the form

Answer to #2 -- I don't believe that it's normally done, although sometimes a daughter or another close female relative will wear it for her own wedding day. My guess is that it has something to do with the whole white == virgin thing...

#15 -- I have no idea how to make it look like the can (probably due to the different mechanics of gas incorporation?) but if you keep it cold I think it helps? I've heard of doing the two-metal-bowl-with-ice-sandwiched-between method to keep the cream cold.

#17 -- The taste is definitely different. Apparently it's intentional. I've heard that Pepsi feels that it can keep a better market share by making an alternative to Coca-Cola products as opposed to a directly-competing taste-alike. They figure that at least some will prefer their distinct flavor.

#19 -- Dreams are one of the least-understood phenomena. It's kind of like yawning -- there are lots of theories and old-wives'-tales, but we don't actually know much at all. I'll do a little research and see what I can dig up. Some people say it has to do with diet, others that it has to do with your subconscious thoughts, still others with your actual experiences.

Subhana said...

#2: I'm getting married next year InshAllah, and I'm gonna be wearing white. Yeah okay so off-white :P. The reason behind it (not sure whether other desis share the same opinion)..It's just that I've never really liked the colorful concept of a desi bride. Dunno, but I just think ke the brides look like parrots on the stage with these colorful gowns. But mehhh...could be wrong :P.

#4: Yeah, I've been to Brazil a few years back. I went to Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo. If you wanna go to Brazil, trust me it SHOULD be FLIGHT! No way car! The roads are filled, and seriously FILLED with thieves and criminals.

#18: Call a plumber? :P

Sohnii said...

previous post, the bride... was that u???? prettyyyy :D

i have no idea abt any of ur questions... if u find out the answer to 19, tell me tooo... im goin thru the same exact thing.

Hasan Mubarak said...

Wish your parents a very Happy Wedding Anniversary!

#19 Is it something you want really bad and you are continuously having dreams of it...

mystic-soul said...

Is I-95 that boring? (just little sarcastic)

stabani said...

1) to protect yourself from spam attacks, just as the person above said.
2) My sister had a white wedding dress, but it came with alternative methods of wearing it for shaadis and stuff (it is way to bhara-hoa to wear just like that). I know for a fact that she wore the mehendi dress a couple of times after the wedding since it dosn't have as much heavy-work on it. For people with white gowns worn on more american-western weddings, I hardly ever see them come out of the closet, personal experience only
3) your ignition thing is probably broken or clogged up. handymen can usually change them out. alternatively, some stoves MIGHT have a battery in them which has probably died out. It really depends on the stove make.
13) if they have a michaels or expo center or even perhaps hobbylobby-type crafts shop might carry them.
14) get some mexians to do it
16) speciality niche-market tea shops will carry them.
17) yes, definetly can tell the difference between diet pepsi and diet coke. I can even tell the difference between the diet cokes of different areas. cokelight stinks (the ones available in the middle east). And also, for pakis, I can tell the difference between nonrefundable bottled diet coke and just regular refil diet coke. :-D
18) have a plumber check it out, or let the water run in EVERY faucet until it gets consistent again. It's a problem with air getting into the pipes because of low-usage, though usually you see that if you leave the house for a longer period of time. ??
19) dreams are your pathway into the future. i have actually recorded by dreams and found out that they have come true after about a month or true (instances were recorded, since i didn't remember whole dreams). ofcourse, some argue it is just a made-up believe in the mind. dreams are very hard to diagnose, though it might have something to do with your past etc.

Christina said...

First, salams and congrats to your parents on 30 years!

Here are some answers that may help you out:

#13: If you truly want inexpensive copper pots just for decoration, I'd suggest going to a thrift shop, your local Goodwill store, or a flea market.

#15: You can buy "heavy whipping cream" from the grocery store. All you have to do is use is an electric mixer and blend the whipping cream. It takes a few minutes, but the air will start to incorporate in. Whip until you form "soft peaks". To make it sweet, add a little confectioner's sugar (regular sugar is too grainy) and a little vanilla extract. Be careful not to whip too much because then you'll end up with butter!

#16: When we went to Hajj, they had "Lipton" Yellow Label tea bags in the camps. We all LOVED it! You can purchase them here in halal or desi stores. Check out this:

Huda said...

7) I have a pretty good cilantro dressing recipe, but it's from an Asian cookbook. Don't know if that's what you're looking for.... also, I can't remember if it uses peanuts (I want to say it does).

8) Two weeks is decent, I think, but of course if anything is moldy or smelling funny, you should probably toss it. :)

10) Technically, indefinitely, but food will start to get freezer burn after a while, which means it won't taste good anymore.

12) Have a friend who did that... she ended up working in a bakery until she had her first kid, and now she's a SAHM.

15) This as been answered already, but also you can add a pinch of cream of tartar to help reduce the whipping time. Don't forget the confectioner's sugar because cream is NOT sweet on its own.

16) My mother likes Tetley British Blend. It's what I served you at dinner last weekend.

17) Diet Pepsi tastes like desi medicine.

18) It's possible they did some work on your water main? When the one in my complex broke, that happened. Letting it run for a bit solved my problem, but if it doesn't get any better, you should definitely call a plumber.

ASH said...

You and Kashif should get together with Jo and I and we can go through this list fairly easily. :) Better to do it over dinner or maybe coffee.

I see you've already gotten some answers to some of them.

Aisha said...

Thanks all for your advice!

Rehtwo do you recommend a book on dream theories, etc?

Subhana Congrats on your upcomming wedding! I was thinking recently about our wedding gowns (desi) and watching PTV at my mom's and how increasingly western its becomming... I wondered if our beautiful gowns would become a thing of yesterday. It makes me scared, I hope that we can hang on to the things that give our culture its distinct and beautiful flavor. On the same note there is no harm in wearing white on your wedding if you prefer it and find it prettier/more elegant and I've seen many a desi bride look quite attractive in a white wedding lengha, etc. Thanks for the tip on driving in Brazil. I've heard some scary driving stories. Do you recommend any must see places in Rio?

Sohnii it was, thanks :)

Hasan.. no not really, I can't figure out what it means at all :(

Mystic, dont know didnt travel on I-95 :)

Stabani, lol @ advice #14, I will try your suggestions with the oven and water pipes. But we were gone only from Thursday to Sunday so I dont know why the pipes would get that way so quickly?

Christina was that tea loose tea leaves though? like actual broken leaves? I'll check the link out thanks.

Huda I'll try your recipe if you get a chance to share, it's worth a try. I hope the water main is what it is... but can that happen when its a free standing house?

koonj said...

2. No. Haram.

10. Leftovers in freezer. Forever.

12. Don't wimp out, ok. You have to become a corporate lawyer, make money, and help me out.

15. Buy prewhipped cream, girl. This is why we live in the West - to not do things from scratch. Otherwise make your own makhan too and peel your garlic too, eh.

17. Diet pepsi/coke. I've lost my taste for both. Long abstinence due to the gestational diabetes has caused me to derive reduced pleasure. ugh, I know, it's awful.

18. Ohmygod, we're having the same trouble. Maybe weather change.

19. Sure you aint preggers? ;) just kidding.

Jane said...

Wow, reading this list I realized that I didn't have the answer to a single question. I have a sort of answer for #10. It depends on what it is and how cold your freezer is. Some foods can be frozen for up to three years while some are gross after a few weeks. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Southern Masala said...

3. My stove does this too and i just bang the side of it with my palm and it lights up after a few bangs (although maybe this is not the safest way of fixing the problem?)

5. Nope, but I am not an aural learner, I have to write things down. I have taught myself quite a bit through workbooks.

12. I am looking for the answer to this one to, if anyone can give some insight, please!!!

17. Oh, yes, I cannot drink Diet pepsi at all.

19. Could it be stress? When I am stressed I grind my teeth in my sleep or talk more than I normally do.

Shabina said...

Mabrook on your folks' anniversary! Mine have been married 30+ years now, and my grandparents for more than half a century (AH), and yeah dude, i totally can't fathom it...

Aisha said...

Ash we really should its been a while

Shabina, thanks :) half a century. mash'allah.

Koonj. very very sure on the last Q! Good point re whipped cream why make life harder when it can be easier right? Is your water still acting funny?:)

Jane do you know how long bread can be frozen? I heard that has the shortest free=zer life

Southern it may be stress though didint realize I was stress but now that you mention it I am grinding my teeth lately and having palpitations. I guess exams are around the corner and its scary.

Christina said...

The Lipton Yellow Label is already in tea bags (although both are available).

opinionatedinjerzee said...

hmmmn.. now you got me thinking!!

Baraka said...

Salaam 'alaykum Aisha,

Congrats to your parents, may Allah bless them with long decades of health, happiness, and companionship.

1 - It's a spam filter - by writing out your full email address you become vulnerable to marketing or malicious scanners that check websites for email addresses & then bombard them with spam.

2- Your igniter isn't working, try taking off the pot holders and checking to see that it is aligned properly.

5 - I find tapes work best as a supplement to classes but Rosetta Stone is pretty good.

8. Scroll to bottom for graph
More info here:

16. Tazo and the Republic of Tea both have excellent tea in teabags. Or you could use loose tea in a tea ball.

19. How are you feeling emotionally? Is there something troubling or stresing you?

momyblogR said...

WOW, 30 years....Good for your them. I'm half way there, 15 years this past year, lol!

Here is my very sad two cents....

1. I think they do it because they are weird. It could be spam but I like weird better, lol

2. No, not unless of course you want to be carted off to the Boobie Hatch!

3. Maybe the flint on that one is gone.

4. I haven't but if there is room in your suitcase, I can get pretty small, lol.

5. I've started Italian and am using Pimsluer. I should be using my Husband...he's fluent but without patients.

7. No, sorry.

8. I have a 2-3 day rule depending what it is.

10. Things lose flavor and get freezer burned but I don't think the can go "bad"

11. I haven't but I'll look too.

12. Heavens NO! That's why we need YOU!

13. Sorry, I don't know that either.

14. My best friends brother owns a tile company in AZ, I could ask.

15. Just whip, whip whip but don't over whip or you'll break it and have butter. I add a bit of sugar and some vanilla. It's SO good.

16. I really don't know. I'm a big coffee drinker.

17. Yes!! Diet Coke ROCKS....way better than Diet Pepsi. It must be in my head too. However, I too am not drinking it with the usual flair. I have started drink LOTS of water. I have to lose this peanut bladder though, LOL!

18. Maybe you have air in the pipes. It happens to me what they work on the lines.

19. WOW! You are a dreamer.

ayalguita said...

2. Usually is not wore again unless is to pass it to your daughter, etc. I didn't want to marry in white, so in my spanish wedding I got a salmon colour dress which I can wear to formal parties (inshallah in july my brother's wedding!) and for the paskitani wedding they got me 3 salwar kameezes (i found out htey were second hand after a year of marriage lol).I never wore again the pakistani ones, and in fact I sold one on ebay and the others I just keep them in boxes.

19. Seriously, are you sure you are not pregnant? When I was pregnant I use to have weird dreams and very vivid, who knows;)

Baraka said...

7 Check epicurious, they have wonderful recipes

Baraka said...

7 - Or is this the recipe you were referring to?

Amazing what one can find through Google searches!

Chic Mommy said...

As for #3, the flint is probably gone. Call a service repariman and he might fix it for you. I had this problem once in our old apartment and was still able to use the burner. You have to get one of those automatic candle lighters and turn on the gas and then quickly light your stove by flicking the flame near the burner. In Pakistan they used to do this all the time, because they don't have auto lighting gas stoves a long time ago.

#18- Do you have an electric pump to pump your water throught the pipes. Sometimes the pump breaks down or air gets trapped inside. have it checked out by a plumber.

Aisha said...

Christina thanks for the head up!

Baraka have you ever tried the loose tea in tea balls? I have seen that at the farmers market but never tried them. Thanks for the cassette suggestion and for the links about food expiration. Btw- I emailed you re: the cheesecake recipe. Did I ever tell you that you're my hero? :)

Mommyblogr, lol @ your answer for #2! I could just picture someone wearing a wedding dress to a regular party and looking around wondering why ppl gawk. I guess I always wondered because so much money is spent on the outfit and I'm like, what do you do with it when you're done wearing it?

Ayalguita that outfit must have been gorgeous! Good idea! LOL I dont think I'm pregnant but now you've got me paranoid... hmm.....

Chic Mommy so you have to get a repairman to fix the flint? I think that's a good idea to get a handyman if that is the issue. First I'll try to clean it thoroughly and hopefully its either that or a fixable flint.. it does turn on when I ignite with a match though... *sigh* The water is working fine today. Should I be okay with it now? we'll see thanks.

Enyur said...

Wow woman! That's a Loooong! list: okay here are few that I can 'probably' answer"

3. - Did you cook something that boiled over? Maybe it's clogged?
(ok at your own risk, try sticking a tooth pick in one of the holes and then try lighting it, if it works it's clogged) AGAIN!! it's at your own risk!! lol!!

16 - Loose tea in tea bags - Brooke Bond's Red Label (Yellow Label makes them too).

17. I can! I prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke (and Coke over Pepsi) Weird, I know! Anyway, I believe it has something to do with the amount of caffeine used, that makes it different (I could be wrong). I've stopped drinking Diet the aspartame actually gives you cravings, hence makes you put on weight rather than losing it.

19 - They say eating cheese can cause weird dreams...or..may be God's sending you messages? (Okay, stop laughing, I'm serious...I've heard so!)

Umm...and by the way your tagged Aisha "Baji!" hehehhee (check out my bloggy at:

Mia said...

First things first Happy 30th to your parents. It’s a wonderful milestone. Now on to your questions… well at least the ones I can offer some insight with.

#2. No the traditional white wedding dress is not worn again by the bride. In some families it is handed down from mother to daughter and so on and so on. My mother married in her great-great-great- great grandmother’s dress which was a beautiful antique white not pure white. White wedding dresses came to be in favor after 1840 of Queen Victoria . This is from a book on weddings my friend has, “ White has long been accepted as the traditional color of the wedding dress, but wedding gowns were not always white. The marriage of Queen Victoria to her cousin Albert of Saxe- Coburg in 1840 has had more influence on weddings than any other. Queen Victoria put the wheels in motion by marrying in white. Though brides continued to wed in gowns of different colors, white was now set as the color of choice for weddings and has continued ever since. In Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1849, this statement was printed: “ Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”
There is an old poem about how the color of your wedding dress will influence your future: “Married in white, you will have chosen all right. Married in grey , you will go far away. Married in black, you will wish yourself back. Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead. Married in blue, you will always be true. Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl. Married in green, ashamed to be seen, Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow. Married in brown, you’ll live out of town. Married in pink, your spirits will sink.”

#3. My father says it sounds like it is glogged remove and rinse. If that doessn't work the flint thingy needs to replaced call someone in to do it.

#5: Yes I learned Egyptian through tapes. I already knew a little bit but not enough that I could go out on my own. I got this CD that came with a book and learned enough to make Uncle Hassan proud and to travel all over Egypt solo.

# 8. In the fridge about a week

#10. Forever as long as it’s in an air tight container or a zip lock.

# 13. Check your local Sam’s Club, Costco, Odd Lot

#14. Bon Ami

#15. Invest in a Magic Bullet. It’s amazing. My mother makes everything from whipped cream to chocolate mousse in it and it’s restaurant quality.

#17. Yes I can. I prefer diet Coke tastes better.

#18. Could be they are working on something in your area, call the water dept. The fact that it’s upstairs sounds like it’s the water pressure has changed. Have you checked your water pump?

#19. Sounds stress related to me. I have troubled dreams whenever I am stressed out about something usually school.

que sera sera said...

15. You can whip it easily when it is chilled thoroughly. I keep the box of cream and the mixing bowl in the freezer for sometime and whip till soft peaks form.

Reza said...

Happy Anniversery to your parents :D. My parents recently hit 29 as well. Long live happily married couples. :D. All your questions have been answered awesomly.. nothing left to add by my mediocre knowledge :P. Stay safe :)

Subhana said...

Well the obvious is to go to the mountain of Corcovado and the beach of Copacabana. And the tropical forrest Tijuca...awesome place! But wátch out for them yucky animals :P.
And most importantly the tropical island Ilha Grande, its so amazingly beautiful.But the city itself has so much to see and visit, oh and the city is just amazing at night! The samba shows are a must to see!

Okay, and I can go on :(.

Baraka said...

:D Aw, you're so sweet Aisha!

I have a tea ball that we use for loose tea & it works just fine. We usually get Tazo or Republic of Tea but sometimes we'll use loose tea. Just make sure you store it properly so it doesn't lose its flavor!

And I mean to take you up on that offer next time I come to Atlanta, insha-Allah!


Raheel said...

1. Maybe because they are computer illiterates or they just want outlook to pop-up when you click them.

2. how can you imagine me in a white gown? I am so upset with this question.

3. call a stove repair person.

7. peanut sauce + cilantro + water + oil.. so simple!!

8. ek din se zayada basi is not good.

10. Calls mommiee for an answer :p She also doesn't know it. okay I am a liar, I didn't even asked her :p

11. Call the PETA and they will bash the author.. how evil of me, muahahahaa

12. I am studying accountancy which has a company law course.. will study it later.

13. Don't do ill-spendings!!

14. try some paprika :p

15. take the box to a pastry chef

17. Everything diet for me but no diet drinks phuleazzeee!!

18. Your house is haunted!!

19. Are you constipated?!

Aisha said...

Enyur thanks for the suggestions! I will try that tea and am debating sticking a toothpick in... *gulp*

Mia- you are so full of knowlege. Thanks for the info on the origins of the wedding dress, I'd alway sbeen curious. What was the series name that you learned your language?

Que Sera: thanks for the tip, mine always ends up like butter.

Reza, thanks!!

Subhana that all sounds so amazing!!! Thanks for the tip on the Samba shows I wil have to check one out.

Raheel, lol, you are just silly you know that ;-)

mystic-soul said...

Beta Aisha - I send you an email, please check.

Aisha said...

Mystic I have no messages from you?

mystic-soul said...

I send at

wayfarer said...

#7 - Whew, i saw 1001 and was like "man, i have a list of a hundred but no way 1001!

#11 Richard Scarry?

#13 I love those! I'd like some too.

#15 It's not hard at all...

#19 Hmmm. I've only had "strange" dreams twice in my life. One was when i quit smoking and were on those patches. The other was when i was pregnant.

I always love reading your posts. I know when i click on your link, i'm gonna read something awesome, interesting, funny, or insightful. I'm so glad i get to call you a friend.

Hasan the Not-So-Great said...

#11 brings back soooo many memories.

I remember when i was little there was this one book that I would get from the library over and over again cause i loved it soo much. I wish i could go back to my elementary school and buy it.

Aisha said...

Wayfarer I'll have to check out Richard Scarry. You are SO sweet with your kind words. Thanks.

Hasan just out of curiosity what book was it?

Mia said...

Glad to be of help! The series I learned from is called “Travel Talk” and came with a 2-way dictionary by Lonely Planet and it was easy on the budget I might add I got it at Barnes & Nobles for under $20.00 The publishers have a website:

Subhana said...

Hehe, nice to hear the "info" came in handy :D.

mayya said...

lol the only question I could've answered was the one about tea leaves! I've seen lipton yellow label being used in my home and so many around since I was born though if you like really strong and karak chai then people recommend Tapal

Bongi-Amma said...

About the dreams, yes it could be stress related. Also if you having been eating large meals before going to bed, or are modnight snacking then apparently that gives you vivid dreams. Something to do with your circulation all going to the gut apparently!!

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