Monday, May 28, 2018

Sari Shopping on Sunday

I had a relaxed Sunday morning, sleeping in, checking my emails, responding to blog comments, reading and commenting on other blogs, etc.  I tidied one of the kitchen counters, did a bit of knitting, and chatted with neighbor T who called for our weekly, Sunday morning chat.   

Later, daughter and I went to an area known as Little India.  The drive took a little over one hour because the freeways were crowded.  We decided to have lunch first.  We had something called masala dosa:

Daughter's Lunch: Masala dosa, sambar, chutneys and faluda

It is a sort of a huge pancake, made with a fermented rice flour batter, and filled with a spicy potato mixture, served with sambar (lentils cooked with a mixture of vegetables), and chutneys.  Daughter also had a faluda (a type of drink made with milk, rose syrup, vermicelli, a type of seeds we call kasa kasa  - also known as sweet basil seeds or tukmaria) with her lunch.

The restaurant we went to also sells snacks and sweets, as well.

Snacks: various kinds of murukku (a fried snack), roasted cashews, etc.
Sweets: Jalebi, Barfi, Ladoo, etc.
More Sweets: Gulab Jamun, Boondi, etc.

It was hard to choose which sweet or snack to buy!  I enjoy most of them!  But, finally, I bought half a pound of jalebi to bring home!

After lunch, we went shopping for saris.  I was not satisfied with the saris I already have for daughter and I to wear to the two upcoming weddings, this summer.  Most of my saris are old, some are starting to tear, and I am just plain ready for a new sari.  Before I left the house, I had called one of my friends and asked her if she recommended any particular sari shop (she recently bought her daughter's wedding sari and saris for the eight bridesmaids) and she gave the name of a shop and said to tell them "my cousin R" sent me there!  LOL!  So, that's what we did!  We went and said Cousin R recommended the place and the saleslady said to look around and find what we liked and she'll give a good price.  Their cheapest saris were $99 and were arranged in rows on a long table.  There were one or two saris among them that we liked, but the ones we really liked were on another table that had a sign saying, $199.

Daughter picked a light blue sari with sprays of pink and silver beaded flowers and I picked a brighter blue sari with gold beading (a heavier beading pattern than the other sari).  They were both $199 each, but the lady was willing to bargain.  I offered her $300 for both saris and she agreed and then, further discounted the price to $280, so that, with tax, the total cost came to $306.

Daughter's sari came with a pre-sewn matching blouse (it costs $50 to buy a separate blouse, not just at this shop, but at all the shops I went to, earlier, with my cousin and her daughter).  At each shop, too, one could get the blouses altered to fit for a fee of $10-15, as each shop had a seamstress on the premises to do the alterations.  The blouse that came with the sari fitted daughter on the top - sleeves, bust, etc., but was big around the waist.  It would have cost $10 to get it altered at the store, but they waived the fee for me and altered it free of charge.

My sari didn't come with a blouse to match, but the saleslady gave me a blouse, anyway (a similar blue, but with a different pattern of fabric than the sari).  I will have to alter it a little bit (a bit tight on me), or sew myself a new blouse, which is what I will probably do. 

I also bought  a hair ornament for daughter for $20.  It comes down the center of the top of the head (along a middle parting) to hang down on the forehead.

Then, we came home and had a late tea.  I was tired by the time I came home and had to rest!  Daughter was surprised to see how tired I had become.  Shopping just tires me out, I guess!  We still need to do a little more shopping, tomorrow, as daughter needs to buy a new pair of shoes to wear with the sari.  I, too, could do with a new pair of shoes.  So, we will go to the Mall, shop around a bit, and then, go out for lunch.  Later in the evening, we will go to a friend's house and I'll visit with her and her mother (who is visiting from Sri Lanka), while our daughters go to see a movie.
My sister had called while we were out, so I called her back and we chatted for a bit.  Then, I called friend R to check on her.  And Aunt C called and we chatted for a bit.

Later, after I had rested, I cooked some sliced chicken breasts with onions and bell pepper strips and made waffles for dinner.  Afterwards, I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen counters; daughter put away the leftovers for me. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A safe drive to the shops and back
- A successful shopping trip
- Daughter's outfit is ready and I don't have to sew her a new blouse or alter her blouse
- New saris!
- Phone calls with family and friends

How was your Sunday?  What are some of your favorite sweets?


  1. Very interesting! All those large quantities of food and all new to me! Andrea

    1. They served only vegetarian food at this particular restaurant; they had a lot from which to choose, but, on this occasion, both daughter and I opted for the masala dosa. Maybe, if you ever go to an Indian restaurant, and they offer masala dosa on the menu, you might like to try it. :)

  2. That's what low iron does to you, makes you tired. Soon, that will be better, hopefully. Looking forward to seeing pictures of you and your daughter in your new saris. They sound beautiful.

    1. Apparently so, Live and Learn. Even I was surprised at how tired I felt. Will definitely take pictures of us in our new saris. :)

  3. The saris sound lovely. I'd love to see pictures of them. I'm always fascinated by the beautiful fabrics that some of the local Asian ladies wear but we have no shops locally that offer them so I suppose they must travel to Birmingham to buy them. I love the pictures of these unusual foods (though I don't suppose they are unusual to you)!
    Our Sunday was spent at the wedding of a friend's daughter. We had a really nice day and some wonderful food. My favourite sweets are wine gums (no wine therein!) but mostly my sweet tooth craves chocolate.

    1. Eloise, I will take some pictures and post them. There are several online sites that sell saris, too, so that's another option.

      I grew up eating Indian food along with Sri Lankan food, so yes, I am familiar with these foods. Which is why I started eating mine before I thought of taking a picture! Suddenly I realized that some of my blog friends might like to see what I am writing about and then, took some pictures!

      Glad you had a nice day at the wedding. Did you wear your new blue dress?

      Oh, yes, chocolate! The sweet with universal appeal, I think!

  4. Mmm masala dosa looks delicious.
    Have a wonderful time with your daughter.

    1. It was well made, Nil. I was tempted to order some to go, but didn't.

      Thanks; we are enjoying being together. :)

  5. Your Sunday sounded relaxed and lots of fun. You are certainly enjoying your time with your daughter. My Sunday started early and ended late, but it was also a wonderful time. I presented my friends the Memory book I put together this week with the photos I used in decorating for his 80th birthday last year. Now all the work in preparing for that event is documented in a book for him to peruse any time he wishes.

    1. You are right, Susan; I've enjoyed having daughter home for the long weekend. I'm glad you had a good Sunday. I am sure the memory book you made will be treasured by your friend. :)

  6. Yesterday you mentioned that my husband might secretly be pleased about the bird nest. Yes, he is indeed quite happy about it and would be very sorry if the bird gave up on it!

    The Indian food looks wonderful, and I remember having Jalebi in a restaurant years and years ago. I loved reading about your sari shopping and I am glad it worked out well for both of you.

    1. The sari shopping was a lot of fun! This was the first sari that was bought specifically for daughter. Prior to this, the saris she wore for her 16th birthday and her graduations are saris that I already had (although one had not been worn before that). But, this was the first time she went shopping for a sari and was able to pick out one of her choice. That makes it special to her. Since I was buying it for her, she asked me what the price range should be and I told her. We both find that helpful. If I had told her to find something for $100, she wouldn't have even looked at the table with the $199 saris.

  7. Thanks for the photos. Are the colorful desserts likewise vegetable based? So wish you'd taken photo of table of saris at shop. We never have reason to shop in a sari shop. I was trying to imagine how difficult it must be to choose one. As I read your description, I was asking myself if you'd choose something in lavender tone. Perhaps you'll allow us a photo the day of the wedding.

    1. Hon, some of the desserts might have milk and milk by-products such as cheese and ghee, so not suitable if one is vegan; but the restaurant is not a vegan restaurant.

      Sorry, I didn't think of taking a picture in the sari shop! Imagine several long tables, like extended dining tables, each with about 4 rows of saris, folded into squares, running down the length of the table. Perhaps 25-30 saris per row. Most of them in plastic bags, but some not bagged. All one really sees of each sari is about 2 inches - you see a color you like, you pull the package out, unfold the sari either partially or fully, see the design, feel the fabric, and either put it back (you are not required to re-fold it, the saleslady will do it, but I felt bad and tried to re-fold the majority of them) or set aside for further consideration.

      In the meantime, there are additional shelves of saris (the more expensive ones) behind the counter, piled one on top of the other, more hung from hangers in racks, and displayed, either draped on manikins, spread out on counters! We didn't even look at them, as they were beyond our price range. Many of them would be bridal saris. Maybe, one day, I will shop from those, but not yet. :)

      There was, actually, a lovely purple sari that my daughter showed me - my favorite color, with gold beading in the design of a leaf. But, the fabric was such that it was stiff - more like taffeta. I was afraid it wouldn't drape well and I am still too wide around to wear a sari that will not drape softly.


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