Cooking – something that all of us either hate or love with a passion…or at least when it turns into food.
Once upon a time, I had grandoise plans of learning to cook, practiced when parents were travelling – which was rare, given the fact that they were introverts and happy at home only; joined the hospitality industry, where also the language conspired – good speakers were out in the front & not in the kitchen – then the usual gujju family, that whilst progressive would not like their offspring to work in hotels (add to that, he was the black sheep who did not follow the trodden path) put paid to that.
Marriage, travel for work pushed it even farther away; always found excuses till we had a daughter and shifted cities. During this period, there were glimpses of brilliance, if I may say so to myself – cooking for friends in Dhaka, Kolkata – mashing it up and they never realising it till finally got back to basics – every saturday/sunday morning – that was our me time, whilst the mother slept. Soon the daughter grew, learnt what was available outside, school was morning, so weekends were for sleeping late.
Parents shifted to stay with us, work pressure, travel 3 women at home plus the maid, it was sacrilege to cook or enter the kitchen – yeah sure, water, tea was fine. In the meantime, during my travels practiced a bit, here and there when there was an opportunity. Attended and learnt some bartending when Basu first launched.
Two years ago, with emotional blackmail, I was forced to do up the kitchen, but the control as always rested with the Mater and I hate asking for every thing in a room/kitchen and hence the impasse continued.
During this period, a dear friend who is a chef and ran restaurants in Greece, gifted me a beautiful knife set, wife brought some lovely crockery and great appliances; sister & brother in law carted some good stuff from the US, Godrej Natures basket, Foodhall and others opened to cater to the ‘new, widely travelled, willing to experiment Indian’
And so I began again with the basics – bread, sauces, condiments, eggs – slowly occupying some space on a shelf reluctantly given by the Mater; planning to buy seperate kitchen stuff that is relevant to me – wok etc. Tried a couple of different egg dishes; pizzas; salads – surprisingly turned out to be edible and so the journey has commenced, but as they say पिक्चर अभी बाकी है, मेरे दोस्त