A very old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach“. I had heard this from the most experienced person in my family – my granny – more than a thousand times in the period between my engagement and marriage.
I am among one of those who entered kitchen before marriage only to peep in and see what mom is been cooking. And my favorite work in the kitchen – alter the dishes if they are not in my favorites list. 😉 For me, cooking was like a rocket science. I had convinced myself with a belief that if I cook, then there won’t be any delight to taste it and rate my own self. Conveniently I used to make my mom work for me. 😎
The advantage of mom being a home-maker is that I can demand anything anytime, without any obligation to help her. And have to say this, my mom loves cooking for me. So the list and the love for it never ends. 🙂
But as it’s said – golden days are not forever. As the days passed and Feb 2009 (when I got married) came closer, I started getting nightmares about my cooking defeats. I felt like “Be ready, the battle field is on”. I used to imagine scenarios where my new family is expecting delicious dishes from me and I not keeping up to their expectations; guests coming to home to taste the specials cooked by the new bride and me hiding my face to avoid any embarrassments.
These thoughts made me force myself enter into a place “kitchen” which refreshed my exam center memories. Every dish had to be practiced till perfection and it was as scary as my final practical exams. 😦
I used to get mixed reactions at home after my cooking. My mom was never 100% happy with whatever I prepare, and was always concerned on what all my “would-be-in-laws” think about her – not teaching basics to her daughter.
On the contrary – my dad used to make me feel as the best chef in the world like all the Dads do. I wonder how he digested those dishes – sometimes half-cooked – sometimes over-cooked – and still give me a happy smile and appreciation.
Specially the rotis that I had made in those days, they always proved my Strong Geography Knowledge, as it covered most of the country maps including undiscovered Islands 😉
Soon the experimental phase of my life turned to “prove myself” phase. My husband had always reminded me in our talks before marriage on how much he misses home-made food being far from his hometown and how much he hates outside food that he is eating since almost 10 years.
Added to the previous nightmares was the cultural difference which was reflecting in food too. Me being a typical Maharashtrian girl had no clue of all the South Indian dishes my new home preferred. I had always seen idli and dosa as “special menu” and not like an everyday breakfast. And some tongue twisters too – “BisibeLebhat” was difficult to pronounce even, forget cooking it. 😛
It took me time to learn the new recipes Kannadigas fall for, mostly the sweet dishes. I think South Indians can cook sweet dishes from almost anything to everything 😯 By now, I have myself cooked sweets made from most of the pulses, banana roots, cereals and what not. From roots to shoots they make a sweet recipe out of it.
Time changed and the battle field slowly started to be friendly. I started enjoying cooking. I dreamt about complaints on my cooking, but when they turned to compliments, I loved those Stirrers, Spoons and Pans which got me here.
After 3 years of experience now, I can see I have improvised a lot on my cooking skills. I see happy faces of guests who come home for a dinner meet. I see a satisfied smile on my husband’s face when he has his meals. I see his proud face when I send specials for his office colleagues and they finish it in minutes with appreciations.
No matter how much modern, sovereign and independent a woman becomes, the first and utmost important role she has to play is still home-making and cooking is its fundamental arm.
No doubt my granny was right – “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
Now let me pose for a photograph 😉 Ohh wait, let me take my Stirrers, Spoons and Pans .. 😆
Lots more to come in life including new recipes… 🙂