COOKING A LA NU

After having fixed her breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries with a cup of green tea, Kayla walked up to the kitchen to prep for that evening’s dinner. Fried Rice was on the menu and Dragon Chicken.

She stepped into the kitchen and decided to cook a little differently today – Maybe she would cook naked! Wouldn’t that be unhygienic? She just decided she would take a bath. Stripped off her clothes Kayla began gathering the ingredients in her birthday suit. Soy sauce – check, Chilly sauce – check, rice,chicken….

As the wok heated up she felt a sharp sting on the side of her right thigh and the skin close to her perfectly round belly button – the oil in the wok had just reacted angrily to the tiny drops of water that had accidentally dripped into it…Yikes! bad decision perhaps?This small ‘mishap’ didn’t deter her from her decision to cook the entire meal the way she was. Soon, she felt her skin soak up the oriental flavors of the sweet and the chilly, the fresh bite of the spicy ginger dissolving the pungency of the garlic…

Suddenly she realized she just couldn’t go through with this charade…KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Monday Rambles – There are Two(?) types of cooks.

Hello! Howdy, how is everyone this Monday morning? It’s very bright and sunny Monday morning and in a couple of weeks it will soon be fall – our first in Salt Lake City. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I came to the U.S during a fall two years back and fall in the south was simply lovely with the golds and reds on the trees and mornings that are not too cold nor too hot just like I like my morning cup of tea! Which brings me to the topic of today’s Monday morning rambles.

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image courtesy: cachedesktopnexus.com

For the purpose of this post I did a random Google search for types of cooks and could come up with nothing except that there were roughly three main levels of Chefs (Line, Sous, Executive). Now those are gifted individuals – professionals who for a living conjure up heavenly delicacies in world class kitchens and present them to you on a plate like it were a work of art.

But I wanted to write about our everyday cooks – our mothers (or in some cases fathers) or grandmothers whose food to this day evoke feelings of nostalgia and make your taste buds yearn for those delicious home cooked meals, Those under appreciated and unsung ‘master chefs’ whose hours of toiling in the kitchen have shaped our epicurean tastes.

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image courtesy: dailypainters.com

From deep, intense observation over the years ( *wink*) I understand these are the classification of cooks

1. Intuitive Cooks – The artists of the cooking world who are able to use ingredients like colours on a palette and intuitively create culinary masterpieces. Their faculties of intuition  are so strongly developed from years of cooking experience they have now evolved to the status of Wizards of the Kitchen.

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image courtesy: http://www.buzzplay.com

2. Meticulous Cooks – The scientists and engineers of the cooking world for whom cooking is a science. Recipe books are guides and Gordon Ramsay their Archimedes. All ingredients are measured to the tiniest ounce and milligram and workstations  counter tops set in proper order even before they start their cooking experiment

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image courtesy:www.slate.com

Then there is the third category of cooks, the category that I fall under – The Lazy Cook. Not that I hold that up as a badge of any sort. My laziness is definitely not something I’m proud of..but let’s just say as much as I’d love to be a Martha Stewart or Julia Child I like to spend my time in a place other than the kitchen.

So how I go about my daily cooking is by throwing together ingredients in a haphazard fashion assuming that they will magically blend together and create the perfect curry. However, the ‘magic’ doesn’t always happen and ‘the proof of the pudding’ is normally the husbands reaction.

Which brings us, ladies and gentlemen to the indisputable fact that ‘the way to a man’s heart’ is truly through is stomach – a route I reluctantly traverse.So if this were an experiment to prove the authenticity of the proverb, my kitchen was the lab, my husband the test subject – on days that by stroke of luck my food tastes great the husband is as sweet and angelic as a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in a cradle but on those other days he totally flips and ages considerably into the grumpiest grandpa alive! The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ? Nope, just a scene from dinner at the house…Hence we arrive at the end of the experiment and can safely deduce- (the picture  below is self explanatory)

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image courtesy: blog.borderlinx.com

My guests are more fortunate though, when it comes to inviting friends home, I turn into the category 2 cook yes, the Meticulous type with recipe books and notes from mum and mum -in- law all stacked side by side. So maybe I am just not trying on a daily basis and maybe I am taking the husband for granted every now and then.

So what type of cook are you? I hope you all have a great week!

Monday rambles – simple delights

Its Monday again and I’m sticking to my thing of not complicating the day and posting my rambles to warm up for the week ahead..

Last weekend was busy with the fireworks of the 4th of July and entertaining friends at home. It was a nice weekend of small and simple delights. Ive been here in the US for two years now. Last year we were in North Carolina and we missed seeing the 4th of July fireworks. I dont remember why exactly…had something to do with the baby and her sleep time I think, as the fireworks happen real late in the night.

This year we are in Utah and I decided not to miss it eventhough the husband did share ‘fun’ facts on how ‘Fireworks impact the environment’, but eventually even he decided not to be a killjoy..

So we drove to this place we thought was the nearest point where the fireworks would be only to realise that all along the way at various points people were lighting fire crackers..so it felt like we were in one of those cars on the set of some old movie from the 60s driving away while fireworks happened at the backdrop.

It was already ten when we got to Thanksgiving point and the sun had set. Many people had already parked their cars on the side of the road, spread out their blankets/sheets and planted themselves on the grass with coolers of beer by their side. There were kids playing with fluorescent rings that glowed in bright neon and fluorescent green in their hands and on their necks. They were all there – the young and the old – to celebrate the freedom that the founding fathers had so painstakingly fought for and won..and as the fireworks whooshed into the sky and exploded boom! to form magnificent flower like patterns must say I felt thankful just for being alive!

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Saturday was fun and busy. Entertaining friends and family is something I love to do, though I dont get to do it as often as Id like.Preparation started two days in advance – chopping and marinating meat dishes in particular so that all the spices and the aromas are perfect when they are cooked and served. In India we say ‘Athithi Devo Bhava which translates to ‘The Guest is God’ so I took it upon myself to ensure that my guests had as close to ‘heavenly’ an experience as I could offer and was extra careful not to burn anything (as you see Im still an amateur when it comes to cooking and on a normal day I tend to burn even water).

On the whole it was a great evening..the food was tasty, we had some good laughs and wonderful conversations.

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Thats the happy chef  and a picture of the quiche and  biriyani which is a fragrant Indian rice dish (made with basmati rice and spices and chicken) made by yours truly.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!