We women have done exceedingly well in all fields but one question that we all struggled, struggling and probably will struggle for days to come to answer is ” Khaane mein kya hai?”. In fact the most feared and a complicated question for all ladies who cook for their family. I believe Greece’s economic woes might have an easy solution than our daily tryst with this seemingly easy and unimportant question. Such is the impact of this issue on our minds that one of the leading spice brand in India has portrayed this situation in their advertisement campaign where they have shown a wife constantly having illusions of her son, daughter and husband posing this dreadful question “what’s in menu today?”.
Not only the question is tricky but working out solution to this problem provide our brains with much-needed exercise – Everyday, which basically means we over use our brains. I don’t know if any statistical/ scientific studies have been carried out or no in order to determine the amount of calories burnt due to mental exercises. If yes then cooking as a daily chore would help in shedding a considerable number of calories. Its something to be happy about.
Coming back to the current problem, if ever we try to dodge the question by simply passing it to others ( especially the male counterparts) the most prominent answer we receive is “Kuch bhi bana do” ( Prepare “something”). Or if it happens to be your very good day the answer happens to be ” kuch achcha sa bana do” ( Prepare “something” good). Sorry guys we can’t prepare “kuch bhi/ something”. We need a clear answer for heaven’s sake.
Now after putting our brains at work we come up with a solution, the menu is ready. Now while proceeding towards accomplishment of our goal there are certain unwritten rules/ tricks of trade to be borne in mind. Here they are:
1. Clock is ticking: Table should be ready before house is brought down with “I am hungry, please hurry” screams. Be on your toes lady.
2. Repetition a big “NO”: Under no circumstance a dish can be repeated in less than 10- 15 days. Memorize things (menus in this case) well. Almonds can be of some help.
3. Be a net savvy: No we don’t have to secure/ compete for jobs in IT industry. It’s just to scoop out few drops of recipes from the vast ocean of the same on internet. It is to ensure that demands for varied dishes/ cuisines are met instantly.
4. Flexibility: It happens more often than not that we decide to cook something (not “something” that we discussed earlier) and the main ingredient is out of stock. In this scenario we should be flexible enough to draw and implement an altogether new plan keeping time restraints in mind.
5. Should appease every sense: Just as a nation’s budget plan should appease every strata of society our food should be pleasing to every sensory organ the smell; the visual appeal; the texture and taste. One organ is missing. I believe you have understood. I have no idea how to correspond to that one seriously.
After a long battle of thinking, trying, discovering, innovating when your hard work comes to the table… No sigh of relief, battle is not won yet. When you least expect any remark here comes a little whisper ” I think potatoes are a bit raw”, ” I think it’s a bit more spicy”, ” a bit more salt would have been fine” and the list of ” bits” go on. OK fine we are mature enough to take that “bit” criticism with a smile and improvise or improve next time. But what leaves us fuming is comparison. Yes I mean it and I am sure many ladies out there would agree to it. What exactly this comparison goes like? ” Mrs.X is a great cook, why don’t you take some tips from her”, ” it’s no comparision to what my mother prepares” and so on. The first reaction that comes naturally on such occasions is ” Please ask her to prepare and pack extra tiffin for you daily and I will see how long you will be entertained”.
To sum up whosoever views cooking as”just cooking” this is a reality check. It’s not just but its “COOKING”. It’s definitely a big deal and a bigger weapon at times of clash. Have some compassion for all those lovely ladies who cook for you or else be ready to shell out those extra bucks for restaurant.
Dedicated to all those who have to think, plan and cook.