This post is not about saving traditional outfits (In my college, guys were not allowed to wear jeans and t-shirts… I was never able to understand why!). This is about saving a much more important tradition which is always neglected by the right left and centre parties – Food.
“There are some people who eat for living. But there are many more (like me) who live for eating (good food)” – The quotation is mine, no prizes for guessing that! 🙂
If you ask your grand mother, she would say “My mother used to cook so much more variety and they were much tastier”. If you ask your mother, she would also say the same thing. So, the rich cooking tradition that we have developed and the variety of dishes that we skillfully mastered have been reducing with every generation. With the nuclear families of today and mother and father both working – we are at the brink of a great disaster. Realistically, 2012 might be the end of all cooking in homes! Since the women are so busy these days, it is the men who ought to be spearheading this revolution to save the most important tradition – cooking.
After my initial path breaking finding and confession before a year, one thing was sure to me – this was not going to be easy! One thing you don’t want to try when you are so new to cooking is to read a cooking blog and trying to cook based on the theoretical input you gain from there. No, you can’t even take the first step that way. Generally, we have sufficiently insufficient vocabulary of the cooking items. So, reading a cooking blog might be like reading an Arundhati Roy’s book – you just can’t understand any word other than is,what,was,where,why and a few more adjectives and verbs. If you are lucky, some nouns 🙂 So, if you go to a shop for buying some cooking items (after making notes from the cooking blog), the following conversation would ensue:
Do you have mustard seeds?
Well, coriander leaves irrukka?
Everybody around you laughs, but no one translates it to the local language! Considering you have a lot of such foreign words in a bit paper, you concede defeat in your mind but say something like “shopkeepers don’t even know English in this place” and run out!
Then you blame destiny, and spend some more time hoping that some other door would open – after all, a revolution doesn’t die because of language barriers. If you are lucky (like me), the house owner’s son might know to cook a bit. He at least tells you what mustard seeds are, which oil to buy and if you are even more luckier, he brings all of it from his house and actually shows you how to sprout the mustard seeds in oil – That is the most important hurdle to cross. Once you have done that, atleast you become mentally prepared for everything to follow! Then he shows how to cook rice in a pressure cooker, and you use all kinds of podi’s and pickles and curd packets to eat with it, for a couple of months. Then you become bored.
At this point of time, you need to use the expert technique used by the British – Divide and Conquer.
“Grandma, you know what mother said about your cooking”
“What did she say?”
“She said that there was no better cook then her”
“But that’s not about my cooking”
“How can she say directly? What does she mean by that, think no…”
“I have been cooking since she was a small kid, and she says my cooking is no better than hers?”
“I asked her to teach how to cook tomato rice”
“And she didn’t?”
“Come – I will teach you”
“Ha, Ok… ” 🙂
If you go to any family function, and want to make the women in the family get tensed, just write a blog post like this and say that you have written a post on cooking and are following a few cooking blogs (at least know one url) – and then see their reaction 😛
Ok, now the call for action – Let us (men) take up the challenge of learning to cook a huge variety of dishes and hence save the rich tradition of cooking, that is being neglected by the younger generation nowadays. Let us take on the women in their home front – the kitchen and prove that we can be good cooks too. After all, most of the five star hotel chefs are men! I have already taken my small step – Tomato rice made by me 😀