I was like you, Guys. I was just like you…. For a quarter of a century I never went into the kitchen except for rare occasions to make the Instant Noodles. But we are a victim when it comes to the most important activity – Cooking. And we have been deliberately kept away from it!
Cooking, like any other art, is not so easy especially if you start late. You tend to make some mistakes. And learn it the hard way! When I decided to start cooking lemon rice, I asked my mother to help and she made three things – Rice cooked in pressure cooker, Lemon juice in a cup, the mustard/ gram etc cooked in oil. All she asked me to do was to mix these three things and eat! (Since I was new to cooking). Being the lazy guy that I ever am, I postponed this simple task for two weeks. After two weeks, when I opened the container containing rice, I got a huge shock! It smelled so awful and it was so much de-composed, that I had to throw away the container along with the spoilt rice!! When I did start to cook some simple dishes, I just left the vessels unwashed for a week. (While cooking itself is a task, you need to wash the vessels too!) Because of that negligence, it became harder to wash the vessels!
Rule No.1: While cooking, don’t postpone any activity related to it.
Then I did learn to make rice (in a pressure cooker cum frying pan). So, one day I thought I will make the lemon rice myself. So, I invented a new procedure – without planning anything, I started to heat the oil in the pan. Then I put mustard, the grams and the groundnuts into the pan and started frying it along with the oil. They seemed to become black instantly (Which I learnt was because I had kept the flame in full) and in order to protect them, I put the turmeric powder, salt, Kothamalli, rice(!!) – and almost everything in my sight into the pan! Then I remembered, I was doing lemon rice and hence I searched for the lime, cut it, and directly put the juice (along with the seeds) into the pan!! Then, I started re-cooking the rice in the pan along with all the other things that I just put in. This is called the chaos theory in kitchen – butterfly effect! How hopelessly related incidents lead to the biggest incident – of having to eat what you just cooked!!
Rule No.2: Plan what you are going to do. There has to be a sequence!
By now, any pro-active person would have rushed to the nearby restaurant to grab what is left before they close for the day. But I decided to cool what I have just cooked under a fan (as if cooling would make the taste better!) and then started eating it after fifteen minutes. The fifteen minutes (which I spent listening to songs) where the most crucial, which I didn’t realize at that time, because – the nearby restaurant close by that time! But alas, since we advocate learning by the hardest way to sink the lesson into our minds, we have to eat our own pills!
Rule No.3: Have a back up. Have instant noodles packets ready, but since everything that could go wrong, could actually go wrong – like the gas running out or the noodles over cooked, have bread/butter/jam or something like that, ready. Now, it is also very important that you finish cooking BEFORE the neighborhood restaurant closes!!
Coming back to the title of this post – you thought, we could remain experts in eating alone, and the sarcastic remarks made by women (Like ‘My son never even enters the kitchen, he never helps’) are to force us to cook? Nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, we have been kept away from kitchen while they (Look at the no. of comments in this blog post where the author has invited recipes on some theme and it is almost all women – each having a cooking blog!) improve their skills by collaborating and keeping us out! Even in the parliament, if not 33%, there is some considerable no. of women MP’s!! (Still worse, you thought there were no cooking blogs on the net?).
So, “Arise, Awake and stop not ill the goal is reached” And to remind you, eating is not the goal – It is a consequence of cooking, which is the ultimate goal. So, you guys start planning something about this, while I am off to eat the Gulab Jamun made by my mom! J
PS: This was supposed to be humorous post. Alas, we men find humor even in such ironies of life!