Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kitchen Disasters and Me: Complaints of an Unskilled Chef

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Call me a nupson if you will, but I deserve to speak my mind when wielding the skillet is considered. In fact, fidimplicitary no more on the cooking issue, I hereby declare my opinion: cooking is paucipilicate vanity! People who do that are conjurers of a different kind, they are alchemists; and I am sorry to say that I have finally come to terms with that fact that I share not a shred of DNA with that magical clan. Of course, I am not saying that I can’t cook, that would be erroneous since overtime I have cooked some amazing meals albeit with the help of online cooking blogs and cookery books. But when working in the kitchen on my own without the feathery touch of a helping hand on my shoulder, I tend to unleash one blunder after another. The common blunder of late has been me burning myself. I have deep-rooted evidence to prove that cooking has always been a disastrous exercise for me, especially when I am zealous about some dish.

I feel ashamed, even peeved to inscribe this ghastly words. But I guess we are all different in our own way, and the universe and our families must excuse us for our short comings, be the cause of such shortcomings inherent or rooted in one’s own self-induced habit of indolence or impatience.  Anyhow, when only last week I was in the cooking lab cupping pieces of marinated fish in my gowpen and getting the oil ready to fry the damn things, my intentions were anything but noble. It was an exceedingly hot day and I was sweating like a member of the suilline family; yet beaming within me was the good intention of cooking a good homely meal for the male half of the sketch.

And then disaster struck. I don’t know what went wrong with the fish, a total mood alteration, I guess, for when I dropped a couple of my meaty friends in the hot oil there was an intense spattering and I, being me, instead of walking away from the danger zone decided to inspect the container. The result: Three new burn-spots added my gallery of blemishes. If here had been a museum of kitchen accidents, I am sure I would have had a chance to shine, for not only do I own a gallery of burn-spots, I also have under my belt knife-cuts, scrapes, home-remedies-gone awfully-wild and many more. I doubt if there is another Vicenarian in the whole of Delhi NCR area who could boast of such achievements.

As my husband lathered my forearm with analgesic that afternoon, I experienced a moment of epiphany. Well, it was not exactly an epiphany-inducing moment, still, after crying a bit over the burns and complaining about how much it hurt, composure dawned on me, and in a silent soliloquy I told myself, “Honey, if you want to survive, stay away from the kitchen.” I declared my intentions to my husband whining all the time how I will be going back to school very soon and would have no time to cook or clean. He, obviously, had no problems. But I wanted to complain some more feeling, as you could guess, pretty—what’s the word— ah, yes—quisquilious, meaning worthless or trashy, thanks to the recent disaster in the kitchen.

I was totally under the weather at the time blaming myself for not being outstanding in the kitchen, in a good way, I mean, and not bothering to remedy the defect. I guess I really don’t care anymore. In some way it is good for me to shed off the pretensions of the multitude and know what exactly I am good at and what not; makes life uncomplicated, if you know what I mean. After careful consideration I took the most important decision of my life: cook as less as you can, and cook only when you have tooJ

My mother, however, took it really hard, as I had guessed. She thought my decision to cook once in a while and eat for the whole week “things” cooked hastily on one Sunday afternoon is totally irrational. She still loves to dwell in the old patriarchal era where Indian women cooked for the whole family wholesome meals consisting of not less than thirty dishes and refuses to acknowledge my Nuevo rebellious anti-patriarchal, boo-manhood mental get-up. It’s always difficult to convince mothers, but I don’t mind. I know someday she will understand that her vision of India is blindfolded.

Anyway, here I am on a sticky Wednesday afternoon typing my blog on my heated computer and wondering what on earth I can have for lunch. The options: bread and bread. I haven’t cooked anything substantial since last weekend and have been blissfully eating out. But now as I remember the warm afternoon meals people serve at home I could sense a Niagra in my mouth. Wonder why life gives us so many options and then leaves us dumbfounded. I should call some eatery and order in, or….I could just step into the kitchen and fix a warm meal….!! Sounds delicious, but never mind. Let’s order in.

And while I chew the fat with myself and whine some more you could listen to this new piece of recording I did this morning. Wondering if I am sounding hungry!!

P.S.: I am a wordsmith, I love collecting strange words. For those of you interested in knowing the meanings of the strange new words I have used in my blog, here they are:  nupson— an idiot; paucipilicate— totally, utterly; gowpen—hands held to form a bowl, cupping.