Food – the basic need of any living being. For some it becomes a passion, for a select few it becomes an obsession.
I was always passionate about two things – the written word and food. Slowly both are turning into obsessions…
Even though I have been blogging at http://ruminateatleisure.wordpress.com/ for quite some time, posts about food have been surprisingly rare. I am an ardent lurker in many of the exotic food blogs that are spread across the virtual world. Neither family, nor friends had ever associated me with food except for the eating part, I was quite famous for that. My other half was pleasantly shocked that I could churn out a decent meal, he had expected charred or half boiled tasteless stuff at least in the initial days after the marriage. The interest must have been hibernating somewhere deep inside my genes over the years and off late has started showing its face out.
The very thought about good food takes me back years through memory. The picture that comes to mind is a long dining table that could easily seat twelve to fourteen people at a time, literally covered with all kinds of dishes, my awe inspiring grandfather at the head, the guest of honor at his right, sundry others spread across the remaining chairs and my graceful grandmother serving everyone busily. We kids used to grade the guests by the center piece. The grades started with the normal fish and meat curries, it would start going up with the type of fish that was served, bread and karimeen moilee or molly as used to call it (pearl spot in thick coconut gravy) would mean you had almost reached the top. The most exotic one was saved for the creme de la creme of them – a brown succulent duck stuffed with spicy fillings and roasted whole in an oven. The mere thought of it makes me drool even now.
The trainings were forced. The summer holidays were almost always spent with the grandparents. A stickler for perfection, my grandmother would make us try dosas after dosas till we got the shape into a perfect circle, until the egg whites were beaten high and stiff and till the dough was soft and sprang back energetically to the gentlest of touches. Years after those once dreaded sessions, now I realize that was what formed the base for a passion that I thought was new found.
My experiments started with a few house parties for friends. Even before that, guests used to comment that the food was tasty, but the standards set by mother and grandmothers were very high. Appam and stew, masala dosas, fish curry – those were mundane stuff for them. Somehow, the compliments were considered words of courtesy rather than real appreciation. Slowly simple variations in the ingredients started giving interesting outcomes – some good , few not so good and yet others, total disasters. The baking bug hit less than a year back. I’d rather not even mention the first few attempts. The batter started responding slowly and the stuff that the oven churned out started disappearing in a few minutes. A family that is blunt with their opinions has some advantages. The very first morsel tells me whether it is a hit or a miss.
After a few months, I am slowly gathering the courage to put it all up on a blog. The feeling that this is ordinary stuff still lurks, but I have decided to take the plunge.
So, here is my first post on a blog that I dream would be the precursor to a dream coming true – that of my two passions turned into obsessions finally becoming my living itself.
And what better way to start than dedicating it to food that haunts my soul…..:-)