A month of servant-less existence has finally made me sit up and take notice on where my life is headed!!! Of all things, yes it is true. Why, I was a destitute this last one month, a veritable orphan without my cook-and-housework person. For the first time in my life I was waking up sharp at 7 every morning with or without alarm, for day after day. Not for me the luxury of getting another 40 winks, for if I overslept, my office work would not get done and I would be spending all morning boiling dal and frying fish. Not to speak of breakfast.
I would roam about the rooms in the morning with the look of a lost kitten on my face, wondering where to start. Shall I dust the shelves now, or after I make the tea. When do I fry and keep the egg for my daughter. Almost forgot to take the fish out of the freezer, bloody things need hours to thaw, and then to marinade them... and the horror of frying fish. I could not do it to save my life, the fish ends up half its size, with the rest stuck all over the wok.
Ill be proud to proclaim, I did not pull my family of three to dinner every night, only some. I cooked and I cleaned, and I dusted and I washed. And I fed my daughter religiously 4 times a day. And believe you me, feeding my daughter is not the work of the faint hearted. I must declare that my heart is much the worse for wear now, after 1 whole year of single handedly feeding her at least 3 times, if not 4. Oh well, she wont feed herself and I cant wait for the day that she finally gets so independent that she wont let me feed her any more. Or when she does not want to stay home for dinner, or hell... when she wants to leave and set off on her own in the world. With all my blessings, dear one, with all my weary boned droopy eyed blessings.
Here is where a confession is due. I was a kitchen virgin till 24, when I was rudely yanked from the comfort of home food or the convenience of hostel food, and after my then-boyfriend-now-husband ran out of money to feed me in expensive Bangalore. Therefore at that impressionable vulnerable age I was forced to peek into the confines of that room in the house which had always been farthest from my repartee till that time. Alladin sang in my ear - "A whole new world", and with the most fallen of faces, I gingerly took an egg plant in one hand and the knife in the other, and proceeded to make baingan bharta much like Juhi Chawla did in QSQT... only much worse.
How times have changed.
Back to present. So, when I was finally left home- um, cook-less, I finally had to take it on to my own two hands to feed my little devil of a daughter and very patient-in-food-habits husband. And would you believe it, I make the best chicken I have ever tasted, save one. (That one is of course another story.) But thanks to a dear dear friend, who introduced me to the fearless world of cooking chicken, and newer ways of doing it, I am now the mistress of all things chicken. Oh not quite, I have tried three recipes, variations of them, but Im glad to say, everyone liked it. My husband went as far as to say that its the best chicken he had ever tasted, even better than restaurants. And no benifit of doubt, darlings, for he says that every time I try that particular recipe.
Its my ssssssecret recipe of course, only that its not so secret, being taught me by my friend as I was talking about, and so I shall tell you my secret ingredient. English Mustard, the kind you get in a bottle in any self respecting grocery shop. Instead of curd, if you marinade the chicken in some mustard oil and this mustard paste, and then add some mustard seeds crackling in your mustard cooking oil before putting the rest in, its a true blue chicken variation of SHORSHE ILISH!!!
Who would ever... ever... ever imagine, that one day I would be writing about cooking in my blog. But hey, it truly is a whole new world. Its even, wonder of wonders, therapeutic. I tended to be my most calm in a year during this time. It was single handedly the cure for my onsetting depression due to my condition which can be summed up as follows "My jobs a joke, Im broke, My love life's.. what love life, Ive been with one man for 10 years, married for 5"
Coming up next- Chinese Chicken. And Chicken Stew, Payal Mukherjee style, you have not tasted stew so good! Crossmyheart.