The offspring has taken to cooking in a big way. I cannot explain it. I have been no role model to him of any efficiency in the kitchen, the max I have extended my ability to produce Maa Ke Haath ka khaana has been dal chawal in a pinch when the cook is on leave and even then, at times, this has been occasion to indulge in the hedonism of ordering in. In fact, I have been known to say the offspring will grow up nostalgic for Maa ke haath ka two minute noodles, so abysmal are my cooking skills.
The husband is quite lost in the kitchen too. He might meander in for a bottle of water, or a drink of whatever carbonated beverage or juice he can locate in the refrigerator but beyond that he is quite at odds in that space, have grown up believing it to be a woman’s preserve and then still reconciling himself to the sad fact that he married a woman who absolutely refused to make it hers.
The offspring though, took to the kitchen completely on his own, with zero encouragement from me, given I barely enter its hallowed premises myself. When he was a toddler, he would sit on the kitchen platform and offer to whip his own scrambled egg. More whipped egg landed on assorted surfaces in the kitchen than actually making it into the frying pan, but he persevered. As he grew, he forayed occasionally into the kitchen, but not too often. But last year, a switch was flicked on and he found himself in the kitchen, more often that I would have thought a teen boy would have wanted to. It began innocuously enough, by making a general nuisance of himself and coming dangerously underfoot whenever the cook was trying to whip up a meal in the limited time that she had. It then morphed to mega levels of pulling out recipes from the internet, trundling off to the stores and returning home with armloads of groceries he needed and then force feeding us his experiments.
We weren’t complaining. He was rather good, actually. He has churned out, so far, Caramelised Apple Crepes, Chicken Biryani, Chicken Do Piaza, a Miso Soup with Tofu and Greens, Curd Rice, Chocolate Shahi Tukda and a lot more that I forget in the listing. Our praise has been lavish and extravagant to the point of being toe curlingly embarrassing if one were at the receiving end of it. He glows. A dear friend told me the other day that men who cook are “confident and sorted.” That line made me glow.
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