Category Archives: Uncategorized

They call it Old Fashioned.

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My love for cooking has not diminished a bit over years, as I continue to explore my palate and attempt to please other’s, I go through various experiences which has made me learn a lot about myself, much beyond food.

My wife made an interesting observation. according to her, I have an ‘old fashioned approach’ to cooking. At first I did not give much thought to the comment, as my wife considers a lot more of me to be old fashioned. I assume she means that in a ‘not so good way’ and I see it to be in a ‘very good way’. However, true to my usual way, a long after the comment, and days after the observation from my wife, I truly saw what she meant when she said ‘old fashioned way of cooking’.

When you watch any show on cooking, one common sight is that of the chef tasting the food many times throughout the cooking, and for sure towards the end of it. Having grown up seeing my mother and grand mother cook, at no point I have felt a need to taste the food/dish I am making, until I actually serve myself, along with rest of the people. The idea of having to taste the food to be able to check what is missing, less or  excess is completely alien to our way of cooking. This practise of not tasting, though rooted in religious beliefs, has become more of a challenge to one’s culinary skills. On television, when the chef dips his spoon into the pan, and brings it this mouth and takes a swipe at it, one can almost see my eyes cringe. Well, tasting is definitely not to my taste.

Being a software coolie, we have been taught the benefits of quantifiability over and over. Anything we do should be measurable, and we don’t do anything if they don’t measure it. When it comes to cooking, the idea of a measure has been very common, however the emphasis on the measure, and the equipment to do the same, have reached great heights in recent past. There are thermometers to measure the temperature, there are measuring spoons to measure your pinch, there are measuring jars for the liquids, and there is no end in sight. In my way of cooking, largely handed over from my grand mother, there is just one equipment ‘eye’. I love the phrase in my grand mother’s recipes ‘kannalathe [measure by eye]’. It baffles me, having learnt the modern of dealing with things, which guarantee assured results, how can one [read me] believe in the outcome of something as untrustworthy as one’s own eyes. [irony, intended.]. I measure the amount by my fist-fullness and more finer amounts by how much my thumb and the fore fingers can feel. The color and aroma are the two other big give aways as they clearly indicate what and how much should go in.

A close friend of mine used the word ‘plating’, something which I was not familiar with. On looking it up, I realised how nice plating makes the food look, and how much it can enhance the appeal of the food. To be honest, I am drawn to the nicely plated food at restaurants, and I occasionally ignore the lack of quantity which gets nicely hidden with brilliant plating tricks. However when it comes to my cooking, I choose quantity over plating, and convenience our cutlery. I can still serve and present them nicely, and also throw in couple of resourceful cutlery to play with, however this aspect of food gets a very limited attention from me. May be “what” is old fashioned to today’s “how”.

 

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Many

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Relationships have always fascinated me, and it appears that they will continue to do so. As a an awkward nerd, I have had years of experience when it comes to fantasising and daydreaming various aspects of a relationship, ranging from the initial meet, to an intimate affair. Years have left me with bits and pieces from my life, which in retrospect have taught me such wonderful aspects of human interaction, which have ended up gracing various relationships in my life.

Being a foodie has left me with some wonderful moments of sharing my favourite food and beverages with people I like. Nothing better than that cup of coffee to bring out those deep thoughts, and nothing like that mug of beer or any other drink to loosen up my restraint with people I have cared about. I have always known within few minutes of these sessions, if it is going to be just food or anything beyond that. It has been fun to revisit many of these sessions with the same people over the years, and see how we have changed.

Books have played important part in many lives including mine. When it comes to people, taste in books have been as unique as their own persona. Over the years, I have shared my taste in books with very few people, and only a handful of those have actively contributed in building my taste in books. They have come from corners of my life, from where, I did not expect any sort of a meaningful contribution. Few of them have stayed in touch with me, and few have just taken off.

For a person who is extremely opinionated about each and everything, people have passionate ideologies and firm philosophy have intrigued me. I may not agree with their thoughts and opinions, but they have held me captivated by their passion. Topics did not matter, be it feminism, Indian mythology, language, technology, or even routine work stuff. I have been blessed with partners who have had a ‘loud’ say when it comes to matter close to their heart, and eventually mine.

Many of my cherished relationships have been with people who are shy and reluctant both physically and mentally.  It has just made the progress slower and more enjoyable. A touch has lasted longer, and the feel has turned into a memory. Strangely many of these permanently etched in my mind, are still lovely to get back to. With time, many of these people have faded away into an oblivion, but these moments of reluctance have remained forever.

A movie I watched recently had an interesting observation that once we get married or fall in love with someone, we put an insane amount of pressure on that one person, to provide all those things which have received from so many different people in our lives. It is completely unfair on them, and practically impossible for any one person to do that. It made me think of what I love about my wife, and what I love about others in my life both past and present.

Acceptance

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Acceptance, why is this so hard?.

Accept, you are stretching way too beyond your limit

Accept, relationships do not run without time

Accept, you are not a super man

Accept, kids don’t develop bonds without you being part of their childhood

Accept, spouse can only be as accommodative as they can

Accept, friendships loose zing, when you have nothing in common.

Accept, even your favourite hobbies don’t stay fun, if you don’t spend time on it

Accept, food does not taste good, if your mind is debugging a work related problem

Accept, slowing down IS an option.

It is out there to see, everyone else is able to see it, and yet, you refuse to accept. Is it the ego?, is it your way of fighting it, or is it just a way of looking away, with a hope that it would magically vanish when you turn back.

How much ever you day dream, going back in time is not an option. Acceptance is the only solution.

Damn you stupid logic!

One of the many starts

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Today must be a significant day, after close to 15 years on job a core file has not excited me.

Today must be a significant day, after a long time, I have felt an urge to write something on my blog

Today might be just another day, as I am at work staring at my laptop

You never know when a day can change from significance to oblivion.

‘My’ Voice

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How many times, has an event sprung a realization of an odd kind? I would say not so often. Just the other day, I was watching a cousin of mine on stage, and it struck me that it has been such a long time since I have held a mike. I think the last time must be in my high school. Even back then, speaking on mike never came easily to me, I had to force myself to get my inhibitions off, and just say what I got to tell. I remember participating in debates and dreading to speak up, I would have had so many points to make, but speaking up was never my forte. When I was introduced to essay and creative writing, I grabbed it with both hands, and found a medium to make my points, without having to get on the stage.

The philosophy seems to have gotten struck with me. The idea of not voicing my thoughts, not speaking up and owning my ideas. Professionally I might be the one who is one of those who doesn’t hesitate a bit, before voicing opinions in meetings and discussions, as though it’s a whole new facet of me. When it comes to real life [Very interesting that I don’t consider my profession as my real life], I hardly voice my displeasures, pleasures, and most importantly my stand on various subjects. Being a very opinionated guy, I find it really surprising that I don’t voice my opinions.

My blog is the biggest example of my escapism. The thoughts expressed here, which I consider the truest picture of my mind, even here I have chosen to not own my thoughts and come up with a pseudo name. I can count with half the number of fingers in my left hand, how many people know about my real life identity and identify my thoughts with me. When an article of mine got published in a book, I chose to write it under the pseudo name, and didn’t even share it with parents. So basically my thoughts never get the identity of my voice, they remain mostly anonymous.

This leaves me with questions. Is it fear? Is it escapism? Is it immaturity? Is it natural? Is it pseudoism?

Take 5

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It feels good that my Ramblings have sustained these many years. After 742 posts and 5 years I hope they have remained virtual.

2006 march has lasted through 2011 march.