The Story behind the Menu


I am going to go out on a limb and say that things could be better. On the other hand er.. leg, it could be a lot worse. So, on the whole, I have decided to not put my foot down and complain about the state of things.

I could not resist the above paragraph folks. So, thanks for letting me get away with that. The truth is that I have a hairline fracture on my ankle and am hoisted up on one foot for weeks. At first, the daughter remained in denial. She kept telling me that she can barely notice the limp in my stride, about how the foot would not pain if I don’t think about the pain etc. It was only later I found that her hidden agenda was making me believe I was perfectly fine. Fine enough to go to Disneyland for the Thanksgiving break. Well, we put a stopper to her Disneyland dreams when she saw me hobbling into the house on crutches. Even she knew that no amount of psychological counseling can get me to Disneyland at this point. So, she buckled down to a week-end at home and teamed up with the husband to "take care" of me.

The pair of them made a sufficient noise about getting me to rest over the week-end and said I was to remain upstairs while they cooked up a Thanksgiving lunch for me.
Very gallant of them of course, but I have to say, I have whipped up many a meal in my life, but rarely have I made such a noise about it. I mean neighbours heard pans clanging and music blaring. Not to mention questionable noises and smells. After about an hour of this cacophony, I asked them what the menu was, and I got the following:

Pan-seared vegetables:
What that means is that the duo had cut up vegetables in haphazard shapes and let them burn. My longish nose picked up a smell like burning rubber and I asked them in a slightly alarmed voice whether everything was under control.
"Oh no….!" moaned the chef
"APPA! You said not to cover it. If we had covered it, amma would not have smelled the vegetables burning!" the sous chef’s accusatory tone rang out. I must say I would have preferred it if she did not burn it at all in the first place.

Potatoes with a hint of Cumin:
I distinctly heard the husband say "OOOPS! The lid just fell inside and it plopped all over."
The daughter rang out, "What is that appa? You said chilli powder, but isn’t chilli powder red? This one is brown or is it green?" I decided I did not want to let my imagination explore what the powder might be, but a few seconds is all it took for me to realise that the "Oops" was the Cumin bottle.
I heard them splashing water on the pan. They must have washed the cumin off because by the time I ate it, they were boiled potatoes.

Lentils with the freshness of roma tomatoes:
The dal was fine – only in the last moment, the sous chef decided that she did not like tomatoes and the Roma t’s retained their freshness.


I groaned as I hopped into the kitchen. Every single spice bottle was on the counter and every inch of counter space was full. I must’ve looked a sight because the husband said he was going to clean up and that I had come too early. The daughter said that if they had aprons, things might have been better

And so it goes … never a dull moment in the nourishncherish world.

PS: My friends and neighbours have been wonderful they’ve sent food across, so the kitchen is holding up after the last bout of cleaning. Thanks all πŸ™‚

23 thoughts on “The Story behind the Menu”

  1. Hope you are fine Saumya!
    Kitchen riot is humrous, always good to look at the fun side of it. ;–)
    How did the fracture happen? Not insanity by any chance?

  2. Hope your leg gets better soon!

    Very sweet of them to try and make that sumptuous lunch. Hope you enjoyed that πŸ™‚

    And yes, I second your daughter. cooking is better with aprons πŸ™‚

  3. oh no!! Sorry to hear about your ankle!! Do rest, but not at the risk…I mean, benefit of getting meals served to you!! I love the concept of pan-seared vegetable though..ahahahahhahaha!!! Very cute!

  4. Just for records: The chef read the menu like this…

    Madame..we have fresh cut green and red vegetables seared in high heat and gently sprinkled with salt.
    Another side vegetable with hint of cumin and fried nicely
    To top it off, we have 2 versions of slow cooked lentils. One with tinge of italian roma tomatoes and one left naked.

    It is not our fault that thi author choose to read between the lines: i.e.
    seared in high heat = burnt
    sprinkled = we are not sure about the salt content
    hint of cumin = accidentally put cumin instead of chili powder
    left naked = didn’t put too much tomatoes because our sous chef doesn’t like tomatoes or onions

    1. Ha…ha…I am reminded of going to Taj in Goa once – they had ‘puffed rice cakes with spiced coconut sauce’……that’s idli with coconut chutney!!!

    2. That presentation was really professional irrespective of how local the preparation was πŸ™‚ .Good one Prem you are proving your designation πŸ˜‰

  5. ROFL!!! The picture and this blog are really nice πŸ™‚ I think the apron would have done the deal- poor sous chef who has to cook without an apron!!!

  6. Get well soon manni …..Ask both the chef to use the Mircoware more ….Tell them no excuse will do ….Cooking is like Marketing ….Just by its process…its looks & flavour the INTERNAL clients (Ghar wale) must be impressed enough to eat it…Client ko impress karna easy nahi hai !!!!!

  7. Sriks can cook well… I think he purposefully did it (so you wouldnt ask him again..). This is my conspiracy theory..

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