Saturday, October 1, 2011

Undocumented Bliss (guest post by Ak)

Disclaimer - This post is not about some gorgeous sinful, yet simple recipe that yields magical culinary results. There are no tasteful photographs. There are no measurements. Nothing.

I had been thinking , for some time now, of writing about the cocktail (which cocktail?, The Cocktail! - but more later) since that would be the natural accompaniment to all these wonderful recipes. The balance, delicacy and symphony of ingredients is not limited to what we eat, but also to what we drink. This is a far cry from the guzzling, volume-centric binge scotch-soda drinking that is so prevalent in our culture. Rather, this is about using good ingredients, complex flavours and enjoying the taste. But this post is not about that either.

This post is about a dinner we hosted yesterday for family. They are here for a few days, but with busy schedules all around, this was probably the only home cooked meal we were all going to eat together. The theme for the evening was Thai, so without checking with our guests whether they liked it, were allergic or other unimportant stuff, we fixed a menu and got on with it.

Except I didn't get home till half an hour before dinner was served. When I got home, Tk had already been to the market, bought the ingredients, cut the veggies, prepared the sauces, filled the pans with semi-cooked stuff, and done all the secret mixing, tossing, kneading, sprinkling and swishing that makes her cooking so awesome. There was no evidence and there was no time to collect any. Our guests arrived moments after me, tired and hungry. So Tk got in the kitchen - did some final mixing, heating, saute-ing(is that a word) garnishing and pouring into fancy dishes befitting the occasion. I helped around a bit and simply didn't occur to me to take some "finished product" shots even though I missed out on "process" shots. The dining table was laid out and even with everything looking good, we simply forgot to document it.

Inevitably, the guests loved it - there was a whole lot of praise flying around and then it struck me. There are marvelous meals cooked everyday by countless people for the family, friends and loved ones. There are cold coffees and ham sandwiches made every morning by doting wives for their husbands rushing off to work. There are lunches packed for school with love and care. Gourmet meals served to friends who pop in simply for a quick drink. Cakes and scones and cupcakes made for kids who gobble them down almost instantly. The act of cooking is so selfless, it can only be done well for one thing. The love of it. This blog is because Tk loves to cook, and it shows.

I am sure we will repeat the menu some day for a different audience, so you will know the details eventually and from a far more informed source. I tried adding some presentation wizardry, so here's a quick tip. Next time, you want to serve spring rolls, cut them into 2" lengths, get a square white plate, arrange them in a star formation, pour the dip in the centre cavity and serve. Just make sure the cutting is done by someone who doesn't let the filling out of the roll. That totally did not happen to me. Am just saying that You should be careful.


  1. Brilliant first post. Thanks- also for all the credit.

  2. The post is as brilliant as the meal was!!! ( Hope am talking about the same meal?


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