Thought for Food

Unless you’ve carved a commercially viable career in the food world, cooking 24x7 for your family is the most under-appreciated chore in the world.
Burp alert!

I’m nurturing that connection as I silver. That pivotal connection with crispy pork belly, spicy slivered cabbage, avocado sushi, foie gras popsicles, palak khichdi… But I have a confession to make. I never wanted to be the queen of the kitchen, or cook food.

I have tremendous respect for those with culinary prowess, and their own delicious fiefdoms. I relish cocktails and conversations with the best chefs, enjoy understanding the shaping of umami, and food artistry, yet have never experienced the urge to shop, sliver and saute with gusto, consistently. It is a glaring misnomer that every woman loves to cook, or can joyfully fluff up rotis. I am a gregarious gastronome, a daring eater, yet have never been assaulted by the fire to own the kitchen. I’m happy with others wearing the culinary wreath.

Unless you’ve carved a commercially viable career in the food world, cooking 24×7 for your family is the most under-appreciated chore in the world. I know, it’s all about love and yada, but the hot job can be outsourced daily. Unless you are prepared to challenge the chompers while you mince away in the sweaty confines of the burner grove in your 2×2 inch apartment. “The rajma was a bit tough, still” or “why did you have to put so many green leaves in the dal” are comments I don’t remember signing up for.

Married into a family that plans the next meal while one meal is in progress, the obsessive fixation for food sometimes makes me want to throw a Molotov in the midst of the spice route discussions. I confess, it has something to do with my often peculiar, sometimes peckish relationship with food. Dad was over-determined, not to let the obvious relegation to the scullery happen, zealously pushing us into honing grey matter in other fields.

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard

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2 thoughts on “Thought for Food

  1. Shalini Kapoor

    Hey Shilpi, as always intrigued to read an
    absolute truth wreathed so well in
    simplicity and beautiful words.
    Personally I love to cook and have often
    been praised for my culinary skills yet
    somehow I don’t love the appreciation
    and accept it as a humble compliment.
    Because there is so much more I feel
    worthy of doing, an endless list awaiting
    to pursue if not master. Although
    respecting those who cook a wholesome
    meal for the love of their families, I won’t
    do it everyday as I have much to learn
    and show my love in more ways than one.
    Keep feeding us with your write ups.
    Food for soul really!

    1. Shilpi Madan Post author

      Thank you for writing in Shalini and for your words of appreciation, deeply grateful! Happy to know that my thoughts chime with yours.

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