One of greatest things about having so much downtime during this whole pandemic lockdown has been the opportunity to experiment with food. I have always loved cooking, even more than getting to eat it. To me, the process of cooking IS the most exciting thing about food. The eagerness and exhilaration of trying a new recipe and adding your own twist to it; the aroma of fresh ingredients cooking filling up your kitchen while you dance to whatever song Alexa is playing because you gave up after the fourth time she misheard you. And, the cherry on top of the cake (sometimes literally) – plating it! Presentation is probably the reason I love cooking, unless I’m cooking something to satisfy a craving, in which case it never makes it to the plating stage.
Even though I have been cooking for more than 4 years now, it used to always be more of a necessity than something I did for fun. Due to some dietary preferences that I’m particular about, I used to take home food to work on a daily basis except for times when there were planned lunches or dinners, or IF I was tooo lethargic to cook. And thanks to Bangalore being one of the cities with the most traffic in the whole wide world, the commuting took its toll and made everything seem like a huge task that seemed less preferable when compared to just ordering some food and watching Netflix and then going to sleep. Most weekends were also depleted in trying to regain the burnt up energy from the past week. I used to have a roommate who started her own food page on Instagram and used to routinely cook great food and very patiently take pictures of it. I used to often wonder how she made the time to style the food, set it up and take pictures of it before eating it even though she had just got back from work and was probably starving. She used to just say that she loved doing it. (She was SUCH an amazing cook. Most of the time she used to work late, so by the time she came home the others would already be in bed. But the food would smell so good that we would get out bed just to try it, and damn, it used to taste sooo good!)
Fast forward to Quarantine season, I, just like everybody else, was left with abundant time to try everything I wanted. With me being out of a job currently meant no work to worry about, and loads of time to indulge in the fine art of cooking, baking, fine art itself, and haircutting! I mean, I gave myself some really good haircuts that I’m so proud of that I’ve sworn off hair salons.
Coming back to food, from Italian to Chinese to Mexican to authentic Indian cuisines; to soups and salads and biryani, I experimented (and still continue to experiment) with wide varieties of food, and by God, it’s been an incredible food journey. It certainly helps that my other half loves any and every type of food and hates almost nothing. Easy audience.
In fact, my biggest food related triumph came when one of his former roommates (who according to my husband is one of the best cooks he knows), and his wife (who his friend claims to be a better cook than himself) came to visit us last October and fell in love with a Capsicum soup, that I kind of made/invented entirely on my own. To my elation they (along with few other friends of ours) even borrowed the recipe and commonly use at their home.
As food has been sort of a highlight of my pandemic life, I reckon that I should at least dedicate one post to it, and while I’m at it, I could make some use of all the pictures of food that’s been cluttering my phone’s gallery.
What have you all been cooking?
Oh, I adore to cook. It makes me feel so mindless in a worthwhile way.— Truman Capote