I started cooking when I was 7. I made a cake. A sponge cake. And since the I have been hooked. Growing up I looked at cooking as if it were some sort of magic. You mixed together some plain, boring and down right yucky (at seven raw eggs are yucky!!!) ingredients and out came this fabulous cake or omelet or some other delicious thing that would make your mouth water. Another reason I took to cooking was because it was a sure fire way to gain social glory. ‘WOW!!! you cook!!!’ with an appropriate look of awe and appreciation can be pretty sweet. My brothers who I viewed as unmitigated pests during that time became like loving puppies when I made them fan shaped cakes in the sandwich toaster stuffed with Kissan mixed fruit jam. They had nothing but praise for my noodles.
But that’s all past now. Marriage and a pre-teen daughter are enough to make anyone swear off cooking. The interminable…what to make for breakfast/lunch/dinner question can make the most ardent cook thrown in the spatula and want to escape down the drain!!! But still once in a while there are those moments when a beloved recipe beckons or when a new one intrigues and I find my way to the kitchen again. Pull out the maida and the eggs and the butter, just for the sheer joy of touching, feeling, smelling and imagining a creation that until a few minutes ago was no where.
Its in moments like this that I recapture the magic of my childhood days, when hot balmy afternoons were dedicated to meticulously measuring out ingredients and fervently praying that the temperature on the stove top oven was right. And I wait again, sniffing for a whiff of freshly baked cake, warm vanilla, sensuous chocolate and all sorts of amazing scents that tell you that you’ve done good. That when you open the oven you’ll have a winner on hand. It no longer matters if everyone says it great (though it definitely helps!!). The journey from raw produce to yummy treat is a joy in itself.