It’s official. Now even the brat’s teacher knows who wears the extra apron in the house. Flipping through his English language note book yesterday, I came across a paragraph on ‘My Father’. The brat had praised the husband to the skies and had not forgotten to add, ‘My father is a very good cook. He makes delicious dishes for me.’
Well, nothing is surprising anymore. The husband cooks really well. There is no doubt about it. He can cook a traditional sadya for 100 people in a couple of hours and at the end of the process, leave the kitchen spotlessly clean, so that you could even eat off the floor. He can make 10 different types of payasam, any possible vegetarian South Indian dish, soft, round and fluffy chappatis, delectable North Indian curries and even the most difficult-to-make murukku… Well, the list is endless.
Now the problem is, I would like to think I am also a reasonably good cook. But the husband’s reputation precedes me! When we got married, he was already living in Muscat for seven years, and inviting people over to taste his preparations. So when I entered the domain, no one believed I could cook.
Not that they believe me now, even after 12 years of marriage.
I came armed with a reputation too… My rasams, samosas, kootus, paranthas and North Indian curries were the toast of my family. But now I had to compete with the exotic…. and the entire family of in-laws as well. (every single male in-law is a fantastic cook!) And no way was I going to win! So as they say, if you can’t beat em, join ‘em. I did exactly that… eating all the delicious food… so that after 12 years, I’ve ended up looking like a beached whale.
But some sore points do remain.
# I’d have just finished cooking an elaborate meal for guests. The husband enters the kitchen for something innocuous as a glass of water. Trrrring! The doorbell rings. The guests stream in and see the husband inside the kitchen. And immediately this is what follows, ‘Wow, your wife is so lucky! You are such a good cook. I can’t wait to taste the food!” Bah! Bah!!!!
# When I was at my earlier workplace, I used to wake up early in the morning during traditional festivals to make payasam. Once, I made paal payasam for Onam (rice kheer) for the entire editorial. And guess what the stoic, serious-looking editor says after having a sip? “Very nice, Rekha. Did your husband make it?” Grrrr! Grrrr!
# No friend of mine swears by anything I make! But they fondly remember ‘the fluorescent-coloured- yoghurt-coconut-with vegetables’ preparation years after they have tasted it, even smacking their lips in remembrance. With friends like these, who needs enemies!
But despite the so-called interference, the husband in the kitchen is a great help. When cooking is more than a passion, actually, a religion with the spouse… it leaves me time to do what I like, meeting friends, travelling on work or personal trips, social networking, blogging or writing.
But jealousy reared its head a bit and late last night, I asked the brat. “Don’t I make ‘delicious dishes’ for you? And his answer? ‘Amma, you are the ‘bestest’! You’re the world’s best cook! You’re even better than Appa!”
Yippee! Amma wins round one!