“Do you know cooking?”
“Oh, vacations? Learn and polish your cooking skills. Will be useful for the future”
“What do you mean – amateur cook? What will your in-laws say?”
Questions like these over the years have evoked various reactions in me including selective deafness, eye-rolling, defiant counter-questions and even out-and-out feminist rants.
I have great respect for culinary capabilities – but as a useful survival skill and not proof of my possession of the XX-chromosome.
Professional studies, stressful jobs and hectic commutes over the years left me with no time to develop consummate cooking skills. I knew enough cooking to survive and feed 3 people and that was it. My folks too, are strong believers in ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and never bothered to ‘domesticate’ me.
But nooo…, there would be metaphorical clutching of pearls and knotting of knickers over the fact that I wasn’t a Tam-Brahm Tarla Dalal or local Nigella Lawson (Come to think of it, I could have sent them into cardiac arrest by channeling her ‘sexy chef’’ 🙂 ).
After kalyanam happened, I went all ‘Karate Kid 2’ on the kitchen (more like ‘Po the panda’ on ‘inner peace’ :P) and decided to do some kick-ass cooking. Amma, ma and Google became my best allies. And in all modesty, I can say that I can dish out a rad rasam as well as rajma-chawal, prepare a proper pasta or pal payasam AND even bake the occassional cake. (You didn’t really think I was going to be modest, did you? 😉 )
As for the coven of condemning cooks, they were last heard remarking, “Don’t you know knitting/ kolam ?” Sigh…
P.S. Full disclosure: I still cannot make dosais to save my life. But hey, everyone has an Achilles’ heel , no?