Category Archives: Food

Best of 2009

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Just read a best of 2009 here, on a blog that actually got me hooked into the blog world. And I was tempted to try it myself.

2009 was in a sense a landmark year for me.

It was a year that made me realise truly that weight is just a number that can fluctuate one way or another and I inherently do not change as  a person. And if I don’t change, I owe it to myself to remain true to myself, no matter how I look.

I also realised that weight may be a just another number but more people noticed and commented and asked me how I was, now that I was thinner than they were used to seeing me. But that’s them. I am still who I was.

I made bread for the first time. And the happiness was unparalleled. So far. Nothing has me this ecstatic to see the sticky dough rise into a gleaming white dough and eventually bake into a dense loaf. Not even my first cake.

I discovered, just like challenges in cooking which I took up even though they scared me, that my ‘let’s try it’ attitude should be transposed on to other areas of my life. And just like cooking experiments, the results there also are mixed. But that’s the fun. I did, after all, make a second and third attempt at bread.

Twitter was another new addition in my life and I seem to have taken to it much more than any other social networking site. Its remarkably private and suitably succinct and the pressure to be popular isn’t that much. On most days. And it gives a new meaning to hyper.

I took once chance opportunity during the year and it exposed me to something I hadn’t considered at all. All of a sudden avenues seem to have opened up and am willing to give sleep and all other faves of mine, to actually work at something. And, for the firs time, whether it will work or not, is not bothering me. I know I need to and can do it. That’s all that matters.

I read more, spoke less, thought more, tried to verbalise without letting emotion get in the way, learnt to replicate the rush of a heady experience on bad days and am learning, to a point, to be positive and not kill my brain thinking.

Happy new year, again.

Finding comfort

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Someone recently asked me what was my comfort food. And it stumped me because I could not come up with an answer immediately. I used to have a ready list for the longest time. But now I could not name any one dish that I knew would always pull me out of a funk.

It led me to think.. where did my comfort lie?

Childhood was full of beckoning but yet not-allowed chocolates. It was a majorly rationed commodity. I don’t remember ever having eaten a bar by myself. That accompanying guilt is still there. And since we are two sisters, as is wont, she wouldn’t eat her share and punish me by forcing to watch it lying in the fridge. I, of course, ate up her share often. In fact, for the longest time I gobbled up chocolate. Grabbed, stuffed it in my mouth and swallowed it almost whole. No sense of the sheer bliss.  But that changed as soon as I could afford to buy my own chocolate. Chocolate is still a favourite but not one I pine for. It’s too sinful to be comforting anymore.

Childhood and college meant another phase — one with fewer bottles of cold drinks, burgers, pizzas, ice cream – all of which changed once I started working. I didn’t always dive into a junk food binge but took every chance I got to eat it. It’s novelty value quickly ceased, and soon its quickness charm also eased, and today I actually would want to make something at home rather than order junk food. And now that I think back, my mother took a lot of pains to make healthy junk food back then. Of course Mac D and its ilk didn’t make an appearance till college and we actually contemplated standing in line to eat those awful burgers! What were we thinking!

Junk food cravings slowly moved onto a craving for rich dishes – creamy pastas, rich Indian gravies with ghee-slathered rotis, white-sauce doused vegetables and chicken chunks, cheesy soups, fried fish, red meat. But never-ending press conferences tired me of that too, and fast. I often got to hear from relatives (only!) ‘wow you get to eat in five stars’ (sic) and I would further shock them by saying that I actually passed up that opportunity to come back and order bad raasta Chinese. (I think that craving will always persist as there can be no dish more satisfying than spicy schezwan rice.) But just because the food is free, at supposedly five-star quality, doesn’t automatically make it appealing.

I even went through a phase of the quick-food variety. Maggi used to make me sick but I was sufficiently lazy and always looked for short-cuts. Packaged food became my new best friend. Two-minute pastas, curries, rotis, toast. But the preservative scare quickly helped me get over that too. In some ways my taste has certainly evolved.

So what do I crave for today?

Sweet peaches. A really succulent mango. One square of the perfectly bitter chocolate (still to be found in India but I guess Bourneville comes close). A slice of ripe avocado (which I know is waiting for me at home). Warm varan bhaat with limbu and ghee. Crisp toast. Eggs and potatoes. Even a hot, fluffy roti, just off the flame. Chilled lychees. Perfect custard/ cheesecake/ caramel custard. Good chocolate cake. Homemade granola. A small spoon of oatmeal. A crisp tart apple. A perfect, aromatic cup of coffee.

The list is now endless.

This or that

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Indoors or outdoors
Honey or Ice cream
Giving or taking
Top or bottom
Lips or eyes
Shower or pool
Coffee or cigarettes

It got vicarious as the evening wore on. Strangers sitting around a table. Dim lights except for red, glowing butts. Spiked coffee. Eyes glinting in the dark. Some in glittering finery and some in comfortable jammies. You lived out your fantasies. Played them out with some participants. Some slyly nodded. Some blushed as they answered. Some sighed wistfully as the answer was dragged out. Some wanted dares.

It’s great fun learning sexual details (and preferences) of complete strangers, especially ones you will never meet again.

And incredibly erotic!