I am a Chennai bred girl and moved to the US after getting married in 2009 and now a homemaker. Sounds like a typical scenario?... Maybe not, read on.
My family is very unique in that all of us agree on one thing – good food and to go to any extent to get the perfect dish to satiate the penchant for that good food! When I think about it, food probably plays a greater role in keeping us all connected than anything else. The story of my interest in food and cooking goes back to when I was about 7 years old. By the time I was 8, I could cook a decent south Indian meal. I am told by my mom that I could barely lift or lock the lid of the pressure cooker I used to keep the rice and dal (lentils) in. I solved the problem by using a surrogate - my brother! He would place the heavy cooker in place and also light the stove for me (I was very terrified of the lighter)!
I’ve probably come a long way from then, even just based on time elapsed! I attribute my interest in food and cooking to my mother. She encouraged my passion for cooking not because I had to get married and feed my husband (which I do, btw, and enjoy the experience while at it :P ), but instead she saw me through my building this interest and skill even at the risk of me burning the house down. Those of you who have tasted my mom’s cooking. need to introduction. From a newly wed living with her in-laws and coping up with expectations and knowing close to nothing about cooking, she has honed her skills and furthered her interest in cooking by contributing to local magazines, frequently sharing tips on the radio, and she has even appeared on television shows and received awards for her innovative recipes. Not only did she make tasty food, she customizes food to address each family members likes which include things like vegetable biriyani without the vegetable pieces for my brother, appams ( a sweet) for me to satisfy a midnight craving and simple food for my dad without alien ingredients his traditional taste buds would reject. Her caring and giving nature reflected in her simple and tasty food, is something that inspires me and provides me with much needed mental peace amidst the mad rush to keep up with all the change around us. Another person that has greatly helped initiate my interests in baking is a good family friend Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Aunty. She has played a key role in providing that initial push that got me started, including a baking oven she gave me!, and I have since enjoyed and pursued baking with passion.
So fast forwarding to where I am now - married, in a new country, surrounded by a lot of new things to learn, finally starting this blog after over a year of procrastination, to share with the world, the joy of cooking, my interest in food, and collaborating on contributing and learning of useful tips with others who have an interest in this subject. I knew my husband for many years before we got married and we’ve discussed food in good detail, but that never had a spotlight on it. After we got married, I got to experience my father-in-law’s cooking, a self-proclaimed ‘gourmet chef’, and an amazing one at that! My hubby’s Grandmom who is famous in the family circle for many of her dishes and most notably ‘Paati Podi’ (that reads ‘Grandmom’s ground multi-spice rice mixes’ for the Tamils of South India). I saw another thoughtful and caring mother in my MIL who would make delicious, nutritionally balanced diets for the family. All these folks have made my husband a brat who requires good food and variety in every meal. He honed his skills and would cook for himself if others did not make right! Thank god!, I was equipped with a skill-set to receive his highness’ approval and certification :P
My husband and I have a great time discussing, making, eating and criticizing the food we eat every day. He cooks by instinct, quite unlike me, and enjoys experimenting (just like his father!). He has the ability to taste something and reverse engineer it (He is an engineer by profession - I guess that explains it ;)). My hubby’s cooking and recipes (if he has one for all the yummy stuff he makes, and takes the time to help post it!) will be an occasional feature of the blog. Last, but not the least, I must credit my brother and brother-in-law who are just happy campers.