Cookery – a kind of witchery

Think about it: Cooking is the only form of sorcery that is still allowed and so widely practiced right under our noses…literally.

 

In The Cookbook Collectors, Matt and Ted Lee very aptly note, “-and through the sorcery of heat and ingredients, take a trip…” as they describe cooking from cook books as akin to long distance and time travel.

 

Now it is not everyday that we make pots and pots of potion like comfort soup…but the enthusiasm that everyone has towards food, that has to be magic. In an overwhelmed society where we are not excited about anything anymore, you can get almost anyone to salivate if you just get your food on.

 

And the people who make this kind of food are revered with the same awe that we would sorcerers, were we talking about the time when witches were revered and not feared and killed off. But since witch craft today has mostly been reduced to having a presence on Pinterest alone, most of us think it doesn’t exist anymore. But open your eyes, it is in every house. People who don’t know how to do anything, will brag about this one thing that they make that will blow your mind. How exactly is this thing that is made with meat, vegetables, fruit and spices really blowing your mind? I don’t know, but it generates loyalties and passion like it is Ron Paul.

 

In every little shack in every little corner of the world, there is someone stirring something that brings hope and joy at the most basic level. This is our currency. We have been running, settling and paunch growing for years now and this is the lowest common denominator. STILL. We haven’t evolved to the stage where we can live off the atmosphere, breathe in minerals from the air, survive on ideas and art and use food for sustenance. We are still in the dark ages. And it is not food that you buy from a vending machine in a parking lot that does it either. It is the bacon wrapped smoking hot dog at the street corner, it is the sweet dabeli that is melted with some amul butter, it is the rasam rice that mom gives you in bed when your cold won’t go away. That is our kryptonite. We will never be rid of it. DISGUSTING!

Eternal Childhood

Would it not be great to be a child forever? I mean …. to wonder and question and spend hours in the mud, doing nothing! It would be wonderful to go back to being a child with no worries, no responsibilities and ….wait! What am I saying? I am sorry, I kinda forgot homework. Let me start over.
It is great to be a child again, but not so much over here in India. Now you may think I am going to tell you about the education standards in this country and how bad it is…no, that’s a job for my corporate blog.
The beauty of childhood is marred by one simple thing…actually an FMCG product – Kellogg’s Flakes. The story goes like this:

Child does not drink milk
Mother is unhappy
Mother adds sugary supplements to milk
Child is unhappy
Mother gives piping hot milk
Mother is happy
Child sees cream form on top
Child is unhappy
Kellogg’s introduces Cornflakes in India
Child is happy
It costs a fortune
Mother is unhappy
Mohun’s shows off their price point
Mother is happy
Mohun’s are small flakes which are always broken and not crisp
Child is unhappy
Soggy flakes in hot milk means cooked breakfast
Mother is happy
It tastes like kheer
Child is unhappy
Kellogg’s says, “Use cold milk”
Mother is unhappy
Frosties, Fruit loops, Chocos, Almond, Banana, Strawberry, Mango – choices abound
Child is happy
Small pack of all finishes in one day
Mother is unhappy
Finally, mother accepts cold milk
Child is happy
More variants, more price
Mother is unhappy
Chocos have free gifts with every pack
Child is happy
Chocos have different free gifts every time
Mother is unhappy
Kellogg’s introduces ‘Chocos Smacks’
Child is happy
Child gets up early to have more milk
Mother is happy
Then Kellogg’s introduces ‘Choco Toffee’
Child is happy
There are not free gifts here
Mother is happy
Child eats Chocos Toffee
Child swears never to have milk again
Mother is unhappy
Child has no bones

A note to Kellogg’s: Please issue a statutory warning on Kellogg’s Chocos Toffee – “Only for adults with a mature sense of cultivated taste that comes with having tasted beer, wine, champagne and whisky.” What’s next in line guys? Chocos Rum?