Cooking is quite easy; the only difficult part is preparing oneself to cook. It is unwillingness to walk up to kitchen, wean away from whatever you are doing, (for me to wean away from computer) and get down to serious work of chopping and mixing and rest of the work is done by gas or oven, nothing tiring at all if it doesn’t indulge in back-breaking job of preparing unhealthy fried snacks to go with the meals.
Once the mind is set up, it’s really no big deal to cook. Like today, actually yesterday, I decided that I will have roast chicken for lunch. So, the first part of planning the menu is taken care of. Sometimes, making decision about what to cook is the most difficult part. During planning the menu, we go crazy, asking the family members what they would like to eat and they too are unsure themselves and will quiz us back asking us what we have decided, and it goes like – ‘you tell, no you tell, no you tell’ and when you tell, they might exclaim ‘oh no, not that again’. It is frustrating especially if every member has a different taste. One of my friend cooks different meals for every member of the family, everyday, I marvel at her energy. Just as well, she has a cook to help her with the cooking. But for common person like me, it is difficult just planning the menu. Many times I will walk up to kitchen, open fridge several times, open, close, open, close, hoping that by doing so, suddenly one cooked dish might come alive. But it never does. I know some families who have fixed menus during the week. Mondays-dhal, Tuesday- bhindi, Wednesday-gavar, Thursday- chana, and so on.. There is no gap for creativity, for thinking of something new to make during week-days, creativity is saved for weekends when mind is free to think.
Since I had thought last night that I would make roast chicken today, I had washed and marinated the chicken last night with crushed garlic, ginger, chilies and chicken cubes.
Today afternoon, just one hour before cooking, I went to the kitchen, cut vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, bean sprouts, carrots and boiled potatoes and added to the marinated chicken, then added some assorted sauces like black bean sauce, soya sauce, chili sauce and fish sauce. Mixed it added little oil and baked it for an hour. The dish was delicious and nutritious and not a big deal cooking it. Eh?
Cooking is easy, and therefore we see variety of dishes at the table. When the woman is in the kitchen she realizes how little time it really takes to cook and that is why she gets so creative. While she waits for milk to boil, she will be chopping veggies. While the veggies are cooking, she will make few snacks: bajiyas or samosas, or something spicy. And once she gets into the mood, she will make pickles, papads, sweets and other delicacies. And you would think she is tired, but a woman who is thinking of those smiles which she might receive at the end of her labor from her family, will even go to an extend of making deserts and ice creams.
No, women are not lazy at all. The ready-made stuff that is easily available in the market nowadays has made her lethargic, but yes, I love cooking!