He entered the house huffing and puffing, carrying two giant bags of groceries. I took a quick peep, didn’t like what I saw but the bottle of banana peppers made me very happy. That was my only source of palate cleanser during the first three months of pregnancy. I had terrible nausea and lost my love for food. My husband is known for his loving nature and he took care of my diet the entire time. Although at times, it did felt like he was a little too alert. The nerd preferred to Google on pregnancy food more than his typical techy stuff. So when my mother in law, my mom and every other friend advised that I should eat walnuts and almonds everyday, he bought heap load of those nuts plus more.
Tweaking the camera setting, chasing the light, savoring every bite and stopping the toddler from jumping on the plate, all at the same time. That was our first. I sure do take photographs when I eat in a restaurant but that’s always with my iPhone, which is quite handy. This was exciting and at times, little embarrassing as I stood up on the chair to take an overview shot. But I loved every bit of the experience.
Living in US for the past few years got me into this routine of preparing food with various kind of grains and cheeses. Ingredients like couscous, polenta, quinoa or fresh mozzarella became a part of our daily diet. As much as I love Indian food, both cooking and eating, every now and then I need to expand my palate with something different, something that I didn’t grow up eating.
In India, these ingredients are not easily available and even if you successfully find it in some gourmet store, it just hurts your pocket. Hence, we can’t make it our everyday meal but occasionally, I like to go back to those dishes.
Mustard seeds and mustard oil are quite essential components in Bengali kitchen. It’s widely used in several dishes for everyday cooking. Past few years or so, people are trying to avoid mustard oil and switch to vegetable oil instead. However, there are still some dishes that are incomplete without that the distinctive sharp taste that only mustard oil can give. There are countless dishes where mustard seed paste is used along with mustard oil. Yellow mustard to be precise! As a kid, it was a flavor I couldn’t embrace but now, it’s a totally different story. I enjoy cooking with mustard seeds and a jar of mustard sauce is always there in my refrigerator.
My day-to-day schedule is busy and boring at the same time. It does get quite monotonous. There are several moments when I get so frustrated or sleep deprived and I am always tired. Then something amazing happens, making every bit so worth it. Like the Mothers Day weekend, which could have been a typical lunch out weekend, but it twirled into quite an action-packed one.