Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How I Cook

Most evenings I go downstairs to make dinner. I clear the place of Niyogys, set iTunes to shuffle, put the volume on max and the music keeps me going through the next hour or two. In between Beni might come down, having fought with his father or brother, or just looking for me. He is an independent little soul but likes to have me on tap, so to speak. I feel the same way towards my own mother so I get this.

I had a cook when I worked full-time but a few months ago I let her go, partly because nobody was eating her food. These days, I find myself needing to cook quite a lot. There are tiffins to pack since Rahul's new school doesn't provide meals, and Beni wants a snack from home on top of his school meal since Dada gets tiffin. I'm trying to bake something sweet or savoury over the weekend so there are small pieces for the tiffins and evening snacks. In a household of four with two little boys, food tends to finish faster than I remember to cook. There are fruits to prepare, requests for payesh and halwa, stronger requests for more cake, more brownies, and what feels like an endless requirement for butter, bread and milk.

The music helps. It's loud and ensures I stay on my feet. It gives me a subtle, welcome distraction from the drudgery of cooking dinner and drowns out the sounds of stress (i.e. the boys fighting, calls for mediation and so on). I fight constant fatigue, it's been like this for the last few years and the music really helps. I know how much it helps because I turn it off once the boys come down to eat. Rahul doesn't much like my music so Beni too doesn't want to listen to it when he's around. When the music stops I see myself slowing down. I see myself making mistakes, feeling the tiredness taking over, letting food burn, forgetting which spices have already gone in, all the little things that ruin all my work in seconds. I get more accomplished while the music runs. Otherwise I seem to be moving through some sort of distracted, forgetful fog. Little things annoy me.

It wasn't too long ago that I could cook twice the food in half the time. I was tired from overwork but there was always some hidden reserve of energy to dig into. Now there's something else going on and I'm slow and need help. Vicky usually comes down to help with things like frying parathas or luchi. He gets the boys to the table and is the one to serve and supervise dinner. Some nights he handles everything including the cooking because I can't make it downstairs.

So when I do cook, I try it to make it fun. I get some herbs, occasionally vegetables from our little garden. I try to cook what I want to eat myself. And I play my music really, really loud.


MinCat said...

podcasts are great for this drudgery removal! also i have this lovely foccacia recipe that should be good for a few days of snacking. ill send

Sue said...

MinCat -- Yes please! We love foccacia in this house. I've been meaning to try podcasts. I did try audio books but somehow I kept tuning out of even exciting ones like Chander Pahar :/