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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Shamelessly I requested invited guests...

This weekend I slept with my feet wrapped in hot water bags, thanks to my lineage I am conscious about.

On Friday, I stood for over 7 hours in the kitchen, followed by entertaining guests. But before cracking down, I did stand upright for the record.
After a tiring yet exciting day... one for the album 
"Do you really want to do this?" asked my girl when I requested her to click our pic. 

"It's not everyday I drape a saree and your papa a mundu. Come on, quick." 

"Honestly, mamma. You are so obsessed with yourself," she replied adjusting the lens.

We had our Onam celebration and I was determined to have the banana leaf filled from tip to edge. Managed to layout 18 items for each of the 13 invited guests. Now, that's not a big deal as Onasadhya means the more the merrier.

The problem was that I was on my feet, paranoid, cooking second round of most of the dishes afraid it would not suffice. Pots of rice were boiling even when the guests were at the dining table, which will now last me the whole week after distributing it to my houseboy, car cleaner and watchman.

After cooking, re-cooking, topping up... finally
“Why don’t you sit with the stuff at the building entrance and give it all those who walk in," quipped my in-house grandma, before threatening me, “Don’t give this when I return from school on Sunday. One more day I’ll manage.”

"Well, my dear. I have no intention of dumping these. Why do you think I packed food for the guests when they left..."

"Oh my God, exactly. That was so shameless, honestly mamma... 'take whatever you like'..." she mimicked me.

I blame this paranoia to serve on my genes. My mom’s family are generous servers. You can gather your entire neighbourhood [no exaggeration] and visit any of my maternal aunts unannounced and you will be sumptuously served. In fact, force-fed. For them feeding guests is the way to peoples' hearts. And my mom’s always fed the best to guests, while my brother and I only got the left-overs.

My dad’s family, on the other hand, are stingy givers. My paternal aunts reserved the best for their families and offered the remaining to guests. One day, I saw one of my aunts place a banana bunch comprising over 20 bananas on the table before three guests. “Please take. It’s from our farm.” Neither of them took any. What a trick!

On another occasion, another aunt of mine fed just fish gravy and yoghurt to two guests who had arrived uninvited during lunch hour, saying, “How sad. We just finished lunch and no fish these days. Please manage with this.” One of these guests returned to collect something that she had left behind only to find the family having a lavish lunch, including two varieties of fish!

An acquaintance of mine waits until we take leave and at the door says, "you should have waited for dinner". This has been her staple statement every time I visit. I guess, the fault is mine. Next time I’ll drop in during the day.

I caught another one serve three dates on a plate before a group of five guests, saying "please help yourself". When I gave her the head count, she replied, “others are diabetic”.

I love tracing problems to their roots. So, while my lack of confidence in cooking and kitchen judgement may have resulted in my sore feet, upon peeling the layers I discovered that I'm overtly jittery when it comes to serving guests, only because am petrified lest my lineage force-feeds confused genes into me!

Seriously, am not cooking this up… I was wide wake on Friday night, despite retiring to bed early, wondering how I can make space in the fridge!

26 comments:

  1. Oh, it sounds like you do well in resting your sore feat! What a fun piece to read - the food looks yum, and I enjoyed reading about the different persons in your family. Oh, those aunties, they are everywhere I guess. You look lovely in that saree:-)

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  2. Oh my God! you cooked 18 items!! hats off!! I understand that paranoia, have been on that side too often! but I'm learning...! :-) :-)

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  3. Enjoyed reading this! Like I'm sure your guests enjoyed the feast. Hope you and your feet are better now!:)

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    1. Thank you Mayuri...yea am good now

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  5. Sorry to hear about your sore feet. Fun to read about your cooking adventures and your lineage of generous cooks and stingy ones. MMMM, would loved to have been able to sample some of the scrumptious food. Amazing you can do so much like that. I'd never be able to do it. Impressive. And yes, you look lovely in your saree! I love hearing about the sarees here in Canada and am enjoying the saree stories by some of the BAR members.

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  6. Hey Cathy...thank you. Im a fan of BAR members' sarees, too

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  7. Omg! You cooked all that? Gosh - it must have been such an effort. I loved your saree :) Lovely! And that picture is pretty!
    I got invited to Onam Sadhya this Sunday, our first and published a post too last night :) What fabulous food Nisha!

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  8. Thanks Parul. Hope you enjoyed your Sadhya!

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  9. Thanks Parul. Hope you enjoyed your Sadhya!

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  10. You must be quite a cook to prepare 18 dishes! Hope your feet are fully rested now. "in-house grandma" - I liked this reference :) Also enjoyed reading about some of your relatives. All families have some like these, I think!

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    1. Thanks Beloo...as for being a cook ...nope! Im lousy at that!

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  11. Nisha, It was a delicious treat. Well done ! Should have talked a little bit about the guests :)

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  12. Thank You Asha. All of you were awesome. It was real good fun time.

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  13. Nisha, 18 items singlehandedly is amazing. And the photo looks good too. Looks like a fulfilling onam.

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  14. That was funny but you don't seem to be one bit stingy if you cooked all of that. It's an amazing spread. Quite like you, even I am petrified I'll fall short of food when I have guests over. If it's an informal gathering a brunch of left-overs is almost an understood thing.

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    1. Thank you Tulika...falling short is what troubles me and then I go on an overdrive

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  15. That was funny, but, hats off to you for preparing 18 items!!! OMG!!! And, then also facing up to the challenge of adjusting those left over items into the fridge. That is actually the biggest challenge of all! And, you do look beautiful in that lovely saree!

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  16. there u got it Shilpa... the other big challenge is finishing it off, too :) :)

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  17. You cooked that many items and were still worried!! I don't think I can ever accomplish that. Hope all the soreness is gone by now :)

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