January 03, 2013

Most Memorable Meals

This was a thread that started on Facebook a while ago and I've wanted to write a blog post about it since. Here goes. 

1. My birthday meal: The Sabbath before I was born, my Mum had made spaghetti and veggie meatballs and coleslaw. She went into labour that night and I was born early Sunday morning. That was my last meal through the umbilical chord. For as long as I can remember, we have this meal for my birthday, usually for Sabbath lunch the weekend before or after my birthday. It's one of my favourites. Garlic bread has since been added to the menu.

2. Unlimited Children's meal, Kodaikanal: When I was 7, we went on a family trip to Kodaikanal. The day we were heading back, we had lunch at a restaurant where I had the unlimited children's meal. I ate and ate and ate, cleared out every accompaniment. I remember asking for more ghee with the serving of rice. On the way down the curvy, winding roads, we had to stop many times as I emptied out my stomach in different installments. It was still worth it.

3. Haveli: On the way back to Delhi from Chandigarh during our college trip, we stopped at Haveli. This meal was absolutely grand. About 10 of us sat around this big table and we filled up on rotis, naans, paneer curry, pav bhaji, makki ki roti, sarson ka saag, lassi, jalebis and kulfi. Definitely one of the tastiest meals I've had.

4. Lazy Meals: When I was in 10th std, my parents often left my cousin and I alone at home for me to 'study'. We were usually too lazy to cook. I remember one night, we had a movie marathon and we ate chips and curd for dinner. It was grand.

5. Passage to India: I must have been about 10 when my Grandma took me out for lunch to one of the Indian restaurants in Ipswich. We ordered much more than was needed. I remember something like 4 curries between the 2 of us. I also remembered that we ate most of it. We left with full stomachs. So full, that I couldn't walk and had to sit on the side of the pavement and wait for the food to settle.

6. School and College lunches: This memory is quite clear in my head. 9th std classroom. During morning class, we'd open one of our lunches. Pass it under the desks, bend down and fill our mouths. During break, the second lunch would be eaten. During the second class, we'd finish one more. When actual lunch break came, we'd share in the potluck of other peoples lunches and finally, the  class after lunch was to finish the final one. My favourites were puliogere, idilis and onion chutney and chapattis and tomato and green chilis. This happened on most days. I remember only being caught twice for chewing in class.

Similar practices continued in College. Everyday was a different story. This was a general food memory than one specific meal. We covered so many restaurants, so many episodes of food fights. One that stands out was during a Building Construction exam, I brought pesto pasta for lunch. We passed it around and ended it up eating it with our fingers because I couldn't find the fork. I guess the green stains on the sheets were never questioned.

7. Caperberry: This is the best restaurant I've ever eaten in when it comes to gourmet food. It's been a truly brilliant gastronomical experience every time. Fancy spherification, dehydration and cryo frozen food all presented with such intricacy and beauty on the plate with perfect combination of flavours and textures.

8. Cook Outs: Having a gang of friends that enjoy both eating and cooking resulted in cook outs. We choose a cuisine, decide what each will be making, buy all necessary ingredients, spend a few hours in the kitchen cooking together, eat and then do the washing up together. Those have been some great evenings.

9. The No-Rule Day: My brother and I spent many summer holidays with my grandparents in Hosur. One of those times when I must have been about 6, my Papa decided that one day would be 'No-Rule' day. We could get up when we wanted, eat what ever we liked and do as we pleased. We made chocolate-chip cookies in the morning in our pyjamas and guess what we had for lunch?- Chocolate-chip cookies. I guess it was the thrill of getting to skip rice and dhal and make a meal out of cookies that was most exciting.

10. Picnics in the forest: When we lived in Ipswich, we lived close by to open fields and some wooded area. A few times, I remember having picnics in the forest. We'd pack the food and I can still picture the spot where we used log as our table and spread out the mat and ate. Don't remember what we ate, but it was the setting that was memorable.

11. Gatecrashed weddings: Twice we were starving on a Saturday night. We had empty pockets and felt like some adventure. One wedding we ate south indian food on banana leaves and the other we filled up on biriyani and brinjal curry. Even if the food was average, the excitement of celebrating some unknown wedding was more than just memorable.

12. Home food: How can I not end my list with home food. The kitchen is the centre of my house, and when it comes to family reunions, a big part of it is spent in cooking and eating. Whether it be my Mum's homemade pizzas, pies, aloo parathas or waffle dinners, my uncle Steven's famous spaghetti and tiramisu, my grandma's gluten 65, or huge potlucks with huge varieties of food and dessert, home food will always by my favourite!

I struggled to restrict this list to 12. I think I got the most important ones covered. :)


1-THE-NA said...

I just fell in love with you so much! I love you much much more now :D

Margaret Christo said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and could almost picture you eating the different meals you mentioned! It will take me some time to make such a list. I think I'll get started! Love you, Tanisha.