Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What I have learnt from MIL

I mostly learnt to cook by trial and error and parental phone guidance. I wish I had paid more attention at home when my mother had taken care of the food side of things :) But, whoever gained anything from crying over spilt milk, right? As some of you have noticed my absence from the scene, it was because we were trying to spend as much time as possible with my parents-in-law who were visiting us.

MIL too is an ardent cook ... she loves to cook not just for herself, but for sharing with everyone. And I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that she enjoys food discussion and description! So, needless to say, I got to learn a lot many new recipes with her around. Infact she brought with her a cookbook in Hindi which I greedily grabbed. It has been such a long time (10 years to be specific) since I have properly read any form of Hindi. I used to be prolific reader of the language during my school days. Now, I will get a chance to rebuild my Hindi skills along with healthy cooking ideas. The book is titled (Translated for every one's benefit) - Health Reviving Dishes - Vegetarian Related. I also have a fresh supply of family recipes, which ofcourse I will try to share with you all in due course :)

Some other important cooking lessons that MIL has imparted on me

  • Reduce Wastage - This one is a biggie. In my daily rush to get done with dinner, I usually throw in what I find in the fridge. No proper planning into whats been there for how long or how leftovers can be used. With MIL here for these past months, I just cannot remember throwing out any edible item just because it went bad before it could be used. She had a plan of what to do with a vegetable or produce item when we bought it at the store. Also left overs were planned for accordingly. For example, today's leftover dal or cooked rice would be made into muthiya's for the next day's breakfast. Wastage also was not only in food items - I tend to be prolific in my use of plastic ziploc bags, paper towels etc. Since my habit is an easier and quicker option, it might be difficult to change. But I will certainly be concious about other alternatives before I lunge to grab another bag or paper towel :)
  • Importance of Breakfast - This is something I knew all along... that a good breakfast is a great start to the day. But, somehow never incorporated it in my lifestyle. Cooking up a hot breakfast means adding planning time, cooking time and extra washing time to the morning drill. So, I have usually avoided it in the past. When MIL was here, she would make it a point that we didn't leave without a hearty breakfast. She would make us hot jowar/bajra rotis. Just one at 8 in the morning would fill me up good until 12 or 1 in the afternoon. We have gone back to our cold cereal routine for now, but maybe I can practice speed-breakfast skills on weekends.


KrishnaArjuna said...

Good writeup! Nice tips too, will look for your future recipes now that you have a new found wealth at your disposal.

Indira said...

MIL - they know better, don't they?:) Very useful tips.
Jowar rotis for breakfast, you lucky girl. My mother and MIL also prepare jowar rotis for breakfast. Miss those days of proper breakfast.

Looking forward to reading all the fabulous recipes you are going to blog.

Vaishali said...

Nice of you to be open about what you learnt from your MIL. In our hurry to dedicate everything to our mothers, we often forget that other women (can) influence our lives too.
Will look forward to your MIL's recipes as well as the ones from 'Swasthyawardhak Paakavidhiyaan'. :)

Hema said...

Unlike other women, you wrote about what you learnt from you MIL. Way to go girl. I could learn from you too.

Saffron said...

Hey GM, where are you?


Manisha said...

GM, hope you have a Happy Diwali! Take care and hope to see you blogging again soon!

Trupti said...

Hope you will be blogging soon!


Gini said...

Where are you? We are all waititing for the recipes from the Hindi cookbook:)

Meenal Mehta said...

hey are you planning a comeback...if not ..have a happy new yr :)

Priya S&S said...

Were are you ???

Wish you and your very Happy and Prosperous New Year !

Priya S&S said...

Wishing peace, health, and happiness in 2007 and always. Happy New year to you and your family !

Yo Samaritan said...

Hey sis, where r u? If u r reading this pls Be kind to drp a few lines assuring us abt u.

Lots of love.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am currently writing a master's degree dissertation about the importance of food to memory and identity.
I have chosen to focus on the Indian/Bengali/Bangladeshi community in London, and am wondering if you know anyone (family, friend, fellow blogger, or one of your readers) who lives in London who would be interested in speaking to or e-mailing me about this topic?
For those that you ask or those reading: I would be interested in any information/personal stories about the role that food plays in your life. The information you give to me could be anything to do with food-- that a certain recipe brings back a memory of childhood, or that you are a mum and feel it important to feed your family traditional food (or maybe you have decided to get rid of traditional cooking from your home all together), or maybe you have an opinion about the difference between the food served in curry houses and "authentic" cuisine.
I would be incredibly thankful for any stories that you have to share. Thank you so much for your time in reading this.

Coffee said...

Great tips!!!!

Come back soon with recipes from the book!!! :)

Vanishree's Corner said...

I like your blog very much.
If you are interested in link exchange than please leave a comment on http://vanishreerajamarthandan.blogspot.com/
Happy Blogging :)

Shella said...

Yes, its amazing how much good these oldies can teach us. Right?? Small tips which come in handy, or tricks which really do the trick.

Any subzi or daal that is leftover fm y'days meal is always kneaded into the flour for chappatis. These make really tasty & filling chappatis & at the same time nutirious too.

Nice blog