R – Recipes with The Aunt
Most days, around mid-morning, after the breakfast things are cleared away, The Aunt is found squatting in front of the refrigerator with the contents of the vegetable box spread out in front of her on the floor. A scene not unlike the Friday village market. All that is needed is for her to shout out her wares and – there you are!
Today morning is no different at The JP household.
The Aunt looks at the array of vegetables on the floor – beans, carrots, a small slice of red pumpkin, half a cabbage, some greens – and frowns.
“The same old boring stuff.” she mutters to herself.
JayPrakash Uncle appears in the doorway of the kitchen.
“What shall I cook for lunch today?” she asks him.
In a flash, The Uncle disappears from the doorway. A classic case of ‘Now you see him now you don’t!”
The Aunt sighs. No help there. As usual.
The Aunt is at the dining table,with a few bulging faded notebooks open in front of her. She’s studying them as if she has an exam tomorrow.
“Are these recipe books?” Raju asks as he appears at her side.
“Yes dear, this one is my recipe book. That one is my mother’s and that one is a collection of recipes from friends and all.”
Raju goes off suitably impressed. Something interesting for lunch today maybe – from the archives no less!
The Aunt is on the sofa, cushions propped behind her back, legs stretched out in front, mobile in hand, a frown on her face.
“Amma, what’s for lunch today?” asks Raghu, running up to her.
“That’s exactly what I’m checking dear.” The Aunt sighs. “So many food blogs on the net. Should I go for Sanjeev Kapoor? Or Tarla Dalal? Or maybe Hebbar’s Kitchen?”
The Aunt’s enthusiasm is infectious.
“Try Jamie Oliver Amma.” says Raju, jumping around with excitement.
“Didn’t know James Bond was a Chef also!!” says The Aunt puzzled.
“Ooh Amma. Not James Bond. Jamie Oliver. He’s famous and he’s got vegetarian recipes also!”
“Hmmm. We’ll see…”
Raju goes off happily. Lunch is going to be something to look forward to today. For sure.
The Aunt is talking animatedly on the phone, jotting down points on the side of the day’s newspaper.
“Okay…. so I soak it for 40 minutes …… grind it with coconut; add a dash of this and a sprinkle of that……”
The Uncle edges in sideways, trying to prise the newspaper from The Aunt’s hand. She waves him away with a hiss, “Tsk. I’m talking to Akka in Australia.” she says.
The Uncle is impressed. A one-hour long-distance call?? For a recipe?? The lunch scene looks pretty cool, he thinks.
1.25 P.M. Lunch is finally on the table.
The boys and The Uncle rush into the room in excitement and anticipation.
It’s Rice and Rasam.
Two little boys and one big boy look at her, understandably confused. Rice and Rasam ? After all that build up?
“Amma.” chorus the little boys. “What about all those nice new recipes in your diaries, on the net, on the telephone……?”
The Aunt says “I was so busy checking out the nice new recipes that I didn’t have time to cook them.”
Three faces look at her. She looks back and says defiantly, “What’s wrong with Rice and Rasam? It’s our traditional dish. It’s our heritage. It’s healthy!!”
And she added, “I didn’t find anything interesting in James Bond anyway!”
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This is the 18th in the series The Adventures Of The JP Family as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Alphabet Illustration – Sudarshan Rao