Tag Archives: mom’s cooking

Bread and Breakfast

This Monday morning, we all had a serious case of the blues. We dragged our feet from room to room, bracing ourselves for the week ahead.

I went into the kitchen to get started on breakfast. When I opened the packet of bread, the first slice that I took out had a hole – that was in the shape of a bird’s head – right in the middle of the slice.

This was so strange that I called out to my kids. They came running to see what the excitement was! The blues vanished, as we debated how the bread slice turned out this way, when all the other slices were perfect.

We discussed various theories and what possible bird it could be, and then finally popped it into the toaster. Just a little bit of breakfast excitement and laughter to beat the blues.

This brought back memories of my childhood, and breakfast times at home.

When we were growing up, my parents had this rule – ‘No skipping breakfast, ever.’

When we grew into teenagers ‘who knew everything’, we tried our best to slip away without breakfast, but our parents had antennae and tentacles that caught us every single time.

I remember fun times when we ran around the dining table trying to slip away, but our Dad was at the main door and mom was at the back door. We could only leave after we had had our milk, and idli or dosa or upma or bread. We frowned and grimaced, and left home, still wolfing down remnants of our breakfast.

When I left home for college, there was no one to remind me that I had to eat breakfast, but then by mid-morning my stomach would rumble and I would remember mom and her yummy dishes. But these thoughts were soon forgotten as there were so many things to see, to learn and to do.

Corporate life was no different – I would only eat a late lunch. It took a few years for the wisdom behind having a wholesome breakfast to sink in. And by that time, I had become a mother.

The cycle started again, now it was I who was running behind my daughter, and later behind my son, trying to build ‘breakfast wisdom’ from their formative years.

But History repeats itself. Now my teen tries to slip away unnoticed, if I am not breathing down her neck.

“I’m running late, mom.”

This is her constant refrain. So, I do the ‘door blocking annoying mom act’.

But if I am any example, maybe life will come a full circle again.

Food phases

The festival of Navrathri is finally over. My dolls are back in their boxes, for a year-long break. The couches are back in position, and sarees put away to be dry cleaned. It’s been back-breaking work, and it’s finally done.

I take a breather and stand on the balcony watching the late afternoon sun cast long shadows on the park below. The park is empty except for a mom and her toddler.

It’s the toddler’s snack time, and the mom has a colourful bowl in her hand, filled with the snack.

It is so much fun to watch the scene below, unfold. The kid keeps running away each time his mom approaches. She chases him, he runs faster. She calls him, he hides. She pleads, he giggles. She bargains, he relents. He comes over for a spoonful of food. The cycle repeats again.


Courtesy – http://www.illustrationsof.com

The mom is fully determined to ensure that the contents in the bowl are transferred to the toddler’s stomach. The kid wants to ensure that he maximizes his time outdoors in the park, without the constant interruption of something as trivial as food.

I laugh out as I remember how my daughter used to drink liquids only from medicine dispenser cups (those really teensy ones). It took forever, but i still remember how my husband and I never gave up. 

With many years of parenting wisdom behind me, I want to tell the mother in the park below that there will be different ‘food phases’ in her children’s life.

There will be a phase when the child will eat the very same meal for days on end, there will be a phase when the child will detest a particular vegetable or meal, and then again, be prepared, for the same child will love these very same meals and relish them.

Then will come the phase when the children will love the food cooked by their friends’ moms,  and the phase when they will constantly raid the kitchen for food and more food, and then the phase where they will get bored with mom’s food, and the phase when they will go away from home for school trips or to the hostel, and then come back and tuck in to a home-cooked meal and say, “Wow, I so missed this food.”

I watch the park below. The mom-son duo are still running around. I smile and head back in.

Mom’s kitchen

The kids are back from school. The humidity is killing, and they look visibly relieved to be back in the cool confines of our home. I get started with preparations to make dosa, a South Indian delicacy that lends itself to many variants.

As I stir the batter and spread it on the tawa, my daughter comes in to the kitchen after her shower. She sniffs and says, “Hmmmm…this smells so good. It smells like grandma’s kitchen.”

I smile. As she eats the crisp, golden dosa with chutney powder, I am transported to my childhood home, and to my mom’s kitchen.

In many ways, the kitchen was the nerve centre of our home. It was rectangular in shape. The cooking range was at one end, while the dining table was at the other end. A square window lit the dining area from 11 am in the morning to mid-afternoon.

Our kitchen was colour coordinated. I remember a red phase and a blue phase. The dining table had an assortment of home-made pickles.

There was always a buzz in the kitchen. With a joint family, there was always something being prepared. We came home from school to the aroma of filter coffee, and dosas with sambhar, or bajjis or some other snack wafting through the air.


Courtesy -www.clipartpanda.com

I spent a lot of time doing Math at the dining table. The radio blared in the background as I tried to solve equations!

My mom would walk between the stove and the table at least a zillion times each day, always cheerful and busy. 

When  all of us sat down to have dinner, even after our plates were dry, we would linger on, either sharing how our day went, or singing or listening to my Dad sharing snippets from his day.

Televesion soaps had not invaded our lives then. We would all listen to the news on the radio, and then head back to our rooms to study or squabble with our siblings, or chit chat with our grandma and aunt.

Truly, the smells of my mom’s kitchen were delicious and filled with love, happiness and bonding.