My son comes into the kitchen with his usual refrain, “Is there anything interesting to eat?” I point at the fruit basket, the biscuit tin and at some jars with Indian savouries. “So boring”, he says.
And like a predator he walks around the kitchen, scouring every cupboard and the refrigerator for ‘interesting food’.
His eyes fall on some packets of instant soup. His eyes light-up and he asks “Could I have some soup?”
I am busy preparing lunch and ask him to be patient. But he nags me. I give in when he says he will make the soup himself; his first attempt at cooking anything in the kitchen. I have no problem with that.
He stands next to me and reads the instructions multiple times. He hires me to be his assistant and asks me for measuring cups and ladles. I sigh and agree, albeit reluctantly.
With his phone next to him, he stirs the soup as if it were a magic potion while following instructions perfectly. “Continue stirring till the soup comes to a boil and then keep on simmer for 2 minutes”, he reads out aloud.
He constantly asks me to check the soup’s consistency. When I pronounce that it looks ready to be served, he looks at the instructions and realizes he has 30 seconds left. He continues stirring with his eyebrows furrowed in concentration.
Finally, he switches off the gas and transfers the soup into three soup bowls. My husband and I have the first spoonfuls.
And before we can say anything, our son announces, “It’s perfect”, with his eyes closed and his head turned upward, as if he had made the soup from scratch. His smile of satisfaction is priceless. “I am happy”, he announces.
My husband and I nod in agreement. More than the taste of the soup, we enjoyed watching our son go through the process, and his apparent delight. He has now taken on the role of ‘instant soup maker’ at home!!