My experiments with cooking. Finally cooking, not just grubbing
Yes, its happening. I am finally cooking. All along i have been a grubbing foodie; love to eat good stuff but never really ventured into the kitchen more than to heat the good stuff in the microwave or to make some noodles or eggs (both of which being rare). But the transformation has begun and boy, it is beginning to be a very exciting experiment; just what can be made in the kitchen, is truly limited only by imagination (and yes you can make other things too in the kitchen, like, ahmmm, well lets leave that to imagination as well).
The experiments have been going on for 2 weeks, basically since i moved to a new sublet (well i sublet very often in manhattan and move around living in different parts of the city every 3-4 mths). This time i moved in to the fab and famous east village part of new york and sharing the 2-bed cozy (and most say spacious by east village standard and rates) with a person who was a professional chef for many years of his life (he "got into the kitchen" as a young boy in his fathers restaurant in brooklyn). Now, i had been mulling with the idea of beginning to learn cooking (being on ifood since its inception and watching some awesome cookin happening such as from folks like Vikas Khanna, food buddies, chef hari and many others, this transformation was obvious) but this time around the time, place and person was just right. The apartment kitchen is stocked with all the right equipment and my roomie is just a great guy. Just watching and talking to him, i was hooked and lo and behold, within the first week of moving, i was out grocery shopping (whole foods is just around and so is associated super markets).
Infact, just grocery shopping has been an eye opener (and a lot of learning to do). I mean i have to learn basics; have to get used to the variety that is available in supermarkets (have lived 5 yrs in the USA, but hardly done any grocery shopping than milk, corn flakes, and some ramen noodles, other than 2-3 trips to jackson hts to get indian groceries, mostly when i was living with my other buddy, chintan. hey boy, howdy!).
Long ago, when in medical school (ok, not so long ago, i mean in terms of decades, but yeah 8-9 yrs ago) when some friends in med school hostel used to cook, my only job (and i was good at it) was to eat (hence the id name i have on ifood) and later washup the dishes. My chef friend used to say "its very relaxing, you know the whole deal of cooking". Ok, i cud never get it and how could i because i stepped into kitchens only when hunger had driven me to just grab, heat and eat. But, i see he was very right - cooking is not only relaxing. Its experimenting, its appreciating the bounty of nature in terms of its taste, smells and of course the look. Just looking at some veggies , you see the glorious riot of colors that food items have. But there is more - the act of cooking is also of affection; towards oneself, towards the food and towards nature. No wonder the affection is what makes mother's food so delicious. So, hopefully the experiments will continue and i learn more and more.
And i am documenting it as best as i can - taking pictures and hopefully blogging/adding recipes here. At the moment the experiments have been been simple things such as learning how to slice and dice things, learning what oils to cook and making simple stuff like pasta (with pesto sauce), chicken sandwich with sliced red peppers with a pesto and yogurt paste, eggs with salmon and caramalized onions. But the quest is on and hopefully become a life long learning and education and enjoyment. And yes, the invitations to a dinner cooked by yours truly will hopefully be extended by the time i leave this sublet (folks r u listening....)