Two Sunday lunches and everything in between

At the start of last week, things were going normally. I even managed to put a brief (but not long enough) pause in my blogging at the beginning of the week, because God knows those emails aren’t going to get sent themselves and those reviews aren’t going to miraculously create themselves in my work folders. But somewhere as I hit mid-week, I had a minor aberration and slipped into that state of mind where you want to do nothing rational, nothing practical, nothing your head tells you is the right thing to do. Which in my world translates to: to hell with chores, work, deadlines and everything that doesn’t need me to be in the kitchen.

And it was all downhill from there.


Or uphill, if you choose to look at it the way I did.

Food-wise, there’s been a lot of drama in my kitchen of late. Laying out my cast of characters, shuffling around plot lines and back stories. Filling in the gaps and trying hard to string them together to make one single story, spanning two Sunday Lunches that are fast becoming tradition in our home, and all the riveting drama that ensued in between.

With the archetypical hero. A lean, mean thing, deceptively plain to look. But only when you take a bite do you find out just how much flavour he can pack in a punch.

Light, easy, flavourful grilled fish in a pouch
Light, easy, grilled Fish In a Pouch. Do not be deceived by his outward plainness. For inside, he is flavourful like you wouldn’t even see it coming.

And of course there had to his love interest. The object of his pursuit of affection. A diametric opposite of everything he is. If you think he is quiet and simple, she is surprising and exuberant. If he is the introvert, she is the extrovert, bursting at you with unexpected naughty flavours.

Sweet nibbles of gooey strawberries mixed with the nutty aroma of coconuts. Yeah, I cant even.
Sweet nibbles of gooey strawberries mixed with the nutty aroma of coconuts in one single Coconut-Strawberry Cake. Yeah, I cant even.

What is a dramatic story without the entrance of a fiesty villain? The grubby, grainy but unbeatable anti-hero. He lures the heroine away, and with his unstoppable and spicy charisma, she has no choice but to give in.

Green chilli-spiced, zingy ridge gourd pachadi. For that spice-in-your-face to perk up a simple meal.
Green chilli-spiced, zingy Ridge Gourd Pachadi. For that spice-in-your-face to perk up a simple meal.

In terms of settings, its pointless to move forward without building in that once scene that brings matters to a head, all the key characters together and invariably a twist in the tale. Think of it as the typical Big Fat Indian Shaadi — with all its diverse guests, song and dance, a massive splash of colour, gossiping aunties, scheming uncles and flirty nubile things — or a scene that brings in a surprise entrant, a heavyweight in the form of a flamboyant character you least expect to topple the scales and the straight progression of things.

Herbed grilled chicken, with a cold salad, carrot sticks. Where it all comes together beautifully.
Herbed Grilled Chicken, with a cold salad, carrot sticks. Where it all comes together beautifully.

And finally a calming special appearance. A cameo, but a cool, funny, witty someone who puts a wonderfully light spin on the whole story. Reminding you never to take yourself too seriously. To accept everything that comes you way, with a squeeze of lime and a dash of salt.

Soothing cucumber. Tangy curd. Zesty pepper and salt. One cool dish you can't ignore.
Soothing cucumber. Tangy curd. Zesty pepper and salt. All comes together to make Tzatziki: one cool dish you can’t ignore.

Its all about perspectives, I’ve learnt. Because while it was a week where almost no work got done, I have so much cooking, blogging and reading to show for it. Did I accomplish all that I wanted to? Not entirely. Did I get distracted from my work a lot? Totally. Is my client going to be please? No, probably not. Am I happy? Yes, indeed. Am I going to suffer? No, I will probably pull a couple of all-nighters and make it all up on time. So was it all a waste of my time? Hell no. Because when I was busy ignoring my work, I was in the kitchen concocting a dramatic story.


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