If I were to pinpoint what keeps our souls near-fulfilled, it would have to be travel and food. Abundant travel and good food. Abundant travel might be complicated, but food we can attain.
How we are the bane of restaurant managers
P (my partner in most things) and I revel in the promise that food brings, especially since disappointment is always around the corner. You’ve zeroed in on a restaurant, you wear clean clothes, you brave traffic, and then end up eating the most average version of the food you ordered and pay for it grudgingly.
We’ve become complainers, lately. With good reason: there were bugs in the rice, the sausage fry had hair, and the prawns looked like someone else had had a go at them first. (The certificates on the walls don’t matter.) Or the chicken here is overcooked. And you served us pappad fried in ancient oil.
You’ll be surprised how managers flinch, and make sure to serve you better food or waive it from your bill at the very least.
P becomes a chef and I become… Cautious?
But I must explain why this has begun to happen. P’s cooking has set new standards for us. For him, most certainly. The raising of my bar is a happy coincidence.
His meticulous planning, his handpicked collection of small and big gadgets, his systematic trimming and cutting of meat and his love for good ingredients (which keeps us quite broke) has changed the way both of us want to experience a meal. He invests this energy into everything from a juice to a fried egg.
If I had a sip of homemade pina colada for every time someone fawned, ‘P you have to start a restaurant!’ I would be drunk. I possibly was.
I still remember the pork teriyaki I ate in a dark corner of my own birthday party so I’d have enough of it. I’ve eaten his homemade tiramisu (baked ladyfingers soaked in deeply sinful coffee and cherry brandy) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even cried a little when I heard that the spicy Goan sausage fry (with added beef mince) had been demolished by a bunch of hungry friends.
How does one survive a good thing?
I might seem like I lose a little dignity around his food, but I gain far more…weight. Or that’s the eternal fear. P works out to a maddeningly calculated schedule. I’m erratic and rely on sudden bursts of motivation to burn calories. But I can’t for much longer.
I enter the decade of my 30s soon, where one’s hormones change and vanity over one’s ‘decent genes’ takes a hit, especially at the waistline. Given that he does actually hope to take a shot at food, and I will force my way into being the official taster, you’ll find me on the yoga mat more often, half my spirit hanging about the kitchen eyeing his latest desert.