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Food for thought

I love a good food blog. I love spending hours looking at all the wonderful pictures, so painstaking in their effort that it hurts to think that these bloggers are doing it for no reason other than the love of it. There's a variety of recipes, all presented ever so professionally. A drizzle here, a coriander sprig artfully tucked there. They also makes me acutely aware of my shortcomings. Admittedly, I had my own food blog for a while before I surrendered to my incompetence. For I can never, in a million years do dainty drizzles. Unless I happen to spill some by mistake. My food is chaotic. Served in mismatched bowls. With not a napkin in sight. At home we eat food with our hands, often messily. And when it's good, we lick, slurp and devour it with abandon. With an energy best left for the passions of reunited young lovers who have been apart for a year.

I go back to the food blogs and I see such a lot of quest for perfection. There is none of the burnt pans and runny cakes and stodgy upmas that plague my kitchen. Perhaps their food really does get served like that everyday. Even when when their mothers come around for lunch. Perhaps there will be a little assortment of kichchdis and pachchdis in delicate china bowls all seated carefully like school children arranged according to their height in class photographs. My mother would have a fit if I served her food like that. What's this? she would demand sneeringly, all fancy-pancy nonsense? Get me something real to eat. And I would oblige her willingly.

Browsing some of the popular food blogs, I am reminded of a friend's extremely pretty mother. So pretty in fact that she was a bit scary. There was none of the comforting folds of fat and rough-and-ready look that I had come to associate with mothers in general. This friend's mother was polished and positively gleaming. Nearly every other food blog I come across seems giddy with aspiration, worryingly flawless. I look and look for some signs of weakness, some small admission of a mishap, something familiar for me to hang my insecurity on. But all I get is gorgeous pictures of shiny stainless cups holding steaming hot payasam. Perhaps I should start stocking on coriander sprigs after all.

Please note: A delightful exception to this rule is my dear friend Shyam's food blog where she charts her culinary experiments (and the occasional disaster) with humour and honesty.


Anonymous said…
beeka :)

silar samaippar
silar ezhuduvar
avan/l samithukkonde

you know the tune.
Archana said…
Oh ,I love Shyamala's food blog too. *All* recipes I have tried so far from her blog have turned out real good, and yup, the blog is not intimidating :-)!

p.s. I spend hours and hours drooling at *all* food blogs - picture perfect or not - yummmm! Am so glad that food-gazing does not add on pounds - please God, not that!
inbavalli said…
You're talking about mismatched bowls? We often eat upma off the pan :D
B o o said…
Lovely post!

This blog might be very comforting for you then! I love it. The food and the paathrams used!! :)
Ravi said…
Ammani, why is that we often self-ridicule our culinary habits? If eating with fork & spoon seems elegant, so is slurping payasam from a banana leaf by hand! And how are stainless steel utensils inferior to the porcelein ones? I think we ought to first get rid off our low esteem!
Bong Mom said…
Oh don't worry you should just look beyond, beyond the pic and you will see the same chaos for sure.
It is like the hurried house cleaning before guests troop in and waiting with bated breath that no one opens the closet.
Mama - Mia said…

oh well! point to appreciate is that they can manage such perfection atleast once which cannot be said for a klutz like me!

god i was laughing loud reading this one!

brilliant stuff!


Goji Berry said…
Well, I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what you are speaking about, and I can truly get behind that. Thanks for staying so upfront and so sincere.

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Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
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Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

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It's well worth starting young

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