The Art & Comfort Of Food

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The one thing that can transform my mood from 'blah' to 'wow', apart from the man I love, is some good food. I love everything about food and I worship it. Food is very sacred to me and I enjoy every aspect of it. Today, as I was making a health mix porridge for breakfast, I was thrilled by how the powder and water came together to form a golden mass that tasted delicious! Have you ever wondered how grains of wheat transform into your roti? How flour, eggs, sugar and butter combine together to form a delicious cake? I worship the genius who decided to add tomato marinara and some toppings to bread to create pizza! Food, my friend, is no less of an art. Food appeals to all the senses and rightly so. The foodie in me cheers up instantly as soon as I smell something delicious. I love a well presented dish. I love to hear the sizzle of a piping hot dish. I appreciate different textures in a dish and when it turns out to be delicious, I attain nirvana.

Having said that, how many of us actually appreciate food? Of course we eat three or more meals a day, but how many of us actually enjoy what we eat and think about the art and effort that has gone behind it? As much as I love eating, I love cooking as well. I love to transform raw ingredients into something delicious. I love to knead dough to make rotis, there is something immensely therapeutic about it. I make three meals a day. Breakfast, lunch to be packed to office and dinner. I believe in cooking and eating fresh food everyday and hence I do not stock up on cooked food. I also like to eat three different meals a day. I do not repeat what I cooked for lunch for dinner or the other way around. I also do not eat or serve something cooked the previous day. In spite of my hectic schedule and full time job, this is something I focus on. I love trying out new recipes and new ingredients. There is something fascinating about cooking something from scratch. I love the whole process as much as I love eating it.

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It helps that I am married to a man who knows to appreciate food and the effort that goes behind it. Earlier, the normal response to anything I cooked was "Ah as long as you made something, it is fine". This is not what I want to hear when I invest my time and effort into something. People who love food and know to appreciate it are my favorite kind of people. I love to have long conversations around food and love to explore different kinds of cuisines. My husband and I have probably been to every restaurant in Bangalore by now and we still look forward to going to new places and trying out new types of food. The science behind food is definitely worth knowing. Ever wondered what gives ice cream its texture and how the humble egg can be made in so many forms? These are the questions I love asking and the answers are etched in my mind for ever. We need to appreciate food better. We need to understand the time and effort spent in growing the ingredients, to the time and effort spent in turning them into something delicious! At the end of the day, what do we all slog for? A decent meal, right? How many of us appreciate what goes on to our plate?

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Nothing comforts me like food. Think of the warmth of soup during a cold day, or the crunch of some pakoras on a rainy day along with a glass of piping hot tea! Just the thought will make you smile. Food is something that makes me instantly happy! Be it the sizzle of a chunky steak, the fat oozing off a pork belly, the softness of paneer tikka, the heat that pani puri leaves in your mouth, the disappearance of gelato once it touches the tongue, the spongy fluff of a hot idly or the crunch of a crispy dosa! I'm salivating as I write this. Good food is a mood elevator and it sure helps in making any day better. As much as greasy and oily food is delicious, healthy food can be equally tasty too! It all depends on what you want to eat and how. Of late, I have been watching what's going on to my plate and I'm preparing healthy versions of many recipes, without compromising on the taste. Millets can be tastier than rice if prepared right. Did you know that carrots taste the best when roasted in the oven than when boiled/steamed/stir-fried? Same with cauliflower, sweet potato and broccoli too.

This is exactly why I love watching channels focusing on food. The only reason I still have cable at home is to watch 'Masterchef Australia' or the FoodFood and LivingFoodz channels. I find it hard to believe when people say that they are not interested in food. When you eat it, how can you not be interested in it? It is like a woman saying that she is not a feminist. I just don't get it. You don't have to be a great cook or enjoy cooking to enjoy food. You can always appreciate the taste and creativity behind it.

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Take some time to understand what goes on to your plate. Take some time to appreciate the effort behind the dish. Take some time to relish the smell and look of it. Take more than enough time to feel the different textures, different flavors, the different sensations inside your mouth. Trust me, it will be totally worth it. While cooking, experiment with the ingredients. You need to do justice to the produce that a farmer has put his blood and sweat into. Try cooking an ingredient in different ways, go online and try out new recipes, step out to a new place for dinner on a weekend, try to guess the ingredients in a dish, try to taste the same dish in many places, try to identify the difference. Food needs to be celebrated. Let us at least try to give it the respect it deserves.

How interested are you in food? What is your comfort food?

20 comments:

  1. I think you already know my thoughts about food. I love food. Like you I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes. I am very interested in the nutrition angle and I plan all the meals at home and cook them despite working full time. Food turns me on and we are a complete foodie family. You should hear my younger son's comments when he tastes food. ;-) And since we also grow some produce at home, the entire process fascinates me. You know I have done a couple of certification courses in Nutrition only out of interest. Food is magic. It is memories and love. And those who do not pay much attention to its creation are missing out on something huge.

    No wonder I like you so much, we share so much in common. :)

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    1. Ditto, Rachna! :)

      Food is magic, indeed. Let us meet soon over some good food and talk about nutrition and everything else :)

      Delete
  2. I'm high on emotions to find someone share the same love and passion towards food. Infact I live the life to eat and explore eating out options. I would have met and hugged you if I knew you during my Bangalore days.

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    1. Yay Sonia, hi-five! :D

      Let's catch up over some good food if you ever visit Bangalore again.

      Delete
  3. I'll be honest, while I love food, I eat to live. I haven't been able to get into shows like Masterchef for that reason. I cook stuff that's healthy, easy and quick. It's why I meal prep on the weekends because I cannot be bothered to cook after work. Sure, when I eat out, I will savour it and enjoy it but rarely do I look further. My comfort food is cheese {which is not about cooking!} and I do love the tastes and textures of different cheeses.

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    1. As long as you enjoy food, we can be friends :D

      Cooking after a long day at work soothes me, maybe I'm just crazy!

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  4. I'm a die hard food lover who loves to cook as well as eat good food. Cooking food is of course an art where we can play with various flavours, colours, and textures. This post echo my thoughts. I am sharing it on my Facebook page.

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    1. Always nice to meet a fellow food lover! Cooking sure is an art that needs to be appreciated more :)

      Thank you for the share.

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  5. I find comfort in good food. Just like you, my mood also transforms from 'blah' to 'wow' when i get to eat food. So many cuisines, so many varieties, i want to try all of them in my life. Hopefully i'll get to enjoy many varieties and cuisines one day. :P :D

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    1. Hi-five for that! :)

      I hope you get to try all the cuisines of the world. That's one of my dreams too rated very high on my bucket list.

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  6. Food comforts me, too. This is why I need to watch what I’m eating:)

    Damyanti

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    1. I watch what I'm eating too, still I manage to enjoy daily meals and look forward to the occasional binge :)

      Thank you for the comment, D.

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  7. Even I feel the same & I agree with you, Soumya.
    Time and effort is invested for preparation of food. People ought to appreciate.
    I like having freshly prepared food. Like you, even I do not want to repeat the same food for lunch/dinner.
    I try to cook so that there are no leftovers :)
    I love food and I am so privileged that I get awesome food to eat. Really grateful.
    I am concerned that some people do not value food and waste a lot...

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    1. Excellent Anita, I am exactly like you in this parlance :)

      People need to respect food, in every possible way.

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  8. Now that's a post after my own heart! I love food, too. And to people who say you shouldn't find comfort in food, I say phooey! There is a reason why we have comfort food, after all! And while comfort food may not be carrot sticks and celery, it doesn't always have to be ice cream, either (not that there's anything wrong with either). As for my comfort food, it depends on my mood. A nice hot plate of pasta, kadhi-chawal, chicken curry and rice, a square (or an entire bar) of dark chocolate, poached eggs on toast - at different times and in different circumstances, these are some of my comfort foods.

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    1. Yay, hi-five! :)

      I have various comfort foods too and I crave them at different times and they always make me feel better. Always.

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  9. As much as I love food, I enjoy eating it too. Looks like I am more of a comfort food person, if I love something, I will order that almost every time I visit the outlet and some extras!! ;) I like to cook, but I am not the traditional cooking kind. That's one of the reasons, I cannot cook everyday in a joint household. Also, I am learning better recipes especially in the last one year, since I am on a search for new recipes for the little one. This is the first time I realized I am interested in cooking.

    I have so much to ask you when it comes to cooking. Eating turns me on! :) Though I haven't been a junk person lately, I am loving the binge eating once in a while! It helps a lot!! :)

    I would love to cook daily meals sometime soon. Hopefully, we will be travelling next year. More on that, while we talk!!

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    1. I enjoy everything that has to do with food. I love cooking more than I love eating though. I am a creative person, so this will always give me a greater kick :)

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  10. Fist bump woman on the love for food! Though I do repeat my meals (man I have too much left over despite being prudent about how much I make; I am cooking for one)I just love to make things from scratch too and havent been able to get into the mojo of stocking stuff in the freezer like purees, etc.

    Loved loved this post and will soon be doing a post on food based fiction book reviews - hope you catch them as I love food to be the central story - totally an awesome expereince to read about food as one reads!!!

    And I am the same about the food shows- MastercheF OZ is the bestest and I love watching the Bake shows on TLC a lot - such awesome cakes. My current craze is sourdough bread making and I have been researchng that

    We shall share some food stories soonest.

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    1. Yay, hi-five for that!

      With time, I have learnt how to exactly cook for two people and not waste food. If there is extra, I give it away and not throw it.

      Food based fiction book reviews?? Do it already!

      I saw that bread making of yours, one thing I've never been lucky with is bread. Share your recipe please, will try it out.

      Delete

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