I hope that you enjoy reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where ten of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum. The nine other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!
It is with much regret that I bid Shackman goodbye from the LBC gang. He has expressed his inability to participate due to personal problems and I wish him well. I hope that he is able to solve his problems soon and rejoin us.
Most men may not be able to but Padmum should know that her three brothers including this writer, can and what is more important, her husband can too!
If however the question was to be rephrased to include a word – voluntarily, I expect that most men would say no. No, only to cook daily meals, not the occasional foray into the kitchen to experiment or try out a recipe received from somewhere or even just to show off how good they are. I say most, because, there are exceptions and I know quite a few of them.
I learnt how to cook by observing some friends who used to visit us in Mumbai. These were a group of men who were employed in Saudi Arabia. There, they lived in barracks and cooked their own food. They would return once a year to their homes in Hyderabad and our home in Mumbai was their transit accommodation.
I refined my ability by meeting with chefs in hotels and restaurants and asking them about the dishes that I liked and further by getting some recipe books. A friend of mine, Shoib seeing my interest, gifted me with a copy of the book Cooking Delights Of The Maharajas way back in 1987 which is still a treasured possession often referred to while cooking up something exotic. As synchronicity often does in my life, the author’s son H.H. Vikram Singh Ji of Sailana, a surprisingly modest and unassuming man who has inherited the family’s passion for food, came into my life quite unexpectedly and was thrilled to hear from me my appreciation of his father’s book. He too is a great cook and is famous in Pune as the host of food festivals held in Pune’s top hotels.
For many years, during my late wife’s illness, I was the cook at home cooking daily meals. She would inevitably appreciate the output and thank me profusely and I used to bask in that glow. I cooked for my late father too to satisfy his craving for our traditional food, but since he could not be satisfied, I ceased to, to bring some peace at home.
I can therefore say that yes, a man can cook daily meals, but I suspect, only when it is appreciated. Women on the other hand, have to irrespective of receiving appreciation or not, as my late mother did for decades till she was freed of that silly occupation.