Friday, October 12, 2012
That I like to cook is an understatement--that I find Cooking a great way to release pent -up Emotions is another---but I had never thought of turning it around as a method to keep myself busy!!The local Branch of the Bank where I do my Transactions is mostly populated by young Trainees--all studying for their MBAs and undergoing Training at these Banks.Most of these are from out of Town--living in PG Digs and just generally making do for Food with whatever is locally available.What however appealed to me was the way these Kids would interact with me each time I visited the Branch.They had known both of us and were very empathetic as they walked me through the various Banking procedures.This led to a closer aquaintance and slowly a bond
of Friendship began materialising.Each time I visited someone or the other made it their business to come sit and chat with me---if they happened to catch me sitting alone!!As a mark of my appreciation for their support I decided to cook them something---and after finding out what they'd like--i did just that!!
This Branch has 45 people working there---and a regular Staff of 40 people is present daily.One girl told me she missed "Pohey" her mother made at home--and so I told them that I'd send them some!!"Pohey" is boiled,pounded,parched Rice--these used to be made for people to carry while travelling during the old days for these are filling,healthy and easy to reconstitute.Boiled New Rice is pounded flat and then dried in the Sun to form thin, flat Rice flakes---and as this is light to both carry as well as digest this is one item you will always find in most self respecting Indian Travellers' Luggages!!One just has to wash and drain it under a running Tap to reconstitute it into a soft and fluffy Rice and then it can be eaten in a variety of ways--but cooking it with chopped sauteed Onions (Shallots),diced Potatoes ,Green Peas and Green Chillies is perhaps the most popular method to cook these.In our home we also add a variety of Fresh Vegetables as well as diced Tomatoes to liven up the taste.I cooked my Vegetable Pohey for everyone--45 people in all--and filled this into two huge Stainless Steel Containers and dispatched these to the Bank.This broke the Ice further---and when they called to thank me for my gesture,my sister Ritu picked up the 'phone.It was she who told them that I was going into the Catering? Business and if they needed anything for special occasions I'd do the honours!!That I had not been told was a separate thing--and on my next visit to the Bank some of these started talking to me about the horrible Food they were eating on a daily basis---how the Food was oily and extremely spicy and expensive--causing them to suffer various types of Stomach problems!!!Finally I took the hint--and agreed to send them Tiffins for Lunch at a reasonable rate---as well as Breakfast too for a price!!
So now my day begins at 6.30 a.m. when I begin preparations for Breakfast--by 8.30 a.m. the Breakfast Containers are ready---I supply 12 Breakfasts daily.Then there are about 12 Lunch Tiffins---these leave the house by 12.15 p.m.----and then I'm done for the day!!!The benefits of this Excercise????My mind is constantly at work---conjuring up various permutations and combinations of the daily Menus---for the Tiffins include Vegetable Curries and Salads as well as different Dals and Pulses along with Rice and Indian Breads.I have no time to brood over my personal tragedy---and i fall asleep dog tired every night--for even though I have a good Staff I still need to supervise each and every tiny detail myself---for being a perfectionist don't like to leave anything half done till the l;ast minute!!So at 59 years of age this fat,rotund Body is learning a new way to live---and excercise!!!
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