Wednesday, February 27, 2013
On Sunday. She'll be here about two weeks.
This woman is a Tamil mother from the old school, and I adore her. But she cooks, oh lord, she cooks.
That "what" of what she cooks is no issue. We eat Tamil food at least half the time ourselves, and it's home-made, and full of good nutrition, and while it uses a ton of oil, there's no animal products in it at all the way she makes it so the total fat level is perfectly acceptable to me. It's just the amount.
We have these big square dinner plates. Left to her own devices, my mother-in-law will, for the biggest meal of the day (lunch) fill them up with approximately three cups of rice, three of sambar (a thick savory lentil stew with vegetables), a couple more of whatever vegetable side dishes she's made that day, a handful of potato chips, and a spoonful of yummy, oily, hot pickle to top it all off. At my most willing to eat huge portions of food I could still barely fit all of that in my stomach without pain, and then she would affectionately call me a "poor eater" because I'd refuse to follow it up with *another* cup of rice with rasam (a thin, fragrant lentil-based soup) and *another* cup or two of rice after that with yogurt.
Oh, my aching stomach.
So yeah, she's coming to visit. Did I mention that she really, really likes it when people appreciate her food? Did I mention how much I love her? HALP?
On a related note, the other night I had had a small bowl of something-or-other around dinner time due to becoming hungry while my husband was still cooking. It probably would not have been enough for the whole evening, but as I told him, I was not going to want very much more. Cue the completion of cooking time, and dear husband (who is skinny, mind you) appearing with a full Tamil-size plate of food.
Oh yes, he says, I'll have this one. He re-appears with a second plate about 2/3 the size, still easily double what I would have served myself even if I hadn't eaten anything yet.
And I took it. I left at least half of it there, but I took it. I can say "no" quite easily once, but I fold to good-natured persistance. I think I may need to insist on always serving myself while my mother-in-law is here. Sound like a plan?
(On the plus side, my husband is usually great. Today's special breakfast -- it's my birthday! -- he gave me one (ONE!) pancake. There was a frozen waffle on my plate, too, but that was the kiddo's donation.)