- Patience is key
No doubt that this is what hit me hard the first time I attempted cooking and still continues to tease me. The time and amount of preparation required for even the simplest Indian dishes is unbelievable. Some things require the utmost attention and no matter how much you think you can go free-board with the recipe, the in between ‘pause and let it cook’ process can get you praying for it to cook quickly without burning. I don’t know how many times I have actually let my onions be cooked properly before I rushed to put in all the other ingredients. It was one thing that made me to ‘wait, see and watch’ how others do it before I learnt to do it properly.
2. No need to be perfect the first time(or even second)
No matter how perfect I would hope my first attempts at the recipes would be, I’ve been most disappointed. I’m probably the messy kind but somehow my innate optimism doesn’t allow me to wallow in grief in general life situations. However, constant failures at not being able to even roll out the perfectly shaped rotis, even after so many attempts can frustrate you. However, banging your head on the wall over it again and again hurts you more. You’ve got to do it again, be content with what your efforts and hope the next time will be more successful.
3. Sharing brings joy
Most of my fondest memories of college are, when I got invited to my Muslim friends’ home and my eyes would bulge from the amount of food on the table for just one guest. A lot of times I’ve critiqued about wasting time and effort to prepare so many things for just one person. It was incomprehensible for me ‘then’, but I believe now that there is absolutely no greater joy in sharing the gift of food with your beloved ones and more so with the lesser privileged. Maybe someday I will have the courage and my own home to open to strangers and the poor as Jesus commanded for us all to do. But till then I’m joyous in making every effort fruitful while preparing for my loved ones.
4. Being creative and work around the issue you have
It is not everytime that you end up making the exact same thing you had started with. Sometimes you have ‘soon to decay’ fruits lying waiting to be eaten or sometimes you just want a quick fix to your hunger. What do you do? You work around the issue at hand. Hunger drives you to rage, weakness and dismay, however if there is the will to get up and learn from your experiences, you get the strength in you to stretch your imagination to fulfill the goal. No situation has a one shot answer. Anything can be worked out. Fruits can be made into a shake, the leftover rice and sabzis can go into a khichdi and ofcourse some chaat masala (prayer) always helps.
4. ‘SALT’ is essential for almost anything
Noone needs to be told how much salt is required in food in whatever manner of cooking. Almost anything tastes bland without a pinch of salt. However, too much salt can render the whole recipe useless. Jesus calls us to be the “Salt of the Earth”.. Even our conduct and speech is said to be ‘seasoned with salt’. What does that mean? Does it mean I have to use my tongue sharply all the time? No! Simply understood, what Jesus commands, is a life that brings flavor to others and which can unite the whole community together just as salt binds the whole dish together.
I hope what I have learnt will help someone somehow. The struggles in life can crush us to the point that we stay in denial and allow ourselves to go numb with pain. However God says ‘His burdens are light’. There is nothing on Earth or heaven that harm any of His children and therefore each day when the sun rises in the morning and goes down in the evening, allow yourself to be believe in Love and Hope that comes from meditating on His Word. Hopefully it will reflect in your cooking. 🙂
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything..’
– James 1 :2-4