Food is the prime source of most of my memories if not all. When I look back at my childhood, it seems to be the most integral part of me growing up after family and probably school and college.
Being born in a Punjabi family is both a blessing and a curse, blessing because food is really important for us and a curse because food is the most important thing for us. Since I’m an only child, my first memories of the kitchen are sitting on the slab and talking to my mother while she cooked, no wonder I turned out like this!
I grew up in household where preparations for every festival were synonymous with traditional food that was cooked to celebrate it. Weeks in advance my father would make a list of ingredients to be brought from the market and stock up the kitchen so that my mother’s methodical plan was met. We waited for seasons to change with great trepidation because there would be discussions of what delicacies would be enjoyed in that weather… Going on holidays meant not only to travel, do touristy things but make a thorough list of places to eat at and ensure we tick marked every place on the list!
Every time we had friends or family visiting us, the three of us would sit with a pen and paper to plan a regular three course meal that would take into consideration their likes and dislikes. My mother’s favourite guests have always been the ones that who made their ‘farmaaish’ before coming. Be it dinners, kitty parties, high teas, lunches, or visitors visiting on short notice, the menu had to be unique and flavours spot on.
I recall evenings while I was in school, my friends would call my mother and request her to send something specific for lunch the next day and my mother gladly obliged! Sometimes some long-lost relatives would call asking for the recipe of a dish they ate on the last trip and neigbours would, or rather still, ask for a bowl of what was being cooked because the aroma was irresistible.
In the midst of all this action how could I not grow up to be a foodie?
A myriad of memories are gushing through my mind while I write this, but well this is just the beginning. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of such food memories to share with you guys.