“And every second’s like torture,
Hell over trip, no more so.
Finding a way to let go
Baby baby no I can’t escape…”-The Heart Wants What It Wants(Song)
No, this isn’t an article about heart-break. 😉
After a week-long vacation, merry-making and parties, those four lines come comically close to describe how one feels getting back to work. It’s tedious and borderline heart-wrenching to sift through all the backlog while new assignments get simultaneously piled up. So, after a long, tiring day at the office(or college), what can you do to feel good? I don’t know about you, but it gives me immense comfort to simply – cook. I’ll give it a shot and try to show you how calming and rewarding it feels. Here are a few easy and delicious recipes –
1. The Quickie Snack: All-spread bread – Take 2-4 thick slices of bread and toast them. Coat them evenly with tomato sauce/puree. Top it with some freshly chopped onions, garlic, capsicum, tomatoes, fried chicken(leftovers do excellent) or baby corn. Put some grated cheese over it and put it in the microwave/oven till golden-brown. That done, you can garnish it with a few leaves of coriander or basil. As the name goes, you can put anything you want on the bread and it’ll taste just as good. For the health-conscious, boiled and minimally seasoned horse-gram beans/green peas and tofu instead of chicken can be used. It’s all up to how you want to eat it.
2. Main course – Spaghetti and meat(X) balls : Take a pan, a pot and get your “Ratatouille” on! Fill a pot half with water and add a teaspoonful salt to it. Next add noodles/pasta/spaghetti as required and cook till done. Meanwhile, take a bowl and combine garlic,1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, salt, meat, cheese(optional) and breadcrumbs. Mix it well and shape them into balls. In a pan, heat a generous amount of oil over medium. Add the meatballs and cook evenly on both sides. Drop a dollop of tomato puree and coat the meatballs, after 2-3 minutes add chopped tomatoes. Once the pasta is done,drain and add it to the meatballs. Toss it together,gently. Serve with grated cheese on top. Best thing about this dish is, it can hardly ever go wrong. Also, the meatballs need not have meat inside, you can instead use prawns, salmon, tofu or even paneer.
3. Dessert – Painless pudding : Warm milk(250 ml) and cream(125 ml) together in a saucepan. Put sugar(60 mg) and teaspoonful cornflour into another saucepan and sieve in the cocoa powder. Add the 2 tablespoons of boiling water and whisk to a paste. Whisk in 2 egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the warmed milk and cream, then the vanilla extract. Stir it on a low heat, cooking and whisking for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Take off the heat and whisk in the finely chopped chocolate, before pouring into small glasses. Cover them with clingfilm, letting the clingfilm rest on the chocolate surface and refrigerate once they are cooler. Top it off with some cold and finely chopped apple/strawberry/raspberry. Take one bite and it’ll instantly feel just like heaven.
Cooking even one dish a day helps you feel better. It makes you feel confident and independent. You can proudly say to yourself: “ So what if I messed up at work today? I made this dish.” It also helps to bring our family closer if everyone cooks and eats together. For some, it can serve as a creative outlet as well, turning novices into Master-chefs. Just give it a try. A little stirring,tossing, mixing and taking in the aroma, and viola! You’re transported into a happy and peaceful dimension.
Life’s unpredictable and busy. But you might as well try out new things while you’re at it. 🙂 Send in your experiences, articles and feedback to [email protected]. Happy cooking!