Cooking for the Soul (Guest Post)

Hello everyone! It has been SO long since I had a guest post on the blog. And so here is a beautiful and heartfelt guest post by my dear mother. She has always loved to cook and I have always loved to eat what she cooks. 😄 Her journey from being a homemaker to a food blogger is heart-warming. So today’s blog post is about her experiences with cooking and how much it means to her! What you’ll be reading next is written by her.

My childhood memories are filled with images of Amma (my mother) tirelessly cooking in the kitchen right from the early hours of the day.

Ours was an old-fashioned kitchen with no stoves and electric appliances. My siblings and I would huddle together in a corner and raptly watch her work in the kitchen.

It was quite a challenge to convince her to transition to cooking on the stove. But she was a quick learner. In no time she adapted to newer and easier ways to cook and use electrical appliances. I still admire her eagerness to learn and her hospitality.

We were taught to help her out in the kitchen and that’s how we learnt basic cooking skills when we were still kids.

After I got married, I wholeheartedly took on my role as a homemaker. Initially, it was pretty hard for me to adapt and do all the cooking. There have been a lot of instances when the food turned out salty or even saltless. But my husband patiently helped me out and has even taught me quite a few recipes which have now become staples for us.

Calling my mother to ask for recipes had become a regular habit. And that’s how I slowly learnt to love being in the kitchen. My skills improved and so did my confidence.

There used to be routine calls to my sister, sister-in-law and friends which ended up in an exchange of recipes.

I always remember a sound piece of advice my mother used to repeat: “Kaam kelleri kella monu kolu najja” (which means, your cooking area should be so well organised that nobody should even know that you have cooked in there). She was an advocate for cleanliness and hygiene and instilled the same thought in us.

Over the years, I have accumulated basic to complex recipes in a notebook. I write them down and find myself referring to the books whenever I need them. It has got everything from breakfast ideas to lunch and special dishes.

I love experimenting and have tried making fusion versions of certain recipes, adding my own touch and surprise elements to the dish. What’s best is that most of the time they turn out very well.

If I have to talk about my favourite food, I find Thalis appealing. There is something so fascinating to see a variety of food placed in a beautiful Thali. Whenever we entertain guests, I find great joy in rustling up a lot of different dishes.

Now things have become so much easier. If you want any recipe the video is right there on YouTube. So many food blogs have sprouted up and the food industry is booming.

We are pure vegetarians and I mostly love whipping up traditional food, essentially Mangalore cuisine. But thanks to the internet era, I have learnt to cook other cuisines well and have mastered a few recipes too.

It makes me so happy to see so many food bloggers and their recipes. I feel connected to them due to our common passion for food and cooking.

And in all this, my daughter came upon the idea of starting my food page on Instagram. It took some convincing. And finally, My Smol Kitchen was born in 2022!

She even designed the logo for the page and has been a great source of support to me.

It’s been about a year since I started My Smol Kitchen. I post tried and tested recipes which are easy to cook. Some are even authentic and traditional Konkani food. The page is growing slowly but I am so proud of it!

My Smol Kitchen is like a dream come true for me. I always fancied the idea of having something of my own, a different identity. My daughter and I sit together and brainstorm ideas on how to make the page better and different. We have tried making reel videos and posting tips and tricks.

And I enjoy every bit of it!

Cooking is like meditation to me. There are so many small but important elements that go into it, be it chopping the right way, the methods used, preparations and planning, good accessories like a sharp knife, quality peelers, and a handy chopping board among so many others.

I strongly believe that cooking is an essential life skill everybody must have. It is even more essential now that a lot of people stay away from home or even migrate to other countries to study or work.

While it is nice to eat out once in a while, it is hard to survive without knowing to cook. One does not need to know fancy dishes or cook multiple cuisines. Knowing the basic recipes that are staples to you is more than sufficient.

Cooking has been the most therapeutic for me. When my family enjoys the food and when I see the smiles on their faces, it makes my day.

There’s never the right time to do what makes you happy, and I can vouch for it. My food page is my new identity and it brings me a lot of joy and has given me the confidence to grow and get better at my skills.

6 thoughts on “Cooking for the Soul (Guest Post)

  1. Lovely post by our dear Suman Mayee. We know from all these years how she takes charge of running the entire home and when it comes to the kitchen she is the undisputed raani.

    There are just so many things we all can learn from her. 🙂 It is simply amazing how she has evolved and now is riding the digital wave. Kudos to Chetu also for the brilliant support.

    We had a most wonderful time once again through our recent trip. And this time it was like a magician’s show. She whipped out amazing breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the other stuff as if it was from thin air ! She spent all the time with us smiling and chatting and when our tummies grumbled the food would be ready. Just like as it is with magicians, we never got to see the enormous effort and the hard work that would have gone in the background.

    I think another title we can give her is “Magician Suman”.

    It is always a pleasure to be around her. :-))
    Devu Tukka Bare Koro 🌹

    Best Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the post, mayi. With ages, cooking new dishes ( restaurant style) have become easy but at the same time being in kitchen is looked down upon. The trend of eating outside regularly has become an emerging fashion.

    Myself never thought how much I loved cooking till I became a mother and had a son who too have a great taste bud. His insistance for special dishes and support from my hubby made me a great cook. On the other hand, my younger one doesn’t have any special taste bud. Anyway, i understand the joy of cooking and being satisfied by looking at smile on face of my dear ones.

    Keep writing mayi.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sumanakka.. Too good.. Rightly said.. Cooking is meditation.. Gives us another level of satisfaction.. Lot to learn from you..🙏🙏🙏💕💕💕
    Feels good when children glorify their parents.. Kudos to dear Chetana.. 👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

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