Friends and food so go together… One of my closest friends is one of the most awesome cooks I know. As is his wife. Their home reflects the generous, loving hospitality of the best of Punjabis. You can rest assured that even the briefest visit to their home will leave you satiated and grateful. Not only for the delicious food that they serve, but the loving attention with which it is prepared and the intense attention that is given to the finer nuances. And more than anything else, the wholeheartedness with which the guest is made to feel pampered.
Years ago, this friend was famous for his beach barbecues. He would marinate the foods from the day before and carry bricks and coals. Then everyone would drive out to Marve beach and under moonlight, he would assemble the tandoor. Painstakingly preparing the tandoori delicacies for the entire party. Amazing and touching. Stuff the best of memories are made of.
For the last decade or so, I have come to count on his thoughtfulness. Whenever he visits my place, we usually eat out. He was most understanding about my disenchantment with cooking, knowing that I had grown weary with all the complications of cooking as a caregiver for those with dietary restrictions.
How we tend to lean on friends. It has been only too convenient for me to maintain this arrangement. But now, with my relationship with cooking having healed – I was more than happy to cook a meal for him. Spinach pancakes, a greek salad and an experimental sweet dish. After having stopped use of baking soda(high sodium) for twelve years, I finally prepared a cake again. The Basboosa turned out to be interesting, though I used half the suggested syrup and served it with glazed strawberries. Will probably use even less syrup next time!
But my friend’s delighted appreciation of the food was welcome sweetness indeed. Glad I have returned some of the happiness that has been served to me so often.
We easily fall into patterns in our relationships. Sometimes they become a little skewed, and it is important to ensure that counting on someone does not lead to taking anyone for granted.
So while I delight in the way I am taken care of, there is also great joy in being there for my friends, in different ways.
It’s always nice to give back… from the heart. And a delicious meal is always a good way!