Growing up Mom #6

On a hot dry afternoon in 1970 in Dehu Road, my dad brought two guests with him for lunch unannounced. Amma was new to cooking and I was a few months old… She struggled and managed to put up some lunch for Appa and his two colleagues. That day she decided, that never again will she be caught out and will always have enough food leftover :):).

One of the things that Amma and I fought over constantly when she moved in with us was the quantity of food she made at every meal. Am the kind who makes just enough and I don’t like leftovers. I do take after Appa in this aspect. He would sit down for a meal and ask Amma for “brought forwards” to be taken out first. My reason for not having too much food leftover is, I don’t like eating the same thing in two meals. If there is a lot of food left over then you have only two choices, either to give it away, which we do regularly, or you eat the same thing in another meal. The third choice is to overeat and the consequences of that are not too good. Then three years back, OPOS happened and it made life very simple for me because I could now cook a lot of different things and in “just enough” quantities. Mom never took to OPOS and has decided not to take it up at all, precisely for the same reasons that I love it – small quantities. She has even given it a name “Bofors” – the infamous Swedish guns that brought a Govt down.

A couple of days back I had a surprise in store for me – Amma made rice and “cabbage kootu” for lunch. Since Krishnan and I were out, I asked her to make lunch and of course couldn’t help telling her not to use up all the OPOS cooking dal. She cut the line saying she knows what to do. I thought we will have to eat the “kootu” for two days atleast, as Amma loves lentils and will go overboard with it. We ate lunch and all that was left over was a small portion of rice and a tiny portion of “kootu” !! Amma had this wicked smile saying “I am still your mom, you idiot”. Well, that’s true BUT I will continue to nitpick with her about quantities.

Today Siva came home and we got around to the topic of quantities. Amma told him, that she doesn’t like my  habit of making just enough when we have people over for a meal. Siva made an interesting point and I think, I do need to change my thought process a bit on this – when people sit down for a meal and see a small bowl of food, they reduce their portion sizes, not because they feel we don’t have more of it, but its a reflex action. I wouldn’t want my guests to go hungry ! Hope no one has and apologies if it did happen.

Here’s my new changed thought – I will continue to cook just enough when its only the three of us but make slightly larger batches of food when we have guests over, so that some food is left over. I think that’s the right thing to do.

Ok, wipe that grin off your faces, my friends – I admit, this round has gone to Amma, but I shall be back.

The small portion of rice leftover
A few spoons of the “kootu” leftover

#Parents #MomsInParticular

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2 thoughts on “Growing up Mom #6”

  1. Same with us … my mom now doesn’t want to cook at night again… only some chapatis or dosa to go with leftovers and hence she would cook at least a kg veggies for two or three people and we have no choice but to eat the same thing in repeated meals …. I guess all elders do this because they can’t see if we feel like there’s not enough for all and end up hungry or go reduced portions… moms love for food 😂😂👍


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