Growing up, both Krishnan and I got very little chance to eat outside food. There weren’t enough restaurants and we both come from families which didn’t have money to spend on outings. I remember dad taking me to an ice cream parlour once or twice a year in Pune. Even when we travelled by train, food would be packed.
When I started going to college in Hyderabad of course, there were a few outings to Kamat and an occasional outing to Hotel Basera. The first few years of our marriage saw us frequenting Hotel Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. Amma (Krishnan’s mom) would send us something that she had made that day, but we would still eat out. Like I have mentioned in an earlier blog, 30% of my body weight (whatever I weigh), will always belong to Saravana Bhavan :).
The bankruptcy happened and all our eating out came to a grinding halt. My cooking skills improved and we went back to a few years of not eating out regularly. In the past five to six years we have consciously not been eating out for health reasons and with OPOS happening, our palates got even more attuned to fresh food. This year we ate out a bit during our January trip but after than the last time we went out to a restaurant was on March 14th.
Once the lockdown began we just ate home cooked food till Oct 19th, probably the longest that we have stayed away from restaurant food. Ordered Domino’s pizza on the 19th…. the first slice felt very tasty but the rest of the slices didn’t taste as great. Today we wanted to celebrate my walking an average of 10K steps daily for the past 8 months, which is a personal record of consistency in exercise for me.
We ordered from Bikanerwala. Got Jalebi, Samosa and Chole Bhature. The Jalebi was nice after almost a year…. the Samosa was ok but the Chole Bhature just didn’t taste nice !! I make Chole regularly, I don’t make the Bhatura. But somehow the food just didn’t taste as great as it did in our memories :).
I make Samosas in the Air Oven and they turn out really tasty. The outer skin is crispy and the filling sans potatoes tastes great.
This shift in our taste buds is a welcome change. The food at home is always fresh and made with care and love. No restaurant can really add that to the food … except certain boutique, niche restaurants. This is not to say that we wouldn’t eat out ever, its just to say that home cooked food is far tastier and a positive side effect of the pandemic could be that more and more people would end up eating healthier.
We should also think about teaching children to cook their own food. Its an important life skill and for some it could become a business opportunity or a career choice.