A ‘mix’ in culinary terms signifies a blend of flavours, a blend of spices, and essentially a whole new taste. A new taste, that is derived from an amalgamation of some pre-existing ones. If we remove ‘mixing’ from our culinary diaries, then perhaps, we will have a very sorry culinary world. Blends would go, paving way for the bland.
Picture your pasta sprinkled with salt (oops that again is mixing pasta with the salt) bearing no olive oil or cheese or herbs or vegetables (whatever your regular mix be). Or perhaps pasta bearing only herbs while the other ingredients remain absent.
So, point put forth.
Now, there is another form of mixing that takes place at À la carte restaurants. Quite different from the kind of mixing mentioned earlier. This one is gross. I, in particular loathe it. The waiters, maybe due to lack of training or sheer frustration, while serving, pour the curries onto your plate in a manner that they get mixed with each other. Thus, you get this horrible mix. No, no, don’t get me wrong. It is still nice, delicious etc. BUT the curries lose their original flavour. The two dishes that you ordered are now one, or for that matter none.
Anguish over the table
Okay, and since I am cribbing here, I might as well crib some more. Twice in one day, I had to almost beg waiters to come and take my order. Once, at Costa (C.P.), and the other time at The Chinese (again C.P.). Now can’t they just make sure that the waiters are ‘always there’ for the customers? Maybe there can be one waiter stationed (at a good point) just to make sure that no guest at the restaurant aggravates the already bad spondylitic condition by turning round and round and round and…. Huh.
Recently mom fulfilled the deepest desire of Skeeter’s heart…Ever since Skeeter has started making tea, she wanted to use the pestel to crush cardamoms by placing them on the black granite shelf of the kitchen. But mom insisted Skeeter uses the mortar and the pestel to crush them.
Skeeter has seen people just tearing away the upper covering (green bit) of the cardamom spice and throwing it into the boiling tea. That, Skeeter thinks, is JUST NOT DONE!!! It is just so unfair to the cardamom – the most aromatic spice. Skeeter humbly requests all tea lovers to crush the cardamom spice and release the aroma trapped in the seeds to unleash the mystic flavour that lies within. Not only will it make your tea taste much more flavourful, it would also do justice to the spice.
The mortar and the pestel have a different story altogether. They are Skeeter’s most loved tools in the kitchen. No modern day pepper-crushers beat the traditional mortar and pestel. Even chefs like Kylie Kwong swear by them. Skeeter just loves the way in which Kylie seasons the dishes with basic ingredients such as Sichuan pepper and salt (of course ground using the traditional chinese mortar and pestel). Skeeter’s personal favourites are those made of wood and marble. If you happen to visit Forest Essentials@ Khan market or Greater Kailash M-block market, you are likely to chance upon the most beautiful mortar and pestel set, Skeeter has ever come across. Ofcourse, it is not for sale. Else, Skeeter would’ve definitely picked it.
And now a confession: Skeeter want to become a chaiwali. Pouring endless number of frothy cuppas to those who pass by my shack under a tree @ a road in Manali, Leh, Dharamsala and many more places up there in the Himalayas. Ofcourse Skeeter would serve Cardamom tea and only that!!! And yes…This is one business that even the rains or the chilly weather cannot dare to dampen. 😛