May 25, 2007

Virindh (Tamil for Farewell party)

My parents crossed the proverbial seven seas to set foot on the land of Fortunes - Amerikya yesterday. The dutiful daughter *lol* that I am I went over to my house last weekend to help them pack for their long stay there. Also got the brilliant idea of doing a Virindh for them at home instead of oily restaurant food. Moreso I wanted to spare my mom the strain of cooking for all of us when there were other last minute details to be taken care of. Yeah, I decided to cook for them! You must be thinking that for a person who blogs about cooking and recipes, it should be a child's play. I tell you, its always easier to preach than to practice. In any field!!
I decided to do the Nalagri and Shavige Payasa for them as it would be easy on their systems(not too spicy).
I have a distinct characteristic - my memory does not have instant recall for nasty things. And because of this I dint remember an erstwhile experience of cooking shavige entirely in milk (It had turned out rock solid inspite of using around 2 litres of milk).
So there I was standing in front of the stove and dreaming about accolades as I added the milk to the cooked shavige without bothering to realise that it was still hot. By the time the table was laid for lunch, the payasa had solidified! So much so that my dad had to ask me what I had made or to put it in his words "What should I imagine this to be and eat?" :). In essence I ended up making shavige payasa without much milk or sugar!
As far as Nalagri was concerned, all was well as far as the cutting and steaming in cooker went. Even the boil and all went off pretty well. But the one mistake I did was not to have PA (performance anxiety). Let me explain - whenever I cook at my husband's house, I am always afraid that what I make will become a disaster and I will get labelled as the worst cook of their family. Its not easy to take criticism from in-laws :) So I take extra care and precautions with tasting and making sure it comes out right. But at my home I was totally relaxed and ended up taking my parents for granted. My father never complains about qualityof food unless extremely provoked (his philosophy is that he is thankful to God everyday for getting atleast that much). My mom will never say anything bad about her kids. She will never criticise because her philosophy is that her kids are the best :). With this ideal setting, I never bothered to taste much or think about making it perfect. Come lunch time and the Nalagri had become solidified like a curry because I hadnt added enough water while it boiled!
Sigh! So much for a Virindh!! But the best part was everyone was so nice to me and they ate it without much fuss!
Appa amma I hope to have become better at cooking by the time you are back. A Welcome Back party is due from me :)
For the rest of my readers, please dont jump to conclusions about my recipes. They are to the T :)
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