I'm going to use one of the BlogHer prompts and blog about the best cook in the family.
This topic really appealed to me because the answer is a no brainer for me. The best cook in the family for years to come would be my 'Mave', my aunt. She is my mother's sister and 'mave' is what we call her.
My earliest memories of mave's house was when we visited Mysore during our summer vacations. Her kitchen was like a magical land for me from which amazing aromas and dishes were produced. Her kitchen was neatly and systematically arranged and there was an order for everything. I remember that she had rows and rows of cylindrical steel and aluminium boxes. Whenever we attacked her with whines of hunger, she would open one of them and dish out some home-made snacks. I used to imagine that all the boxes had special things to eat and I would fantasize about opening one after the other and devouring all the goodies.
The sweets she made were probably the only sweets I have loved since childhood. Even as a grown up, we always looked forward to visiting mave. Going to mave's house meant some amazing meals and she would always welcome us home with great food (our favourite dishes, no less) on the table. I will never forget the puri chole (chickpeas) and shevai for breakfast, which were ready before we woke up and the amazing prawn fried rice and chicken dishes she made for dinner. Or the home made pickles, papads, snacks and cakes. You name it and she made it.
Relishing all the yummy food that she cooked was awesome but watching her in action in the kitchen was really a treat. I remember hanging around her while she cooked. She would shoo me away but I would stick on and watch her cook until the heavenly aromas made it impossible to stay there and stay away from the food. I think she was one of the reasons I got interested in cooking. My mother is a good cook but she is no where as good as mave. Mave was always experimenting with new dishes and was constantly learning with all the cookery shows on TV and from the people around her.
Mave is no more today but her legacy lives on. I guess after her some of us in the family take after her in being decent cooks. My cousin R (her daughter) is a great cook and I am a half-decent cook, even if say so myself. I will always regret not spending enough time with you in the kitchen and learning from you, mave. I miss you in more ways than I ever thought I would.