Friday, June 15, 2007

Correct steps on following a recipe

Happy Father's Day!

In celebrating Father's Day, I would like to narrate one of the stories my father told me. He was, and still is, a good storyteller. As children, my sister and I would be quite riveted with his tales prior to bedtime and often plead, as soon as he finished, to tell us another one.

One weekend, few years ago, I was visiting my father and stepmother at their home.

Normally, I dislike south Indian food which is somewhat different from north Indian food. My family are from south part of India, so call me a traitor if you will.

That night, as usual, my stepmother made south Indian food for dinner. However, to my surprise, I ate it all, relishing every bite. I told them I felt satisfied with a full tummy.

That was when my dad told me this story. I do not know if it was true or not but that is not the point.

There were British soldiers stationed in some parts of northern India. (This possibly indicates it was during pre-independent India)

One early morning, two soldiers decided to go hunting in the forest. Few hours later, satisfied from their activity, they felt it was time to go back.

Trudging through the thick, dense forest, somehow the two soldiers strayed from each other and eventually got lost. This soldier walked aimlessly without any sense of direction for a long time until it started to get a bit dark.

Hungry, the soldier hoped to find some shelter, at least for the night, if necessary. Suddenly, he saw a smoke not far from him and went in that direction.

He came across a small hut with a family of four, cooking on a firepit. They seemed quite poor judging from the mere belongings in the hut.

The soldier told them he was lost and asked for directions. The kind father asked him to first sit down and eat with them. The food was quite simple and the family willingly shared with the soldier.

Ravishingly gorging the food down his throat, the soldier finally satisfied his hunger. Sitting with a full tummy, he praised the family for such good food.

The family kindly lent him a blanket to sleep on the ground.

The next morning, the soldier woke up and got ready to leave. Armed with directions, he thanked the family and was about to leave when he had this thought.

"Can you please give me exact step-by-step instructions how to make the food you made yesterday? It was really good!"

Pleased, the mother quickly scribbled down the recipe. With recipe in his pocket, the soldier proceeded back to his place.

Upon arriving, he immediately gave the recipe to his cook and ordered him to whip up the dish for dinner that very evening. And then he sent another servant to go invite other soldiers, including generals over his place for dinner.

Eagerly, he asked the cook if the dishes were ready. With all the plates and glasses in proper places and lined up, the soldier waited for the guests to arrive.

Once they arrived, everyone looked at each other, wondering what the special occasion was. The soldier pleasantingly narrated the earlier incident and urged everyone to start eating and enjoy the food.

After few bites, the puzzled guests again glanced at each other, saying "What's this "simple" food he has cooked up? It tastes terrible!" The soldier himself started eating and to his surprise, it did not taste good as it did last night.

As soon as the guests left, embarrassed, he angrily screamed for his cook. The cook nervously walked up to him and asked what was the matter.

"Did you follow the instructions EXACTLY as I asked you to?!" The servant, with his hands clasped in front of him, quickly nodded.

"EVERY step?"

"Not really."

"Which one did you miss?"

"The very first step."

The first step on the paper said, "Take a bath first before cooking."

The soldier yelled at the cook, "You did not have your bath this morning. That's WHY the food tasted horrible!"

The point of this story: If you are quite hungry, then any food, irregardless of your likes/dislikes, will taste good!