Anyone Can Cook!

Yes, I know; the title I have taken from the movie Ratatouille. From the day I saw that movie, I wanted to test whether its true. Then I saw the movie ‘No Reservations’ and made up my mind that I am going to cook something delicious [atleast I want to claim its delicious]. And that’s the beginning of it. Project: Chocolate Cake.

To begin with, let me say, my mom is the greatest cook I have ever met. May be its like that for most of us. We all grew up eating what our moms give us. Some of my favorites among her recipes are her tea cake, cad-berries [not sure whether I spelled it correctly], halva, and many others I don’t know the official name. Last weekend, due to the Easter holidays, I ve had a continuous 4 day holiday. When I started my journey home, I had decided that I am going to try out some of mom’s recipes. I was thinking hard which one to try out. My choices were cad-berries & cake. I have seen my sister making cad-berries [She is also a great cook even though I never acknowledge it ;)] and I thought its relatively easy. So I chose cake. I wanted to try something different. Whats the fun in trying out the exact recipe of mom? So I thought ill take her recipe of Tea Cake, do some ‘creative’ additions of my own and convert it to a chocolate cake.

With this plan in mind, I went out shopping for the ingredients on Saturday. As a backup, I bought the stuff for making cad-berries also, in case my experiment is a failure. On Easter day, I told mom about my intensions about making a cake. She allowed me to do whatever I want on one condition, I should return the kitchen the way it is [which is very clean, I will say]. I agreed on one condition, she should stay in kitchen in case I come across any doubts in the recipe. She also agreed.

I began cooking by first turning on the music on my psp. She started giving instructions to me. First I had to get 250grams of sugar and powder it. It very easy, I thought so. I took the weighing machine, measured 250grams of sugar and was about to put it to the mixer when my mom asked, ‘did you check whether mixer bowl is dry?’, I answered immediately, ‘I am checking that mom’. ‘But why do we have to check it?’ I asked, ‘Do you want to make sugar powder or sugar pulp?’. Now I got it. Ok. I took a cloth and cleaned the bowl. I started grinding. I put it there and went to the other room. Came back, its was not grinding. Oops, did something go wrong? I called out, ‘Mommmmmmmm! The mixer is not working’. ‘I switched it off, it was getting too hot’, came the reply. ‘Oh is it?’ I thought, I tried getting the bowl out of the mixer. Ouch! ‘My hand!!!’, it was infact too hot. But I didn’t make a sound. I took out the bowl somehow. I tried opening it gently, the cap was not opening. I tried giving more stress. ‘Tang!!!!!!!!!!!!’, the cap opened with a sound and half of the sugar was there at the kitchen table. I looked around, mom was not there. Silently I took some of it and put it back in the the pan. [Thanks mom for keeping the kitchen table soo clean, or else I wud have to go out to buy some more sugar]

That was the beginning, and then I had to get some flour [maida] same amount as sugar, then only I came to notice that the weighing machine was wrongly calibrated when I weighed for sugar. Anyway, thinking I am an engineer, I tried weighing equal amount of flour. And when mom came to kitchen, just by looking at the amount of flour she figured out that I weighed wrong. But I replied that I wanted to make a bigger cake. She smiled.

Things like that keep on happening. After mixing the sugar with butter, I didn’t know how much I have to mix. I called my mom finally and asked her whether this is enough, she took some of it and told I have to mix some more. I wonder how they know it just by looking it. But since she is my mom, she must have got that expertise from me for sure.

In the end, I divided the cake mix to 3 parts, one I put just like that in to oven, cos I was sure that will be good since I didn’t try any of my creativity on it, just mom’s recipe. The second part, I added 2 tea spoons of cocoa powder and some condensed milk. The third part I added 4 tea spoons of cocoa powder and more condensed milk. Also the baking times were different too. Just wanted to test. But the time the first mix was over, I put the second to oven. As expected the first one was perfect, my mom’s recipe. The second one, turned out to be cookies. It was rock hard, but it tasted fine, I liked it. Dad said, he needs only one piece since its too ‘soft’. The third one turned out to be ok since I didn’t put it in the oven for as long as I put the second one. My sister told that the cakes were not that sweet as mom used to make. Then only I thought about spilling some of the sugar. But I predicted that it must have been some problem with mom’s recipe, or some bad climatic conditions.

We all tried it that day itself since I had one more day break. So even if something happens, I can take rest. I gave it to one of my friends and next day I gave it to some of our guests and also today I gave it to my colleagues. They all said its ok. [Only after eating it, that I told them, I made it or they may not eat it]. Till now, no problems have been reported. Hope it stays like that. If there is no problems reported till the end of this week, I will claim myself as the great chef. I want to make the same cake again, but my mom won’t allow me inside kitchen for atleast a year I guess, ‘cos after that cooking, the kitchen was a mess and even though I wanted to clean it, I was too busy tasting my cake.