The pleasures of Western food
Every time I cook American/Western food, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. It’s simple, no muss no fuss, and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
The other day I made some split pea and ham soup, and let me tell you, it was one of the simpler meals I’ve made. It took me less than 25 minutes to prep: cut onions, carrots, celery, garlic and ham, saute briefly in olive oil, add split peas, throw in some bay leaves, chicken broth and a few pepper corns and put it to simmer. While I made a couple of phone calls, read a magazine and folded a few clothes, it simmered. About 90 minutes later I was ready to serve it with some salad and a loaf of fresh bread. Voila! dinner was ready.
Given my Indian upbringing, I tend to cook Indian food more often. Yesterday I cooked a full Indian meal and it took me three hours, all of it glued to the stove.
The longer I live in the United States, the more I’ve come to appreciate the pleasures and the relative simplicity of everyday Western cooking. I’ve learned to roast a chicken, a leg of lamb, and make different kinds of soups and pastas. I even considered making a chicken pot pie from scratch, but I’m not there yet. All this is pretty good for a cook who, until a few years ago, used the oven to store pots and pans.
My kids like my experiments with Western cooking. My husband, who is one of the easiest men to feed, likes anything I cook. I’m the one who has held out for so long, craving fiery curries and fragrant pullaos almost every day. But as time goes by, I’m seeking freedom from the stove, or at least less time in front of it.
That has led me to try my hand at Western cooking, and let me tell you I’m loving it!