My neighbor sent her son over with some upma, sambar and mango pickles hearing from J that I was not feeling well. I fell to the steaming hot food like a famine victim. Everything tasted like manna from heaven. I am sure Sirisha is a great cook but it was her gesture that gave her food its exceptional taste. It got me thinking about how the taste of what I cook for dinner reflects my day and my mood.
On a good day ordinary dal, rice and chicken curry tastes delicious - even J asks for more. But on a rough day, everything is way off - the rice is soggy, the dal is overcooked and the curry entirely tasteless. Same cook, same ingredients and yet completely different outcomes. I know there is an emotional problem I am ignoring when I can't get food to taste the way I want it to. There are women I know who can be counted on to reproduce the recipe exactly each time - I wonder if it takes a certain stability and continuity about their lives for them to be able to do so. Sirisha's food said simplicity, harmony, peace and quiet and I think I imbued all of that as I ate. In a while the fever was gone too.