Cooked by the cook

If by chance she has fit the bill, do not stop to chill for there are other chills to come.

The lady of the house is no more ‘just a housewife’, nor does she conform to the olden days paradigm of ‘my only passion is to see that the palette of my family is full and happy’.

So it is by choice that the so called ‘cook’ who is chosen with choicest care is ushered in to the so far ‘strictly my domain’ – the kitchen! Getting a cook in to the kitchen is the beginning of the long line of battles, for first, what she cooks has to be accepted by the battalion, which in this case is the family and then comes the other battles to be won!

Will she come at the designated time? Would she know about the elaborate exquisite cuisines that you have added to your every day cooking list of the Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese or Mexican cuisines to name a few? Does she cook exactly the way you have done for so many years?

If not, you have to start telling her what to do and how to do, and in all probability she will start giving you ‘gyan’ on how to season the sambhar, set the curds or roast the pulses!

 If by chance she has fit the bill, do not stop to chill for there are other chills to come. If you are very lucky to have had one for years and you begin to relax and say the battle has been won, beware it is time for her to take you for granted. Her new found clients are suddenly more important than you!

If, after all the filtering, you find one  who is ‘so nice and gentle’ and doing all the works just the way you want, beware she may be sweetly pinching off the goodies behind your back! When my friend fired one after frustratingly tolerating all the disappearing foodies, the ‘so nice cook’ paid her back by leaving behind the new bed sheet given to her shredded to threads!

The ones that take off without a reason are the easiest to find. The reason when they are back is simple...’not well’! Someone or the other in the family is hospitalised and sometimes the cooks’ children are totally confused as to whether it is their mother or their father who is not well this time round. It is amazing as to how fast these patients recuperate even after such frequent visits to the hospital bed!

If you have a smart and savvy one who gets to you on a scooty, and never misses being on time, she is sure to showcase just her cooking skills, and all else like cleaning and laying the table is delegated, in all probability to the lady of the house! So you see, cooks come in different colours and like all other commodities, there is a ‘price to pay’ and a ‘pay off’, and as always, the choice to keep a cook or not is the prerogative of the choice maker.

As Shakespeare asked...’To be or not to be?’, the question that now arises is  ‘To choke or not to choke?’, not with the food cooked by the cook, but by the calamities created by the cook who cooks the food and in the process drives you  cantankerously crazy!

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