I am not as impulsive as I used to be. Except when it comes to anything food. And yet, food is one space where I hate to be under any sort of pressure or scrutiny. I cook as I want, what I want, when I want. And I need it to turn out exactly as I want. There was a time when one little disappointment in the kitchen, and I could be in the dumps for days. Depressed, morose, losing my cooking mojo.
But I thought I was doing better at that. Till a couple of days back. Just this week, remember I spoke of the much planned I was kneading till 2 am? Did I tell you that despite my antihistamine drugged state (or because of it) I put together a batch of dough that was fragrant and intriguing …and come morning, equally heart breaking? Dejection hit me so bad that I did something totally uncharacteristic – went back to sleep – bright and early in the morning. Which is probably why, I got up to go all crazy when I saw my tricks had worked and the dough was now puffing up like it should have in the first place. And as a result did something equally uncharacteristic – agreed to participate in a quiz event! 2 days hence, at the Upper Crust show.
Come Friday, impulse had turned to fear coupled with trepidation along with certainty that the evening would be a pool of embarrassment. I knew I was likely to return to my kitchen that day with my impulse tucked firmly between my knees, quit blogging, facebooking, tweeting and maybe even baking. A conviction clearly reflected in the eyes of the quiz masters (Sabira merchant, Prahlad Kakkar and Farzana Contractor) and other contestants. The other teams were all – for want of a better word- socialites – 1. Restraunteers and chefs (Amrish Arora and Farrokh Khambatta), 2. Foodies (Nisha Jamwal and Sangeeta Mehra), 3. Specialist home cooks (Asha Khatau and another lady that ignoramus me didn’t know) and 4. Food writers (Monika Trivedi and Marriyam Reshii). Pitted against this august group, Prachi Joshi from the blog Deliciously Directionless and I were team 5. Food Bloggers. Both of us only concerned with saving face. And yet, like in the best underdog movies and food shows, fear turned to triumph as rounds went by, our points climbed up, tables turned (in my feverish yet distracted imagination, drums rolled), and we emerged winners!! Ha!!
Delighted, I decided it was time to pat myself on the back and get the Bombay Chowparty kitchen some christmas cheer. Having rummaged through the various offerings at the show, my favourite finds for the evening were two new food outfits, both very different from each other.
Houseproud.in – Finally an Indian website that I can target my lustful, greedy for kitchen equipment eyes towards. Maybe not so great at all for my bank balance but certainly soothing to my soul. Here ‘s my loot from their stall at Upper Crust
1. A super effective pepper mill that’s dancing merrily on my kitchen counter now.
3. Colourful nesting Measuring spoons – because I can never have enough of them. And will power isn’t my greatest strength.
4. A nifty little implement – my very own tea and spice tongs for green tea – my latest virtue. (Check out the halo around my head now)
And here’s what I have been making eyes at on their website most of today. Not that I am dropping any hints here…ahem.
Collapsible Lunchboxes – who doesn’t need these? I can totally imagine finishing lunch/snack and then saving the space in my already too messy and bulky bag. And I totally love the fresh green colour..
A clever clever rolling pin with preset options to set the thickness of the dough you want. Swoon.. I could fall in love with the person who designs this… and bid goodbye to uneven overthick/overthin pastries
A lemon juicer by Gefu to gracefully squeeze out all the juice, and none of the seeds.
A spoon that’s also a colander. Imagine how happy and perfectly al-dente my pasta would be. Bye bye to the mandatory but unwelcome steam facial while draining pasta
My other find, the Silver Spoon Gourmet is a catering company specializing in gourmet European cuisine. The brainchild of husband-wife duo Chef Joshua D’Souza and Neha Maneki, this outfit seeks to be a premier provider of gourmet dining experiences. They cater to cocktail/buffet parties, corporate catering and special gifting needs and if their tapenade, flavoured butters and beetroot cream cheese pinwheels are anything to go by, the food will be well presented, fun. My only grouse is that the fare on display was not as experimental/unique as I would have wished for but perhaps that’s not the kind of stuff one could display at a fair. I interacted with Neha as I tasted their wares and found her to be lovely – friendly, patient, pleasant and engaging…perfect for someone to help you put together a nifty little gourmet party of your own. The olive tapenade I bought went beautifully well with my and familiarity notwithstanding, I was a happy customer.
All in all, a brilliant evening!