Haute Cuisine

The afternoon was an engaging experience. It all began a few weeks back when I decided that my son must learn to cook else the poor Indian boy was going to starve in Germany without his desi food (Haha…jokes on me).

However, my reluctant gourmand (former) set a few conditions before his foray into the culinary world – it had to be simple, it had to be quick, it had to be healthy, he didn’t like washing dishes, he would not carry masalas from India (for some reason he seems to think that there should be no difference between packing for a two month trip or a two year trip) and most importantly, it should not make the kitchen or fridge smell of masalas as he was likely to share housing with non-Indians (very sensitive of him but very challenging for me).

I asked him his preference of foods. “Mum, when I look at food all I see is protein, vitamins and carbs. Let’s just have them in the right balance.”

“That’s not how I cook,” I splutter.

“Not trying to berate you mum, just saying that’s me.”

Naturally I decided to start with the basics – tandoori chicken. Then I started jotting down the recipe which included turmeric/lemon juice/vinegar and red chilli powder/chilli flakes and by the time I got to garam masala most of the ingredients started becoming optional. (Note: by today even the Indian has become optional. Palatable appears to be the only criteria… and the protein and vitamins.)

Eventually I hit upon a majestic dish that met my son’s expectations – one where you mix your chicken, frozen vegetables, quinoa/rice/pasta/millets and any spices available in your kitchen (I am yet to find an alternate for salt; suggestions welcome) with two grand variations of sauté or bake. For further recipes, simply vary the quantity of spices or substitute ingredients with suggested and creative alternatives.

“Mum, you’ve found me the perfect recipe. See, cooking should not be a chore.”

“Neither should eating,” I defeatedly reply.

*****

Written in response to MLMM’s Sunday Creating Context prompt where we are required to write a response using the following as a starting point. Choose one of the highlighted words to shape our context.

The day/afternoon/evening was a/an hilarious/disappointing/engaging experience. It all began…..

Additionally, the following prompts: The Daily Spur (majestic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (berate), Your Daily Word Prompt (quantity)

A few of my unfavourite things

Nothing is more daunting than navigating today’s world of prolific disinformation and misinformation, especially in the annals of WhatsApp University*. I refuse to use the term ‘fake news’ as that phrase has become an impotent joke.

Mind you, there is an almost awe-inspiring diversity in the ignorance on display – political propaganda, religious propaganda, nationalist propaganda, conspiracy theories, celebrity gossip, nutritional theories. There is no topic that our aeolists will not spout, nor any line that they will not cross. They will divulge information about a person that even said person is unaware of. There was a time when I believed that a silent spectator was an abettor. I have lost count of the number of times that I have tried to correct people on my ‘groups’ only to be schooled myself. Now I have given up. I don’t argue. I don’t educate. Most importantly, I do not attempt to convert any ideology. Every now and then I drop a few ‘fact-bombs’ and enjoy the dead silence.

And you know that really sweet aunty who everybody loves to have over because she has such a bubbly personality – well, she’s the probably the valedictorian of the WhatsApp University.

———-

An opinion piece written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Mad about Metaphor Saturday mix where we were asked to use the metaphor “She has such a bubbly personality“, and the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (line), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (prolific), Your Daily Word Prompt (divulge), Ragtag Daily Prompt (diversity), and Word of the Day Challenge (count).

*WhatsApp University – a satirical term used in India for those credulous people who believe in everything being circulated on WhatsApp even if it is fake and propaganda.

Aujourd’hui

This Friday’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “jour.”

My jour today was spent like many other journeymen dividing my time between journeyworks and the journos; wondering if a certain individual will complete his sojourn in a certain place and adjourn to somewhere else, which many of my friends are journaling could be anywhere else as long as it’s a place of no return.

There – my SOCS target is met.

I’m afraid that I cannot say the same for many of my other targets. My journal aka my phone, has this pesky ToDo list that refuses to shrink. Knock one off his perch and another one pops up, sometimes bringing along a few other entrants just for shits and giggles. Tenacious b***.

One very persistent document has taken up sojourn on my system’s screen and keeps trying to grab or tab my attention even while I am tending to matters of far more importance like this little journalistic entry. He too refuses to adjourn without a forceful dismissal.

Some jours are just destined to be boring!

Bubbles

I don’t believe in utopia or the promise of forever. If ever I did, then the last twenty-five years have burst those bubbles.

Yet your amazing zeal for life and the picture that you paint of a possible future together as a couple have made me almost wonder. I surmise that whatever mysteries or suspense or even battles that life holds ahead it would indeed be a far nicer ride to share it with you.

You treat me like an equal. You treat me with respect. Not merely a pretty face with a callipygian derriere. With you I have felt like a person of worth. I feel free and at peace around you.

Today you stand patiently waving goodbye, not knowing if I will return, glad that I’m off to have my grand adventure, with not a speck of grudge. Suddenly I feel those bubbles of hope burst forth again.

I guess, sometimes it takes a goodbye to find an answer.

I’m off now, my love, but this chicken will definitely come home to roost.

*****

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver Challenge and the following daily prompts: The Daily Spur (couple, chicken), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (surmise, utopia), Your Daily Word Prompt (zeal, promise), Ragtag Daily Prompt (suspense, paint), and Word of the Day Challenge (callipygian, amazing).

That special something

I shuffle through the flora searching for it. The outcome of today’s lunch resides in my ability to find it. Time is running out, but if it is fated then I shall prevail.

Mushrooms, mushrooms… where are you my special mushrooms…

Gotcha.

Written in response to the following prompts: The Daily Spur (lunch), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (outcome), Your Daily Word Prompt (reside), Ragtag Daily Prompt (flora), and Word of the Day Challenge (fated).

Image of the deadly Amanita phalloides from wikipedia

The Sunday Market

I like it when daddy takes me to the Sunday Market.

I like seeing the townsfolk in their smart clothes. Not like daddy who only ever wears overalls. The ladies dressed in pants driving their trucks. Daddy sees me lookin and snaps, “Get back to them apples, and don’t be getting any ideas in that head of yours.”

But ideas I do get. Sometimes I imagine that Tim with the smiling eyes is going to pull me behind the tent and whisper, “Run away with me pretty Sally. Be mine.” But then I snap back to reality… No one’s calling me pretty with them welts on my back.

Image by Bikurgurl

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Words Wednesday 173 prompt

Smile, you’re on camera

The camera kept clicking away.

“O I love your place. These old cobbled streets… and these quaint houses that you still live in. So much history and culture. And your language sounds so romantic. I can’t believe that you actually have wifi. Awesome. Oh, your skin tone is so exotic. Let’s take a selfie. Thanks for letting me click your pictures. Bye.”

LETTING ME? Like I had a choice! Darn tourists. Assuming that the primitives are all waiting around just to chat and pose. And then they wonder why our markets are so expensive – maybe to reimburse us for our loss of privacy and respect.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shopping-district.jpg
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Looking into the crater

Please do not climb on rocks

This world is a volcano about to go off

Image from Google submitted by Nekneeraj

Tis just a normal day yet we all wait

On tenterhooks anticipate

Red or blue, what will it be

The aeolists on both sides do disagree

Tis not my land so I should not care

But the butterfly effect – that will be there

This world is such an intricate mesh

You burn yourself, it singes my flesh

A storm I can see brewing all around

Humanity seems to be going aground

I cannot vouch how this will end

But a simple prophecy I can extend

This world will end unless our ways we mend!

*****

Inspired by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Prompt and the news; written to include words from the daily prompts The Daily Spur (normal), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (anticipate), Your Daily Word Prompt (vouch), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tenterhooks), and Word of the Day Challenge (aeolist, storm).

A whammy

The spoon dropped from my hand. “Is this a joke?” I ask.

“Joke would not be my word of choice… a whammy perhaps! Why, do you find it completely surprising?”

“Well, I kept trying to pacify myself that aloofness is an augury of boredom with the mundane. Was that illogical?”

“If you didn’t find the secret bank account and locked den ominous, then perhaps it was you who was not lucid through those years!”

I continued staring in incredulity at the photograph My wife was leading the resistance.

Image from Corey Agopian at Unsplash

Written to respond to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90 of a picture of a resistance, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, which is to write a story that contains or make reference to a joke of some kind, and a bunch of word prompts from The Daily Spur (photograph, illogical), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pacify, ominous), Your Daily Word Prompt (choice, augury), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lucid, spoon), and Word of the Day Challenge (surprising).