No one has ever accused me of being a connoisseur of the finest food but I knows what I likes! And I sure can eat a lot of it, too.
But of course, there are many foods that aren’t great in themselves but turn into something far more edible in combination with something else. Over the years, I have discovered a few such combinations. I can’t claim to have invented them all, but I am compiling them anyway, for no particular reason.
- Peanut butter, by itself, just okay. Mixed fruit jam, by itself, barely tolerable. Put them together on a slice of bread – Aah! (Credit to my friend Abhimanyu for introducing me to this fattening delight, many years and kilos ago)
- Lay’s Chips by themselves, too salty. Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce, by itself, too spicy. Put them together, throw in bits of cheese – Aah! This one is my own invention.
- Coke, by itself, pretty ho-hum. Vanilla Ice-cream by itself, too Vanilla. Put them together and you get a far more enjoyable ‘Float’. The McDonald’s in the Delhi University area used to even sell this, years ago. I wonder if they still do.
- An ordinary tomato by itself, eww. Salt by itself, inedible. But bite out a small bit of the tomato and add a little salt to the hole you have created. Suck the pulp out of the tomato, adding bits of salt to taste. It is surprisingly good, and quite wholesome.( Credit to my Raju Mashi for teaching this when I was merely a small child. Just to clarify, I don’t really eat tomatoes like this anymore. Except when there is nothing else in the refrigerator.)
- Cherry, Cheese cubes, Pineapples – all reasonably enjoyable. But so much better when skewered together onto a toothpick. I have successfully made these for more than one party in my life, and they have been much appreciated. By me, who ends up eating almost all of them, but that’s not the point.
- And now, my personal favourite, and another of my own inventions: Chocolate Chip Ice-cream, by itself, good. Microwaves, I don’t know the taste of - but just put chocolate-chip ice-cream in the microwave for a minute or so and it’s – Aah!
Now, it may sound a little weird to you that someone can actually microwave ice-cream and blog about it unabashedly, too but I am telling you, it is great. Ice-cream in general, while being lovely, has the peculiar characteristic of being too cold and so microwaving helps. But you have to get it to just the right consistency. It should be part melted and part solid, part hot and part cold – this is no mean feat to achieve, let me tell you. What you can do instead is melt the chocolate chip completely till it’s hot and melted, and then throw in a dollop of another flavour such as vanilla, which is un-microwaved and therefore cold and solid. This works like a dream. Have you never microwaved ice-cream? Seriously?
And yes, I know I may not ever make it as a successful restaurant critic or anything. But it’s really the pleasure that is to be found in everyday foods that makes life that much better. And in case you’re thinking about how unhealthy most of the above is – you’re right. But I now weigh four kilos less than my husband, unlike a month ago when we both weighed exactly the same – so I feel much better now! Yesss!
Yeah, he’s put on four kilos in the last month. And your point is?
So now, tell me about any other weird, beloved ‘recipe’ or combination of foods you like so that I can try it. Keep it simple for me, and commonplace items please – if you ask me to sautée some avocadoes or something, I won’t. Keep it on the level of microwaved ice-cream? Okay? Thanks.