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My Food Story

myfoodstory
Food was never a passion, nor was I a food lover ever. I am not a foodie still. But what drove me into cooking was a self-imposed "challenge."
Before marriage, I would only make simple dal and rotis - this is all that I learned, since I was more into studies and my dad always wanted his daughters to earn laurels outside the kitchen. I am proud to say I have tried to live up to his expectations (though I failed to be an IAS officer, which was his dream). Nevertheless I have assumed the role of an entrepreneur through my abilities, God's & parents' blessings, & my hubby's support. My dad remains my inspiration, and my hubby my guide.
I got married to the boy of my choice - yes, it was a love-cum-arrange marriage (where a Punjabi girl tied the nuptial knot with an Odiya boy from a traditional Odiya family).
My in-laws are Odiyas, and their food habits, style of cooking, and the value given to food & cooking are completely different from what I have learnt during my upbringing in a Punjabi family, with a working mother. Hats off to my mom for doing all that she has done for her kids despite working day & night. Not to take away the credit from my dad, he has been a pillar of support all through - fulfilling all our wishes always.
How It All Started
Nevertheless even five years into my marriage, I had not developed interest in the kitchen despite my hubby being a foodie, and fortunately, Mr. Husband has never forced me to do what I have never wanted to. Of course, I am a working woman and have always given priority to my work!
Here I must tell I have been really lucky to have a mom-like mother-in-law, who has never asked me to go to kitchen (I only make tea at my in-law's place), as she loves to cook for family - whenever we visit Odisha, she is the one who always cooks !!!! Lucky me!
However, my interest in cooking and learning the art of making sumptuous dishes was aroused at a traditional ceremony in my hubby's side in 2013, wherein I had a role to play in the kitchen. Since I was neither interested in cooking, nor had tried to learn any traditional Odiya recipes for the ceremony, my role was cut short. This came as a shocker to me. Yes, I felt hurt but motivated myself to take it up as a challenge. That's when I joined a few food groups and got the confidence to begin my experiments in the kitchen.
I am still learning and my exploits in the kitchen continue. I have always been a health freak. So now my focus has shifted to establishing a balance between taste & health (& of course my work life). Still a long long way to go! Let's see how far I go smile emoticon
I am happy that I have been able to make some really delicious experimental dishes that I could never think of. My food story won't be complete without the mention of Bhabani Sankar Mohapatra (my hubby's brother in law), who has been a motivator all through - when I started with my food experiments, I did not have the courage to post my food pics in food groups, so I would Whatsapp him all my kitchen exploits. He continues to encourage me as always!


From aam papad to cake rusk, from cookies to cakes, from snacks to savories and sweets, I have a host of healthy recipes under my belt. But yes, I have had my share of failures as well - not every experiment is a hit. I fail in the kitchen sometimes- but the never-say-die attitude keeps me on my toes and never lets me give up until I pass with flying colors!
I am glad I have never chosen an unhealthy ingredient for my food experiments and shall continue to do so.
This is my food story - something that has become an integral part of my life. I have made hundreds of friends in food groups - with some becoming a part of life. My food story & exploits will continue as long as I am alive -and I would be happy if I could bring a change to the life of even a single person and convince them to take to healthy eating.

#womensday #mystory
Moms are moms - The phrase "God could not be everywhere so he created mothers" reflects clearly on the lives of each one of us. Sober, cool, caring, hardworking, and affectionate - this is how I would describe my ma. My mom is an extremely simple woman, who has worked hard day & night along with dad, to ensure her kids had everything they yearned for. She has been protective of her three kids and always been the support we needed, encouraging us to tread moral paths and being our source of strength always. I am proud to be her daughter, who has always taught her daughters to be supportive of their new families. I credit her for imbibing family values in us. Now my mom is also a mother in law and she continues to be in her mom avatar even for her daughter in law. My mom often says,”Meri betiyan apne ghar chali gaye, ab yehi meri beti hai.” Love her spirit of womanhood - this is what daughters in law need from their moms in law.... Love you mom for all that you do and have done for us and your daughter in law. 


Now that we are talking about saluting the women of today, I cannot forget to mention my mother in law. She is a super woman, though traditional to the core. Despite being an orthodox woman, she accepted a girl from a different religion, region, culture, and zero culinary skills as her daughter in law (yea, that's me). This shows she has a heart of gold – which beats for her family, especially kids. She is a figure of sacrifice and love, who overcame all the hardships posed by her mother in law with flying colors and continued to look after her MIL when she was suffering from a fatal disease. But she has never tried to replicate her MIL when it comes to dealing with her own DILs. She is more like a mom than an MIL – who cooks for us all and is happy to serve her daughters in law, without expecting anything in return. A big salute to bau (my MIL).

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