And that is a statement I never thought I would ever make in this life...
All through school and college, I used to abhor cooking. To the extent that I did not even know how to switch on and light the gas stove! I actually learnt how to light a match for the first time when I was in class 6- and that too by fluke. My parents had gone out and I was alone at home and there was a power-cut. I was scared of sitting in the dark and even more scared of lighting a match. As they say, you can do anything if you are desperate. And so I learned to strike a match and light a candle!
Being the arrogant teenager and adult that I was, I would boast that I would never enter a kitchen in my life. I would obviously have a cook/maid to do all my cooking while I was out working. It never occurred to me that we often have to eat our words- in this case, quite literally. Because then I came to the US!
And so I started cooking. And cooking and cooking. It started off as a necessity at first, since I loved food and I could not eat un-tasty food. I needed to make good food so that I could eat. Yes, loving food is a sure-fire way of learning to cook it well- I could barely swallow it otherwise. Eventually, I learnt to love cooking. I loved to create and recreate, to embellish and experiment, to refine and hone. I realized that food was more than something to eat- it is a form of creativity, expression and most of all, love. Food speaks!
This also translated into my obsession with a neat and clean kitchen. I can't cook in a dirty kitchen. Of course, I gradually became completely OCD over the state of the kitchen-everything had to be just so, the dishes had to be in the proper places, the counters had to be gleaming, the stove-top shining, etc etc. So I usually hated it when other people came into my kitchen and messed around - wait, that spoon is half-a centimeter to the left!!
With time, I did get over my obsession (or maybe just got better at hiding my neuroses). Now, I am no longer so obsessive about cleanliness as I used to be. I realize its not the most important thing if it makes me unhappy and fretful.
Yes, I still am a little obsessive and possessive. And when I look back at my stupid teenage self, I can't help but wonder at her arrogance. Never go into the kitchen?
Now, my kitchen is my kingdom!!