என்ன சமையலோ!!! What’s cooking today?

For folks like me who grew up listening to Isaignani Ilayaraja songs, the phrase “என்ன சமையலோ!!!” immediately conjures up the song from உன்னால் முடியும் தம்பி Unnal Mudiyum Thambi) with Kamal Hassan and Manorama. An amazing song that is composed using multiple raagas, it was(and still is) a joy to watch and listen.  For folks not familiar with this song, do take a minute to enjoy this composition. Others can still F5 their memory!!!

A cliff-notes version to this song – Basically, the people in the house are tired of the lady’s(in yellow saree) cooking and are teasing her for that. So she throws a challenge to them to try cooking for one day as she also would like a break.

These days I am constantly reminded of this song, mostly ‘cos of all the time I spend in the kitchen. Mind you, I love cooking and trying out new recipes and I do have a fair share of new recipes to boast about. However, that all changes when you are constantly thinking about the next creative, kid-friendly -healthy – that-is-not-junk-yet-fun meal!!

Photo collage of my cooking

 

Vidyuth and Vishruth have developed this habit where the first question they ask when they wake up is “What’s for lunch to school today” and if that’s not enough, they ask about the next meal while they are having their current one. And let me tell you, this constant line of questioning – “Whats for brkfast, then what’s for lunch, Whats for school lunch and snacks, what’s for evening snacks and finally what’s for dinner” is making my head spin, literally!!!

I typically try to make their meals balanced but making almost close of 7+ meals a day (including snacks and the like) is making me grasping at straws in a desperate attempt @ survival…Yeah, yeah, I know I am being over dramatic but what’s a gal like me to do in a situation like this? Anything closely resembling to south/north indian food that is not thatchi mammu (curd rice), radish and/or beans for veggies, sambhar rice, dosas, idli, chapathi (plain or with cheese) etc etc, has them raising a hue and cry. I try to explain to them that all we ate when we were kids esp. on weekdays- rice mostly and some lucky weekends will see us having yummy poori, bajji and other delectable still Indian snacks/foods.

I am not sure if it is the marketing or their exposure to different cultures and food choices that they see in their friend’s boxes, they definitely don’t consider poori or bajji as snacks. For them snacks are Oreos, Nuggets, Wafers and thank god for this, fruits. Here’s how their modified food pyramid looks like……

A modified food chart 🙂 (images from google image search)

 

So I have taken to resorting to sneaking finely grated carrots into chapati and adding cheese so as to make ‘quesidilla’ or making alfredo pasta with multi-colored veggies or finally snooping so low where I bribe them with dessert/chocolate/or whatever they like in order for them to finish their food. I also make sure that only one of the meals is indian a.k.a rice/chapathi…..in the event it is going to be rice for lunch and dinner (cos i am too tired or plain bored), i give them advance notice…….sounds funny isn’t it…..it sure did to my parents when they were visiting us.

The way I have made peace with myself is as long as they get a good amount of carbs, proteins, vitamins, calcium, and have an active childhood, I am fine if they get all that in a cheese sandwich and omelet……… the major PLUS for me with these foods is it cuts back on the time I spend in the kitchen and gives me more time with the kids. I just hope this is a phase and will soon pass……..cos I am out of ideas to make creative yet healthy meals. If anyone out there is sailing in the same boat as me right now, pls swap with me your ideas for snacks and meals!!!

Isn’t Food Glorious, as long as someone is cooking it??

Featured Image from Google Search

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lakshmi, all I can say is you amaze me. The energy and undeterred effort you put in to make every meal a special one for Vid and Vish is so admirable. You are an awesome mom. I still remember back when I was school there were so many days when amma would be caught up in a 1000 other things to do at home that we would be totally fine with just a sambar sadham or idli/dosa or a simple curd rice for lunch. I guess it’s a lot of what they see in everyone else’s lunch boxes… If it works for them and you then that’s all that matters…. Keep it going. Have fun.

    1. Thanks Divvy for your wonderful comments. Like you said, non-stop marketing and the choices that they have and see are the main causes. Ultimately, its up to me to try and pick from the plethora of junk available in the market and make it as healthy as possible. Of course there are days when I also do only curd rice/sambar rice or paruppu sadham or like yesterday, give myself a brk and take the kids out to breakfast, hv a simple lunch at home and then grab a pizza for dinner:))

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