Cheat Sheet Principle of Life: If a woman in your family goes an extra mile to cook something delicious, appreciate her each and every time.
Many of you must be wondering why you didn’t see a post on my blog, last week. Well, I was voluntarily enrolled in a ‘Management lesson from the kitchen’ course. I didn’t have much time to do anything else. How does a mundane kitchen teach lessons in management? It all started like this.
A few relatives visited my home, last week. It consisted of my mother-in-law’s sister, her husband, and their two kids aged 8 and 13 years and my brother-in-law. Until now, I have cooked for maximum of two to four people. Being the woman of the house, I had to take the responsibility of the breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the seven of us. I was surprised as to how much effort takes in making a decent meal for seven people, three times a day. All the more, my mother-in-law is a vegetarian, my brother-in-law an eggetarian, my cousins daltarian or pappucharutarian (eat only dal, sambar or pappucharu), my husband and my father-in-law are non-vegetarian. Whatever the menu, it had to cater to the eating habits of all these four sects of people; hence there should be minimum three dishes, which excludes rice/chapthi and yoghurt. The day used to start with breakfast. By the time I was done with the breakfast, it was time to prepare lunch. By the time, I was done with the lunch it was already 3 PM. I was on my feet from 8 AM to 3 PM. The dinner preparations started from 7 PM. Thankfully, I have a cook, so my effort involved in directing her what to do. In spite of all this planning and hard work, my husband came to me and asked, ‘Aren’t you making dal?’. I did reprimand him and gave an expression which conveyed a very deep meaning.
After this exercise for about three days, I was exhausted. I also had a new found appreciation for my mother and my mother-in-law. My mother is a Gynaecologist. In spite of her busy work life, she always kept on the table, the most well-balanced meal for the four of us (my father, grandmother and I) every day. She also had a special menu every Sunday, used to entertain guests sometimes and she always worked solo in the kitchen, with a little help from me and my grandmother. My mother-in-law is a homemaker and is from a big family. She entertains lot of relatives for festivals/family functions, which also involves considerable cooking.
The woman’s role in the kitchen is quite trivialized. It is not as inconsequential as it seems. The kitchen teaches important lessons in management.What are the management lessons I learned?
1.Groundwork: Who will eat what? What will they eat heartily, what could they leave? Is anybody following a special ritual on that day? ( no eggs or meat on one weekday)
2.Planning: How many people are there? What has to be cooked? How much has to be cooked so that it will be sufficient for everybody? What are the ingredients required? Are there any preparations to be made the day before? (For example, idli, dosa etc.)
3.Delegation:Whom to delegate what responsibility? Who will go outside and get the required stuff? Who will cut the veggies? Who will make what dishes? Etc.
4.Execution:There are only two stoves. Which dishes go first on the stoves? What should go next? How can the two stoves keep on running simultaneously for maximum savings in time?
5.Appraisal:Needless to say this never goes as well as planned. The men come onto the dinner table, eat and leave with least appreciation. There goes a ton of effort unobserved and taken for granted. I did belong to this league until I started cooking. After that I started appreciating my mother, whenever possible.
I hope that the next time a woman in your family goes an extra mile to cook something delicious, appreciate her each and every time. This is one of the best forms of appreciation any woman can receive for all her hard work.