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The Quirky Life of P

Humor and satire revolving around Mr P- a fictional mix of an avatar of Mr Bean and the veritable Bertram Wooster of Wodehouse fame.

Archive for the tag “Cook”

Pitfalls of cooking…..Quail egg for Easter!

 

Easter was here and though Mr P felt edgy all the time, today he was feeling quite eggy. P had eaten all the Easter eggs and bunnies he had bought earlier in the week and this Easter Sunday, he was sadly left without any. So, P decided to boil an egg for breakfast. Now, boiling an egg seems to be one of the very simplest of culinary arts and anyone would think that nothing could go wrong with the task. However with Mr P, anything could go wrong anytime! If you were to prepare a list of things you should not do while boiling an egg or things you should not do with a boiled egg, a mere study of Mr P’s endeavours in this direction would provide you with enough and more to build the lists. Experience had not still given him mastery over the technique of boiling an egg and so Mr P had made a note of what not to do when boiling an egg.

1)      Do not boil an egg all by itself without the accompaniment of water.

2)      Do not boil the water and forget to put the egg in it. Often when Mr P came rushing to eat his breakfast before he left for work there was only boiling water and no gladsome boiled egg waiting for him in the pot!

3)      Do not put the egg and water in the pot on the stove, but forget to turn on the stove.

4)      Do not put the egg and water in the pot on the stove, turn on the stove and blissfully forget about it for a few hours. Many a charred and scarred pot also would vouch for the importance of this point.

5)      Do not crack the shell when you put the egg in the water to boil, unless you do not mind settling for watery egg soup instead of boiled egg.

 

cracked egg

 

But today was Easter Sunday and Mr P did not wish to deal with any complicated lists or notes. Luckily he remembered the boiled egg he had stored in the fridge some time ago. “It may be a month since it’s been in the fridge. Not more than that anyways…” guessed Mr P.

P went to get the egg and despite hunting around in his crammed fridge, he could not track it down. “Maybe… Just may be….” he muttered and opened the freezer door. In the freezer Mr P discovered the container he was hunting for and brought it out. He thawed the egg in the microwave oven and opened the lid. P was taken aback! It looked as though his chicken egg had been transformed into a quail’s egg! Miracles seemed to happen this Easter!

………Happy Easter!

 

 

 

quail egg

 

 

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Mr P (the Avatar of Mr Bean) and Too Many Cooks………

Mr P waited anxiously for the door bell to ring. He was nervous about the interview with his new cook.  Mr P had found out long ago that the easiest way to get food cooked and the household chores done was by employing somebody for it. His old cook was bedridden with a broken hip. She had slipped on the liquid from a broken egg that had fallen off the fridge door (courtesy of Mr P who had carefully removed the pieces of egg-shell but forgot all about the liquid originally held within).

When the bell finally rang, Mr P rushed to open the door to find a neatly dressed lady and  he  happily welcomed her in.

“Come in, Come in. You are right on time. Let’s go to the kitchen straight away”, he said and led the meekly obliging lady to the kitchen.

In the kitchen Mr P embarked on his orientation class for new cooks, showing the lady where the utensils and grocery were located, how he liked his eggs cooked and what he wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Every now and then the lady tried to put a word in but Mr P just brushed her doubts away saying, “Don’t you worry! Cooking for me is just a piece of cake!” He never gave her a chance to proceed.

At last, when Mr P was finally out of breath, he stopped talking. Then the door bell rang again. On his way to the door he asked, “Well, do you cook a mean meal? Are you a good cook?”

“I think I am”, said the lady. “But I only cook for my family and myself”.

A puzzled Mr P opened the door to find another lady outside. “I have come for the cook’s job”, said the lady who stood outside.

A totally dismayed Mr P glanced back at the lady who stood inside.

She finally found a chance to say “I just came to say “Hi”. I am your new neighbour. We moved into the opposite flat a couple of days back”.

Pitfalls of cooking and Mr P: Things get more slippery!

You may recall from the earlier post that Mr P had wanted to cook some Dahl for his guest ( http://avatarofmrbean.com/2012/03/28/pitfalls-of-cooking-and-mr-p-the-saga-continues/ ). The way Mr P prepares Dahl is quite easy. You just have to pressure cook lentils (either green gram which is also known as moong dal or red gram or Pigeon pea which is also known as tur dal) in water with a pinch of turmeric powder until they form a nice soup. Then you heat two tablespoons of oil in a pot and add half a teaspoonful of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a couple of red chillies. You add the cooked lentils into the pot when the mustard starts popping. Into the liquid you can now add salt to taste, a bit of garlic paste and a very tiny pinch of ground cumin and optionally a pinch of garam masala. Green chillies, onion and one or two tomatoes may also be added. The Dahl is ready when the soup boils for a few minutes. moong Ki dal, Moong Ki Daal

Just as Mr P was about to start preparing lunch he realized that he had run out of dish washing liquid and cooking oil. So he brought out the bottles of Canola oil and Sunlight dish wash he had bought earlier in the week and placed one by the stove and the other by the sink. Mr P then cooked some lentils in the pressure cooker and nodded off in the kitchen chair reading the day’s newspaper. The cooker’s whistle woke him up when the lentils were thoroughly cooked into a soup. Mr P poured two generous tablespoons of oil into a pot heating up on the stove. He was in a hurry because he had spent time reading the newspaper (he definitely would not admit to napping) when he should have been doing other things to get lunch ready for his guest G who was soon to return from shopping. He did not wait for the oil to get really hot before he added the mustard seeds, the cumin seeds and the pieces of red chili peppers. He was in so much of a hurry that he did not wait for the mustard seeds to pop before he dumped the cooked lentils into the pot with some water and added the garlic paste, cumin and the garam masala powder. He left the pot to boil on the stove and scurried to the kitchen sink to do the breakfast dishes. He opened the tap, stoppered the sink and poured a generous amount of the new dish washing liquid into the basin.

“This is one funny dish washing liquid”, thought Mr P. “Looks like someone has invented a non sudsy detergent!”.

He put the dishes in to wash. As he tried to rinse the plates, he noticed something strange. The dishes had turned very slick and greasy and no amount of rinsing with fresh water could make them clean. They had tiny globules of something like oil all over them.

His hands also felt very oily. He smelled his hands and the plate he was trying hard to clean. Instead of the lemony smell of the dish wash, he smelled something very different.

“If it feels like oil, smells like oil and looks like oil, it must be oil,” he decided and checked the bottle that he had put by the side of the sink.  It said “Pure  Canola Oil”.

Mr P groaned. He was in for a big job now to get the dishes oil free. However, he had not yet realized that he was in Double trouble with Bubble trouble. Have you, now?

A lemony smell was wafting from the pot on the stove. Mr P rushed to check his Dahl. Something strange was happening to it. It was all frothy, sudsy and lathering up!!!

Pitfalls of cooking and Mr P…the saga continues…

After the breakfast debacle (The Intricacies and Pitfalls of Indian Cooking and Mr P! , http://avatarofmrbean.com/2012/03/26/the-intricacies-and-pitfalls-of-indian-cooking-and-mr-p/), do you think that G would have stayed for lunch if invited? Guess what? He did! He understood that Mr P was feeling a bit downhearted and so he agreed to give him another chance to prove his culinary skills. There are some people who would take any amount of beating and would still turn the other cheek because of a soft heart. G belongs to this rare, endangered species of ‘softies’ that is on a path of accelerated extinction. G is also a vegetarian.

Mr P decided to cook rice and make daal, pappad and Aviyal to go with it. Aviyal  is made from finger sized pieces  of all the vegetables such as cucumber, snake gourd, eggplant, green chillies, long beans, carrots, yams, green bananas and drum sticks (of course not drumsticks that are chicken legs, but long fruits of Moringa plants). Variety of fresh vegetables being sold on a st...

These vegetable pieces are washed well and cooked in a little volume of water with tamarind and salt to taste.  Turmeric and red chilli powder or pastes are also added. Ground coconut and cumin and curry leaves are added towards the end.

For Mr P, the most difficult part in this whole recipe was cutting the vegetables to size. “The vegetables are to be finger sized. “They cannot be cubes or any other shapes because that is one thing that distinguishes Aviyal from other dishes,” Mr P had learned. While cutting them into finger shaped pieces, he was worried he would cut his fingers as well.  However, since he started wearing finger gloves on all his fingers while slicing vegetables, he had become more confident.

So while G left to do a little shopping, Mr P stayed home and cooked the meal. Something happened to the daal which is matter for my next post. “Let’s forget the daal. Yoghurt would serve equally well and I’ll also serve a little bit of mango pickle”, decided Mr P. When G came back and they sat down for lunch, he had the meal neatly served on the dining table minus the daal.

Two spoons of food later, G suddenly choked and turned red. He was staring at his bowl of Aviyal.

“ You do know that I am strictly vegetarian, don’t  you Mr P?” he asked.

“Sure, I do,” said Mr P.

“And this Aviyal….. Are you sure it is vegetarian?” asked G slowly moving the vegetables around in the bowl.

Mr P looked at G’s bowl of Aviyal. There, partly covered by the gravy and vegetables was something that looked like a finger! Mr P surreptitiously checked whether all his fingers were intact. Assured, that the strange THING in the Aviyal was certainly not one of HIS body parts, Mr P investigated further. It was bent at an angle that reminded Mr P of the celebrity actress’s leg at the last Oscars that had jutted out through the dress slit, sending the whole world a-Twittering and starting an account-Angelina Jolie’s Leg @AngiesRightLeg.

Mr P probed further. Amidst the vegetables, it looked like an alien finger.  “Probably from Mars” thought Mr P. “But then, the THING was not red coloured and isn’t Mars supposed to be the red planet?”

Mustering all his courage Mr P pulled the THING out.

 It lay in full surrender on top of the dining table.

Lo and behold! It was the one finger glove that was missing when he had put them away after washing the vegetables!

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