Food on my mind

Reading has always been a window to a lot of things for me. To different ways of life, experiences and(perhaps, most importantly) food.

As long as I can remember, I remember being tantalized by descriptions of food. Not that I was a foodie by any standards, I was a picky eater, driving my mum crazy. Despite being a picky eater, the one thing that would induce me to try stuff was the food described in books. Enid Blytons descriptions made my mouth water. What exotic stuff they ate. Scones, eclairs, wafer thin cucumber sandwiches, pickle… I suspect I started eating our Indian pickles after reading about them in those books. Little did I know that those pickles were a world apart(and far less tasty, now that I have tasted them). I figured that the eclairs they ate were not the same as the Cadbury’s eclairs that we got from our shops, yet in my imagination, it was the same. I was fascinated enough with scones to try them as soon as I could when I landed on English shores.

Not all my food fantasies had nice endings though. Once I told me grandfather than sardines sound so exciting. The famous five used to carry cans of sardines and tuna. It was such a disappointment when my granddad showed me what sardines actually were. And tuna sandwiches, those are something that even Enid Blyton will not persuade me to eat now, but then it was just perfect – in my mind. But the books were magical that even knowledge refused to defuse my fun. I’ve imagined that my idli with sambar was actually meatloaf, who cared what meatloaf actually was. In my imagination, that was it, and delicious it was, I can assure you. There was this short story in our English Literature syllabus – in ICSE, about Subbiah a road side vendor, who used to sell the most delicious idlis and dosas. That had me drooling despite the fact that it was regular fare at home.

Now, as a grown up , who has traveled( a fair amount), and eaten most of those exotic foods that I had only read about, I still drool. Writers who weave food and recipe magic. Books that transport you to another place, making you lust for luscious tomatoes, crisp salads, delicious gravies that tantalize your tastebuds, the aroma of bread being baked, the description of chappathis puffing up, soft, snowy idlis, perfect, crispy dosas, cheese that take you to another level.. Those books on Italian cuisine, makes me want to drop everything and eat those heavenly pizzas with truffles, or perhaps pasta, tossed perfectly with the seasonal vegetables.. of course, its not just books that make me drool these days. Blogs are far more efficient, what with pictures and recipes to boot, is there anything stopping me? My weight ought to stop me, but even that isn’t a strong enough deterrent.

I just realized that life has come a full circle. Now, I have company. My six year old comes up and tells me, ‘ oh, this sounds so delicious, Amma, rosemary bread with wild mushrooms! Please can I have it! I feel like eating it after reading this book’. Of course, that has me grinning like a Cheshire cat and I guess the least I can do is bake her some bread, if not rosemary bread, right?

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25 thoughts on “Food on my mind

  1. Feel transported to those years long ago with all those descriptions of food from Enid Blyton books. Ginger beer used to be my favorite until I actually tasted it.
    Nothing to beat that feeling when your kids mirror your thoughts and dreams πŸ™‚

  2. This Enid Blyton is responsible for my weight gain I tell ya! Whenever I read her books, I get hungry..like I told Poohi, I just finished reading 9 of her books back to back…thats why the weight gain.

    but I think I am like you, I love to read recipes, food described exotically and let my imagination run wild

    • I know! I have the same problem. I feel like eating stuff when I read about them. I even dream about food. I so should stop reading any books that have food descriptions..

  3. I loved reading Enid Blyton too! Though some of their food was puzzling – cans of tongue! It told me I wouldn’t find all their food appealing. On another note, I too am a big fan of food blogs and food shows – the magic they create with pretty much regular ingredients, never fails to amaze me:)

    • I didn’t care I guess- if they found it tasty -I found it tasty – in my mind πŸ™‚

      Food blogs and food shows(haven’t watched any recently), are just too tempting!

  4. ginger biscuits, scones, lemonade, sausages, ginger-beer etc etc…SIgh! the food world of Enid Blyton!!! And the famous larder. She had a way with words…She seriously knew how to tempt us no?
    You know your post reminded me how I used to eat one specific subji of aloo imaginng it to be chillies…silly I know but I used to fantasise that only.
    Though I have not tried much cusines but Ih ave realised that fancy words to do not really convert into fancy taste πŸ˜‰

  5. i loved reading all that description about food too in Enid Blyton books πŸ™‚ … only I didn’t know what those things were actually then… I could smell the smell Anne frying bacon for breakfast πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Enid Blyton created that sort of magic with her description of food πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. Oh i so remember all of that. How the famous five would pack their picnics.. plums and ginger cakes and lemonade. Lovely. And have you read Faraway Tree? Those pop biscuits… yum.

  7. hahah I swear!! I could have written this post….. (well except for the 6 year old bit πŸ˜‰ )

    I especially love the picnic hampers that Enid Blyton books contain. Tea is such a grand affair. It’s just tea, but scones, cakes, fresh butter, sandwiches, tins of jam, strawberries and cream….and goodness knows what else. Considering they originated from the UK, I am not surprised. They have some of the best dairy-based and baked items in business.

    Half of my childhood was spent in drooling over these descriptions!

    I do have tinned tuna…. but I saute it with onions in a frying pan and then have it with bread. Try it sometime, you might like it.

  8. Perfect perfect πŸ˜€
    Eating India was a delicious read that way, no? πŸ˜›

    Did u read ‘Like water for chocolate’? Wonder if the story kept me engrossed, but all that food, with recipes at that, definitely did πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  9. So absolutely can relate about the Enid Blyton food descriptions of scones, sardine sandwiches and the like!! I was so disappointed to see what scones really looked like!! I thought they would be more like patties!! πŸ˜€
    Wow! Your daughter just might get exotic taste after reading those books! Hope you found rosemary!!

  10. Enid Blyton had away with words, didn’t she? I also remember drooling over her description of food..It’s a differdnt thing that I wouldn’t dare to eat most of the things that she describes now πŸ™‚ But it was all part of the childhood magic..Rosemary bread? that sounds delicious πŸ™‚

  11. OMG it is as if you actually pulled those thoughts out of brain and put them on your blog. I too was sadly disappointed when I tried all that stuff about which Enid Blyton had written in all those wonderful books.

    Ditto about recipe books and now all these cookery shows. Nigella Lawson’s show always ends up making me hungry πŸ˜›

  12. Saw this tweet today:
    If she talks abt traditional Indian dishes, she’s outside India.If she gushes about Italian/french food,cheesecake & alcohol,she’s in India

  13. Awwww that is so cute! Life has come a full circle indeed for you! πŸ™‚

    I love descriptions of food in books, too. You will love Marlena de Blasi, Frances Mayes and Anthony Capella’s books if you love stories interwoven with food. πŸ™‚

    I have fallen in love with different types of food, all thanks to some books that I have read. In fact, I am in love with the UK (as you already know – I have cribbed about it many a time on your blog), all thanks to books, even before I have visited it. πŸ™‚

  14. Hahaha life sure has come full circle for you! Kunju is a sweetheart!

    Oh Enid Blyton and her way with words! What a wonderful world of imagination she used to open out to readers like me! Ah! Scones, eclairs, oh my god now you have me drooling with the thought! πŸ™‚

    • The eclairs and the scones are both just as delicious as I imagined them to be πŸ™‚ To be able to bite into a cream filled eclair or to have a scone with a generous helping of clotted cream and jam – yum! I so want some now!

  15. Oh Enid Blyton was torture when it came to food…meringues and pies and eclairs…I always dreamt of having picnics with food like that. I must admit, I am not a fan of meringues alone (too sweet) but do love ginger beer and tuna and eclairs! While Indian food will always be my favourite cuisine, I feel fortunate to be in a multicultural society to experience all other foods…

    Given that it’s almost lunch time here, I’m hungry now!!!

  16. Oh yeah…looks like I’ve landed on a total foodie post !!! Just when I wanna read some blogs, you tempt me with your food word magic, as read from books πŸ™‚

    So, what did you two – mommy and daughter bake ???

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