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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time...the irony

When we see comments like "you have way too much time on your hands" after watching the mysore pak or vadam videos, cannot help but smile.

The whole idea behind doing the videos was to show folks that

a. you do not need a lot of time to make it
b. it is not that difficult to make these things

That is why the time was mentioned in the videos. The mysore pak was done in 1 hour and 4 mins (and if the ghee was premade it could be done in 50 mins.) The time it takes for you to drive around to an Indian Restaurant and find mysore pak(you can find Soan Papdi and Haldiram stuff here in stores but not MysorePak), stay in line, pay, come back home is almost an hour plus.

It will also cost you 1$ per piece + gas for that while it costs you 10 cents to make it at home!

The vadam making started at 12:42 and we were done by 1:08, in under 30 minutes! We got 72 pieces for ~$1.5 total! Your other options are to wait for closest friend or relative to get you some from India or buy 20 pieces for $3.99 from the local Indian store.

It would have taken the same time to make 4 times that quantity of the gel and another 10 minutes to spread it out!

Was telling Sangeetha earlier today "Has cooking ones own specialty items become that unfashionable that only people with time to waste or too much time on their hands can do it?"

Is this a phenomena with the younger generation? Eating fast food or buying your food is somehow supposed to be a "time saver" and therefore a cheaper option?

Just think about it!

We cook every night and we take our lunch with us to work. (San always packs my lunch.. also everyday I do call her at lunchtime to have a chat, if not about the food, at least we have a chat). We cook for the kids anyways, so it is a no brainer to spend the 10 minutes to pack lunch. One can always argue that if you get paid enough, the cost of that 10 minutes is more at an hourly rate and therefore buying food is cheaper.

So many recipes are going to be lost. It has been ages since I even smelled some of those divine smells that would come from the kumuti aduppus (charcoal stoves) when my grandma and her aunt would team up to make sweets for the family on a whim!

Just wish I could replay those smells like we replay youtube videos! It doesn't have to be lost. We don't have to rely on MSG and complicated carbonates and coloring agents to add pep to the food we eat.

On a similar note, when we pulled potatoes grown in our backyard and made a simple curry, the smell and taste were orders of magnitude better. It was like being transported to my 10 year old phase, and I was sitting on the floor and my mom was sliding more curry on to my plate from the "ilupa chatti"!

The potatoes looked ugly and gnarled, but the taste was out of this world. The picture perfect potatoes from the local grocery store are practically bland compared to this. We as a consumer would rather have our food look good than taste good.

A lot of the younger generation prefers to buy food than make food and the convenient excuse becomes "you have way too much time on your hands if you are cooking!"

By the way, bloging and videoblogs are easy, especially if you can type 70+ words a minute and you have been doing this a lot.

We all have 168 hours a week. If you spend 42 hours sleeping, 14 hours driving to and from work and running errands over weekend, that leaves you with 112 hours.

If you work 11 hours a day, 5 days a week and another 10 hours over the weekend that takes out 65 hours and you have 47 hours. You spend ~2.5 hours a weekday with your kids and 12 hours with them over the weekend and that is another 17 hours and you still have 30 hours left for eating breakfast, dinner, watching movies, doing dishes, grocery shopping, making that once a week cooking video,etc. no?

Jr., after watching the "Making of Vadaam" video, decided to make a cooking video earlier today (aka irritating your mother video). I did not know about this till San told me. It was hilarious to hear her commentary and the videography.

She adapts, refines, starts this one at the beginning of the Dosai making cycle..Watching this brings happy tears! My little girl is already an expert videographer and cooking aficionado!

You see how a 7 year old can do this by observation (between watching food network and her dad). Next thing you know she will be collecting advertisement money.

Kids today!

ps. You have to have the audio on high to really hear her comments.


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:45 AM, Blogger Doli wrote...

it would be nice if you could also put the recipe in written format.. i usually like the written format since i can follow it step by step and keep the ingredients ready before hand.. but the mysore pak video was good :)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

I think the problem may also be that so many younger people (of all nationalities) are intimidated by cooking - and Indian cooking tends to be complicated for those not used to cooking in general.

Most desis do eventually manage the basics, but specialty items fall by the wayside.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:28 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu wrote...


Sangeetha and you are wasting your time.....Please watch SUNTV / JAYA TV instead..maybe even VIJAY TV..especially the SERIALS.

LOL :) !! Just kidding. People who say 'You have too much time in your hands'..probably are the ones who do what I wrote in PARA-1.

MHO - The younger people of today know more about movie stars, kulam , gothram, vaasthu, josiyam, lollu..etc..etc. who cares..as long as we have Muragan Idli kadai and kuppan chutney kadai...!! Cooking is a long lost tradition !!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

The video Awesome..We would like to see more of Jr.s explanations :)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

I follow your blog. But first time commenting. OMG...Jr. is sooooo cute. Very very cute is all I can say....

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:17 AM, Blogger Porcupyn wrote...


i think what is really needed from you is a lesson in time management.

- s.b.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


"read the entire post before commenting" ;-) (need to put a post-it note on the monitor)

- s.b.

p.s.: ... and also remember that you are logged on to brother google!!!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:28 AM, Anonymous WA wrote...

Loved the post, absolutely loved it. Can't watch videos on this thing, so haven't yet seen any of yours or juniors cookery programmes.

As to the time mgt part, one big complaint, 6 hours sleep a day? Really? Man some of us need a lot more

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:47 AM, Anonymous WA wrote...

ROFL Dosa maavu/arisi maavu/idli maavu LOL.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:15 PM, Blogger Sivajini wrote...

Ditto what WA said... your kids are super awesome. I'm glad your proud!

and I can't believe she made the video by angling it to still keep her mom anonymous(did she mean to do that or is it because of her height. I love LO piping in with can I see and arisi maavi)

Re- younger generation, I like to experiment and try to cook things I've never heard of because of all the gazillion food blogs out there and my friends usually look at me and say how many hours did you spend making that. When reality is not that long at all. Some ppl resign themselves to be only good for eating- what to do!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Watch this video in a new window achamundu achamundu wrote...

Beware of posting specific personal info on your blog


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