“Dad, you will Rock!”

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There is no love sincerer than the love of food. (George Bernard Shaw’s famous food quote)

Four male colleagues, including myself, were selected to take part in our company’s Women’s Day celebration (through an intense competition equivalent to an audition test for new singers on TV shows). This year’s theme was “women will do men’s chores and men will do women’s chores.” As part of the competition, each one of us will make a delicious dish for our female colleagues in their presence. I am excited about this opportunity. All my competitors, except for one, are at a similar level of skill set since we all learned this skill during lockdown (thanks to

COVID-19). But one of my colleagues is very strong in culinary experience and claims he was selected for a Master Chef (TV show) audition but couldn’t participate due to a burning finger injury while practicing. Anyway, given the current high demand for multi-skilled jobs in the job market, I have already included my cooking skills in my resume.

After browsing many social media videos, shortlisted two dishes to experiment and

accordingly finalise one for the event.1) Jasmine rice with Thai curry, and 2) Garlic Boursin finger sandwiches.

I bought all the ingredients from our nearby supermarket while returning from the office to home. Our kitchen is free after 8 pm, and my wife has only one non-negotiable condition: the kitchen should be neat and clean after my experiment.

Day One

Experiment Recipe – Jasmine rice with Thai curry. I opened the video to follow the steps

while preparing.

Ingredients: 1 cup jasmine rice, 1 can coconut milk,1 tbsp Thai red curry paste, 1 tbsp soya sauce,1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 red bell pepper, sliced, 1 onion, sliced, 1 carrot, sliced, 1 cup chopped broccoli

Instructions: Rinse and drain the jasmine rice.2) In a pot, combine the rice with 1 1/2 cups water and boil it for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked. 4) In a separate pot, combine coconut milk, curry paste, soya sauce, and brown sugar and boil it for 1 minute and then add the sliced vegetables.6) Simmer for 5-7 minutes or

until vegetables are tender. Serve curry on top of the cooked rice.

The aroma of jasmine rice was so tempting that everyone in my family was impressed and wanted to try it. My youngest daughter, a nine-year-old, was the first to try it.

However, after one spoonful, she started experiencing symptoms of vomiting. My wife was worried and immediately asked my daughter to wash her mouth. She warned me not to experiment with food on family members and advised to take the dishes to the office for colleagues to taste instead. I chose not to argue with her and instead reflected on where I went wrong.

Upon rewatching the video, I found that I had poured one bottle of soy sauce instead of 1 tablespoon, as I was on a call with my boss while preparing the dish.

Day Two

Today I am extra careful and made myself clear that no distraction/ no phone call, razor focus on the recipe in hand. Watched each step-in video with absolute concentration.

Experiment Recipe – Garlic Boursin finger sandwiches🥪

Ingredients: Slices of bread (white or wheat), 2) one package of Garlic Boursin cheese, 3) fillings and toppings (such as sliced cucumber, tomato, or lettuce)

Instructions: Lay out slices of bread .2) Spread Garlic Boursin cheese on each slice of bread. 3) Add sliced cucumber, tomato, or lettuce.4) Place another slice of bread on top of each sandwich. 5) Cut each sandwich into 4 small, bite-sized pieces and serve it.

However, falling short on ideas, I soon released that the leadership and people management skills or strategies that we learn in corporate life do not work in family settings.

As I was making the sandwich, my wife told me that she would be visiting to the beauty parlour alone, again reminding that not to experiment the dish with my daughter who was attending her online class. When I checked whether she was going to her regular famous name ‘Skin Beauty Parlour’, she replied yes, but informed me that they have recently changed their name to ‘Green Beauty Parlour’.It seems like everyone is going green these days, one way or another. Even one of my close friends was checking with me regarding the legal procedure of name change as he wanted to change his name

from Purna to Green Purna.

As soon as she left, I couldn’t resist the opportunity and decided to convince my daughter for one bite. Immediately after her online class ended, I started trying to convince her. However, falling short on ideas, I soon released that the leadership and people management skills or strategies that we learn in corporate life do not work in family settings. After some persuasion, she agreed to taste, and we both agreed to keep it confidential. When I gave her a bite, and as I was on a phone call, she exclaimed loudly that it was super delicious and said “Dad, you will rock!”

The beauty of cooking lies in the pleasure of sharing it with others. Thank You, and once again “Happy Women’s Day.” 🙏

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