Fondue and a Picnic. That’s what the heading should be! We were in Mahabaleshwar, my friend Nishi and me. Every day, pre-lunch we opened a bottle of Prosecco and made short work of it. We would keep chatting and pouring a small finger worth (for two reasons- one – it felt like we were drinking less, and two – it kept chilled while we drank.)…
Whats so special about cheese toast? For me — very special, because my grandmom used to make it the minute I entered her house. It was my absolute favourite and I still have it when I need some comforting.
Why is it special for you? Because it’s not just a cheese toast. It is many other things clinging to the cheese. Cucumbers, onion, green chillies….
My grandmom (Nani) was an amazing cook. Hell- she was an amazing lady. We lost her a few years ago, and that hole will never fill up. But the memories now make me smile and laugh and sometimes shed a tear or two. Always perfectly coiffured, immaculately dressed, Nani taught me everything I seem to know to survive and exist.
She decided she must perfect her English, so she grabbed hold of a teacher and started reading and understanding books I would not read unless I had an exam on it. She borrowed some money from her husband, learnt how to dabble in stocks, and struck gold. Then she decided she should help the underprivileged kids for education, so she opened an NGO, which now runs 2 schools and 1 vocational training centre. We used to get sweets as treats every year when the school results were declared.
When I made the cheese toast recently, the smell emanating from the oven, gave me a huge wave of nostalgia. I was thrown back into her house where I practically grew up.
The heavenly very soothing and reassuring fragrance of my favourite food, unlimited coke, my Nani’s gorgeous smile, those days spent learning how to walk, speak, garden, just about everything that a kid needs to feel loved and wanted. I know she is with me, when I cook when I eat and when I hug my loved ones.
I make many of her recipes, but this one has a special place in my heart. It can be a complete meal on its own, or just pair it with soup- serve it as an appetiser. However, you use it – don’t forget to derive comfort from the melting cheese and crunchy cucumbers and onion as it hits your palate.
And Hey!! Go hug your grandmom right now!! Life is full of small pleasures!