Friday, March 30, 2007

she came, she ate, and she never returned again!!!

Just a few days after we got married, my wife expressed the desire to bake a cake. I was both happy, and surprised! Happy because I have always felt that baking a good or a perfect cake is a sign of an accomplished chef. Cakes are never easy to bake, and have tormented and tested even the best of cooks. And I was surprised because I didn’t know she could prepare a cake too. Mine is an arranged marriage, and the whole process of meeting the girl, getting engaged and then the actual tying of the knot, all happened very fast, and like we both were still in the process of getting to know each other.

I gladly told her that I would extend all possible support to her in this process. We selected a Sunday afternoon, and I had brought all the ingredients as per the list that she had made. And within no time we had the dining table full of the assorted paraphernalia needed to bake a cake. Right from the different sized tiny spoons used to measure baking powder, essence etc, to the spatula, egg beater, a couple of sieves, a weighing scale, and all the ingredients were ready. My job was very specific, to have the egg whites separated from the yolks, and then to whip the whites into perfection. I was also given the job of cracking open a few walnuts. I always liked walnuts in cakes. With every bite, you should have a small piece of walnut crunch under your teeth.

Once the process of preparing the entire mixture of flour, eggs, butter, sugar, nuts, essence, and the orange rind etc was over, she decided to use an oven which we had just received a few days back as a wedding gift. I tried to suggest she should use a baking vessel we had, which we used to keep on the gas burner, but newly wed wives being newly wed wives, she refused. So in went the whole mixture in a cake mould, and into the oven. The oven was gleaming, maybe the inaugural cake made it beam with happiness!! Probably raju shrivastav could have imitated the oven too!!!

We all waited for the stipulated time, our next door lady joining a proud mother in law, and both ladies discussed all the cakes that they had earlier had baked till now. I myself quietly remembered all the cakes I had till now, from bakeries outside of course!

None of us were very confident of the oven temperature settings, but we collectively decided to have a combination of temperature settings, and the minutes on the timer. Meanwhile the aroma had begun to travel, attracting a couple of more neighbours. And then slowly this aroma changed from pleasant to something that seemed to burn. In a haste, the oven was switched off and out came the cake, it had taken a dark brown or almost blackish tint. And when we cut it open, after allowing it to cool down, the insides were fairly moist. Something terribly went wrong with the measures of the essence, and the baking soda too, as both the flavors were very strong . my wife was extremely upset and dejected, I tried to console her, and the neighbours, started to disappear fast, in order to reduce her embarrassment.

Finally after trying out a few tiny pieces, it was decided to feed the burnt baking marvel to the cow, who used to take a round in our locality every evening. To close the chapter quickly, I fed the entire cake to the cow, that evening.
She finished the cake in a jiffy, but rapidly moved her head sideways as she ate. I tried in vain to figure out what the humble animal was trying to say. After finishing the cake the cow left our area in a hurry, I had a feeling she wanted to convey something.

From that day in November 1992, till today, the cow never returned to our home again! I do see her sometimes in our locality, but she starts to run the moment I try to call her. My son, who is now 13, and knows the story, teases his mother sometimes. My wife has since then, baked excellent cakes on quite a few occasions. But that fateful day still lingers on in our memory, when a baker’s initial delight, turned into her plight , and later on became an animal’s fright!!!

7 comments:

SAWALGURU said...

very good description of cake baking...poor cow....

Aditi said...

he he he its cool, it generally happens with all of us, what happened with your wife.. first few trials are always on bros, hubbies... but alas, poor cow...

Anonymous said...

Poor cow :)

Ramesh said...

You know these Parsis (Bawajis) they make nice cakes so better to buy it from them rather than expt at home. they are masters (experts) whereas we do not have baking experience. baking is a fine art but you can learn with practice, better luck next time.
Dont worry about the cow, they are very smart they just move on in life and make new friends.

arpita said...

anand.. i was waiting for this post... thank the cake for the excellent rajma- parantha and togetherness u have now. cheers :)

Savita said...

hahahaha... ROTFL

poor thing... the cow i mean..:)

Betty said...

That is funny. poor cow, you should have tried using orange zest in it and worked a different temperature in the oven. Great story though.