Nov 23, 2009

Power of estimation

Its a knack, I tell you. Estimation, that is! Or, maybe its there somewhere in your chromosomes. Cos I never seem to be getting it right. Try as I might, this estimation thing gives me a slip almost always.
I remember this game in one of the stalls in the school fairs (which were quite common in Delhi, in 80s). Guess the weight of a cake kept there right and, you win some good gift. Did I ever try it? No way. For one thing, I never went near the weights except to weigh myself. And two, I had full faith on my guessing power. I knew I would be way too ahead or way too back.
There was a time, not so long ago, when I used to shop for my kids clothes. My shopping spree generally took over on my way back home from the office since there was no time or patience to load the kids into the car and go back to shop. And Sunday shopping is something I hate from the bottom of my heart. I hate the rush, the search for free parking space, the madness at billing, the wait at trial rooms and so on and so forth. Sunday shopping is just not for me!
Oh I, where was I? Yes, so I used to shop for my kids and invariably ended up buying a size smaller for them. And almost always, I had to revisit the shop to exchange. I kept blaming this on my motherliness, which refuses to accept that my child is growing.
But then this same thing happens when I cook. My mother in law is a bit stingy when it comes to cooking. She believes that cooking in small quantities makes for a better taste. Maybe she is right, I will not deny it since she IS a good cook. But it is also a fact that many a times; she has underestimated and cooked less; ultimately having people waiting for food literally. During my early days of marriage, this used to get on my nerves and put both of us in many an embarrassing situation. This has instilled a sense of fear in me that I always need to be prepared with more than required. That I should not have guests and end up with less food. And so, I always keep a buffer when I cook, but which sometimes leads to too-much. And then this too-much-food gets carried forward for days. At this point in time, I must prostrate on the ground in gratitude to the person who invented Refrigerator. If you ask me there is no better invention than this! I wonder how they prevented food from getting spoilt in earlier days. Oops, I meander again.

I have a friend who loves to cook and invites us quite often. Every time I go to her place and take a peek at what she has cooked, I immediately get worried, if it would be enough. But voila, we all finish and there is still some left over. I really wonder how she does that.

I have problems even getting the recipes right. In the recipe, when it is mentioned 3 whistles, and I let the cooker blow out 3 whistles, invariably, the rice is undercooked; and in fear when I wait for 5 whistles, the rice becomes pudding!

So, this post was the outcome of the too-much-sevai I cooked today morning; half of which lies in my sweet refri. My hubby had a nice time teasing me about my ability to judge the required quantity till I reminded him that he is the one who is going to eat the extra tonight. That sent him brooding.

But there is one are where over estimation actually helps. In office! I always bargain for the maximum time for any project and end up finishing much before time. So, I guess it is not all that bad.

And yet it is never too late. I need tips and tricks. How do I judge the how much part? 


On the book front, I just finished The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and I have been eating my words back. I had half thought of dumping the book after reading first few pages. I kept arguing with Smita on how this book could have made to the top bestseller. I thankfully, continued reading, and here I am in love with the book. The recent book to have moved me this much was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Simply awesome!


Bedazzled November 23, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

hee hee.. i have a problem with cooking more much ever i cook, it never lasts for more than 1 day .. maybe i shud learn to buffer !!.. kite runner is just a sooper dooper book.. one of my favs too !

Smita November 23, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

I usually cook just the right amount!

As was telling you, my Mom says if you cook with a thought that the amount would be just right then it never falls short!! :)

As far as TTW is concerned, I can not forget ur exact words You really liked it?

I have never been happier seeing someone eating their words :D

Just Like That November 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

more and less is ok, but I too have a prob with the over/under cooking. LOL!
Why don't you make some murukku next time. The when it gets to be too-much-food, you can courier me some ;-)

Time Traveller's Wife is good? ok. me go buy.

BK Chowla November 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

Cooking is the easy way out to keep your wife in good humour.

Reema November 24, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

I guess some just have in them! :)

vimmuuu November 25, 2009 at 3:33 AM  

Ok, so let me guess, you are bad at weights, horrible at selecting clothes and terrible at cooking?? Right ?? :D :D :D :D Gosh, and you are still happily married, huh? :D :D :D :D

Dreamer November 25, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

I too have a huge fear of food not being enough and hence my fridge is almost always full of leftovers!

Bouncing-Bubble November 25, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

except for foods which have "soaking in water" as a step, lol, like aval upma and rice sevai (which I seem to cook for the whole hungry world) I'm ok in cooking just about wht's reqd.
v.cute post.

Angel's Flight November 26, 2009 at 10:23 PM  

hahahah..i'm totally like you..i make extra and then end up storing multiple small containers in the fridge.

Except there have been times, sply now that I cook thinking it will last us for lunch and dinner...and it get finished at dinner....but those times I just say that I cook so well that hubby finished the dish.......lolz thts my explanation and I am sticking to it!

I agree this is a super cute post!

Anonymous,  November 30, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

This is the exact reason why I don't cook, though my wife believes its sheer laziness.

couchpapaya December 4, 2009 at 1:46 AM  

ogod i share the humongous cooking qty thing. i get so nervous that i'll run out of food, ultimately hubs and i end up eating leftovers for 3-4 days!! i love my fridge and freezer too :D and as for estimating size, i've never managed to buy anything for myself just by looking at it, i HAVE to try it on otherwise it'll be mostly too large - i have this mental image where i think i'm fatter than i really am :( the only thing i can do right is follow a recipe!

am so happy u loved TTTW!!! :) what made u want to dump it in the first few pages? so fess up, how many people cried reading it??

WhatsInAName December 7, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

Sorry dear friends, for my blated acknowledgment. Damn the office rules!
Thanks for the sweetest comments!

Bedazzled, :D
You take 2 steps forward and I will do the same and maybe someday we will be there at right place! :D

Smita, :)
Your mom is so so right. I wish I had the confidence to accompany it! And yes, i am still eating my words :p

Murukku? Done! But u must sign a note saying noone is responsible for what follows :p

I wish my hubby knew that!!!! :D

:) you bet!

Vimmu ;)
I AM happily married and you will soon know why :P when you have no choice but to praise your wife's cooking :p

Dreamer :)
Hugs to my soul sister! Atlast I feel I am not alone in the rightly-cooking world ;)

Bouncy ;)
I make everything for the whole world! Sigh :D

Angel :D
A big hug to you too. Dont worry, we shall overcome someday :D

LargeDoc :p
Ah! so THAT was the reason, eh? :p

I wish I had your knack for cooking! Sigh! TTTW was kind of confusing in the beginning. It was difficult for a dumb headed me to keep track of time and all! Thats why I got all confused :D

Hip Grandma December 7, 2009 at 7:33 PM  

Are you sure you are not related to me?Many of the things you say about yourself applies to me too.I cannot cook too little or too much.I can cook for 5 to 7 people and so most of the time my husband and I eat fresh food on one day and left overs for the next two days!An interesting piece and I could relate to each point.

Vee December 8, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

Ekdum Masaledaar post... Digressing did the trick...

So u ate back ur words for that book. Now we are waiting when would you do that for Salman ...:)

Suma December 10, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

i always cook too much, when people are coming over...but its okay..i deep freeze what can be frozen and it makes a yummy meal for a PMS stricken, irritable, nasty day...that's fair compensation for the boys in my house :)! December 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

:) :) my mom does this too...but her power of estimation has improved with years...she now cooks variety and not quantity!

havent read books in ages :( need to catch up now!

Mama - Mia December 21, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

oh more is always better than less!!

my aunt used to cook like that. less! and then something would still be left over because everyone would be watching what they eat seeing the small quantity! and she kept thinking she was making it just right! gah!

so you keep cooking girl! ;)


DDmom December 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

How did I miss this post. Am on your side, if I see little food on table, I cannot get myself to eat. But then many times, I have ended up eating left overs for more than 2 days ;
On the "How do I judge the how much part", do let me know when you find a convincing answer..

Dropped by to wish you a very happy new year.

Anonymous,  January 8, 2010 at 6:35 PM  

LOL..if u cant guess..rely n measurements..hve bn postponing fridge..since nd til i have to have a mental note..on exactly how many handfuls of dough make n number of chappathis :Pkeep a track nd eventually it works :P nd trime travellers wife!! i gotto grab a copy soon!

Anonymous,  February 5, 2010 at 11:01 AM  

Seeing these kind of posts reminds me of just how technology truly is something we cannot live without in this day and age, and I am fairly confident when I say that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory falls, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i SDHC[/url] DS SysBro)

Adisha February 6, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

I'm usually pretty good at estimation and yet find new lessons in the measuring and buying front.

Glad to hear about the book. Will have to pick it up next :D Cheers...

Anonymous,  April 7, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Super post, I say! And after going through all these comments, am glad to know there are quite a few of "us" ;)

I can almost NEVER cook the right portions -- unless its ome dish that takes forever to cook, and then doesnt last more than 10 mins :D

Which is why, I have a fridge at home that's almost twice my height (ok, exagerration; though I have looked longigly at such fridges, "estimating" about how many small dishes of leftovers will fit in it :D )

And that thing you've mentioned about peeping into the friend's kitchen and worrying if it'll be enough for everyone, I ALWAYS get that feeling when I go over to Verbivore's place :D :D [ sure she will get a shock if she sees this!] In fact, once, i asked her multiple times if it'll be enough, until i was sure she thought i was endorsing gluttony :D But let me vouch for her estimation capability: we've never fallen short! not a single time!!

As for your shopping, thank god you never decide to take one from all sizes :D

Super post!!

Anonymous,  May 1, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

Hey!! My first visit here, and I can totally relate to the 'non' estimation part ;-) Esp when I go shopping, I LOAD the trolley with far more than I can lug back. So most of the time, I end up leaving half the stuff back at the counter. These days however, I carry a small backpack and choose only a little more than what the bag can carry ;-)
Btw, The kite runner was truly moving. Thousand splendid suns too.

Renu May 21, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

came here surfing and loved this post..even I prefer cooking on the more side:) so much so that now my son cant eat if food is cooked with perfect estimation.

I also liked kite runner very much.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2010 at 7:43 AM  


TimeRays January 4, 2011 at 9:47 PM  

Hi, I invite you to join a revolution. Channelize your thoughts. Join Time Rays.

Raam Pyari July 11, 2011 at 1:26 AM  

time travellers wife is a lovely book! I love it too!

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