I belong to the Wren&Martin generation. It was ground up, chopped, blended, diced and shoved down our throats till the knee jerk reaction for anything pertaining to grammar and syntax meant reaching for our copy of W&M to confirm its accuracy.
Fast forward a couple of years when colloquialisms rule the roost. There are differences in the way English is spoken all over the world and idiomatic speech is how people prefer to express themselves. Well most people barring Mr.Tharoor because once he starts tweeting or talking, the crusty old Brit vanguards of the language are left scrambling for their copies of W&M and the Oxford dictionaries to unravel the mysteries of his verbosity.
Adages too have undergone a change. The majority of the essays written by middle and high schoolers about women usually had the cliche- ‘the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world’. In the last couple of years I’ve realized that the ‘hand that wields the ladle, rules the roost’. And let’s admit, you might as well get control the home and hearth before heading out for world domination.
Having control over the ladle means a lot. Essentially it means whose taste buds get precedence over the others, how spicy or how bland will your food be, can you switch it up food wise from time to time or do you stay old school, tried and tested. Who has the ladle also plays out in how the kitchen looks and where the “essentials” are placed for the cook.
Sharing a kitchen is often harder than sharing clothes or even a home. Important stuff happens in a kitchen. There’s a power play of spice placement, the cutting boards even right down to the size of the blade and kind of knife that’s going to be used.
I have been raised by 2 VERY particular people. My mother taught me to keep a separate knife for fruits. She also has a separate paring knife for those things which need paring (Duh!). She uses a rather biggish cleaver for the meat and small knives for everything else. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in her kitchen. And that is something I’ve imbibed as well.
But if person who views all knives the same way and essentially looks at functionality and nothing more, your carefully pigeonholed knife arrangement goes for a toss; bringing waves of discomfort not akin to a bout of OCD. Because there’s been a break in the order of how things are done, how you feel they ought to be and the fruit knife ends up reeking of garlic is not what you need when you’ve reached for the musk melon for a mid morning snack. Before you know it, you want to draw a line down the kitchen and divvy up the space so you’re not sighing in frustration about the other cooks who (mis)use spatulas and leave the wooden spoons soaking in water for hours.
Let’s face it, food is important. How it’s cooked is even more so, where the ingredients are kept; all that matters. I don’t want to go all Patrick Bergin on things but even then it’s only natural that there can be only one Queen (or King) Of The Kitchen. And that is me!