Warning: Pure pure stupidity ahead.
Yesterday, Jay had Diwali potluck at his office. He committed on Veg fried rice, for I make it often at home. They were a team of 30 people. Since I did not have big utensils, I said I can make for 5-6 people. As it was a potluck, many others too will be bringing the rice varieties. Since my pressure cooker is small, I thought to try cooking rice in pot this time. (Yes, yes – I wanted to cook a little extra.) This is the first time I am cooking basmati rice in pot. Even regular rice, I cook in pressure cooker only. I read about it in many food blogs, talked to my friends and finally did it. But I was not sure of the point at which the rice should be removed. I cooked and cooked and cooked in low flame. And waited. Finally when the rice was taken out it was a mess. I spreaded it out to cool. My instincts said, Jo, this is over cooked, go for another set. But again I thought, it will be okay once cooled down. My instincts again came up to warn me. But I did not listen. I waited for it to cool down. And finally added it to the veggies, soya sauce etc etc mixture – only to see an overcooked lump of rice with vegetables here and there. It was 10.56 by then. Jay will come at 11.30 to pick this up. I didn’t even have time to cry or to think of another alternative. Without much second thoughts, I immediately took my cooker and pressure cooked another set of rice. Simultaneoulsy, chopped the veggies (by then I ran out of spring onions) and immediately put them into high flamed kadai. By the time, the veggie mix was ready, rice had dropped the pressure and was ready to open. 11.23, Jay came. Another 5 minutes, I mixed up everything, packed and he left at 11.29. I still had my heart beating in my stomach then. I didn’t even get time to taste it properly. I don’t know if everything is mixed properly. I sat speechless looking at the overcooked mess. I was not able to breathe. I wanted to vent on somebody. I pinged my friend on Whatsapp. Her last seen is a couple of hours ago. I knew she was busy. I missed A. It was 1AM in India then. I didn’t want to wake somebody up from their sleep and make tthem listen to my stupidity. I took a couple of deep breath. I drank a jug of water, and told myself, be proud girl, you have done it. Yes. I couldn’t believe that I made it all in half an hour’s time. I felt confident. I was on Cloud 9 when Jay said, it was a huge hit. Poor boy, he didn’t even get a spoon to taste it seems. Anyways, moral of the story – Always trust your instincts. Had I stopped myself when I knew it, I could have saved all those veggies and could have avoided last minute stress.Trust your insticts Jo. Always always.
The apartments here are fitted with smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms. I have a smoke alarm in the dining space facing the kitchen. This had gone many manyatimes – esp while making poori, papads, high flammed rotis or over a spilled milk. Last weekend, I fried papads and sat down to have the sumptious weekend lunch. Only when the alarm ran, I realised that I didn’t switch off the range.A couple of days back, the alarm went again as I sat down for dinner only to see that I didn’t switch off the tawa. Jay warned me then. Gave a good lecture on how I am caeless these days. Also asked me to double check whenever I go out.
Today morning, I had milk on one burner, paratha on another and bread on the other. In between, an aunt of us called from India. The call got disconnected in between. Jay was in a hurry to leave and I was multitasking. He left by 8 o’clock. Then I took my mobile and went to the bedroom. Called back that aunty (20 mints). Then called my mom (another 45-50 minutes). Then I checked FB and Instagram. Read all the whatsapp messages and replied (another half an hour)and then slowly dozed off.. remember the quick nap right. Somewhere in between, I sensed a smell of smoke. I sniffed. No, nothing unusual. My instincts said, get up, u lazy, and check if you have something on the stove. The lazy me, all snuggled up in the blanket thought, I had my coffee, all the parathas I made went to his luchbox. We had ate all the bread that was toasted. Eyy.. There is no chance. I got up after an hour. (Yes, yes. This is what I call a quick nap. ) Though not definite, there was a light smell of smoke. I got up and rushed to the kitchen. Gooshhh.. I didn’t switch off the roti pan. It was on for the last 3 hours. I don’t know what to say about myself. How can I be this carefless and lazy? How much electricity did I waste? I wonder what happened to my smoke alarm. Or may be it did not beep as there was not even flour on the pan. Moral again is trust your instincts, Jo. Don’t be stupid again.
Here is a quick pic of the fried rice.