Archives | Home | News | Editorial | Politics | Spotlight | Issues | Parliament  | Focus | Economy | Letters | World Affairs | Serendipity | Business | Sports

Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                      Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                      Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid

Balder dash

   

Salt of the earth

Oh Potty! Itís too soon for goodbyes. I remember on my 50th birthday, it was you who chose the verse on my cake,

"New friends I value, and cherish their worth, But old friends to me are the salt of the earth."

You came along with Toots and Dorfie with the cake that afternoon. I was napping after preparations for the party that night, when I heard you three had arrived. So I grumpily came downstairs and said, "What the heck, is this the time to come visiting men?" You giggled, and Dorfie said, "Very nice, we came all the way with a gift and youíre scolding us!"

Then I was shown the  cake, an open book, with your verse on it. Apparently, from three corners of the earth, you all had even specified the colour of each flower to the lady who made it. I was so touched, it was a lovely gesture. I knew instinctively that it was you who chose the verse on the cake.

And now, almost four years later, I just canít believe that youíre not here. Reading through your old emails to us, I found one in particular that is so poignant, because it hit me that your beautiful Shelly will now have to call one of us to help her along the way. Here goes.

An Adventure In Cooking (Author Potty)

12 Noon in Chandler, Arizona.

Iím at work. Phone call from Shelly on my mobile.

S: "Mama, I am in the grocery store, buying stuff to cook. There are different coloured onions."

Me: "Buy the yellow ones."

S: "Okay. I have no time to talk now. I am BUSY!"

(Am I staring at the walls of the office, I wonder?)

4.30 pm. Another call.

S.: "Mama, where are you?"

Me: "I am at Lee Leeís. Why?"

S.: "Can you call me as soon as you reach home? I want to start cooking sausage curry, rice and parippu."

Me: "Okay."

5.15 pm. I call from home.

Me: "Iím at home. Whatís up?"

S: "How many sausages should I use for the curry?"

Me: "How many in the pack?" (This is to gauge the size)

S: "Six, and it also says Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausages."

Me: "Ah! Take three and cut them into one inch pieces."

S: "What else do I need?"

Me: "Chopped onions, garlic, curry and chilli powder, turmeric, salt and a little milk."

( I carefully refrain from mentioning any ingredient she does not have, or else she will be frantic!)

S: "I want to add potatoes too."

Me: "Take one small potato and cut it into small cubes."

S. "Okay. What next?"

Me: "Put a little oil in the pan, temper the onions and garlic for two minutes. Then add sausages, potatoes and all the powders and keep frying for about seven minutes until it turns a nice colour. Then add quarter cup of water and let it boil. Later, add about five tablespoons of milk, cover the pan and keep on the stove for another three minutes."

End of call.

A few minutes later, the phone rings, again!

S: "Mama, I put the onions in the oil like you said, but itís just sitting there!"

Me: "Well, increase the heat to medium."

S: " Okay. Now, DONíT DISTURB ME!"

10 minutes later, next call.

S: "Mama, you have given me two types of seeds, am I to add those to the curry?"

Me: "What seeds? Describe them?"

S: "One is green, like a pod, the other is black."

Me: "Ah, cardamoms and cloves, you silly goose!

"Yes, add one of each to the curry. Are you cooking the parippu too?"

S: "No, I will first finish this, I know how to make parippu!"

Another call.

S: "Mama, the curry does not have a nice colour like yours."

M: "Quick, find some tomato ketchup and add some!"

I wait on lineÖ

S: "Aaah! Now it looks good!"

I breathe a sigh of relief. She has mastered the Art of Cooking! Alas! My hopes are dashed, the phone rings yet again.

S: "Mama, I have forgotten how to make parippu. I just washed it."

Me: "I thought you said parippu was a breeze?

"First add water, chopped onions, garlic, salt, turmeric and boil. Finally add some milk."

S: "Now I remember!"

No more phone calls that evening. I had to imagine how it tasted!

Rest peacefully, my friend! I promise you we will all be there for Shelly.

ó Honky Tonk Woman


 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


©Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
24, Katukurunduwatte Road, Ratmalana Sri Lanka
Tel : +94-75-365891,2 Fax : +94-75-365891
email :
editor@thesundayleader.lk