My New Year evening was spent with friends.
There was music but no dancing.
I don't dance much nowadays. I should, to burn the kilos that the doc has suggested I get rid of.
We had a few drinks, pork curry and chappatis. Dessert was simple - finger-sized ripe yellow plantains. My host kept tearing them off the bunch which was hung from a clothesline in the balcony.
I laughed and laughed before I told my amused host that the nook with the bananas looked like Nair's tea shop in Irinjalakuda.
The plantains were delicious.
They had to be. They had grown on the trees that Manoj has in his kitchen garden.
Yesterday, my watchman handed over five raw plantains from a bucket that had two dozen in them.
I closed the door and laughed to myself. The opening week seemed to drive me bananas.
When my maid reported for work today, I asked her to cook them rightaway. They were delicious.
They too had grown on the plantain tree in our backyard.
The veggies and fruits and leaves that grow in our backyards always have a special taste to them.
Perhaps it has to do with the special attention we give them.
Or is there a psychological twist to the way we experience this food?
As a child I could not comprehend why my grandma or my aunt or my mom used to slip out of their village house kitchen, rip the leaves off the branch of a sunny tree and toss them into the kadai.
Today, I make sure the local store provides me a sheaf of curry leaves when the billing is done.
Nobody at my apartment block has made the effort to grow a tree whose leaves grow as fast as we rip them for our cooking.
Kitchen gardens can be developed on terraces, balconies and window sills. Watching chillies and tomatoes grow there can be fascinating.
Talking to plants is therapeutic, we are told.
If you have lovely kitchen garden stories to share, do so on my blog - vincentsjottings.blogspot.com