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  • Tina Nandi

Gratitude List #15


There’s been a lot of eating of Kimchi around here. Mostly, nay all of it by me. In my defense, Rob’s been busy, traveling and working long days so there hasn’t been much opportunity for me to share the goodness with him. And boy is it good.

I remember Kimchi from my boarding school days. One of my best friends and once room-mate would bring it back to the dorm from home after the holidays and we would feast on the stuff. The association of Kimchi to my teenage years is so strong that it’s like a comfort food to me now. So you can imagine that I was like in food HEAVEN on my trip to South Korea for said friend’s wedding in July 2013.

I am constantly amazed by food (as you can probably tell by how frequently this is the topic of my blog posts.) Now that I am finally back in Bombay in a fully functional apartment again, I am having a lot of fun in the kitchen. Every day is like an experiment. And as I wrote on Facebook earlier this week…

My unofficial resolution for this year is to spend more (not less) time in the kitchen. A resolution inspired by one of my favourite writers on the topic of food – Michael Pollan. When I started cooking in earnest to keep myself and the hubs alive and healthy, I was delighted to find that even in this boxed-in concrete jungle of a city, I could be inspired and awed by the amazingness of creation in my kitchen. In the deep red of beets. The geometry of bhindi. The antibiotic power of ginger. Food is healing, humbling and inspiring. And I want to unleash more of that magic in my life, not less…

As Pollan says, “…it is entirely possible that, within another generation, cooking a meal from scratch will seem as exotic an ambitious – as “extreme” – as most of us today regard brewing beer or baking a loaf of bread or putting up a crock of sauerkraut.

When that happens – when we no longer have any direct personal knowledge of how these wonderful creations are made – food will have become completely abstracted from its various contexts: from the labour of human hands, from the natural world of plants and animals, from imagination and culture and community. Indeed, food is already well on its way into that ether of abstraction, toward becoming mere fuel or pure image…

…the best way to recover the reality of food, to return it to its proper place in our lives, is by attempting to master the physical processes by which it has traditionally been made.”

I definitely have an intellectual crush on Michael Pollan. He writes so clearly and seriously and somehow manages to make you laugh at the same time.

So this week I am grateful for Michael Pollan and Kimchi. Yes.

Photo by Niranjan R

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