On a typical Sunday morning, I usually don’t leave bed before 12. So most of the times I don’t see the Sunday morning at all. Today it turned out to be different. I woke up by 8.30 and kept on rolling (on the bed) and scrolling through my Instagram feed till 10 AM. The other day I was watching a Buzzfeed Tasty video where 3 chefs made their favorite kind of burgers and I told sissy, “I am gonna make you burger one day…”
Watching cooking videos and getting hyped is not new for me. But when it comes to actually buy all the ingredients and make the dish, all the inconveniences like unavailability of the items, budget, limited cooking appliances, laziness get on to me. Sissy already knows this and that is why she never takes my words seriously unless I make the dish. This time, I had to prove her wrong. I was so determined to make the burgers that I bought all the stuffs on Friday on my way home. Weekend is the best time to do such experimental stuffs. So one of the pushing force was, if I don’t make it today all the ingredients won’t last up to the next weekend.
Let me tell you in brief, how I made the burger… I poached an egg first, chopped some onions and fried them on low heat until they are caramelized and light brown color. Fried the smoked chicken salami that I got from frozen section of the super market, chopped some lettuce. Toasted the buns with some butter on the inner sides and assembled all together with some ketchup. The preparation was nothing tricky, I added insane amount of chicken and lettuce as I am never satisfied with the amount in a store-bought burger. It is hard to give feedback on my work by myself but it was quite fine. The bread kind of started falling apart, otherwise it looked cool. I don’t know much of cooking so this was huge achievement for me!
You might be thinking now why would I write an entire blog to brag about one damn burger that I made today. It’s not just about the burger, it’s about my emotions revolving around fast food.
After moving to Hyderabad, eating outside has become an integrated part of life but things were not like this when I was a kid.
For a long time of our childhood, fast-food was one of those things we could get only once or twice a month. There were 2 brands- “Monginis” and “Sugar and Spice” who sold fancy fast-foods in our home town. By fancy I meant- sandwich, bread rolls, cream rolls, croissants, pastries and other stuffs like that. These are not exactly Indian or local inspired snacks. I always wanted to go to those confectioneries but my strict parents would hardly allow us. Also those foods were way more expensive than the local fast-foods.
There are plenty of local sweet shops in West Bengal, no matter it’s a small town or a big city. Also there are shops that sell chop (a dip fried snack), samosa, poori (kind of flat bread), various types of chats and much more. My parents are super hygiene-freak, they made me believe that if I eat any sort of street food from vendors or small shops, I would definitely have some serious food poisoning. They did not actively washed my brain but hygiene was one of my most important concern even as a child. But am I not a normal human being? Yes I am. It was too hard to resist myself when I got the smell of egg roles (one of the iconic street foods in West Bengal). It was hard to hold myself back when the fragrance of some deep fried savory snack was all over my nostrils.
We didn’t have a concept of pocket money while we grew up. My mom used to drop me to school every single day and pick me up. Same with private tutors. There was nothing called going alone anywhere. It’s not because my parents didn’t trust me enough, it was because they wanted to ensure I was safe. My mom used to buy us anything we needed but fast food or stupid toys and stuffs. This tradition went for a while, when Sissy was in high school, my parents had to let her go alone to the tuition. One of her classes was an hour bus-ride away from home. That one was the most epic one. Every Sunday sissy had wake up by 5 AM and take the bus by 6 to reach the tuition at 7 AM. She had 2 tutions at the same place with an hour gap in between. It was past our lunch time when she used to return home. Mom used to give her some money so that she could some food in between the 2 classes. My sister is the sweetest person ever… she found out a cool fast-food restaurant named Rose Confectionery, she used to buy snacks from there and bought for me. It was a big deal because mom didn’t give her money for 2 people, most of the time sissy used to bring her own food which she was supposed to eat, to share with me. Every Sunday I used to wait for her at home. Apparently it was a new shop there and the food was too good in cheap price. I remember having the best chicken samosa in my life from there. I have never been to the shop, the food seemed even more tastier because it was not available in our home-town and sissy used to bring it for me every week.
Every time I used to wait for the moment when sissy would take out the food from her back-pack. One day I was waiting as usual and found out that she didn’t bring any food that day. I was a little mad even though I knew that she wasn’t supposed to bring it in the first place. Later I came to know that she fell off the bus that day. She was getting off the bus when it sped up and she literally fell on the road, the food fell from her hand at that time.
I was still not getting enough fast-food! Every single day, in the evening I would want to have some food from outside but mom did not approve. We used to have bad-blood every now and then for this. My mom had to think of our health and also keeping up with the monthly budget, now I totally understand her point.
As I grew older and I had to spend most of my time in school and private classes and study for entrance exams, things started changing. Dadu (My grand-pa) was staying with us for a while and it was the greatest victory of me! Dadu used to bring all the staffs that mom usually did not buy. Eating fast-food slowly made a place in my life-style as the stress factor increased. Mom used to buy me fancy desserts and chocolates before exams or when pressure was intense.
When I got admission into college and went to hostel, I saw people having very irregular and unhealthy eating habits. This was the first time, mom started giving me pocket money which was only meant for food. In India, we don’t usually start working before graduation, so it’s all by our parents. At that point I had more access to fast-foods but I didn’t have proper meal at hostel and my body needed some plain rice and vegetables more than anything. The money I used to get was not enough for having fancy food 5 days a week. I fell seriously sick on the second of my college, it was a stomach infection I didn’t know from where I got.
My health got worse and I had to make some serious changes in my life style to get well. I entirely gave up eating outside. Gradually everything came under control.
Now I live by myself (well, almost) and my parents don’t tell me what to eat and what not too. For the first year of living outside, my food habits went a little wild. I knew almost every ice-cream shop, every milk-shake maker, every sandwich and bakery near my place. I lived my most extra life until I realized my bank balance is thinner than a Victoria’s secret model.
Money is definitely one of the driving factor that shapes your life-style. Also those extra cheese, extra large fries, extra scoop of ice-cream started getting reflected in my body fat.
On my final note I would say that I still love fast-food like the when I was a kid. Having the control over my own life, now I feel like I should eat more healthy foods. Damn I definitely sound like 40 yo person!
Phew! Long boring post is over… Thanks for reading! 🙂