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 Healthy Homes

August 2010
Crafty Kitchen for Working Women
Anju Poddar
 
When your grandmother ruled the kitchen, it was all about taste; clan of women swarming around pots and pans spending long hours stirring and chopping while exchanging recipes and gossip, it was a true job. But today many women refuse to stay content being kitchen queens - they need a job and a social life as they tread what was once known as the man’s world.

So how can we expect the modern women to spend hours in the kitchen making tasty meals?  

Today’s women have to wear a lots of hats, that of a home-maker, wife, mother, working woman etc. In this competitive busy environment, women find it tough to juggle these hats, resulting in poorly planned meals; frozen foods, ready to cook meals, processed foods or home delivery. What we fail to see is, that these foods are made for taste and not for nutritive value. The healthiest food is what one makes at home with caution. If you can’t cook yourself then don’t give in, make sure you supervise what’s being cooked.

I myself have a busy life, as I load it with activities chalked out for me, and so I understand truly how difficult it is to make that extra effort to cook at the end of a working day. You already have a full plate and it goes without saying that filling your family’s plate is just one more thing that you have to think about. So, here are a few tips to make it easier for you

Things made easy

Plan -
First and foremost, planning is very essential. Plan your menu for the entire week ahead.

Guests - If any guests are expected, keep that in mind while planning your menu to avoid last minute tension.

Shopping -Prepare your grocery list for the week ahead, while planning the menu.

Weekend - It’s the best time to tick off your ‘things to do’ list, so make sure you find time to do the grocery every weekend.

Ground work - If you have any ground work to be done, like preparing ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree or crushed pepper etc. Do it over the weekend and store it under proper conditions.

Appliances- Use time and energy saving kitchen appliances like:
  • Rice cookers
  • Pressure cookers with three compartments so you can cook rice, dal and subji together
Time Management - Time management is of utmost importance. Don’t hurry through making the meals.

Likes and dislikes -While planning the menu, make sure you keep in mind the likes and dislikes of the family members, so when they devour your food, you will feel rewarded.

Hygiene - Remember always that hygiene is the topmost priority. Don’t ever compromise in it, as it may lead to a string of illnesses like stomach pains, food poisoning etc.

Now that you have these tips in line, prepare to be the ‘kitchen queen’ with ease. Cooking is known to be a relaxing chore - Bon Appetite!

Easy Food Presentation Tips
If you have guests coming home on a short notice, follow these simple steps to make your food look attractive.
  • Use contrasting dish colours. For example if the food is dark in colour use white plates.
  • Garnish your dish with natural complements; lemon slices on fish or orange slices with pork. If you are using a garnish not found in the dish, taste and OK the combination of the dish and garnish.
  • The use of real flowers to decorate cakes, salads or soups provides easy colouring. Buy flowers that are naturally grown without insecticides. Make sure you wash them thoroughly before using them.
Anju Poddar is a successful home maker fascinated by Hindu traditions and festivals. She has authored four well received books, the latest being Meals, Menus and More


    
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