When pride goes before a fall

Over the years K’s incessant praise has gone to my head when it comes to cooking. With every passing year, I lorded over my kitchen with the confidence of a master chef who’s arrogance is forgiven because of the quality of food that comes out of the kitchen.

Yesterday however, witnessed a fall of epic proportions. Having invited friends over for dinner and having amma to help, I did what I usually do. Order my underlings about and insist on making things myself. I hesitate to delegate and enjoy the idea of whipping up something that everybody enjoys.

Calling K in the midst of his work to point out how something must be done correctly, I felt deliciously evil. The horns on my head were growing. Setting out the food on the kitchen island later that evening, when people asked me who made xyz, I swelled with pride and said “I did.”

Plate in hand, I served myself decent portions and sat amidst a group of friends and chatted away. Food in my mouth I realized what a fall I had set myself up for. I looked around in horror realizing when people asked me “Who made this?” it was not in praise. The food was half cooked, dry and patently inedible. The rest of the evening went past in a blur of activity and I wrapped myself up in clearing the kitchen.

The feeling of shame in my mind however is as vivid as yesterday. I learned first hand why wise folks said “Pride goes before a fall.”

Boy! what a fall.

9 comments

  1. I don’t know how to laugh, because I was taught not to laugh when someone falls. May I tell you something, it exactly happened to me when G invited his newly wedded friend once for dinner. Me having horns as you said set out to prepare Vendaikkai Sambar; Potato fry; Paruppu Usili; Pappadam; And Semiya Payasam for dinner; I felt exalted when I served the food. There came the comment to G from his friend “Are you eating this kind of food everyday?” Me thinking wow what a praise man and looked G with pride, when everyone and everything done we bade farewell and I sat to fill my tummy, there I realised what kind of praise that was – my goodness the Sambar was sour; Potato fry was looking fried, but wasn’t actually fried; Semiya was so sticky in the payasam. What a disaster; G wiped my tears consoling that to be a learning and ever since then….I have not invited anyone or I did not cook when people are invited.

    @Deepa: 🙂 Glad to hear am not the only one. Anyways, I definitely do intend to keep calling people home and more importantly cook with a little more humility 🙂

  2. 🙂 Sorry cannot help smiling; though honestly I cannot relate at all. My pessimistic nature starts with me thinking I suck at everything…and always feel that the food I make tastes bad! 🙂 Blessing in disguise maybe?!

    @Apar: LOL! I know you cook well. Perhaps some of my arrogance should rub off on you 🙂

  3. Laksh is it the bread? I’m very sorry. I wish you had atleast called me to check for the baking time if using a different pan size!

    @Madhu: Illa, Illa. Even the bread was ok. It came out dry though. It was everything I made Saturday. 😦

  4. Oh, it’s just one of those days! Happens to the best of chefs. Don’t work yourself up about this 🙂

    Now am thinking it actually helps having a husband who doesn’t say a single good thing at all 😀 The doubt’s always there! lol

    @rads: LOL 🙂 Good way to look at it.

  5. The only time I called my friends over to show off my culinary skills, the pakoda failed miserably. All the times before that when I had fear in mind and was experimenting those things came out very well.

    Though praise gets into my head in rocket speed, that one single incident has lead me to never take anybody’s praise about my cooking seriously.

    But, You don’t appear at all to be the person who would let things get into your head fast. 🙂 So, may be this was a one off incident.

    @Sachita: Praise sure does go to my head. I guess I will be careful here on 🙂

  6. It happens to everyone I guess. But the only saving grace is that my hubby ALWAYS ALWAYS has to taste everything beforehand and will do modification as needed. He is the one who will do the finishing touches to any food served and oh yes!! he like it to served all decorated. Sometimes it is good to have someone as a backup and at times it really irritates me….as I don’t like too much meddling.

    I do know he cooks better than me, but I am the best for everyday cooking.

    @Manchus: Good for you! you can shift blame on your hubby should something not work out well 🙂

  7. I am sure that your friends love to enjoy your food and company many many more times. keep some thayir saadam for me:)
    Enjoy your cooking, chef..allez cuisine!
    shy

    @shy: I hope they do. I think the let down was more in my mind than anywhere else.

  8. Oh wow…know what, you sound like Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S!! But at the end of it, nobody denies that she’s a great chef!! Same for you.. 🙂 . And nobody can deny that you’re a great writer-“The horns on my head were growing.” Stupefied!!

    @Shalu: Your comment bought a smile to my face 🙂 Thank you 🙂

  9. Hi Lakshmi, That was a cool post, I too have faced this situation many a times so I could relate to it 🙂 Btw Belated Birthday wishes!!
    Mathangi

    @Mathangi: Thank you for the wishes. Happy New Year to you!

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