So I am not a food blogger and don’t pretend to be one. But I am a food lover. Anyone who knows (and sees) me knows that. And as a result of which I love cooking and experimenting with food. Although I do realise that those two aren’t natural corollaries of each other. But I am happy union of both-I love to cook and love to eat. I DO NOT like to share.

I know that when most people say that they ‘experiment  with food’ they mean they try out new recipes of exotic food. Which I do. Or rather I try to do.

You see I suffer from a fundamental disorder: inability to follow instructions. It’s not a minor affliction. Many great personalities suffer from the same disorder-like Barack Obama, Woody Allen, Simon Cowell and my mom.

So for example if I decide to make a blueberry muffins, there are things which come in the way. Like not having an oven and the unwillingness to invest in one so that I don’t cook fatty, buttery that go straight into my ever accomodating waistline. Like having colourful muffin butter paper but no muffin moulds to hold that paper. Like the high cost of blueberries in Singapore and the absence of them currently in my fridge. Like my inability to measure exact amount of butter and sugar-Is it two corelle cups? Or two corningware cups? Or duralex cups? Or stainless steeel cups? And how many mg is half an ounce? (math was never a strong suit). Simple confusion leads me to gloss over finer instructions with the adage ‘the devil is in the details’ in my mind. Or had you heard differently? 

And above all, I have on my side the fundamental positive attitude that everything will turn out alright. And somehow it does-on most times. Positive attitude is everything-read the SECRET.People can accuse my food of being many things, but they can’t accuse it of being ‘Boring!’ (As for my personality-that’s not under discussion right now)

When my adding and subtracting from authentic recipes sometimes hits a perfect equation, I am ecstatic in the manner of the scientist who found the missing link in the gene pool. I had a ‘eureka’ moment the other day when a few friends came over for tea. Poor, unsuspecting, harmless things didn’t know that they had just agreed to be my lab rats for product testing.  

I wanted to serve pita bread with two types of hummus.

Problem: One pita packet costs like $4(Rs 120) in Sing. And its fat in the manner of amritsari kulchas. And tasteless. So I decided to make my own. Only didn’t have an oven to bake Pita bread in. Hmmm….After some research, I downloaded this recipe from the internet.

And now come my experiments:

First I decided that I wanted to make the Pita a little flavourful. So I added herbs to my bread. And sesame seeds. And extra virgin olive oil-just one teaspoon (FNS teaspoon)

Then my big secret. A long time ago, my emotional self had got the better of my rational ‘no-oven-because-you-are-fat’ self. So I hoodwinked it and discovered a near perfect way of baking without an oven or a convection microwave.

Step no 1: Switch on the gas to a high flame

Step no 2: Put thick tava on gas

Step no 3: Put flat non stick pan on the tava

Step no 4: Cover the non stick pan with lid.

Of course you can’t be accurate about temperatures and things like that, but as is obvious, I prefer experimentation to accuracy.The internal atmosphere in the nonstick pan mimics that of an oven, compartment heating without direct heat. I thought it was pretty smart- although many ‘authentic’ foodies are gonna send me lotsa hate mail after this.

And now the hummus- In addition to the traditional hummus, I made one with hung curd, cherry tomatoes and basil.And everyone liked that one better-they said it was lighter and more flavourful.

For dessert, I thought I’d try cheesecake. I love cheesecake but I have never tried making it as I’m the only one in my family who likes it. My hapless friends were about to bear the brunt of yet another juvenile experiment.

So I took this recipe and added my own twist. I beat fresh blueberries alongwith the cream cheese. I made a blueberry preserve and added it on the top. And also added some of the crust to top it ’cause I just love the crust. Again the verdict was thankfully positive.

So I hoped you enjoy my additions and subtractions to these recipes.For once, my friends were all praises of what they called my innovativeness. Like what you see? Why don’t you try it and tell me the results. Or if you are in Singapore, you can call me at 84598120 or email me at sandwhy@gmail.com and I would love to cook them for your next get together (don’t worry-no guinea pigs this time).

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