I’m Madhuram living in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA with my husband and my son who is two and a half years old. Although my mother tongue is Telugu, we are convenient with Tamil because we were born and raised in Tamil Nadu. The language we speak is a mixture of both.
I’ve always had interest in cooking. Back in India I used to follow all the cooking shows regardless of language, eagerly look for recipes in magazines be it veg or non veg. Being vegetarian, I used to think maybe I can use cauliflowers/potatoes in a non-veg recipe. But the truth is I didn’t cook as much as I watched the shows. Occasionally I used to try some interesting recipe or cook when my grandmother or mother was not feeling well which was very rare.
Like many others who come to US from India after their marriage I also packed as much as I can, which included a LOT of books on cooking. But again I didn't get a chance to experiment all those recipes because my husband was a VERY VERY VERY DIET/HEALTH CONSCIOUS person. He didn't want anything fried in oil, nothing spicy or salty, nothing very sweet. God that was a tough period to learn a different kind of cooking altogether! So again I was just reading recipes, now from websites. That was the only difference. We didn't have cable TV connection then, so was not able to watch FOOD TV.
MY NEW LOVE:
We had to move to Canada for a couple of months. There I started watching Food TV regularly, or to tell the truth, I was watching only Food TV. I was so thrilled to see the hosts baking cookies and cakes, breads and muffins. I just fell in love with baking. Until then I did not know what to do with the oven, I was just using it like another kitchen shelf, storing my oversize cooker, Dosa pans etc.
MY EXPERIMENT WITH BAKING:
One day my husband and I were watching an episode in Food TV. Yes my husband also, even though he doesn’t eat much, he likes to watch Food TV. In that episode, the host was preparing potato puffs with puff pastry sheets. My husband told me that I should also try that, and to my surprise he also said that he will go to the store immediately and get the puff pastry and baking sheet and meanwhile I can prepare the potato stuffing. So I prepared the masala and switched on the oven to preheat it. My God, that was a big process because I had kept so many boxes etc in my oven, remember I was using it as a storage only. I had to remove all of them, find a place for it. (Now that I’m using the oven more often, not for baking per se but for preparing the store bought frozen French fries and making pizzas, my mother in law has converted the dishwasher into a storage area, seeing me moving things out each time I want to use the oven) My husband got the cookie sheets made in aluminum foil and the puffs came out very well. Hey I can hear what you guys are telling, this is not baking, it’s just using the oven. Yes I agree, but that was by itself a big deal for me.
Sometime later I bought a baking set because it was on sale. It was just lying idle. I didn't know from where to start. Because I’ve seen in the Food TV shows, that they were using the big hand mixers etc. I didn’t want to invest in them without having a clue how to use them. So I used to google to see if there were any classes for baking nearby. But found none. Earlier I had bought the Magic Bullet blender and one day I was going through the recipe book given with that. There were some recipes for muffins. The process of preparing the batter was so simple, just put flour, oil etc in the blender’s big jar and pour it in the muffin pan. I wanted to try it, but I had to use eggs. As mentioned earlier being a vegetarian I was hesitant to bring eggs home. (But the secret was I started eating eggs after coming to US, I love Dunkin Donuts’ egg and cheese sandwich very much. Sshhh….. don’t tell my mother.) Then somehow I mustered some courage to buy eggs and try the recipe. I simply followed the instructions and it came out well, but both my husband and myself couldn't tolerate the smell of egg in the muffins. I don’t know whether it was psychological or something, we didn't feel like eating it at all. We do enjoy the pastries bought from the store, we are conscious of the fact that they are made with eggs only, but the idea of bringing it home and baking with them made us uncomfortable. The same happened when I tried chocolate chip cookies also. So I didn't bake anything later. But I did want to learn to bake and got a book “BAKING FOR DUMMIES”. I did see some eggless recipes in that book for cookies, but I don’t know why I didn’t try them. With a newborn and related pressure I forgot all about this.
BACK TO USA:
We moved back to US again. Once I was googling to find out how to break the Jaggery mounds we get in the Indian store. That time I found a link to Indira’s site. I was really dumbfounded after visiting that site. It was EXCELLENT. There I found a recipe for an eggless cake made with bananas and carrots. I tried it the next day itself and it came out very well. I have tried that cake with so many variations and each time it’s a hit. This rekindled my passion for baking.
From Indira’s site I visited lot of other fabulous blogs. Until then I had no idea what blogs were and was not aware of the fact that there were so many other passionate cooks out there. Shilpa’s www.aayisrecipes.com, sunitha’s blog and so many other food blogs inspired me so much that I also wanted to become a part of this delicious world.
So that's how egglesscooking.com was born.
Back in Canada again, since 2009.