Devil and the Deep Sea

May 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm 10 comments

I am always stuck in a bundle of contradictions. Especially when it comes to my passions, shopping and cooking. I really pride myself on buying inexpensive clothes and accessorizing them to make them look all put together. Or when it comes to cooking, I am obsessed with getting a dish in the exact same taste as I found at the restaurants, and using loads of shortcuts to get there. Both my clothes and food are generally well appreciated when I do make the effort, but here is where the dilemma comes in.

For example, the other day I was shopping at this massive chain store (ok ok, Target) and I found this really great dress in cotton. It was white with grey modern prints and very breezy. And also burnt a very tiny hole in my pocket. I wore it to my friend’s baby shower with a cranberry red belt with a steel buckle, for which I had again paid a princely sum of $5. And in the baby shower, my other friend complimented me on my dress and asked where I got it. And this is where I get stuck e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e t-i-m-e. Do I let her know I bought it at Target and it was such a bargain or do I shut up and let her assume that I am the patron saint of expensive botiques?

Even with cooking, it is the same issue. The thai reciepe I posted here nearly broke my heart. But I had decided and it had to be done. And why? Because I used my super brainy skills and found a vegetarian substitute for oyester sauce in the chinese store. It gives the exact same flavor as oyester sauce BUT it is not labelled anything as obvious as “Oyester sauce substitute”. So you need to do a bit of homework there. No, it is not that I am the only person on earth to figure this out, but you know, it is like my little secret. The one for which I tried various combinations of useless sauces till I got the right one, the one that makes everyone wonder how I got the dish to taste the like the restaurant one (there I go again!) at home.

For a long time, I have been trying to figure out why exactly I have this dilemma. Why can’t I just let people know, which I anyways do because I am such a big mouth and cannot shut up to save my life, and then sit back without any twinge of regret. And finally I found the answer. It is praise. I mean, I will tell my friends and they will go all wah-wah on me. But when they use my recipe for another get-together where I am not around, they will reap all the praises when the secret truly belongs to me. Thats it. Simple and plain jealousy.

May be its not devil and the deep sea, it is devil and a very very shallow pool of water.


Entry filed under: Random Banter.

Thai cooking Blast from the past

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sraikh  |  May 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I have the same sort of dilemma.But with the bargains I find, not food wise. πŸ™‚
    And mine’s worst. Like a plant pot, I found on a side street with my fav 4 letter FREE. I cleaned it up and planted something and it look beautiful. Another time, a beautiful palm, which was thrown at my apt’s dumpster just because person didnt water it. I brought it back to life and when someone comes to my house and asks me where did I buy it from.. Do I reply..uhm the dumpster.

    I normally tell the truth because of the kids. They will out me. I dont mind so much, but NK is uncomfortable with the whole buying used and picking up free(love freecycle) stuff πŸ™‚

    Clueless: Spoken after my heart! I usually frequent Good Will and such places for some nice finds. And the floor fan in our living room was picked up from the street and after 3 years, it is still running !

  • 2. Ersa  |  May 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    I think it’s the same way with many people when giving out secret recipes. I’ve come across a few who have made some truly delicious dishes, but always made sure they don’t ans the “What’s the recipe’ question…I’m not big on cooking, so dunno what I would do in such a situation. But yeah, you are definitely not alone when it comes to sharing a secret recipe :-)…

    Clueless: I don’t mind giving out a recipe as long as the shortcut was not discovered by me πŸ™‚

  • 3. Ersa  |  May 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Yeah exactly πŸ™‚

  • 4. La Vida Loca  |  May 28, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I have neither of the dilemmas. I am not *that* put to gether nor is my cooking so delicious. Or I dont socialise much Or I dont have many friends. Hmmmmm.

    Clueless: You missed the “when I make the effort” part. And what not put together? Is this the same person who talked to me about fitted jackets in delicious colors??

  • 5. alwayshappykya  |  May 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

    That was such a honest post, very nice read !

    I am with you on the clothes and accessories part. But, am more of a cheapo who goes to Ross and spends hours rummaging through the lot to find a well fitting branded piece πŸ˜€
    Well, occasionally we make trips to Macy’s or Target but look in the clearance section only. Still, when the compliments come in, I generally say ” This? From the normal chain know” πŸ˜‰

    Second you on the recipe secrecy part. Am not that good or dynamic at cooking. But would definitely think 10 times to give away my discovery just like tat πŸ™‚

    Clueless: I think quite a sizable portion of my closet is from Ross too πŸ™‚ I am yet to get rid of looking at clearances, though once in a while, I do end up buying a little expensive stuff, usually for my birthday!

  • 6. Meluhhan  |  May 31, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hello, nice blog and all that. πŸ™‚

    I take far more pride in announcing my cheap/awesome deals than admitting that I paid an arm and a leg for something..

    But the older I get, the more brand conscious I’m getting. My grad student income doesn’t exactly lend itself to brand consciousness though..*sigh*

  • 7. Sands  |  June 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Really liked your post. Kudos to you for being able to accept and acknowledge the cause for the dliemma. I can totally relate. Even though I most end up giving the truth away, there is a part of the mind that for sure stalls on it for a minute. There was a time when I coldn’t afford much more than thrift stores but now even though I can go for the expensive stuff, I have a hard time justifying the buy. Stuck between the brick and the hard wall and I have only myself to blame πŸ™‚

  • 8. Roop Rai  |  June 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    when would you be moving to houston ? so that u can shop for me at target and cook me cheap food? pliss? just because you are nice? πŸ˜€

    Clueless: I am tempted to move to Houston…no state taxes there! And for the best bargain shopping, I think we should both move to Hong Kong or India πŸ™‚

  • 9. Tazeen  |  June 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Oh I so hear ya …

  • 10. La Vida Loca  |  June 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    what happened to you? Vanished off!

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