Generations in the Kitchen: A Culinary Exchange Between Mother and Son

In the heart of the bustling commercial capital of Gujarat, I plan simple Indian meals for me and my husband for K-ben to execute the orders.  Little did I know that thousands of miles away in the serene Canadian city of Toronto, my son, Vibs, was embarking on his own culinary journey.

Our connection, like any mother-son bond, was strong, but as time and distance stretched between us, we sought new ways to bridge the gap. One day, a simple exchange of daily menus sparked a delightful culinary adventure that transcended borders.

As K-ben was executing the orders, twice daily, the aroma of spices wafted through our kitchen to our surroundings as she prepared fragrant curries, dals, and chapatis. Meanwhile, in the crisp air of Toronto, Vibs experimented with Canadian classics, incorporating the local flavours of maple syrup and fresh produce into his dishes.

From Vib's Kitchennet

Our daily menu exchanges became a ritual. Each morning, I would eagerly describe the spices I used, the cooking techniques, and the stories behind our family recipes. In return, Vibs shared tales of his encounters with Canadian ingredients, from poutine to butter tarts, and his experiments in blending them with our Indian culinary traditions.

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The time difference between us seemed to vanish as we navigated the world of WhatsApp calls, exchanging photos of our creations and discussing the intricacies of our recipes. Vibs, once a novice in the kitchen, began to surprise me with his culinary prowess, adapting Indian recipes to suit his taste while maintaining their authenticity.

I, in turn, started incorporating Canadian elements into my cooking. A dash of maple syrup in a dessert, a fusion of spices inspired by Vibs' experiments—our kitchens became a canvas for a global culinary masterpiece.

Another masterpiece from Vib's Kitchennet

Our connection wasn't just limited to the dishes; it extended to the joy of discovery. Vibs explored Indian grocery stores in Toronto, while I scoured local markets/ online portals in Ahmedabad for exotic Canadian ingredients. The shared excitement of finding these ingredients and the subsequent exchange of cooking tips created a beautiful synergy between our two worlds.

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As the months passed, our culinary journey deepened our understanding of each other's cultures. Our daily menu exchange was not just about food; it became a celebration of the diverse flavours that make up our lives. It was a testament to the fact that, no matter where we are in the world, the kitchen has the power to bring people together.

Motivated by Vib's roasted-baked veggies,
here are mine air-fried veggies. :)

Through this culinary exchange, Vibs and I discovered the universality of the language of food. Our daily menus were not just lists of dishes but expressions of love, creativity, and the shared joy of creating something delicious. Our kitchens may be separated by continents, but our hearts and taste buds were united in a flavourful bond that transcended borders and celebrated the richness of both our Indian and Canadian/ American heritages.

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Do you also have conversations around food with your family members, who have flown away to find their own place in the big world? Please do share, how do you exchange your recipes and learn new things.

Best wishes!

Neerja Bhatnagar

If we have not yet connected on social media, let us connect.

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