Big, big, big… is everything I’m seeing,
Why should I always eat something so big,
Is the question I’m asking?
To paraphrase the kindergarten song about colours which goes something like this:
Red, red, red… is the colour I’m wearing
Why should I always dress myself in red?
‘Coz a fireman is the one I like
…and so on about each of the colours. (Oops, this is America, “colors”!)
And in America, that’s the question on my mind too – why is everything so big? Like restaurant servings of anything at all are at least double the size of normal Indian servings. I had to split the first burrito bowl I ever ate here into two meals and still felt stuffed after each one! As for large pizzas, I don’t even want to go there – their girth would rival that of any self-respecting vadyar (pujari/ priest) whose waist sizes tend to start at thirty eight inches!
Today I walk into a convenience store to pick up some travel essentials (we’re trying to see a bit of America from the inside – a couple of b&bs so we get to meet real people). Am examining the cereal aisle and find that the single serving pack of cereal is more expensive than the large home-use pack. I think there must be a mistake. I ask – but of course– I’m Indian and I’m curious! No mistake – that’s how it’s priced! Wow, you pay less to buy more? Whatever the marketing/packaging logic behind it, something strikes me as very upside-down about the whole thing – maybe Alice fell down the rabbit hole into an American convenience store aisle and that’s why things got curiouser and curiouser!
The only thing that I’m happy to get super sized is glasses of water – back home, in restaurants and homes, I have to ask waiters and hosts to please refill my glass – at least five or six times – most people seem to think water is a non-essential accompaniment to a meal – I beg to disagree!
Ah and the second thing I’m happy about is a large glass (wonder whether one can find small glasses in America at all – will check in some of these supersized stores and report back to you!) of hot apple cider that I get to drink after getting wet – very wet and quite semifreddo after the Niagara visit! All my worries about getting supersized myself on this trip to the land of supersizes wash away when I learn at the Google altar that apple cider vinegar actually helps you lose weight! All you need to do is add a couple of tbsps to a couple of glasses of water along with a tsp of lime juice and a few drops of honey and voila, wait to get to size zero!
Also, this is the land of apples – there seems to be nothing that Americans cannot do with apples – though I rarely see someone just munching on a plain ol’ apple – they must be made into something!
Like this delicious…
SWEDISH APPLE CAKE (the only good thing in the Ikea cafeteria!)
- Maida/plain flour – 1.5 cups
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Table butter – 100 gm
- Sugar – 1.5 cups
- Eggs – 2
- 3 apples- peeled and sliced – get crunchy ones – NO woolly yucky ones!
- Cinnamon pwd – 1/2 tsp or vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg and mace – a pinch each
Sieve together the maida and baking powder.
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs.
Add the flour and the spices.
Pour into a greased pan, arrange apple slices on top in a whorl and bake at 350C for about 40 minutes till done.
Glaze over with 2 tsp marmalade or apple jelly warmed over with a tsp of water and serve with cream.
And don’t worry about the size – just wash it down with the apple cider vinegar water!
Pic: Courtesy internet