Babe struggled with my request for idlis and sambar this morning for my birthday breakfast. We both think that in retrospect, she should have translated, in her head at least, the idlis, sambar and coconut chutney into little pancakes, hot fruit sauce, and cream. Preparation would have been so-much easier for her, as the idlis were ready made and frozen, which makes them so much more accessible. As it was, there were tears of betrayal from babba, who is not used to her mother making breakfast; and tears of being overwhelmed from Babe as the baby threw her milk cup on the floor just as Babe spilt sambar out of its bowl and onto the microwave.
Babba enjoyed her three bites of idli (no sambar), before eating more familiar fruit and yoghurt. Babe couldn’t stomach it at all for breakfast. I loved it, even though the first bite confused my body a miniscule amount, which expects does not expect that kind of thing until after midday, when I have exercised my palate already.
At work, in my usual workplace, and far more satisfying than in the previous weeks when I have been seconded, I developed a ravenous hunger mid-afternoon. The 2 idlis that I took for lunch were nowhere near enough, maybe because of the 17km bicycle ride in each direction. I brought 2 muesli bars, a caramello koala and a nougat bar, one by one, none of which killed off the hunger. My legs started to give way halfway home on the bike, and even the marvellous rich, gooey chocolate tart from cacao on Fitzroy Street, which was my mini birthday cake, was not enough afterwards.
The baby amazed me with her awareness of being full. She loves chocolate, and after crying with confusion as we lit the candles and sang happy birthday to me, she smiled when she had a teaspoonful. She was offered a second spoonful, which she refused, having had a dinner of broccoli, peas, chicken soup, and a banana for desert.
I’m also going to have Babe’s amazing chicken soup and kneidlach for dinner. Since she’s become a Jewish mother, she can really cook like a Jewish mother. Not like an Indian Jewish mother, who she sadly cannot mimic, hence the tears at breakfast, but like a yiddishe momma. It really is good, and happened just in time.