Ringggg……..ring……...ring……..ring…...A loud ringing sound made its way into Mia’s ears, waking her up from her deep slumber. Slowly, her left hand made an appearance from under the navy blue blanket, switching off the alarm. Peeling away the duvet from her body after five minutes of tossing and turning in the bed, she slowly climbed out, checking the time on her phone on her way down the hall.
5:30 P.M. Perfect. Mia grinned.
Making her way into the kitchen, Mia tied an apron securely around her body, protecting her clothes from the mess she knew she was about to make. She opened the fridge, taking out the ingredients she would need, and placed them neatly on the shelf. Automatically, Mia walked to the sink, washing all the eggs, vegetables, and fruits in the basket. Next, she put a handful of rice grains into a bowl full of water, added a spoon of oil, put in some cumin seeds, and set the timer for twenty minutes. Rice placed in the oven, Mia made her way to the fruits kept on the shelf, chopping the apples, bananas, and mangoes into smaller pieces and mixing them all in the custard bowl. She added a few grapes and cherries and topped it all off with a handful of nuts - almonds, cashews, and raisins. Placing the mouth-watering dessert in the freezer for later, she turned her attention to the eggs.
One of her hands busied itself in taking out utensils and tools from the top drawer, while her other took out the salt and pepper from the stand. Cracking the eggs on the edge of a glass bowl, she whisked them all, adding salt and pepper as and when necessary. She covered the bowl with foil, kept it on the side, and started chopping the vegetables in a bowl. Vegetables all chopped, eggs whisked, and pan ready to fry, she put a spoonful of oil on the pan, moving it left and right, letting it coat the entire surface. She poured the chopped vegetables into the hot pan, listening to the hissing sound with a satisfied smile. Letting the vegetable cook for a few minutes, she used the spatula to make three circles in the middle of it all, leaving space for her whisked eggs. Tasting a carrot with a fork to ensure that the vegetables were cooked properly, she poured the yellow liquid in the three holes on the pan, controlling its flow to ensure it does not flow over her veggies. Flipping and turning her dish in the pan a few times, she turned the stove off and covered the contents with a glass lid to keep it warm until it was time to take it out. Just as she stood to admire her work, a ping rang around the kitchen, informing her of the cooked rice. She moved to the oven, took the rice out, and transferred the content into a serving plate, moving to the sink afterward to wash her hands.
Sweat glistening on her skin, Mia walked over to the kitchen door, using the towel hung behind it to dry her hands off. A rebellious strand of hair escaped from her bun, making its way over her eyes, momentarily distracting Mia from her task of selecting music from her numerous playlists.
Keeping her phone on the stand next to the basket on the shelf, Mia made her way over to the cabinet on the farther left, taking out the flour and emptying it in another clean bowl. Taking a glass of water, she started kneading the white powder into a dough. After five minutes of kneading the dough, she shaped it into a ball and kept it on the side, covering it with a plate in the process.
A ting from her phone caught her attention, and she made her way over to the phone stand, pausing the music playing out loud.
6:15 P.M. Just a notification. Nothing important.
Mia made her way back to the stove, preparing the ingredients of her last dish - butter chicken. Mia had already washed the chicken and kept it in the fridge for garnishing. The lemony smell wafting through the kitchen was sure to make for a mouth-watering dish. She quickly took out the curry from the fridge, heating it in the cooker, and left the flame on low. Ensuring that the curry was almost boiling and ready for the chicken, she carefully added the chicken pieces into the cooker, covering it with the lid to ensure it cooks properly. Every few minutes, she would use the spatula to move the pieces around, preventing them from burning or overcooking from one side.
She was almost done.
Now all she needed to do was make lemonade, and she would be done. Leaving the chicken on the stove at low flame, she poured five glasses of water into a jug, mixing ten spoons of sugar along with it. Leaving the sugar to mix on its own, she took out the lemons from the fridge and sliced each one of them into two equal parts. Using the squeezer, she poured the fresh lemon juice into the jug, keeping an eye on the chicken in the cooker. Keeping the jug in the fridge for cooling, she turned the stove on once again, cooking the rolled-out circled dough for dinner. Turning the chicken stove off, she proceeded to make 10 tortillas, before wrapping them up in the silver foil and keeping them in the casserole.
She checked the time again. 7:00 P.M. They’d be here soon. She should hurry up.
Quickly making her way to the door to wear her washing gloves, Mia walked over to the sink, turning the tap on. Scrubbing the used utensils with the soap once, she put the utensils in the dishwasher. She wiped the counter clean, but all the stuff back to its place, and moved the food items on the dinner table, decorating it with candles to set the mood.
Making her way into her room, Mia washed up and dressed in a comfortable pair of pajamas. She seated herself on the couch in her living room and waited for her guests to arrive. As she sat waiting, Mia’s eyes roamed about the empty house. Usually, at this time, her house would be bustling with the chitter-chatter of her helper, May. But not today. Today was different. She’d given May a day off on the pretense of going out for the day or else, May wouldn’t have let her be alone. She wanted today to be special. She wanted her guests to eat the food made by her, not someone else, not even her helper who was one of her closest friends. The three ladies whom she had invited over, held a place like no other in her heart.
A bell rang through the empty house, breaking Mia out of her reverie. She swiftly made her way to the front door, pulling it open in a second. A huge smile spread across her face as she took in the view of three ladies dressed in similar clothes as her - pajamas and sweatshirts.
“I am so glad you made it on time! Come on in, the food’s set up on the table. Let’s go.” The three guests removed their shoes and made their way to the living room where they kept all their stuff before moving into the dining room.
“Uh-huh, ladies. Go wash your hands first. No, mom! No ifs and buts. Granny, you too, wash your hands before digging into the food. Where is Grandma, by the way?” Mia looked behind her to find her Grandma already seated on the table, taking a bite of the omelet that she made.
A sigh escaped her lips as the other two joined as well, forgetting all about washing their hands before eating. It was late, and they’d washed their hands before coming here anyway. “Come on sweetie! You know how much we love your food, and it’s been ages since we last had it. Just sit down already.” Mia heard her mother say.
A good-natured laugh made its way up her throat as Mia’s eyes shone brightly looking at the three people she loved most in this world - her mom, her granny (mom’s mom), and her grandma (dad’s mom). Mia dramatically sat on her assigned seat, put food on her plate, and clinked her glass with the three already awaiting ones. “Good food, good life!” rang in the house, followed by bursts of laughter.