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February 12, 2011

Moonlight Dinners

The term as it sounds beautiful so is the dinner that is had by sitting in a open place together with other children of the household under moonlight.

During my childhood days, I had many such nostalgic dinners in my house and in my aunt’s place, sitting along with cousins around the serving hand of mother or aunt, each one quickly gobbling the small delicious ball of rice kept in our palms and showing the empty palm again. Yes, this way, the dinner can be enjoyed inside home or under a moonlight. No one ever told no to any vegetable or any dish. No preferences. Just enjoyed the healthy meal.

Mother or aunt takes a big vessel, in goes the rice, curd and salt, mixed well – ready to make balls. By the side lies a big vessels of sambar and dry vegetable curry called poriyal. Adding to it is the bonus story hour along with it which will be mostly on the famous foodies, 'Bhagasura' or 'Bheema' with a detailed narration on the dishes offered to them and how they ate. Sounds nice isn't it. Who will not eat quietly listening to such tempting descriptions. They make small balls out of it, place in our small palms. We make a small depression in the middle with our thumb, to accept the sambar or the vegetable curry that is poured over it. All set, in goes the delicious ball inside our small hungry mouths. It was very inviting after a tiring long evening hours play.

During holidays, when we gathered in our aunt’s place, we used to have this dinner everynight. At my home, during Sundays, my mother used to give me my dinner like this but no cousins around, me left with all those yummy curries with no competition and I emerge with a content & fat belly. Sometimes, with my brother and sister who joins me for this wonderful moonlight dinner.

Today, there is not much time or space for this practice. So children miss them much. Such practices of olden days like the family taking food together has a big role to play in the eating habit of the children thus brought them up healthily with a love towards all vegetables and fruits. Whereas, today’s children have more options but they are very specific towards their likes and dislkes because of the pampering. SO the mother’s end up giving them some health drink advertised in the TV for kids who pushes their plate at the dining table.

Eating together gives a lot of pleasure, health as well as less work pressure for the mother. Even after we have grown up and were working, till marriage, all of us in our family had to have lunch together on Sundays. Even after my marriage, when I visited my mother, I joined my nephews for this dinner. I enjoyed those moments very much.

Though today’s corporate timings don’t permit such previleges, but still it can be practiced at least on weekends. A child brought up this way will understand the pleasure & love all the home cooked food. So mother’s should not worry about the eating habit of their little mannu’s anymore!!


nityakalyani said...

Mira,in those days it was called as kuttan choru where the elder person in the family used to serve other family members in the muttam or thavaram. I have this experience. Thanks for kindly my childhood days

Mira said...

Those are golden days and today's children hardly get occassions like this as mostly dinner together outside has become trend of today when friends & relatives happen to meet. Very glad to know that my post has brought you wonderful nostalgia of your childhood days, Nitya Bhen

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