If there’s anything brown moms despise more than their children’s screen addictions, it is when their children eat out. When you confront them with any outside dish that you particularly like, they’re almost absolutely guaranteed to have an extremely unpredictable reaction to it. And this reaction will never be them just liking the food.
The “I Can Make This Better”
A regular phenomenon when we get take out or get food delivered is that our mothers will taste it and then say, “How is this any better than what I made that day?” This happens most with XYZ Fried Chicken outlets because mothers don’t seem to realise how breadcrumb fried chicken differs from batter fried chicken. Sure they’re both delicious, but the life-altering question is: can you be satisfied with only one?
The “I Wonder What They Put In This”
Sometimes, miraculously, they actually end up liking what you bring home. You’d hope that was the end of it and feel good for finally having done something right, but you’d be wrong. Once they like a dish is when the real ordeal begins. They’ll start with a simple “Ki ki dey dekhi” and begin deconstructing it, tasting each little bit on its own, figuring out the ins and outs of the ingredients and spices.
If you’re really unlucky, you’ll be confronted with a homemade version of the dish very soon, and asked to compare it to the original. This is a TRAP. You can’t say its better, because then we’re back to the last section. And you definitely can’t say it’s worse if you ever want dinner again.
The “How Much Did You Say It Was?!”
Arguably the most common reaction to having food brought home is a full on interrogation of its price. Mothers will deconstruct the food, put a price point on every ingredient and perform some insane mental gymnastics to demonstrate to you exactly how much the dish should have been priced at. By the end of it, even if you don’t understand how much the food was worth, you’ll know that you yourself are worthless, and an absolute failure at life.
The “Your Father Would Die If I Put So Much Butter in a Dish”
This one is the most inexplicable to me, because of the tone mothers use when they say it. You would assume I told her to make it at home or make dad have it for breakfast every day. This reaction is very common for desserts, especially cheesecakes or cookies. There’s no explaining to mothers that we’re only having the one slice after ages and that we don’t have this all the time.
Bonus: The “Why Are You Watching this Recipe, This Isn’t Possible To Make”
I watch a lot of intricate recipes online, while not knowing how to boil water for my two minute noodle. Sometimes when I invite my mother to watch an interesting recipe with me, she’ll explain how impractical it is. I end up wanting to yell, “I’m not watching the recipe to make it, I’m watching it because it’s visually and aurally appealing! Grrr. You just don’t get it!” But perhaps, in this case (as in most cases), mum is right. Perhaps, I’m the one who just doesn’t get it.
Rabita Saleh is a perfectionist/workaholic. Email feedback to this generally boring person at firstname.lastname@example.org