The Pleasure of Cooking - Kitchen
Hail the kitchen kings!
Women belong to the kitchen,so was the common belief 10 years back.Today,more and more men are breaking into this 'female bastion'.No more specific to women alone,kitchens are the 'new-age'personalised spaces for one and all,be it single men or women or married couples
Harry S Truman,the 33rd US President once remarked,'If you can't stand the heat,get out of the kitchen'.He was quite right.If you can't take the heat of the place,it is better to get out of it.Yet women in a society like ours never had a choice.But,the times have changed today.A kitchen in the present times is no more an area of utility alone.From a small corner in the house with nothing fancy about it,a kitchen is now a hi-tech place at home to cook your food in and treat your guests at.In fact,people spend a whole lot of money these days to have an exclusive and all accessorised kitchen.
Times indeed have changed.Changing times have made sure that the occupants of a kitchen aren't women alone.Men too are experimenting and developing this part of the house as their corner.
No more ordering the women folk around.The metro-sexual man enjoys being amongst dishes and loves playing with the fire.Be it a single man or a married one,they are sweating it out cooking and love it all at the same time.Having said that,it doesn't mean women aren't interested in a kitchen anymore.Today's working woman,though doesn't have much time at hand to cook,is still a kitchen person at heart.In fact,all of the above categories,i.e.single men,single women and married couple are making sure their kitchens reflect their individual tastes and personalities.
Malini Roy,a 35-year-old working with a leading IT company as a creative head loves her kitchen.Living alone,she doesn't cook much herself as she is travelling most of the time,but she is possessive about her kitchen."I love food,more than cookingso my kitchen is almost like a shrine to me,"she smiles.When she is travelling she collects cookery books from all over for her kitchen."I went to Kerela some time back and got these cute little ceramic letters that read EAT,but I am still debating where to put them up,"shares Malini.She describes herself as a cleanliness freak so you wouldn't see her kitchen ever in a mess.An aesthetic look is what she has tried to give her kitchen.But that doesn't mean technology doesn't excite her.Malini recently bought a few accessories for her kitchen as measuring cups,non stick spoons,coffee maker,wine opener,etc.Her favourite among them happens to be the cylindrical kitchen timer "which has the loudest ring ever".What's missing in her kitchen is a 'world class chef'.
Though not aesthetic in look,Charitra Gupte's kitchen is neat and full of all accessories that would help him in cooking.A golf freak,Charitra equates cooking with golf.He explains,"I am passionate about cooking and golf,for both combine imagination and skill,both leave you hungry for more and both are never same on a day!" Quite a truism there!
Living alone,50-year-old Charitra has two homes,one in Delhi and the other in Goa.Two homes mean two kitchens.One wonders how he manages two when most men find it difficult to maintain even one."You have to be interested in cooking.Then only you will care about your kitchen.Though I have a very basic kitchen with gas burner,electric grill,oven and a micro,both my kitchens are compact and adequately equipped to facilitate my kind of cooking,"he says.Basic kitchen is fine but being a guy isn't he into the hitech gadgets He gets candid,"You know men will never cease to be boys with toys.I have this motorized pepper mill and I am quite proud of it too.Someday I would love to have a motorized peeler as peeling is not a very pleasant job for it leaves you with cuts."
He further explains,"I am not a curry person and deep frying is a complete no no for me.I am more into sauted stuff;so you'd find an oil automiser which I use for spraying the pan surface."
Single men are happy cooking for the women folk,single women are happy with the space they have in their kitchen,how is it when it comes to a married couple Sanjay and Naina are a very accommodating couple when it comes to kitchen for they both believe that kitchen is one place in the house that is a woman's domain since it is she who is supposed to spend a lot of time in it.So Sanjay lets Naina,his wife and a full time mother of two kids,have her space in the kitchen."We take turns to cook.Sanjay cooks all the nonvegetarian stuff.We eat out only one or two times a week.We are a family who loves home-cooked food,and it's all the more fun when the food is cooked by either of us since we know our and our children's tastes,"informs Naina.
Otherwise a very neat kitchen with all modern day accessories and look as chimney,breakfast counter and two slabs parallel to each other to hold more stuff to store,there are certain things,specific to men and women going in here.Just like all men,Sanjay admits he gets flustered when it is his turn to cook and he can't find things at their assigned places."For me to be able to cook well,all tools must be around in the kitchen.I hate it if a thing/appliance doesn't have a fixed home,"says Sanjay.Naina too,like all women,has her pet peeve."We tend to fight when the supplies at home get over and I am not informed about them on time to be able to replace them,"she complains.One thing they both agree on is,if given a chance,they'd like to redesign their kitchen to be a little bigger than what it is at present with more space to use the accessories and probably get some more things to use as a dishwasher.
While the married ones are fighting over their space in the kitchen,it is the single men who are becoming fond of cooking and it is the single women who are increasingly straying from kitchen 'the stronghold of the fair ' as they say.Time constraints,hectic jobs leave them with only enough time to grab a bite from their office canteen to keep them going,so there's no time to cook.Isn't it important for the men to know cooking Most single men either prefer to order food from outside or have their mothers or maids taking care of their food needs.Charitra has a word of advice for such men."Women have started joining the work force at offices.Naturally they too don't have time to cook every meal.So when they come back home after a hectic day at work,their husbands should know enough cooking to prepare a meal that night rather than expecting the wife to cook.After all modern day inventions have made it easy for a man to be taking care of the kitchen,"asserts Charitra.Wish all men thought like this!
MEN ARE LOVING THE KITCHEN
Changing times have made sure that the occupants of a kitchen aren't women alone.Men too are experimenting and developing this part of the house as their corner.No more ordering the women folk around.The metro-sexual man enjoys being amongst dishes and loves playing with the fire.Be it a single man or a married one,they are sweating it out cooking and love it all too
TIMES ARE CHANGING FOR WOMEN
While the married ones are fighting over their space in the kitchen,it is the single men who are becoming fond of cooking.And it is the single women who are increasingly straying from kitchen 'the stronghold of the fair ' as they say.Time constraints,hectic jobs leave women with only enough time to grab a bite from their office canteen to keep them going
Times of India
COOKING IS FUN
Imagine kitchen appliances talking to each other on a wireless network,and hobs working just with a simple touch Wouldn't cooking be a real fun thing then
In olden days,the kitchen,while the pivotal centre of the home,was primarily sidelined as a female domain.Today,in our ever shrinking living spaces,kitchens have become smaller still.Combined with increasingly on-the-move lifestyles and easy-to-order fast food,where is this area headed in the next couple of decades While the design structure of the rest of the house moves from straight line furniture to the Victorian era and back and forth,lets see whats cooking in the kitchen...
Many of the world's top kitchen appliance and fitting manufacturers have now set up shops in India.It is perhaps a cognizance of our rich culinary history or maybe just an ode to the army of housewives who daily churn out painstakingly elaborate meals for their extended families.So the Indian nuclear family and the joint,the working woman and the stay-at-home mom,the eager teenager and the metro maleall are perhaps gently nudging their way to the kitchen door for a peep into the future.
Naveen Sharma,marketing manager of a company that designs kitchesn,says,"In terms of design,we interpret the kitchen as the hub of the home in the next decades to come.It will be integrated in the home environment rather than claiming to be the centre of attention.It is the essentials that count,with the technologyappliances,sinks and tapsdisappearing behind fascias when they're not needed."
Explaining the new trends,he says,"New hardware ideas for flush-fitting fronts will generate new architectural options.On demand,they will be electrically retracted and,in doing so,free up the work surface.An extremely shallow sink will discreetly blend into the forwardpointing kitchen landscape and reduce the consumption of water as well.Retracting faucets will underpin the trend of reducing kitchen design to what's needed without compromising on functionality."
Neat and clean are the keywords
Talk of future kitchens,and unlike past,there will be nothing kept in sight.Only what is needed will be taken out and then put back again.A minimization of the kitchen work space is what we are looking.When done correctly,it humanizes the workplace,eliminates overly hard work,and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to eliminate waste in business processes.
The focus is on convenience
Kitchen is where convenience emerges to play a central part.Drawers and pot-and-pan drawers that can be opened from both sides can provide access to contents no matter which side of the work centre the user is standing.Electrical appliances are also set to provide greater convenience.Meanwhile,separately controllable drawers in the dishwasher can be opened from both sides,thereby making cooking a pleasure.
Vikas,a developer of customized kitchen solutions,says,"Ergonomics,the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body,its movements,and its cognitive abilities,is being rapidly brought into focus in designing the kitchen of the future."
Has to be a controlled set up
Naveen,further points out that,"From the aspect of ergonomics,the future lies in height adjustable wall units.Control panels on the base unit provide the capability of raising and lowering cabinet elements independently of each other,ergonomically moving cabinet contents to a level that best suits the user."
Go for the right kind of click
So all appliances,pots and pans in the cooking space will be easily accesible.Not only will it minimise repetitive strain injury,it will make cooking a faster task because everything will be easy to access.No more climbing on stools to reach for that container of spices.Simply,press a button and behold,the shelf moves down easily within your reach.With ergonomics out to dish out new delights in this appetizingly space,can the click world be far behind.More and more manufacturers are now looking at ways that they integrate the trendiest and techy design into equipments of daily use.
Time to do some tech talk
... In the future,multimedia networking will do much to boost convenience.Different electrical appliances will perhaps communicate with each other.The touch screen in the hob or large screen in the kitchen front will be used to display oven temperature and remaining cooking time.Internet,television as well as other building services can be operated and controlled from a central point.With all these and a lot more,looks like the future of kitchenlies in design,convenience,ergonomics and multimedia networking.These are the 'masalas'which will go into creating a gourmet delight in the years to come.
HIGH FIVE: THE KITCHENS OF 2020 WOULD SURE BE THE MOST DESIRABLE PART OF A HOME
1 Talk of future kitchens,and unlike past,there will be no clutter to be seen anywhere.Only what is needed will be taken out and then put back again.A minimization of the kitchen work space is the whole idea
2 Drawers and pot-and-pan drawers that can be opened from both sides can provide access to contents no matter which side of the work centre the user is standing.Convenience will be the keyword here
3 Control panels on the base unit will provide the capability of raising and lowering cabinet elements independently of each other,ergonomically moving cabinet conents to a level that best suits the user
4 No more climbing on stools to reach for that container of spices.Simply,press a button and behold,the shelf will move down easily within your reach.The bottom line is easy access to all things in the kitchen
5 Multimedia networking will do much to boost convenience.Different electrical appliances will perhaps communicate with each other.The touch screen in the hob or large screen in the kitchen front will make owners proud
Times of India
GIVE YOUR TABLE THE RIGHT LOOK!
A perfect and measured dinnerware and the right upholstery layout on dining table goes a long way in enhancing the taste of the meal
Start with a clean,starched white linen tablecloth.It's acceptable to use another subtle colour for your linens.Coloured linen napkins in decorative rings add some colour.Linen placemats,matching the napkins,can also be used.The first items on the tablecloth should be the dinner plates.These should be in the middle of each place setting.Each person's tableware should be placed at equal intervals.In the center of each dinner plate should be the napkins,folded elegantly,or neatly rolled into a napkin ring.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE LAYING A TABLE
To the right of each plate are the knives.Since the general rule of formal silverware is to eat working your way in,silverware should be placed on the table in the order it's to be used.Make sure the knives are placed on the table with the blade turned towards the plate.
To the right of the knives are the spoons.In many cases,only a soupspoon will be used,unless there is a melon course,in which case the melon spoon is closest to the knives,and the soupspoon should be first in the row.Dessert spoons are placed above the plate.
To the left of each plate are the forks,also to be placed in the order of use.In most cases it's a seafood fork first,entre fork and last is the salad fork.All silverware should be placed an inch from the edge of the table to keep everything looking uniform and tidy.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
For the formal dinners,dress your table as formally as you yourself would dress.Once your best tablecloth is spread across the dining room table,focus on where to place the dinnerware.Remember not to be intimidated.Setting a formal table isn't as difficult as one would think.Once you learn the rules and a few tricks,you'll be fine,and your guests will think you've been living the elegant life for years!
Times of India
HEALTHS IN KITCHEN
A new-age kitchen is incomplete without water purifier,which is now the need of the hour.With numerous options available,here's how to choose the right one...
With more and more people becoming aware of the hazards of drinking impure water,the demand for effective water purifiers is growing rapidly and the number of consumers looking for reliable purification options is increasing not only in the metros but also in towns across India.Also water purifiers available on the market today are capable of destroying or deactivating bacteria and removing toxins and suspended solids as well.Some brands also use technology that retains natural minerals,which are beneficial.So,it is possible for you to have water that is safe,clear,and healthy and tastes great too.
The right pick
With a host of technologies and brands for water purification systems available in the Indian market,the buyers find themselves caught in maze,while they are deciding upon the best suited technology and brand for their home.There are two basic parameters that should be ensured.They are degree of purification and the price.Different technologies like UV purification,Reverse Osmosis,Activated carbon filtering,Distillation,Ion exchange,Electro deionization,deliver differing degrees of purity.Of these the most popularly used technology is the chemical purification process.
You don't always need to invest in a high-end expensive water purifier.The high priced reverse osmosis domestic water purifiers that are advertised these days are not really necessary or even advisable at many locations.Basically,the quality of water in your area and your budget should determine what purification system you select.
In most cases,a combination of UV purification and filtration works well.This is if the water is not excessively turbid and salty.Ultra violet radiation does not remove micro organisms,it renders them inert and incapable of reproduction,which makes them harmless to humans.Filtration removes dissolved solids.
However,if the water has a high concentration of suspended solids and excessive salt,a reverse osmosis purifier might be what you need.Before you invest in a reverse osmosis system,however,make enquiries about after sales service because these purifiers need frequent professional maintenance.Also,try and settle for one that uses technology capable of retaining essential natural minerals.
Sanjay Agarwal,a dealer of the home water purification systems,says,"The least effective purification systems are pourthrough pitchers and filters.These filtration systems produce the lowest quality of water,and the long-term costs can add up quickly since the filters need to be replaced often."Talking about the best technology of purification he claims,"According to me the best water purification devices use a multi-stage process of filtration.These purification systems remove chlorine,turbidity and sediment as the first step.While in the next step they remove the more difficult and stubborn contaminants"
While Ramesh Jain,another dealer who has been in the sale of water purifiers for over a decade informs,"A good water purification system will not remove everything from the drinking water.You will want to find a system that removes the harmful substances in the water,but leaves in the beneficial minerals.Naturally occurring trace minerals such as sodium,calcium,potassium,and magnesium are all necessary for the body to function optimally.A water filtration system that removes these trace minerals can result in mineral deficiencies."
Depending upon the quality of water and your budget,you are likely to find a suitable purification system to protect you and your loved ones from the hazards of consuming polluted water.The few thousand rupees you spend will prove to be a worthwhile investment in the long run,stress the experts in the industry.
A good water purifier should be able to filter out chemical contaminants such as pesticides,and organic contaminants such as cysts and bacteria
Times of India
A refrigerator has come a long way from just keeping the food cool and fresh.Today,it a loyal pal that adds glamour to your home
Do you remember the first fridge you ever bought Bet,the image of an ugly white box with a noisy stabilizer would come to your mind.Talk of today,and you can see your fridge smartly adorning the reminder post-its and Chinese magnetic stickers.Refrigerators today spell both luxury and aethetics.Besides,as the family grows in size,the fridge grows in capacity and also in number.Your fridge has today become your loyal pal who is ready to help you when there is party at home.It overworks to make quick cubes that run out faster than the drinks on the table.The future is even better,there are industry players that talk of features that one can never imagine also.From keeping the data of expired items to sending air in controlled manner to different directions,to keep a record of your favourite musicthe refrigerators will now be no less than a wonder machine.While the choices are many,various attractive promotional schemes may lure your attention during the festive season.Its thus important to do your homework to understand which branch,model and technology suits your needs and pockets the best.Here's a quick guide for a good buy.
It is important to plan out where you'd like to place your refrigerator.So do note down the height,width,and depth of the area you want your new refrigerator to fit in.You should also consider the clearances needed to open the doors fully to remove the pans and shelves.It is better to keep the refrigerator in a well-ventilated space and not in a closed cavity.
Look and feel
There is limited range of colours in which these babies are availableblack,white,blue,red and stainless steel.For the stylish owners,you now have an option to put custom style panels on some refrigerators to match your cabinets or kitchen dcor.
Let's look behind the fridge now.Coils at the back of the refrigerators are now a fading memory as most refrigerators come with clean backs these days as they have condenser coils that are mounted at the bottom of the refrigerator.This surely makes cleaning less cumbersome and also provides a safety cover for the compressor.
A calculation of what capacity of refrigerator you require is the most primary step in the buying process.Also a division between the space in the cooler and the fridge is of primary importance.
The calculation of the required capacity depends on your family size and your food habits,for example,those who have vegetable gardens may need much more capacity than those who eat out or eat frozen foods.With the fast changing lifestyles and lesser time for working professionals,families now cook less frequently and buy readymade/store more food in the freezer.
Deciding on the shelf space and internal structure that would suit your need,would need you to have some foresight regarding your food platter composition.Further,the allocation of shelves may also be an important decision for a prudent consumer.
Look for separators because they not only help you organise your food better but also prevent the softer fruits and vegetables from being crushed under heavier ones.Most models these days have a crisper that keeps salads and vegetables at optimum temperature and humidity and separate from other foods.
Do note that adequate and adjustable deep door storage is also a key structural feature that is useful if you will be buying and storing larger bottles and cartons.
An easy choice to make is regarding the material of the shelves.Glass/acrylic shelves clearly score over wired ones as they not only maximize interior space,but are also easy to clean and retain any spillage from leaking all the way to the bottom.
Some shelves have a small gutter to capture spills.Most models these days offer slide out shelves that are adjustable providing greater flexibility in storage.For the choice between tempered glass and acrylic,the former would be a sturdier option.
The thermostat controls on the fridge help you manage your fridge and its components better.While older models have dials positioned inconveniently at the rear of the compartments,now fridges allow you to control the temperature digitally,with a handy screen on the front of the fridge.Some models offer smart thermostats that adjust based on the temperature conditions.Moisture and humidity controls in a refrigerator help retain the freshness of fruits,vegetables and even the dairy items and poultry as well.This feature is particularly useful if you are one of those who shop in advance for the whole week or require storing food for long periods of time in order to save time.
If you have children at home,the door lock option is useful in preventing children or other people from opening the refrigerator without supervision.As it is,the more you keep the refrigerator open,the longer it will take to cool again which means more energy consumption.This way you can also ensure that the refrigerater remains at a constant temperature most of the time.
A cold accumulation type refrigerator has an improved control system for controlling its defrost cycle.The refrigerator includes a main evaporator for producing cold air,a cooling command signal generating device for generating a cooling command signal when a refrigerator compartment is required to be cooled,a clock device for generating a time data,a refrigerating cycle for cooling the main evaporator in accordance with the cooling command signal and the cold-accumulation material in accordance with the time data from the clock device,and a defrost control device for removing frost deposited on the main evaporator.The defrost control device counts cooling operation time of the evaporator in response to the cooling command signal.If the refrigerator is a fan cool type refrigerator whose evaporator is provided with a cold air circulation fan,the defrost control device counts the operation time of the fan,and when a prescribed time count,has been completed,the defrost control device generates a defrost starting signal,whereby a proper defrosting operation begins.
OMG: Take 1
Future refs may have electrochomic glass panel door that would work as display panel.Feed the food item you are storing,the fridge would share various possible recipes made out of that food item
OMG: Take 2
The refrigerators of the future would also have music system installed in them.They would help you listen and even download your favourite music while storing your daily fruits and vegetables
OMG: Take 3
Talk of tomorrow,and your refrigerators may turn into your managersgiving you complete info of what item is going to expire when,and what are the food items that are not in the stock anymore
Times of India
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