Ostrich eggs and elephant milk
She looks at me, knife slicing through the ripe pear –
One of the windfall crop from our sheltered garden –
And tells me I should measure the spices.
“Cooking is a precise science,” she says,
“can’t just throw them in, pinch here, a cup there!”
“I’ve never followed a recipe,” I say.
“This is how my mother cooks, no scales, nothing.”
I toss chopped coriander into the pan,
Followed by halved tomatoes, green chillies whole.
I let them simmer in the bubbling ghee,
Watch the potatoes boiling, crisply softened,
Waiting to be mated into the thickening sauce.
With tablespoons of mango chutney added
I bring the two together
Folding one into the other.
She tastes, laughs, “It’s missing two things;
Ostrich eggs and elephant milk,
And so much the better without them!”