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Years ago I used to watch a hilarious British show called Goodness Gracious Me. It was a sketch comedy program that was all about Indians in Britain. One of my favourite sketches involved a family that would go to various restaurants and no matter what was on the menu, the family’s grandmother would turn up her nose and say, “I can make it myself, for free!”* I found this hilarious because that was the kind of thing my own Indian dad would say. He has never ever seen the value of eating outside of the home. Now, personally I love eating at restaurants. For me it’s a chance to eat something that is too time consuming or complicated for me to make at home. Or perhaps it’s something that I can make at home but it just doesn’t taste quite as good as the restaurant version. Either way, I love going to restaurants.

But lately I’ve noticed something. When it comes to certain foods, baked goods in particular, I find myself taking a bite and thinking, “I could make this at home and it would taste ten times better.” This was most obvious when I went to my neighbourhood’s new Loblaws. This grocery store was supposed to be especially spectacular because it features a bakery section done by local renowned bakery, Dufflet. So one evening I decided to try a variety of their cupcakes. I took them home and took a bite of the first one. It was nothing special. Then I tried a bite of a different one. Again, it really wasn’t to my liking. By the time I had tried all four cupcakes I was annoyed. I had paid an arm and a leg and yet they were mediocre at best. Since then I have found myself repeating my new mantra over and over. I finally understand why my dad believes that home cooking is the best and although I still don’t think he can always compare his cooking to a four star restaurant, I now get where he’s coming from.

*I managed to find an old clip of the show and the grandmother actually said, “I can make it at home, for nothing!” but you get the idea.