Those who know me will tell you that I do not suffer from mageirocophobia, or the phobia for cooking. But the same people will also tell you innumerable tales of my skirmishes with the oven. In my vocabulary it is not a kitchen appliance but a black hole, quite literally. All that goes in, comes out in varying shades of black. I believe it not just has a mind of its own and is temperamental, but I firmly believe it is that monstrous being that we read about in horror stories – one that lurks in dark alleys and attacks sweet innocent people.

At the start of the year, my very succinct list of resolutions, actually resolution, had overcoming this fear as the number one plan. I had big dreams of becoming 2020’s next big baking queen, waiting to be discovered by food shows, giving interviews about my tumultuous culinary journey, and becoming an inspiration to million others like me (I find solace in the belief that there are million others like me so please don’t put a pin in my balloon).

And then Covid struck.

Don’t get me wrong, the pandemic did not stall my plan on working on my resolution. Instead, all that time spent at home made me feel guilty about ignoring my resolve.

So, gathering all my courage – and my tools – I decided to work on one of the zillion recipes I had come across on YouTube. The result? You guessed right. A charred crumble. Things haven’t changed much since. And now when we come to the close of the year, I have resolved again to overcome this fear, but have come up with what I call a genius solution – bake in a pressure cooker or a wok. Let the monster rest in peace.

The point I’m trying to make is if the path to glory has one too many obstacles, it’s okay to circumvent them sometimes. Oh, by the way, I am thankful for not letting the ‘monster’ burn my house down.

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