The case of the emergency salami and the story behind the hashtag #PlatesOfFinelyChopped

Salami nostalgia

Folks on Instagram often ask me about story behind the crockery that we use at home and about where we source them from.

While I have always liked good crockery, my interest in it grew when I started to have what I refer to as the #LittleJackHornerMeals. Simple, home cooked meals. Made with things that the doctor said was better for me. What I had considered to be boring till then.

I would plate these meals on pretty plates to make the mundane look majestic to me. Kainaz feeds my fancy and often orders lovely plates for me. I like thinking of which plate to use each time I sit to eat. I even have a hashtag for this on Instagram, #PlatesOfFinelyChopped.

Every plate has a story. The ones I used for breakfast today are the last remaining ones from a set of six that K and I had bought at Crawford Market way back in 2001. When we were in the process of setting up our first apartment together, to move in to once we got married.

I served breakfast to us in those plates today, as I had fried salami on a saucepan brushed with butter and then fried bread in it too for us. Turned out to be a rare day when K was in between work calls and we could sit at the table and have breakfast together.

Why this plate? 

The menu reminded me of an evening from the early days of our marriage. Dinner after work that day was a vegetarian one. Orange masoor with some mixed vegetables on the side and store bought rotis.

K saw it and said with a huff, "I have never had a full vegetarian meal in my life. We should at least keep some salami at home for such occasions."

The Bengali in me was baffled by what this Bawi (Parsi woman) said. How can one have salami with mushuri dal?

Pic from this morning. The cats at home eat only non-veg.

In the interest of maintaining peace, I ensured for years that our fridge had a pack of emergency salami from then. Pork of course. Today's was chicken with olives from Zorabian Chicken.

Eighteen and a half years later, K has had many full vegetarian meals by now and relished them too. Especially during the lockdown when vegetarian fare dominated our kitchen in the early months because of the relatively easy accessibility of vegetables thanks to the vegetable cart guy who used to come down our road.

We do not have emergency salami in our fridge anymore!!! It was good to have salami and toast today.

Loved this line that I read last night. New day. New direction.

Not just that: Experienced a very happy and humbling moment this morning. Pradyuth Krishna, a 16 year old (bio math) school student from Allepy, got in touch with me on Instagram recently and would often ask me questions about the world of food. I tried my best to patiently answer them. He then joined the food blogging workshop that I conducted recently on Book A Workshop and we had a one on one consulting call yesterday. He had very few questions to ask but I decided to stretch the call and tried to open his mind to different possibilities and encouraged him to focus on his studies while pursuing his hobby. This morning I received a message from him. "I have opened a blog and written my first post, sir." I read it. I felt very proud.
Here's the link

Also read:

  1. The story of our first kitchen
  2. The story of our lockdown working from home breakfasts


Sanjay N Lulla said…
Is it telepathy? I made masoor dal the other day giving tadka of kalonji and whole dry red chillies. Simple dal boiled with turmeric and salt and the tadka I mentioned before. I believe its bengali style and thought about you and here you are mentioning it in your very next post. I actually made it a second time on request by mom. She liked it the first time I had made it.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@sanjay we love masoor dal. This is tasty telepathy