There are good cooks, and then there are cooks who make the lucky recipients of their largesse pause, and sigh, and collect themselves before uttering their names. These are cooks whose invitations trigger a period of training and preparation. I have a few of these in my orbit and one of them circled right over head this weekend.
Purnima, or Punty, entered the family fold via one sister whose children were in school with hers. I have met her dozens of times, but only heard about her cooking--in rapturous, reverent tones--from the people lucky enough to live closer to her than I do. Whenever I am where she is, or she is where I am, it is for some event or on an otherwise tight schedule that does not permit my hounding her for a cooking lesson or an invitation to dinner (or breakfast--my nephew can't talk about her breakfast without tearing up.)
Just cracked that nut. She was here for a party and an overnight, and in the 90 minutes after breakfast (not prepared by her) and before she had to leave, I wrestled a recipe out of her.