Family Go Slow

I grew up in a joint family, and mostly when the entire family got together for festivals or any special occasions, there were at least 25 people for any meal. My grandparents were very social, and we had guests now and then. If it was any of the mealtimes, my grandfather never let the guest leave without having food.

Since my grandfather was the Chief Librarian at the university, we lived in the staff quarters inside the university campus, and there were no shops and markets nearby. So if any ingredient was not enough, it had to be replaced. With 25 people in the house, my grandmother cooked 2-3 different vegetables and pulses to provide variety and choice.

Once, there was a similar occasion, and everyone had gathered. As usual, there were few guests too. However, one of the vegetables, okra, which was everyone’s favorite, was less in quantity. So when the men were eating, my grandmother whispered okra FGS. Immediately, my grandfather and my uncle refused to take okra on their plates. I was a little surprised by their gesture as it was their favorite.

Later, my grandmother explained to me that FGS was her code for something less in quantity. It meant ”Family Go Slow” on a specific food item. I was impressed by how tactfully my grandmother managed to save the family from the embarrassment of running out of a food item.

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