Russian Salad: the name instantly brings a smile on my face. Even now I laugh at myself for when I think back to my younger days. It was in 1982, still learning to cook. We were in Pune at that time. We used have 'cooking demo' in the ladies club. I attended one such meet where we were taught 'Russian Salad'. With full confidence in myself, armed with printed paper (no laptop) recipe and the drive to impress hubby dear, (it was only 3 yrs of marriage) I started making it. One of our very good family friends had dropped in that very day. I was very happy with the idea of showing off my newly acquired culinary skill to him also as he knew me from the time of my marriage and that I didn't know much about cooking.
Right at dinner time I told my hubby that I made continental dinner (I wanted to surprise him). Now I can imagine what must have gone through his mind at that time. As I served the dinner, both men appeared kind of too surprised to say anything about the food. I thought they were really enjoying it. After dinner, with a cup of coffee in hand as we all sat in the drawing room I anxiously asked them what they thought about my Russian Salad. My hubby reserved his comments for later, but our guest, a true well wisher, hinted politely choosing the words very carefully so as to not hurt me, that it was no where near what one called Russian Salad. I was devastated. But never mind, he said to encourage me, one day I will definitely make the Russian Salad.
Years went by. In 1986, he happened to visit Delhi and we were also there (beauty of Army life,you keep meeting somewhere or other). Needless to say, we made him stay with us and I had an opportunity to show my improved culinary skills to him again. I once again subjected him to my surprise continental dinner, of course with Russian Salad. Again both men were quiet. But this time I was not at all jittery. And till today he can't stop praising the Russian Salad I made that night!