Ep. 239: Ammini Aunty – If You Put Your Mind to It, You Can Do It
I’m excited to share the inspirational story of someone who is the epitome of a dream chaser. At age 70, my mother is still going strong, staying busy, and enjoying happiness in her new role. I hope you’ll join us to hear her story.
Ammini Aunty (Saramma/Sara) was a nurse in Baltimore for 40 years after her childhood in Kerala and Mumbai, India. During her nursing career, she welcomed every opportunity to teach nurses and nursing students because teaching has always been her natural gift. When her children asked her to capture her knowledge and passion for cooking for them and her grandchildren, Ammini Aunty knew she could do it, thanks to her love for teaching and orienting others. As people watch her cooking show, she encourages them to ask questions so they can learn and be successful in their cooking endeavors. She believes that a love and passion for cooking and learning can help anyone become a great cook. Ammini Aunty says, “If you put your mind to it, you can do it.” With this mantra in mind, “A Pinch of Kerala” was developed to share her love for cooking with others.
Why a cooking show?
Do you love sharing your passion with others? Ammini Aunty loved teaching other nurses during her long career, but now, in retirement, she loves sharing her passion for cooking with the world. She loves being in the kitchen, always experimenting and trying new things. Chicken, for instance, can be cooked in so many ways, so she loves watching cooking shows, learning new recipes, and trying them out on her family. She cooks for family, friends, and neighbors and anxiously awaits their feedback and approval. It’s her passion for food and cooking that keep her going strong and enjoying life at age 70, even in the middle of a pandemic. Cooking for people is definitely her “love language.” If you ever visit Ammini Aunty’s house, don’t be surprised to be brought into the kitchen to peel ginger or grate coconut because that is just her way of doing things.
TWEET: Cooking for people is definitely Ammini Aunty’s love language! @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
“No one is born a chef”
How are your kitchen skills? Ammini Aunty is of the firm opinion that anyone can learn to cook. When her daughters were in college, they often brought friends home who wanted to learn to make things like chicken curry or fried rice. Ammini insisted that everything is made from scratch, so she would make them follow each step in cutting up the raw chicken, chopping fresh vegetables, and adding spices. One important step in cooking is tasting as you go, to make sure the flavors are right! She loves imparting her knowledge to others and teaching them to do something new. She says that no one is born a chef, but we can all learn cooking skills by practicing.
TWEET: No one is born a chef, but we can all learn cooking skills by practicing. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
“We are meeting a need”
How have you kept busy during the pandemic? It may sound crazy that a 70-year-old retired nurse started a cooking show from her kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the urging of her daughters, Ammini Aunty began recording cooking videos last April for “A Pinch of Kerala.” She sees the value in what she does in helping people learn to cook and try new things in the kitchen. At the end of 2020, her daughters asked if she wanted to keep doing the show. She replied, “Of course I want to keep going; we are meeting a need that people have.” She knows that her cooking videos are preserving something for the following generations to see. Because of the joy and newfound purpose in her life, Ammini Aunty plans to continue her show, and she has big plans for a handbook and cookbook-- later in 2021!
TWEET: Ammini Aunty knows that her cooking videos are preserving something for the following generations to see. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”There is no age limit on chasing your dreams. Follow your passion.”
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:
- [:48] How Ammini Aunty first learned to cook
- [2:05 ] Why cooking brings her joy
- [4:49 ] Cooking for a large, large group
- [8:44 ] How she focused on family and her children’s education for many years
- [10:16 ] Why Ammini Aunty loves teaching others
- [12:12 ] Why she started a cooking show in retirement
- [16:13 ] Ammini Aunty’s group of recipe testers and their feedback
- [21:36 ] How “A Pinch of Kerala” began
- [27:13 ] How far the show has come in just a few months
- [30:23 ] Ammini Aunty’s dreams for the future
- [32:43 ] Why she is happy and content with her life at this point
- [34:06 ] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
I always put God in the center of my cooking--to ask for His blessing. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
I like to help people learn to cook and answer their questions. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
If you visit my house, be prepared to help in the kitchen by grating coconut, peeling ginger, or chopping vegetables. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
I’m busier now with my cooking than I was when I worked as a nurse. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams