Mary Oxendale Spensley

Mary Oxendale Spensley
Mary Oxendale Spensley's picture
About Me: 
Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I started cooking Indian cuisine, very badly, at the age of 13. My earliest memories are of begging my mother to add a third heaping serving spoon of her Madras curry powder, with my siblings standing behind me, tears coursing down their cheeks, begging her to ignore me. She occasionally obliged me, and taught me the wonders of whipping up a white sauce, adding her glorious yellow powder, and combining it with the leftovers from a meal that was too bland for me to eat. Voila! A cook was born. By 13, I surpassed her: putting out tiny bowls of peanuts, coconut, chopped apples, sliced banannas, raisins, all sorts of jewels. By 19 I found out that tinned curry powder was an abomination, and I was to report to the nearest specialty store, which happened to be in Flushing, Queens, buy my spices individually, and grind them to make my own masalas. I'm back in Calgary now, and I'd better rush downstairs to my coconut chicken, which must be stirred.