Sometime back, a male friend of mine called to say he was around my area, and would drop by my place to say hi to my plates and spoons. When guys start involving kitchen utensils in random conversations, it only means they are hungry. Having nothing but a pot of water in my kitchen, I hurriedly left for the market to buy ingredients for exquisite rice with pepper stew and pomo.
After I had sweated the sweat of a thousand generations and had licked the cooking spoon countlessly like a dog, my friend tasted the food and remarked that my stew lacked humour.
If it was the same humour I knew that he talked about, what the heck would humour be doing inside stew biko? of all places to be.
He was already giving me the ‘I am disappointed in you’ kind of look, and I knew I had to save my face. I didn’t want to be that twenty something year old woman who didn’t know how to cook with humour so I told him I had it in mind to put humour in the stew, but on getting to the market, the market women said it wasn’t in season.
He later explained that the humour he talked about wasn’t necessarily a physical item but an emotion I was supposed to throw in the stew while cooking.
There was no way to pretend I wasn’t upset. That was the best stew I had made that year, literally. My neighbour who had never said hi to me, greeted me repeatedly because of the aroma from that stew. A stew that would make Dangote abandon all his earthly possessions, and return to his village. That was the same stew my friend looked me in the eyes to question its humour where about. -ok.
That humour finder friend of mine was one of the best cooks I had come across.
All the times I had visited him, I didn’t stop until I scraped the last burnt piece of anything he had in his pot. Most times, I would carry empty take away packs to his place, fill them up with food, and when I got back home, I Would say I dropped by yellow chilli restaurant to buy them lunch. Everyone is happy! Everyone thinks i can finally afford something!
Honestly, eating his delectable meals was the only soothing thing about keeping him as a friend. The thoughts of him criticising every thing I made was frustrating. The last time he ate eggs I had fried, and told me the egg white seemed to be at war with the egg yolk, I gave up on him and kept my culinary skills strictly to myself! There wasn’t any hope of us having a lasting relationship. His Chevy character was probably the reason he had been on & off relationship market . I mean, which lady would want to live the rest of her life embracing remarks like;
- the curry doesn’t seem happy in this stew
- This soup looks like it fought the Biafran war
- this pap lacks chieftaincy title
- bend the pot while cooking the beans so the beans will be excited.. Excited Kwa! ontop beans I bought with my own money.
Before you know it, he has taken the kitchen from you for reasons that you are not meeting to his taste. Morning, afternoon and night, your man is in the kitchen. Your pots haven’t had rest and gas is almost 4,000naira in the oil/gas market. He wakes you up at night to tell you he wants to be a chef. You buy 6yards of Da viva material for you both to make matching outfits, but he uses his own to sow apron.
As a good wife to be, you want to learn in order to take back responsibilities From him, but everything seems like home economics practical with a little Intro Tech projection in order not to miss the angle the spices should titrate, and that is the beginning of insanity for you.
Get my point; Men who can cook are hot deals yeah. They top the criteria of every girl’s Mr Right list, but coping with them especially on kitchen affairs can be tough and competitive. He cooks super well and your cooking is okay. Each time you cook, he is not totally wowed. If he loves you enough to marry you, one day your kids will say ‘mummy, won’t you leave the kitchen for our daddy to cook’?
I want to be with a man who knows what to do with pot, but no thanks to chevy men. I don’t want! The only thing my man is permitted to notice is when there is too much salt in the food not when it lacks humour. please allow me assume my full role as the woman in the house. Men may not be easy to please but a man with highly sensitive taste buds is insatiable. To these male chefs, food is not just food. Food is delicate,ethereal, like a girl they have been dating for 20years and don’t want to hurt or cheat on with something less tasty and appealing. Yes, it’s that serious!
Anyways, for some reason our Nigerian ladies shouldn’t be agitated. 99.3% of our Nigerian men only know how to cook pot. Not so?
PS: I wrote this article sometime ago for Jasmine spice magazine. I had no intentions of posting it here but bcoz I have a lot on my plate right now, and I don’t want to go MIA, I decided to make do with it. For those of you who read it before, pls do read again. May God increase your eyes! ❤❤