20 April 2006

My love-hate relationship with cooking

Gollie - Someone who likes food.

I must confess I am a gollie but for Nigerian food, specifically for food from the eastern part of Nigeria. I don't know what it is about eastern food, its just delicious, me thinks its all that sea food, plus the palm oil and all those vegetables cooked just so (orgasmic sigh goes here)! Yellow garri is a staple in my house, indeed I don't recall the last time I drank white/Ijebu garri. Well I think thats more because I keep forgeting to collect from Princess whenever I go home (I forgot again this past weekend!), and if there is a bowl of soup in my freezer, you can be sure it will be ogbono, cooked with ugu (yum)

I haven't cooked this year.

After my aunt (Awunsho) married, I was stuck with the honor of festival cooking. Awunsho is a mean cook, this was a major reason for opting to go do my IT in Port-Harcourt which is where she lives with her family. Ah that egusi soup ... Earth to Funke, Earth to Funke ... where was I, o yes! My first festival was Easter, I made the usual; fried rice, coleslaw, oven-grilled chicken, beef in pepper sauce, plantain and creme caramel. As my family and friends tucked in enthusiastically, I brought out some left over ewedu from the freezer and made myself eba. I was shocked. I couldn't touch that food if they paid me to. I however joined in make our guests no begin think say e pass Knorr and salt wey I take spice the food. I watched as everyone (Princess and Bee inclusive) stuffed themselves till food was coming out of their ears, punctuating their lip smacking with such declarations as 'delicious', 'tender chicken' 'sweet e yi ma dun gan o' (this sweet is delicious).

What was the matter with me? A couple of days later as I discussed this ... 'phenomenon' with Princess she offered some type of explanation - 'onje yen ti run si e ni' (literal translation - the food is smelling to you). I am thinking that is just the weirdest thing when she asks 'Se rice yen si ku sa?' (is there still some rice left over?) I trudged off to the kitchen to reheat the left over. I have 'suffered' through every holiday since. Its not as bad anymore (thankfully). Now I can eat what I cook same day. If I eat it like 3 days later, I can actually taste it. It also helps not to do the whole '12 course meal for 100 people' type cooking, one type of dish at a time, max two.

My love for eastern dishes has made me learn to cook them, so far I can make ogbonna and egusi. I am told my cooking would not be mistaken for an easterners though, too much pepper. This is a family problem originating from my paternal grand-father. I have also secured the recipe for banga which i must cook before going to school. Also fish pepper soup. I am currently on a hunt for eastern recipies. I would appreciate contributions, the more indigeneous the better. I am available to take dictation from aged grand-mothers! I stumbled upon this recipe for 'Fat free' Okra Soup and I had to laugh. Fat free Okra soup? What the heck is that? I quickly look through the list of ingredients, 'fat free canned chicken broth'? How would it look and taste? and not a drop of palm oil to be seen! Thankfully there is some pepper involved, and fresh fish. Okay I see, perhaps the broth will have some fat content, hang on its fat free! I may just try it out, but I will make my own broth, and it will not be fat free! I have some 4 month old snail and smoked chicken, perhaps I will make ogbonna soup this weekend.


Ore said...

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss that fat-free okra soup. I tried it out when I was still in Boston and loved it.

sokari said...

Fat free anything tastes like nothing - I have this belief that if you fry a stone in oil it will taste good ie food without oil/fat is tasteless and too be avoided at all costs. Just use less and eat less but be happy - no fat free okrasoup for me. Imagine! btw did u eat okra with periwinkle and fresh fish in PH? hmmmmmmm

adefunke said...

@ Ore: I think I agree with Sokari, but I won't totally knock it till I try it.

@ Sokari: Unfortunately, my Uncle is not very adventurous with food, so his wife is really restricted with what she can cook. I discovered Okra with periwinkle and fresh fish in Lagos, also this soup made with cocoya, Yum!