LIFE BY LOUIS: My kitchen woes

The latest fad in town is to cook a meal and post the photos in the social media. PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH

What you need to know:

  • The result is another delight that we call mukimo.
  • Some quarters have argued that mukimo is the least imaginative meal that has ever graced the dinner table.

The latest fad in town is to cook a meal and post the photos in the social media. There is a social media group that has a large following where aspiring gourmet chefs post what they believe are culinary delights.

They then sit back and hope for likes and comments from the other members in the platform.

Forget the fact that most of the aspiring cooks obtained their mastery skills from the smoky kitchens in their villages.

In these kitchens that feature firewood set between three stones, our favourite meal called githeri boiled in the earthen jiko from Monday to Sunday, only interrupted by short intervals where tea was prepared.


In order to spice up the githeri affair and try to arrive at a more balanced diet, potatoes and pumpkin leaves were added to the pot and the mixture pounded heavily using a wooden mortar.

The result is another delight that we call mukimo.

Some quarters have argued that mukimo is the least imaginative meal that has ever graced the dinner table.

However, the results on the ground provide proof to the contrary. When visitors from Nairobi land in our village for weddings and funerals wearing their cheap sun glasses, we serve them this pounded meal, and they have all affirmed that it is the healthiest thing that ever landed on their palates.

In exceptional cases, githeri is fried with potatoes, cabbages and carrots. Just before the meal is ready for consumption, a few litres of water are added and the mixture stirred and allowed to boil one more time.

This version of wet fry is half eaten and half drunk, and so far it is the most accurate description of a balanced diet that has ever graced the nutrition bestselling books.

Buoyed by this recent craze to post my meals online, and going by my ancestry that prides itself in making the best mukimo in the entire universe, I decided to put my best foot forward.

I have since graduated from ugali with eggs plus tomatoes that I specialised in when I was living single. I therefore dared myself to an onions sandwich-making contest.

I had to ensure that the timing was right when the domestic secretary was off duty and the other inhabitants of eighth floor had ventured out.

After fifteen minutes of intense searching, I finally found the onions under a pile of potatoes in the store.

I happily started cutting them into small pieces as I looked back at my life with gratitude and I wondered where I acquired all that taste for fine things like sandwiches.

Then it happened. Tears were flooding my eyes and causing an intense burning sensation. I resembled a person who had just lost a very close relative. Or someone who was waiting for his food in the hotel only to see the waiter take it to another table.

I finally managed to stumble out of the kitchen into the bathroom to flush my eyes with water before I underwent what I considered as inevitable blindness. 

I settled down at the balcony and tried to put things into perspective. 

Is there an old fairy tale about how long time ago onions and men were good friends but as usual the man messed up the whole relationship and the onions swore to inflict misery into the man’s life?

Is it a generational curse upon mankind as a result of having mistreated onions of old?

After an hour of critical thinking, I invited the onions to the balcony and I quickly cut them from there as I looked the other way towards a breeze of wind to avoid another tearful experience.

After that woeful interruption, things were going on rather well and the sandwich was acquiring a heavenly brown, I was happy with life in general and I even took time off to peep across the block where my neighbour across was elaborately washing her colourful wigs on her balcony.

I never watch television, but it was 9pm and from the sitting room I could hear the headlines were about taxes price increases. These are among the few things that are likely to catch my attention because they reflect directly into my wallet. The tax man could be announcing a tax on homemade onion sandwiches any time and I may miss that important announcement.

I was only gone for three seconds, I can swear under all sacred trees and shrines in the forest. When I went back to the kitchen, the room resembled how my catechist described the fire of hell in full detail. 

My beloved sandwich was lying dead in the middle of the pan, reduced to a tiny black ball. The smoke emanating from the kitchen was causing extensive global warming in the whole of Eastern Europe and Asia, denying them valuable carbon credits.

The affected frying pan that looks like it survived a nuclear attack is still hidden somewhere in the kitchen, and my career as a vlogger specialising in onion sandwiches just suffered a premature death.