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GIRL ABOUT TOWN: My little kitchen dramas

Thursday January 17 2019

I find myself in the kitchen more times than I would like because I want to make my food just the way I like it. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

I find myself in the kitchen more times than I would like because I want to make my food just the way I like it. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SALMA OYIER
By SALMA OYIER
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There is something disturbing about my kitchen experiences. I'm always on the bad end of things...to a point I have decided to plead with my ancestors to forgive me and also let me be.

Full disclosure: I love eating. Everyone who knows me knows I love eating, and not just eating for sustenance. I eat like crazy.

People say it’s borderline gluttony, but I choose to look at it as having a good appetite.

Strange, some might say, as I was a trouble child at meal times. I had a really small body because I just refused to eat no matter how many threats or punishments I received from Mother.

She would sometimes cry out of sheer frustration of trying to make me eat -- sometimes for three hours with her making occasional trips to the kitchen to warm the food again and again in a sufuria.

Note, there were no microwaves back then. And that doesn’t mean I’m old...But I digress.

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HURDLES

Loving to eat in adulthood comes with its own hurdles. For me, it meant that I had to contend with adding a few kilogrammes, which I no longer regret and I had to learn how to cook well -- the hard way.

My mother tried teaching me to cook when I was younger but I took advantage of every opportunity I could to conveniently be missing in action in the kitchen. But now, I think I can cook.

And when I met Mr B, I decided to learn how to make those foods he likes too.

Consequently, I find myself in the kitchen more times than I would like because I want to make my food just the way I like it.

Most times, things go smoothly but at times things go awry. Like the time I made a fantastic dish out of leftover vegetables; or that time I whipped up a carrot and vanilla sponge cake that was out of this world, using sufurias to bake it over the gas cooker; to that time I grilled the most tasty goat ribs in a pan -- I don’t have an oven so if you are feeling sufficiently philanthropic you can donate one.

DISGUSTING SOUP

But there are other experiences too like that time I made some mushroom and tomato soup that was the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted; to that time I tried my hand at mahamri and it was just a stone-like slab looking like it was having a terrible acne break-out!

And there was a time I almost burned my kitchen down when I pretended to be an expert in setting meat on fire inside a frying pan...I had watched a chef do a flambé dish on TV, so can we really blame a girl for trying? Needless to say, it was disastrous.

But the food I love best at night is ugali. I eat ugali a minimum of four times a week. And no, I am not a perfect cook but I can’t help but just eat ugali.

So, last Friday, as usual, I decided to make ugali and some really delicious fried goat meat.

I fried my osuga (traditional green vegetables) and drenched it in milk then took it off the fire so I could use that milk to warm it later; fried my goat meat, spicy and chillied, and really tasty, just the way I like it; cleaned up my kitchen; and then embarked on making my ugali.

I was huffing and puffing, and turning and twisting that ladle. And I was adding more unga when I heard ‘puff’ and the gas was off.

I switched it off and on again, but nothing. The gas was finished. In the middle of cooking ugali. At 10pm. And the petrol station that sells gas in the estate closes at exactly 9pm!

What’s worse, this was not the first time it has happened.

Three times before, this has happened and I am always saying I will get a meko for emergencies.

It’s like my gas has a contract that says it always has to get finished late at night, always after 10pm, and only when I’m cooking ugali.

Oh, and one time it happened when I was baking my birthday cake -- it flopped in the sufuria. Since I was broke, I bought normal marble cake in the supermarket the next day.

Sometimes I wonder whether there is some supernatural power that determines that gas should get finished at that particular time!

So here I was, on a Friday night, with cold meat and mboga, and something that looked like lumpy porridge.

I poured out the porridge-like thing, served my stew and vegetables, and thanked God that I didn’t have guests. I ate my cold food in peace, making a mental note to finally buy a meko for emergencies.

I went to the petrol station at the weekend to fill up my gas and the meko was conveniently more expensive than I had budgeted for. Perhaps next time.

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